Madras high court quashes an assessment order passed by National e-Assessment Centre even before the time to respond elapsed
Fact and Issue of the case
The impugned order dated 15.03.2021 passed by the Offier preceded a Show Cause Notice dated 04.03.2021. As per the said notice, the petitioner was required to file a reply on or before the end of the day on 15.03.2021 by 23.59 hours. In other words, the reply of the petitioner was to be filed digitally latest by 11.59 PM in the night.
The petitioner has challenged the impugned order dated 15.03.2021 which has been digitally signed by the second respondent at about 16:22:33 hours on the said date. In other words, the impugned order has been passed at about 4.22 PM in the evening on 15.03.2021.
It is the case of the petitioner that the petitioner had also sent a reply before the deadline for filing the reply had expired on 15.03.2021 and therefore the impugned order passed by the second respondent was liable to be quashed.
Observation of the court
Opposing the prayer in the writ petition for quashing the impugned order dated 15.03.2021 passed by the second respondent, learned senior standing counsel for Income Tax Department submits that the petitioner has an alternate remedy by way of an appeal before the Appellate Commissioner and therefore the writ petition is liable to be dismissed. The court has considered the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned senior standing counsel for the respondents. Since the impugned order has been passed before the time prescribed for filing the reply, it is evident that the impugned order has been passed with pre-set mind. In any event, the order has been passed without considering the reply received from the petitioner. Therefore, this Court is inclined to grant the relief sought for by the petitioner as there is a manifest violation of business of justice while passing the impugned order.
The court made decision in favour of the petitioner and directed that the impugned order stands quashed and the case is remitted back to the second respondent to pass a speaking order on merits in accordance with law after considering the reply filed by the petitioner on 15.03.2021
Read the full order of court from belowMadras-high-court-quashes-an-assessment-order-passed-by-National-e-Assessment-Centre-even-before-the-time-to-respond-elapsed