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June 7, 2021

Bombay High Court Stayed Faceless assessment order passed without affording opportunity of being heard of assessee

Bombay High Court Stayed Faceless assessment order passed without affording opportunity of being heard of assessee

Fact and Issue of the case

A show cause notice was issued on 20-04-2021 requiring to show cause as to why the assessment should not be completed in terms of variations proposed in the return of income as per the draft assessment order. However, said show cause notice could reflect on the portal only on 22-04-2021. On the same day, request for opportunity of being heard was filed by the assessee. On the next day i.e. 23-04-2021, detailed reply was filed. Due date for passing order was 30-06-2021. However, the assessment order was passed on 23-04-2021 without considering prayer of opportunity of being heard or replies filed by assessee. A demand of Rs 17.71 crore was raised. Assessee filed writ petition before Bombay High Court challenging said assessment order for violation of principle of natural justice.

Observation of the court

Petitioner submits that there appears to be glitches in the operation of the Faceless Assessment Scheme. He submits that one such instance, is the present petition where by show cause notice dated 20th April 2021, a draft assessment order had been issued to Petitioner requiring to show cause as to why the assessment should not be completed in terms of the draft assessment order. He submits that the said show cause appeared for the first time on the E-fling portal on 22nd April 2021 and on  the same day he fled an online reply requesting for an opportunity of being heard. On 23rd April 2021, he fled a detailed reply to the show cause notice with documentary evidences. However, without considering his request for hearing or the detailed reply, assessment order dated 23rd April 2021 came to be passed, even though the time limit to pass the assessment order was extended to 30th June 2021. He submits that in pursuance of the assessment order, there is a notice of demand for a sum of Rs. 17,71,87,220/- in addition to the penalty proceedings that have been initiated.

Pending hearing and final disposal of the Petition, the operation of the assessment order passed under Section 143 (3) read with Section 144B of the Act dated 23rd April 2021 and the notice of demand in Form No. 156 dated 23rd April 2021 as well as the show cause notice under Section 274 read with Section 270A and 271AAC of the Act dated 23rd April 2021 are stayed.

Conclusion

The court Stayed Faceless assessment order passed by the National Faceless Assessment Centre and Listed the matter to be heard on 30th June 2021

Read the full order from below

Bombay-High-Court-Stayed-Faceless-assessment-order-passed-without-affording-opportunity-of-being-heard-of-assessee-

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