HC cancels the search assessment due to an illegal search
Fact and issue of the case
These Writ Petitions were filed to contest the assessment orders for the three assessment years, 2018–19, 2019–20, and 2020–21, on the grounds that Section 153A of the Income Tax Act was completely disregarded and that, even in the absence of a search warrant pertaining to the petitioner, the provisions of Section 132 of the Income Tax Act were followed.
Admittedly, if a search is conducted by applying Section 153A of the Income Tax Act, there should be a specific authorization. In the instant case, admittedly, there is no warrant authorization to conduct search as per Section 132 of the Income Tax Act on the petitioner.
Observation of the court
Learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondent has also received a written instruction from the Department which is dated 31.10.2022, admitting to the said fact. However, based on the said unauthorized search, the assessment orders have been passed, which have been challenged in this Writ Petition.
Since search under Section 132 of the Income Tax Act has not been conducted on the petitioner in accordance with law, the impugned assessment orders have to be necessarily quashed and the Writ Petitions will have to be allowed.
Accordingly, the impugned assessment orders all dated 30.03.2022 are hereby quashed and the Writ Petitions are allowed. However, liberty is granted to the respondent to proceed against the petitioner afresh by following the due procedure established under law. No Costs. Consequently, the connected Writ Miscellaneous Petitions are closed.
In the result, appeal of the assessee is allowed and ruled in favour of the assessee
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