Punishment under Section 271(1)(c) without a chance to help the Assessee – ITAT directs NFAC for new consideration
Fact and issue of the case
This appeal by the assessee against the order dated 31-01-2023 passed by the National Faceless Appeal Centre (NFAC), Delhi [CIT(A)] for assessment year 2011-12.
We find no representation on behalf of the assessee nor any application filed seeking adjournment. Thus, the assessee called absent and set ex-parte. Therefore, we proceed to dispose of the appeal by hearing the ld. DR and perusing the material available on record.
At the outset, we note that the Assessing Officer imposed penalty of 57,293/- for the charge that the assessee deliberately concealed his income. The same was challenged before the NFAC, Delhi. On perusal of the impugned order at para 4.5, it reveals that the NFAC dismissed the appeal of assessee for non-prosecution. The ld. DR admits that there was no opportunity for the assessee in the first appellate proceedings.
Observation of the court
As discussed above, since the Assessing Officer imposed penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as „the Act‟) on the charge of concealment of income, in our opinion, which requires assistance of the assessee in prosecuting the levy of penalty proceedings before NFAC. As there is no opportunity for the assessee which is established from the impugned order, we deem it appropriate to remand the matter to the file of NFAC, Delhi for its fresh consideration. The assessee is at liberty to file evidences, if any, in support of his contentions. Thus, grounds of appeal raised by the assessee are allowed for statistical purposes.
In the result, the appeal of assessee is allowed for statistical purposes.
Order pronounced in the open court on 10th May, 2023.
In the result, appeal of the assessee is allowed and ruled in favour of the assessee