Where AO accepts objections of assessee and does not assess the income which was the basis of notice than he cannot made additions on other issues
Fact and Issue of the case
Petitioner received a notice dated 16th March, 2019 under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act) for A.Y. 2012-13. According to respondents they had reasons to believe that petitioner’s income chargeable to tax for A.Y. 2012-13 has escaped assessment. The reasons for re-opening is annexed to the petition. The reasons indicate that respondents have information that petitioner has deposited Rs.13,40,000/-in cash during F.Y. 2011-12. Notwithstanding that petitioner has not filed return of income for A.Y. 2012-13. Therefore, the income chargeable to tax amounting to Rs.13,40,000/- has escaped assessment due to failure on the part of the petitioner to disclose fully and truly all material facts for his assessment. Petitioner filed objections dated 10th October, 2019 to the reopening of assessment.
Observation of the court
To confer jurisdiction under Section 147 of the Act, the Assessing Officer must have reasons to believe that income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment. In this case, the Assessing Officer felt that there were reasons to believe that income had escaped assessment on incorrect facts and that is even accepted in the order disposing the objections which is impugned in the petition. Therefore, the entire basis on which jurisdiction is assumed under Section 147 of the Act fails. On this ground alone, the notice dated 16th March, 2019 and consequential order on objections dated 6th November, 2019 has to be quashed and set aside.
Mr. Walve submitted that as per explanation 3 to Section 147 of the Act, the Assessing Officer may assess or re-assess the income in respect of any issue which has escaped assessment even if such issue comes to his notice subsequently in the course of proceedings under this section, notwithstanding that the reasons for such issue have not been included in the reasons recorded under Sub Section 2 of the Section 148 of the Act.
Though, there cannot be any dispute on this statement of Mr.Walve, explanation 3 presupposes that the notice which has been issued was a valid notice. As per explanation 3 it empowers the Assessing Officer to assess or re-assess the income in respect of any issue that comes to his notice subsequently in the course of the proceedings under Section 147 of the Act but if the proceedings under Section 148 of the Act itself has been initiated wrongly, the question of any new issue that would come to his notice subsequently during the course of proceedings under Section 147 of the Act would not arise. The assessment or reassessment must be in respect of the income in respect of which he has formed a reason to believe that it has escaped assessment and also in respect of which comes to his notice subsequently during the course of the any other income proceedings as having escaped assessment. If the income, the escapement of which was the basis of the formation of the reason to believe is not assessed or reassessed, it would not be open to the Assessing Officer to independently assess only that income which comes to his notice subsequently in the course of the proceedings under the section as having escaped assessment. If upon the issuance of a notice under section 148(2), the Assessing Officer accepts the objections of the assessee and does not assess or reassess the income which was the basis of the notice, it would not be open to him to assess income under some other issue independently. The court find support for this view in Commissioner of Income Tax vs. Jet Airways (I) Ltd.
In the circumstances, petition is allowed in terms of prayer clause – (a) which reads as under : (a) that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue a Writ of Certiorari or a Writ in the nature of Certiorari or any other appropriate Writ, Order or direction, calling for the records of the Petitioner’s case and after going into the legality and propriety thereof, to quash and set aside the notice u/s 148 dated 16.03.2019 (“Exhibit A”) and the subsequent Order dated 06.11.2019 (“Exhibit E”) disposing of Petitioner’s objections on the issue of impugned notice.
The Court ruled in favour of the assessee and disposed off the petition