Case Law Details

Case Name : Rajat Tradecom India Pvt. Ltd. Vs DCIT (ITAT Indore)
Appeal Number : IT (SS) A No: 182 & 183/Ind./2007
Date of Judgement/Order : 12/09/2008
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All ITAT (4213) ITAT Indore (26)

RELEVANT PARAGRAPH

9. Section 153A would be applicable where a search is initiated under section 132 or books of accounts or other documents or any assets are requisitioned under section 132A of the Act after 31st May, 2003. Therefore, before invoking the provisions of section 153A of the Act it would be necessary to comply with the provisions contained under section 132(1) of the Act. Salient feature of section 132(1) is that where the Director General or Director or the Chief Commissioner or Commissioner, in consequence of information in his possession has reason to believe that any person failed to produce books of accounts or other documents in response to summons or that any person to whom summons have been issued has not or might not or would not produce any books of accounts or documents or that any person is in possession of any money, bullion, jewellery or other valuable article in his possession, which has not been or would not be disclosed for the purpose of this Act (hereinafter referred to as “undisclosed income’ or ‘property’ then the Director General, Director or Chief Commissioner or Commissioner, as the case may be, may authorize any Joint Director, Assistant Director, Assistant Commissioner of Dy. Commissioner of Incometax, called the authorized Officer, to enter and search any building, place, vessel, vehicle or air-craft, etc. where he has reason to suspect that such books of accounts, other documents, money, bullion, jewellery or other valuable article or thing are kept, break open the lock of any door, etc., search any person who is about to go from the above premises, require any person to account for the books of accounts or documents, seize any such books of accounts or documents, money, bullion, jewellery, etc. or things found as a result of such search and may place mark of identification on any books of accounts or other documents or take copy thereof and to prepare inventory of the same. The purpose of section 132 for issue of warrant of authorization is to unearth, detect and to take possession of the unaccounted/ undisclosed income or property. The mere issue of warrant of authorization without there being search of the premises mentioned in the warrant of authorization would be meaningless and would not serve the purpose of section 132 of the Act. It may be illustrated by taking an example that if warrant of authorization under section 132 is issued in the name of “A” after 31.5.2003 but his premises is not searched for the purpose of executing the warrant of authorization and the warrant of authorization is kept unexecuted, the question arises whether the Assessing Officer still should proceed under section 153A of the Act for the purpose of framing the assessment or reassessment of the six assessment years immediately preceding the assessment years relevant to the previous year in which such search is initiated or requisition is made without executing the search warrant. The answer would be xNo’ because it would be a futile exercise. It may be added here that jurisdiction can be assumed by the Assessing Officer to initiate assessment proceedings to issue notices once search is initiated under section 132/requisition made under section 132A. He gets actual jurisdiction only on issue of notice, which could be issued under section 153A (unlike section 158BC(a) in block assessment) with no necessity for inference of escapement of income or under­assessment as under section 147. Should it mean that a mere search will enable reassessment proceedings by-passing or ignoring the requirements of section 147. The only part of procedure dispensed with under section 153A of n~ Act on comparison with section 147 is that there is no reason for recording reasons and for approval by higher authorities before issue of notice of reassessment. Further, there cannot be automatic jurisdiction for 6 back years even for those entities which may not be in existence for ail the six years indicating that the provision is expected to be reasonably exercised. It should therefore follow that there should be prima fade inference of liability for invoking jurisdiction under section 153A of the IT Act. We may add that in section 153A(b) it is specifically provided that the Assessing Officer shall assess or reassess the total income of six years immediately preceding the assessment years relevant to the previous year in which such search is conducted or requisition is made. It would , therefore, clarify that not only the warrant of authorization is to be issued in the name of the assessee but search shall have to be necessarily conducted or in case of requisition under section 132A, the requisition is to be made actually. Hon’ble Allahabad High court in the case of Chandra Prakash Agrawal v. CTT; 287 ITR 172 considering the definition of requisition under section 132A of the Act as is referred to in section 158BA of the Act observed that the word “requisition” means taking of actual possession. The requisition is complete only when the seized books of accounts and other documents which have been requisitioned have been delivered to the requisitioning authority. The provisions of section XIV-B of the Act would come into play only when the books of accounts or other documents or assets are actually received by the Assessing Officer pursuant to the requisition made under section 132A. It was held –

Held, that no search under section 132 had been conducted by the Income-tax Department. The search, if any, was conducted on June 7/8 of 2001 by the Central Excise Department. The Income-tax Department had sent a requisition on March 27, 2002 under section 132A of the Act requisitioning the books of accounts and other documents seized by the Central Excise Department The record of the proceeding dated April 18, 2002 showed that the requisition was not fulfily executed as all the books of account and other documents had not been delivered to the requisitioning authority. The proceedings initiated under section 148 were valid. However in the proceedings for reassessment under section 148 of the Act, materia/ or evidence relatable to the documents, for which the requisition had been sent under section 132A could not be taken into consideration. “

10. Considering the above provisions as noted above in the light of the provisions of section 153A of the Act, it would be clear that once the warrant of authorization or requisition is issued and search is conducted, Panchnama is drawn, the completed assessments for ail the relevant years would get reopened irrespective of whether any incriminating material is found or not in relation to a particular assessment year. However the warrant of authorization shall have to be executed by the authorized Officer in order to justify invoking of the jurisdiction by the Assessing Officer under section 153A of the Act.

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