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Case Law Details

Case Name : Rajesh Laxmikanth Varnerkar Vs ITO (ITAT Bangalore)
Appeal Number : ITA No.1004/Bang/2023
Date of Judgement/Order : 17/01/2024
Related Assessment Year : 2014-15

Rajesh Laxmikanth Varnerkar Vs ITO (ITAT Bangalore)

Introduction: The case of Rajesh Laxmikanth Varnerkar Vs ITO (ITAT Bangalore) highlights the challenges faced by the assessee in contacting their tax consultant due to the dislocation of business activities. This article delves into the details of the case and the decision rendered by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) in Bangalore.

Detailed Analysis: The appeal by the assessee was directed against the order of the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) [CIT(A)] under section 250 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The CIT(A) had decided the appeal ex-parte as the assessee failed to respond to multiple notices for filing written submissions. However, the assessee’s representative explained that due to the dislocation of business activities, they couldn’t reach their tax consultant, who was responsible for taxation matters. Moreover, notices from the CIT(A) were sent to the tax consultant’s email, which went unnoticed due to the consultant’s personal circumstances.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) acknowledged the challenges faced by the assessee and deemed it necessary to provide another opportunity for the assessee to represent their case. The issues were remanded to the files of the CIT(A), with directions for the assessee to cooperate with the revenue authorities and avoid unnecessary adjournments.

Conclusion: The decision of the ITAT in favor of the assessee underscores the importance of fair representation and procedural justice. Despite the initial failure to respond to notices, the tribunal recognized the genuine difficulties faced by the assessee and granted them another chance to present their case. This case serves as a reminder of the complexities involved in tax disputes and the need for flexibility in the adjudication process.

FULL TEXT OF THE ORDER OF ITAT BANGALORE

This appeal at the instance of the assessee is directed against CIT(A)’s order dated 19.10.2023, passed under section 250 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter called ‘the Act’). The relevant Assessment Year is 2014-15.

2. At the very outset, we notice that the appeal of the assessee before the CIT(A) has been decided ex-parte. The reason for deciding the appeal ex-parte was that assessee did not respond to several notices issued from the Office of the CIT(A) for filing the written submissions. The learned AR submitted that due to dislocation of business activity, assessee could not contact his tax consultant who was looking after taxation matters. It was also submitted that notices from the Office of the CIT(A) were sent to the email ID of his tax consultant who did not observe the mail on account of his father’s ill health. It was submitted that in the interest of justice and equity, assessee may be provided with one more opportunity to represent his case before the CIT(A).

3. Learned DR supported the orders of the CIT(A).

4. We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record. The CIT(A) has not decided the issue on merits since assessee has not responded to the notices issued from the Office of the CIT(A). Due to dislocation of business activity, assessee could not contact his tax consultant who was looking after assessee’s taxation matters and also since that notices from the Office of the CIT(A) were sent to the email ID of his tax consultant who did not observe the mail on account of his father’s ill health, we are of the of the view that in the interest of justice and equity, assessee ought to be provided with one more opportunity to represent his case and accordingly the issues are restored to the files of the CIT(A). Assessee is directed to co-operate with the Revenue and shall not seek unnecessary adjournment. It is ordered accordingly.

5. In the result, appeal filed by the assessee is allowed for statistical purposes.

Pronounced in the open court on the date mentioned on the caption page.

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