In the instant case although the appellant assessee has called upon us to draw an inference that the burden shifted to the revenue in the present case once it was established that the payments were made and repaid by cheque we need not hasten and adopt that view after having given our thought to various issues raised and the decisions cited by Mr.Tralshawalla and finding that on a very fundamental aspect, the revenue was not justified in making addition at the time of reassessment without having first given the assessee an opportunity to cross examine the deponent on the statements relied upon by the ACIT. Quite apart from denial of an opportunity of cross examination, the revenue did not even provide the material on the basis of which the department sought to conclude that the loan was a bogus transaction.Online GST Certification Course by TaxGuru & MSME- Click here to Join
In our view in the light of the fact that the monies were advanced apparently by the account payee cheque and was repaid vide account payee cheque the least that the revenue should have done was to grant an opportunity to the assessee to meet the case against him by providing the material sought to be used against assessee in arriving before passing the order of reassessment. This not having been done, the denial of such opportunity goes to root of the matter and strikes at the very foundation of the reassessment and therefore renders the orders passed by the CIT (A) and the Tribunal vulnerable. In our view the assessee was bound to be provided with the material used against him apart from being permitting him to cross examine the deponents. Despite the request dated 15th February, 1996 seeking an opportunity to cross examine the deponent and furnish the assessee with copies of statement and disclose material, these were denied to him. In this view of the matter we are inclined to allow the appeal on this very issue.
Once we take this view it is not necessary to consider the second question as to whether or not the Tribunal had erred in law in holding that the amendment to Section 147(3) with effect from 1st April, 1989 were applicable to reassessment proceedings against the appellant in respect of assessment year 1983-84. This issue can be considered in an appropriate case and need not detain us any further. Mr. Tralshawala had relied upon the decision in Ranchi Handloom Emporium (supra) which held that the Direct Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 1987 came into force from 1st April, 1989. The case before that Court related to assessment year 1988-89 and the relevant accounting year being 9th July, 1986 to 27th June, 1987 and hence the Court held that there was no doubt that the assessment in that year would be Court governed by the unamended provisions. The applicability of the amended provisions need not be gone into by us in the present case since we are of the view that on very first question, we are inclined to hold against the revenue and in favour of the assessee.