Case Law Details

Case Name : Rishabh Buildwell P. Ltd. Vs DCIT (ITAT Delhi)
Appeal Number : ITA Nos. 6880 & 6881/Del/2018
Date of Judgement/Order : 03/07/2019
Related Assessment Year : 2011-12 & 2013-14

Rishabh Buildwell P. Ltd. Vs DCIT (ITAT Delhi)

Once the assessee files a revised return under Section 1 53A, for all other provisions of the Act, the revised return will be treated as the original return filed under Section 139.

For the Revenue to invoke Explanation-5, it would have to prove that its requirements are clearly fulfilled in the present case. In order for Explanation-5 to apply, it is necessary that there must be certain assets (such as money, bullion etc.) found in the possession of the assessee during the search, and that the assessee must claim that such assets have been acquired by him by utilizing his income. Moreover, such income must be in relation to a particular previous year that has either ended before the date of the search or is to end on or after the date of the search and such income is declared subsequently in the return of income filed after the search. Therefore, it is only when assets are found during the search which the assessee claims have been acquired by him by utilizing his income for any particular previous year, and then declares such income in a subsequent return filed after the date of search, would it be deemed that the assesee has concealed his income. In other words, the assets seized during the search must relate to the income of the particular assessment year whose return is filed after the date of the search. Such a conclusion is only logical, considering that assessment under the Act is with respect to a particular assessment year and the penalty imposed under Section 271(1)(c) would also be for concealing income in that particular assessment year, which concealment was revealed by the discovery of certain assets in the assessee’s possession during the search conducted under Section 132. {Refer PR. Commissioner of Income Tax Vs Shri Neeraj Jindal (Delhi High Court)}

From the perusal of the seized material, we also find that the Revenue has not concretized any concealment by the assessment years in question based on the seized material. The assessment did not emanate in the seized material but a reinforcement of the income declared by the assessee.

Keeping in view the facts that there is no difference between returned income and the assessed income, keeping in view the fact that the Revenue has not brought any material for levy of penalty, Keeping in view the judgments which were enunciated that the return filed in response to notice 153A of the Act needs to be treated as returned filed u/s 139 of the Act for the purpose of assessment, we hereby delete the penalty levy u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act.

FULL TEXT OF THE ITAT JUDGEMENT

The assessee has taken the following grounds of appeal:

“1. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in confirming the penalty amounting to Rs. 61,80,000/- u/s 271(1 )(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, on erroneous understanding of facts and provisions of law.

2. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not considering that in the absence of statutory notice required in terms of section 274 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, in the prescribed format, the penalty proceedings(s) were not valid in law and the penalty order under appeal was liable to be cancelled.

3. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not considering that specific charge/default for which penalty was initiated was never crystallized and clearly stated neither the assessment order nor in any of the notice(s) therefore, the penalty imposed was also not valid in law and on facts and was liable to be cancelled.

4. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not considering that that A.O. did not specifically invoke Explanation 5A to Section 271 (1 )(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, neither in the Assessment Order nor in any of the notice(s) issued therefore, the imposition of penalty by the unilateral presuming that explanation 5 A to Sec. 271 (1 )(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is applicable, was not sustainable in law and on facts.

5. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not considering and appreciating the conditions necessary for invocation of Explanation 5A to Section 271(1 )(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 were neither present in the facts of the present case nor the onus cast upon the A.O. for invocation of Explanation 5A to Section 271 (1 )(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 was discharged by him, therefore, the penalty imposed was not sustainable in law and on facts.

6. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not considering and appreciating that the income in the return of Income filed in response to Notice u/s 153A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the assessed income assessed u/s 143 (3)/1 53A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 were the same, hence, the penalty imposed was insupportable in law and on facts and liable to be cancelled.

7. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not appreciating that the penalty could not have been levied for twin charges (for concealment of particulars of income and filing of inaccurate particulars) because both the charges given in section 271(1)(c) of the income Tax Act, 1961 are mutually exclusive situation and cannot co-exist therefore, the penalty imposed was bad in law and liable to be cancelled.

8. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not appreciating that it is essential on the part of the A.O. to inform the assessee that the penalty proceedings are being initiated against him by invoking Explanation to Section 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, hence, in the absence of the same the penalty imposed is insupportable in law and on facts.

9. That the Ld. A.O. has not recorded satisfaction in accordance with section 271(1)(c) r.w.s. 271 (1B) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 therefore the impugned penalty order is void-ab- initio and liable to be quashed.

10. That the Ld. C.I.T. (Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts by sustaining the penalty, which is wholly unjustified, without proper basis, too high & deserves to be deleted.

11. That the order of the Ld. C.I.T. (Appeals)-4, Kanpur is insupportable in law and on facts and is also contrary to the principles of natural justice and equity. That any other relief or reliefs as may be deemed fit in the case & circumstances of the case be granted.”

2. In ITA No.7139/Del/2018, the relevant grounds are as under:

“4. That the Ld. AO has not recorded satisfaction in accordance with section 271AAB r.w.s. 271(1B) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 therefore the impugned penalty order is void-ab-initio and liable to be quashed.

7. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not appreciating that the penalty could not have been levied for twin charges (for concealment of particulars of income and filing of inaccurate particulars) because both the charges given in the jurisdictional notice issued under section 271AAB of the Income Tax Act, 1961 are mutually exclusive situation and cannot co-exist therefore, the penalty imposed based on such understanding of law is liable to be cancelled.

8. That the Ld. CIT(Appeals)-4, Kanpur has erred in law and on facts in not appreciating that it is essential on the part of the AO to inform the assessee that the penalty proceedings are being initiated against him under Section 2 71AAB of the Income Tax Act, 1961, hence, in the absence of the same the penalty imposed is insupportable in law and on facts.”

2. Since, the issue being dealt in both the appellants is similar except the quantum involved, they are being adjudicated together for the sake of convenience.

3. In the case of Rishabh Buildwell Pvt. Ltd., the quantum of the penalty for the assessment year 2011-12 was of Rs.6180000/- and for the assessment year 2013-14 was Rs.148200/-. In these cases, the assessment was completed u/s. 153A on 12.2016 and simultaneously, penalty proceedings u/s. 271 (1 )(c) were initiated by the AO and the penalty was levied vide order dated in the case of Shri Sanjeev Jain, the quantum of the penalty for the assessment year 2009-10 was Rs.24,00,000/-, for A.Y. 2010-11 the penalty was Rs. 21,88,500/-, for the A.Y. 2011-12 the amount was Rs.120,91,500/-, for A.Y. 2012-13, penalty was for Rs.352,50,500/- and for the A.Y. 2013-14, the amount was Rs.7,50,000/-

4. Before the ld. CIT(A), the ld. AR argued based on the judgment of Karnataka High Court in the case of Manjunatha Cotton & Ginning Factory, which the ld. CIT(A) held to be not applicable to the present cases. The ld.CIT(A) relied on the case of Sundaram Finance Ltd. vs. ACIT, wherein it was held that there was no violation of principles of natural justice if one limb of reasons is not specified by the Assessing Officer in the penalty notice issued u/s. 271(1 )(c) of the Act. For ready reference, the relevant part of the order of ld. CIT(A) is reproduced as under :

“Further, in the recent judgement of the Hon’ble Madras High Court delivered 23.04.2018 in the case of M/s. Sundaram Finance Ltd Vs ACIT (2018-TTOL-813-HC-MAD- IT), it was held after discussing the judgement of Manjunath Cotton and Ginning Factory that there is no violation of principles of natural justice if one limb of the reasons is not specified by Assessing Officer in the penalty notice issued u/s. 271(1)(c) of the Act.

ii) Further, in the land mark judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case CST V Subhash and Company (2003) 130STC 97, 106 (SC), their Lordship has observed the emerging principle in relation to issue of notice, which is as under:

“Non-issue of notice or mistake in the issue of notice or defective service of notice does not affect the jurisdiction of the Assessing Officer, if otherwise reasonable opportunity of being heard has been given. (2) Issue of notice as prescribed in the statute constitutes a part of reasonable opportunity of being heard. (3) If prejudice has been caused by non-issue or invalid service of notice the proceeding would be vitiated. But irregular service of notice would not render the proceedings invalid; more so, if assessee by his conduct has rendered service impracticable or impossible. (4) In a given case when the principles of natural justice are stated to have been violated it is open to the appellate authority in appropriate cases to set aside the order and require the Assessing Officer to decide the case

In the present facts of the case no prejudice is caused to the appellant by the clerical mistakes committed by the Assessing Officer in the penalty notice u/s. 271 (1) (c) of the Act. Therefore, the legal ground of appeal of the appellant is hereby dismissed.

iii) The contention of the appellant is that there is no variation in the income filed by the appellant u/s. 153A of the Act and the assessment of income u/s. 153A of the Act, hence, there is no concealment of income.

5.5 The undersigned has carefully considered the contention of the appellant and the factual matrix of the case, it is undisputed fact that the appellant has not disclosed the income in the original return of income filed u/s. 139(1) of the Act.

The disclosure of additional income is on account of conduct of search u/s. 132(1) of the Act and issue of notice u/s. 153A of the Act. Disclosure of additional income u/s. 153A of the Act consequent to the search action cannot be treated as voluntary on the part of the appellant. Had there been no search, appellant would not have disclosed the additional income because there would not be any occasion to issue notice u/s. 153A of the Act. Hence, penalty u/s. 271(1)(c) of the Act is clearly attracted for furnishing the concealment of income.

5.6 Perusal of explanation 5A to 271(1)(c) of the Act makes it abundantly clear that if the appellant has not disclosed additional income in the original returned income filed prior to the search and if the same is disclosed consequent to the search or enquiry conducted by the department, then the additional income disclosed is deemed to have furnishes inaccurate particulars of income. In view of the specific deeming provisions in explanation 5A of the 271(1)(c) of the Act appellant is not entitled to take any benefit from exemption of penalty u/s. 271(1)(c) of the Act. The same is correctly levied by the Assessing Officer for furnishing the inaccurate particulars of income and concealment of income. It may be mentioned here that application of explanation 5A to section 271(1)(c) is automatic, due to its nature of specific deeming provisions applicable to provision u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act.

5.7 It is settled preposition of law that if the additional income offered by the appellant is consequent to the search action then the same constitutes concealment of income u/s 271 (l) (c) of the Act. It is observed from the factual matrix of the case that the appellant has not only committed default within the meaning of provisions of 271 (l) (c) of the Act, but also failed to produce the reasonable cause for committing such default, albeit, appellant has not produced any satisfactory explanation in the present facts of the case.

5.8 In this regard, reliance is also placed on following judgement of High Court wherein penalty u/s. 271(1)(c) of the Act is held as leviable, if appellant has surrendered the additional income consequent to detection of the same by the department.

> CIT Vs. Sreenivasa Rai (Kerala) 242 ITR 29

> LMP Precision Engg. Vs. DCIT (Guj) 330 ITR

> CIT Vs. Rakesh Suri (All.) 331 ITR 458

> Biiand Ram Hargan Das (All) 171 ITR 390

> Ravi and Co. Vs. ACIT (Mad.) 271 ITR 286

> Dayabhai Giridharbhai Vs, CIT (Bom) 32 ITR 677

> Mahavir Metal Work Vs. CIT (PAH) 92 ITR 513

5.9 In the latest judgement of Supreme Court in the case of Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. Vs CIT (2017)(SC) 246 taxmann 373 (SC) it was held by the Apex court that additional income detected by the department and declared by the appellant, consequent to search action would attract penalty provisions u/S. 271(1)(c) of the Act.

5.10 Therefore, in view of the detailed discussion and case laws cited here-in-above, undersigned finds no reason to interfere with the levy of penalty by the Assessing Officer. The same is therefore, confirmed and grounds of appeal of the appellant is dismissed.”

5. Before us during the argument, the ld. AR argued that the AO did not specifically invoke Explanation 5A to section 271 (1)(c) of the Act either in the assessment order or in any of the notices issued prior to passing of the penalty order. He argued that no specific charge / default for which the penalty was initiated, was never clearly stated in either the notice or in the assessment order. His main argument revolved around two points, (a) since the returned income filed in response to notice u/s. 153A of the Act and the assessed income determined in such proceedings is exactly the same, hence, no penalty u/s. 271(1)(c) is attracted. (b) the absence of specific charge in the penalty notice for which he relied on the judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of SSA Emrald Meadows, 73 Taxman 248 (SC).

6. Against these arguments, the ld. DR extensively quoted the case of Sundaram Finance Ltd. (Madras High Court) and judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case Subhash & Co. 130 STC 97 for the proposition that that non-issue of notice are mistake in the issue of notice and defective service of notice does not affect the jurisdiction of the Assessing Officer. He further relied on the Explanation 5 to Section 271 (1)(c) and argued that when there is difference of returned income between the return of income filed for any previous year in regular course of assessment proceedings, and the return filed in response to notice issued u/s. 153A post search
then, the difference of income between the two returns (u/s. 139(1) and 153A) should be treated as concealed income and the assessee is liable for penalty. He relied upon the following case laws in support of his arguments and filed his arguments in written form which have been duly perused:

> Sundaram Finance Ltd. 99 Taxman 152 (SC)

> CIT Vs Smt. Kaushalya 216 ITR 660

> Ultra Tech Cement Ltd. TIOL 785 HC Mum.

With regard to 271AAB of the Act

> Sandeep Chandak Vs Pr. CIT 255 Taxman 367

> CIT Vs Amit Agarwal 88 Taxman 288

> Ritu Singhal Vs CIT 403 ITR 97

> Mac Data Vs CIT 358 ITR 593

7. Heard the arguments of both the parties and perused the material before us and also the case laws relied upon by both the parties.

8. Primarily, we find that the Assessing Officer has not brought anything on record to assess any income over and above the returned income filed by the assessee. The AO in the assessment order could not bring into fore as to how the seized material has been analyzed and to prove as to how the concealment or furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income has arisen. The entire part of the assessment order with regard to the penalty is reproduced below to verify whether or not the Revenue has brought out any concealed income or made a case for levy of the penalty u/s 271(1 )(c) of the Act as under:

“4.1 During the assessment proceeding assessee were required to explain the document as page no. 68, 76, 78, 80, 87, 96, 116, 117 and 118 of LP2(A-2) SEIZED FROM PREMISE OF 195-Ram Vihar Delhi. Which is related to cash payment to cash received. The assessee has submitted that ‘the following amount was received in cash from resident of society towards maintenance and summary of the cash movement and cash payment made by Sh. Sanjeev Jain between different companies are on behalf of the companies by Sh. Sanjeev Jain, to summaries it is submitted that the net result of the above documents off Rs.1,05,83,000/- already declared in the return of income in A.Y. 2014-15’. The reply of the assessee is considered and Rs.1,05,83,000/- will be added in the hands of Sh. Sanjeev Jain in A. Y. 2014-15. Penalty proceeding u/s 271AAB of the I. T. Act also initiated separately.

Addition: Rs. 1,05,83,000/- (A. Y. 2014-15)

4.2 During the assessment proceeding assessee were required to explain the document as page no. 33-51 of LP-3(A-3) seized from premise of 195- Ram Vihar Delhi. The assessee is required to explain the above documents and a show cause given to assessee that why may not be treated as unexplained and added in your income? The assessee has submitted that ‘These documents are related to Angel Mall and not recorded in the books of accounts; as per memory of the Sanjeev Jain, it is cash received and cash paid on the behalf of companies, but due to avoid litigation, we have surrendered Rs. 80,00,000/- in A. Y. 2009-10, Rs. 72,95,000/- in A. Y. 2010-11 and Rs.4,03,05,000/- in A. Y. 2011-12’. The reply of the assessee is considered and Rs. 80,00,000/- in A, Y. 2009- 10, Rs.72,95,000/- in A.Y. 2010-11 and Rs.4,03,05,000/- in A.Y. 2011-12 will be added in the hands of Sh. Sanjeev Jain in A.Y. 2014-15. Penalty proceeding u/s 271(1)(c) of the I.T. Act also initiated separately for furnishing inaccurate of particulars of income and concealment of income.

Addition: Rs. 80,00,000/- in A. Y. 2009-10,

Addition: Rs. 72,95,000/- in A. Y. 2010-11

Addition: Rs.4,03,05,000/- in A.Y. 2011-12″

9.From the reading of the above assessment order we find that though the assessing officer has mentioned the word “Addition”it does not represent any adding up of the income but narration of the income returned by the assessee in response to notice u/s 153A of the Act. Now, in the absence of any addition made by the assessing officer whether any penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act is leviable or not is examined with
reference to the facts of the case and the established judgments.

10. The penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act is leviable in case of financing of inaccurate particulars of income or concealment of income. The Revenues has to show whether assessee indeed has concealed income or furnished inaccurate particulars of income. There has to be a finding with regard to the addition made in the assessment order. Whereas in instant case, there was no addition made by the AO. There is no deeming fiction for the levy of penalty the provisions applicable whether it is an assessment u/s 153A of the Act or assessment u/s 143(3) of the Act or u/s 148 of the Act the provision essentially remain the same. In the instant case, the assessee has filed return of income declaring additional income which was accepted by the AO. Hence, they cannot be treated as the assessee has concealed income as concealment as to be dealt by the Revenue by way of unearthing sum of the income which has been kept away from the eye of the Revenue. Furnishing of inaccurate of particulars refers to filing of material which is not in conformity with the facts or truths. They deal in with correct detail about income so that a part of the income could be covered up by the assessee. None of these two conditions are applicable to the instant case. The AO proceeded to treat the assesseeassessee’s additional income so offered as concealment and furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income. The provisions of the explanation 5A to Section 271(1)(c) of the Act and 271AAB of the Act have to be interpreted strictly. Unless, there is an actual concealment or non-discloser of the particular of the income the penalty cannot be imposed. Further, when the revised income is accepted and the income is assessed as per the revised income there is no scope of penalty. In the case of Kirit Dahyabhai Patel Vs ACIT (2017) 80 Taxmann.com 162 (Guj.), the Hon’ble High Court held that in view of specific provision of Section 153A, the return of income filed in response to notice u/s 153A is to be considered as return filed u/s 139, as the AO has made assessment on the said return and, therefore, the return has to be considered for the purpose of penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act and the penalty is to be levied on the income assessed over and above the income returned u/s 153A, if any, admittedly, in this matter both the returned income and the assessed income are same. Whereas the Revenue was of the opinion that in as much that the income disclosed by the assessee under Section 153A was higher than the income in the original return filed under Section 139(1) and since in his view, such disclosure of income was a consequence of the search conducted on the assessee, there was concealment of income which attracted  Section 271(1)(c) of the Act.

11. The Supreme Court held, in Shri T. Ashok Pai v. Commissioner of Income Tax, Bangalore (2007) 7 SCC 162, that penalty under Section 271(1)(c) is not to be mandatorily imposed. In other words, the levy of penalty under this provision is not automatic. This view has been reiterated in Union of India v. Rajasthan Spinning and Weaving Mills, (2009) 13 SCC 448 to say that for there to be a levy of penalty under Section 271(1 )(c), the conditions laid out therein have to be specifically fulfilled. Section 271(1)(c) of the Act, being in the nature of a penal provision, requires a strict construction.

12. In this case, the A.O. in his order noted that the disclosure of higher income in the return filed by the assessee was a consequence of the search conducted and hence, such disclosure cannot be said to be be “voluntary”. Hence, in the A.O.’s opinion, the assessee had “concealed”his income. However, the mere fact that the assessee has filed revised returns disclosing higher income than in the original return, in the absence of any other incriminating evidence, does not show that the assessee has “concealed”his income for the relevant assessment years. On this point, several High Courts have also opined that the mere increase in the amount of income shown in the
revised return is not sufficient to justify a levy of penalty.

13. The Punjab & Haryana High Court in Commissioner of Income Tax v. Suraj Bhan, (2007) 294 ITR 481 (P & H), held that when an assessee files a revised return showing higher income, penalty cannot be imposed merely on account of such higher income filed in the revised return. Similarly, the Karnataka High Court in the case of Bhadra Advancing Pvt. Limited v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, (2008) 219 CTR 447, held that merely because the assessee has filed a revised return and withdrawn some claim of depreciation penalty is not leviable. The additions in assessment proceedings will not automatically lead to inference of levying penalty. The Calcutta High Court in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax v. Suresh Chand Bansal, (2010) 329 ITR 330 (Cal) held that where there was an offer of additional income in the revised return filed by the assessee and such offer is in consequence of a search action, then if the assessment order accepts the offer of the assessee, levy of penalty on such offer is not justified without detailed discussion of the documents and their explanation which compelled the offer of additional income. The Madras High Court in the case of S.M.J. Housing v. Commissioner of Income Tax, (2013) 357 ITR 698 held that where after a search was conducted, the assessee filed the return of his income and the Department had accepted such return, then levy of penalty under Section 271 (1 )(c) was not justified. From the above cases it would be clear that when an assessee has filed revised returns after search has been conducted, and such revised return has been accepted by the A.O., then merely by virtue of the fact that such return showed a higher income, penalty under Section 271(1)(c) cannot be automatically imposed.

14. Considering that the non-obstante clause under Section 153A excludes the application of, inter alia, Section 139, it is clear that the revised return filed under Section 1 53A takes the place of the original return under Section 139, for the purposes of all other provisions of the Act. This is further buttressed by Section 1 53A (1 )(a) which reads:

“Notwithstanding anything contained in section 139, section 147, section 148, section 149, section 151 and section 153, in the case of a person where a search is initiated under section 132 or books of account, other documents or any assets are requisitioned under section 132A after the 31st day of May, 2003, the Assessing Officer shall-

a) issue notice to such person requiring him to furnish within such period, as may be speciied in the notice, the return of income in respect of each assessment year falling within six assessment years referred to in clause (b), in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply accordingly as if such return were a return required to be furnished under section 139

15. Therefore, the position that emerges from the above-mentioned provision is that once the assessee files a revised return under Section 1 53A, for all other provisions of the Act, the revised return will be treated as the original return filed under Section 139. Reliance is placed on the judgements of in the case of Kirit Dahyabhai Patel v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, 280 CTR 216 and Commissioner of Income Tax Vs Shri Neeraj Jindal (Delhi High Court) in Appeal Number : ITA 463/2016 & CM No. 26604/2016.

16. Explanation-5 was specifically inserted to deal with the situation where higher income was disclosed in the return filed consequent to a search operation, and the assessee claimed that such addition of income did not imply that there was concealment. In other words, but for the insertion of Explanation-5, it would be open to the assessee to contend that additions made to his income in the return filed after the search operation, were only to buy peace and did not tantamount to concealment. This also flows from the language of Explanation-5 itself, wherein the words used by the Legislature are “be deemed to have concealed the particulars of his income”, which shows that there is a deeming fiction by virtue of which such additional income is considered as concealment. If such additions in the income in the return filed consequent to a search, were to automatically evidence concealment under Section 271(1)(c), there would be no need for Parliament to enact a deeming fiction in the form of Explanation-5; such a reading would render Explanation-5 otiose and without any purpose. This is also consonant with the view arrived at in the earlier part of this decision, i.e. mere increase of income in the return filed pursuant to Section 153A would not be sufficient to show concealment under Section 271(1)(c).

 17. For the Revenue to invoke Explanation-5, it would have to prove that its requirements are clearly fulfilled in the present case. In order for Explanation-5 to apply, it is necessary that there must be certain assets (such as money, bullion etc.) found in the possession of the assessee during the search, and that the assessee must claim that such assets have been acquired by him by utilizing his income. Moreover, such income must be in relation to a particular previous year that has either ended before the date of the search or is to end on or after the date of the search and such income is declared subsequently in the return of income filed after the search. Therefore, it is only when assets are found during the search which the assessee claims have been acquired by him by utilizing his income for any particular previous year, and then declares such income in a subsequent return filed after the date of search, would it be deemed that the assesee has concealed his income. In other words, the assets seized during the search must relate to the income of the particular assessment year whose return is filed after the date of the search. Such a conclusion is only logical, considering that assessment under the Act is with respect to a particular assessment year and the penalty imposed under Section 271(1)(c) would also be for concealing income in that particular assessment year, which concealment was revealed by the discovery of certain assets in the assessee’s possession during the search conducted under Section 132. {Refer PR. Commissioner of Income Tax Vs Shri Neeraj Jindal (Delhi High Court)}

 18. From the perusal of the seized material, we also find that the Revenue has not concretized any concealment by the assessment years in question based on the seized material. The assessment did not emanate in the seized material but a reinforcement of the income declared by the assessee.

19. Keeping in view the facts that there is no difference between returned income and the assessed income, keeping in view the fact that the Revenue has not brought any material for levy of penalty, Keeping in view the judgments which were enunciated that the return filed in response to notice 153A of the Act needs to be treated as returned filed u/s 139 of the Act for the purpose of assessment, we hereby delete the penalty levy u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act.

20. Regarding the issue of notice raised by the assessee regarding the prescribed format, having gone through the factum of the case, we are decline to interfere with the order of the ld. CIT(A) as there is no prescribed proforma for issue of notice and the assessee had to be made aware of the intention of levy of penalty by the Revenue. We agree with the judgments referred by the ld. DR.

21. Regarding the penalty levied u/s 271AAB of the Act for the assessment year 2014-15, in the case of Sanjeev Jain, the ld. AR relied upon the arguments taken before the ld. CIT(A)

22. The ld. DR in addition to the judgments quoted earlier relied upon in the case of Sandeep Chandak Vs PCIT (2018) 93 Taxmann.com 406 (SC) and Ritu Gingal Vs CIT (2018) 403 ITR 97 (Del.).

23. We have perused the material before us and our findings are as under with reference to the conditions obligatory to be in existence for levy of penalty:

a. Undisclosed income must be admitted by the assessee and the statement u/s 132(4) of the Act.

b. Substantiate the manner in which undisclosed income is earned.

c. The assessee paid the tax before filing of return.

d. The assessee furnished return of income declaring such undisclosed

24. We find that the assessee has given a statement u/s 132(4) of the Act during the search and substantiated as to how the undisclosed income was derived (para 4.1 of AO), paid the taxes and filed the return. Hence, the assessee had made all the required conditions. At this juncture, it is to be adjudicated whether the levy of penalty is automatic or not under the present circumstances, we find that the rationale given in the case of 271(1 )(c) so as to the requisite conditions for levy of penalty under the Income Tax law are equally applicable to the instant year also. Hence, the penalty levied is directed to be deleted.

25. In the result, the appeals of the assessee are allowed.
(Order pronounced in the open court on 03/07/2019)

Download Judgment/Order

Author Bio

Qualification: LL.B / Advocate
Company: KAPIL GOEL LEGAL
Location: NORTH DELHI, Delhi, India
Member Since: 23 Jun 2020 | Total Posts: 73
Mr.Kapil Goel B.Com(H) FCA LLB, Advocate Delhi High Court [email protected], 9910272804 Mr Goel is a bachelor of commerce from Delhi University (2003) and is a Law Graduate from Merrut University (2006) and Fellow member of ICAI (Nov 2004). At present, he is practicing as an Advocate View Full Profile

My Published Posts

More Under Income Tax

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Posts by Date

April 2021
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930