Authorisation or requisition and subsequent assessment in search cases
Under the existing provisions of section 132 and section 132A, an authorisation can be issued or a requisition can be made, as the case may be, where the Director General or the Director in consequence of information in his possession has reason to believe that any person is in possession of any money, bullion, jewellery or other valuable article or thing (hereafter referred to as undisclosed income or property), then, he may authorise any Additional Director or Deputy Director, etc. to enter and search any building, place, vehicle, etc. and seize any such books of accounts, other documents, undisclosed property, etc.
Where a search is initiated under section 132 or requisition is made under section 132A, assessment is to be completed under the provisions of section 153A or section 153C (and if search was prior to 31st May, 2003 under Chapter XIV-B of the Act) or section 143(3), etc.
In a recent Court decision, it has been held that in search cases arising on the basis of warrant of authorisation under section 132 of the Act, warrant of authorisation must be issued individually and if it is not issued individually, assessment cannot be made in an individual capacity. It was also held that if the authorization was issued jointly, the assessment will have to be made collectively in the name of all the persons in the status of association of persons/body of individuals.
This decision is not in accordance with the legislative intent.
It is accordingly proposed to insert a new section 292CC in the Income-tax Act to provide that –
(i) it shall not be necessary to issue an authorisation under section 132 or make a requisition under section 132A separately in the name of each person;
(ii) where an authorisation under section 132 has been issued or a requisition under section 132A has been made mentioning therein the name of more than one person, the mention of such names of more than one person on such authorisation or requisition shall not be deemed to construe that it was issued in the name of an association of persons or body of individuals consisting of such persons;
(iii) notwithstanding that an authorisation under section 132 has been issued or requisition under section 132A has been made mentioning therein the name of more than one person, the assessment or reassessment shall be made separately in the name of each of the persons mentioned in such authorisation or requisition.
These amendments will take effect retrospectively from the 1st day of April, 1976 and will accordingly apply to assessment year 1976-77 and subsequent assessment years.