Case Law Details

Case Name : S. Vinod Kumar (Deceased) Rep. By L/R. Karuppaih Sekar Vs ITO (ITAT Chennai)
Appeal Number : ITA No. 962/Chny/2020
Date of Judgement/Order : 06/07/2022
Related Assessment Year : 2014-15

S. Vinod Kumar (Deceased) Rep. by L/R. Karuppaih Sekar Vs ITO (ITAT Chennai)

Appeal dismissed as Legal heir did not register himself as representative assessee along with PAN of deceased assessee – The electronic appeal as well as manual appeal has been filed by legal heir within stipulated time and there is no fault. Mere technical lapses should not come in the way of tax payer seeking justice.

We find that the only reason to dismiss the appeal is that the legal heir did not register himself as representative assessee along with PAN of deceased assessee as per standard operating procedure. The manual appeal filed by the assessee has been held to be invalid since the extant rules mandate electronic filing of the appeal. Nevertheless, the principle of natural justice demands that reasonable opportunity should have been provided by Ld. CIT(A) to legal heir to rectify the defects. The electronic appeal as well as manual appeal has been filed by legal heir within stipulated time and there is no fault. Mere technical lapses should not come in the way of tax payer seeking justice. Therefore, we direct Ld. CIT(A) to provide another opportunity to legal heir to rectify the defect in electronic appeal. If the same is not possible, the Ld. CIT(A) is directed to admit the manual appeal and adjudicate the appeal on merits after affording opportunity of hearing to the assessee.

FULL TEXT OF THE ORDER OF ITAT CHENNAI

1. Aforesaid appeal by assessee for Assessment Year (AY) 2014-15 arises out of the order of learned Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals)-10, Chennai [CIT(A)] dated 09.03.2020 in the matter of assessment framed by Ld. Assessing Officer [AO] u/s. 143(3) r.w.s. 147 of the Act on 29.12.2016. In the assessment order, the assessee has been saddled with addition u/s 56(2)(vii)(b) for Rs.120.23 Lacs.

2. At the time of hearing, none appeared for assessee. Ld. Sr. DR pleaded for dismissal of the appeal and drew attention to the fact that the appeal has been dismissed by Ld. CIT(A) on technical grounds since the appeal was not filed by legal heir as representative assessee as stipulated by statutory provisions.

3. Upon perusal of impugned order, it could be gathered that during the pendency of appellate proceedings, the assessee expired and the appeal was filed by legal heir of the assessee. The Ld. CIT(A) noted that in Form 35 the name of the legal heir i.e., Karuppiah Sekar and his PAN ABHPS4050C was mentioned and therefore, the appeal was not maintainable and liable to be dismissed. The Ld. AR submitted that the manual appeal was correctly filed in the name of deceased assessee.

4. However, Ld. CIT(A) held that once the person register himself as representative of the deceased then the person has to select in the online portal that the appeal was filed as representative of the deceased assessee. However, in the present case, the appeal was filed in the name of K. Sekar along with his individual PAN. The prescribed procedure was not followed. Further, the manual appeal filed in the name of S. Vinod Kumar was held to be invalid in view of the notification No. SO.637(E) No. 11/2016 (F.No. 149/150/2015-7PL) dated 01.03.2016 read with Rule 45 of the IT Rules which mandate electronic filing of the appeal. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed on technical grounds. Aggrieved, the assessee is in further appeal before us.

5. We find that the only reason to dismiss the appeal is that the legal heir did not register himself as representative assessee along with PAN of deceased assessee as per standard operating procedure. The manual appeal filed by the assessee has been held to be invalid since the extant rules mandate electronic filing of the appeal. Nevertheless, the principle of natural justice demands that reasonable opportunity should have been provided by Ld. CIT(A) to legal heir to rectify the defects. The electronic appeal as well as manual appeal has been filed by legal heir within stipulated time and there is no fault. Mere technical lapses should not come in the way of tax payer seeking justice. Therefore, we direct Ld. CIT(A) to provide another opportunity to legal heir to rectify the defect in electronic appeal. If the same is not possible, the Ld. CIT(A) is directed to admit the manual appeal and adjudicate the appeal on merits after affording opportunity of hearing to the assessee.

6. The appeal stand allowed for statistical purposes.

Order pronounced on 06th July, 2022.

Download Judgment/Order

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