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Case Law Details

Case Name : R N Fashion Vs Union of India And Ors (Calcutta High Court)
Appeal Number : APOT/85/2022
Date of Judgement/Order : 20/05/2022
Related Assessment Year :
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R N Fashion Vs Union of India And Ors (Calcutta High Court)

In this case reply was uploaded online by the assessee on 21st March, 2022 and the time limit for filing the reply in terms of notice expired on 18th March, 2022 which was a public holiday and the following two days namely, 19th March, 2022 and 20th March, 2022 were Saturday and Sunday. Therefore, the next working day was 21st March, 2022. It appears that the assessing officer is not aware of the provisions of the General Clauses Act and, therefore, needs to be appraised of the same. Thus, we have no hesitation to hold that the assessing officer acted in great haste and virtually reduced the procedure under the amended provision to a nullity.  We have queried the learned Advocate appearing for the assessee as to whether the assessment was getting time-bared. The prompt reply was that the power to re-assess is available to the authority till the year 2023 if permissible under law.  Therefore, we fail to understand as to what was the great hurry on the part of the assessing officer, Sri Niladri Kumar Ghosh to pass the order dated 23rd March, 2022 by ignoring the reply given by the assessee and uploaded in the department’s portal on 21st March, 2022. In order to ensure that the other officers who are also similarly placed should not reduce the provisions of the Act in an empty formality, we are inclined to impose cost on the authority to serve as a deterrent. For all the above reasons, the appeal is allowed and the order dated 23rd March, 2022 passed under Section 148A(d)and the notice dated 11th March 2022 are quashed and the matter is remanded to the assessing officer to take note of the reply given by the assessee dated 21st March, 2022 and consider the same. According to the learned Advocate for the appellant, the assessee sought for certain information. Hence, this reply should be considered in a meaningful manner and action be initiated in accordance with the law. There will be an order directing the respondent/department to pay costs of Rs.15,000/- to the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority within three days from the date of which the server copy is made available and the department is granted liberty to recover the said amount from the concerned Income Tax Officer, Sri Niladri Kumar Ghosh, Ward 44(1), Kolkata in the manner provided above.


The Court : This intra Court appeal, at the instance of the petitioner/appellant, is directed against the order dated 7th April, 2022 in WPO/1943/2022.  The appellant had filed the writ petition challenging the order dated 23rd March, 2020 (wrongly noted by the learned writ Court as 23rd June, 2022) passed under Section 148A(d) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The learned Single Judge was of the view that the appellant did not file their objection to the notice issued under Section 148A(b) of the Act within the time permitted and, therefore, the Court was not inclined to interfere with the order dated 23rd March, 2022. The correctness of the order passed in the writ petition is challenged before us.

We have heard Mr. Pratyush Jhunjhunwala, learned Advocate appearing for the appellant and Mr. Soumen Bhattacharyya, learned standing Counsel for the respondent. At the very outset we need to point that the assessing officer, in the instant case, Sri Niladri Kumar Ghosh, ITO, Ward 44(1), Kolkata acted in utmost haste for reasons best known to him. We support such conclusion with the following reasons:

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