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Case Law Details

Case Name : Pallazzio Energy Farms LLP Vs PCIT (Madras High Court)
Appeal Number : W.P. No. 16507 of 2021
Date of Judgement/Order : 05/03/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Pallazzio Energy Farms LLP Vs PCIT (Madras High Court)

Introduction: The Madras High Court recently issued a significant judgment in the case of Pallazzio Energy Farms LLP Vs PCIT. The case revolved around an order made under Section 264 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, where the petitioner challenged the order on grounds of inadequate opportunity. Here’s a detailed analysis of the judgment and its implications.

Detailed Analysis: The petitioner, represented by a Chartered Accountant (CA), faced challenges in responding to income tax notices due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite receiving notices, the CA, being a senior citizen with medical concerns, was unable to appear in person or reply. Medical reports indicated significant health issues, advising against travel during the pandemic.

The petitioner sought an opportunity to submit objections, highlighting the limitations imposed by the pandemic and health concerns. The court acknowledged the petitioner’s predicament and remanded the matter back to the authorities for a re-do assessment. The decision emphasized granting a reasonable opportunity within a stipulated period.

This judgment underscores the judiciary’s recognition of challenges faced by individuals during unprecedented times. It reflects a balanced approach, ensuring procedural fairness while accommodating extenuating circumstances. The court’s directive to re-do assessment exemplifies the principle of natural justice, where adequate opportunity is pivotal in legal proceedings.

Conclusion: The judgment in Pallazzio Energy Farms LLP Vs PCIT serves as a precedent for cases involving procedural fairness amidst extraordinary circumstances. It highlights the judiciary’s responsiveness to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its commitment to upholding principles of natural justice. By directing a re-do assessment, the Madras High Court reaffirms the importance of providing reasonable opportunities for representation, particularly in matters of taxation.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

In this writ petition, the impugned order dated 30.03.2021 made under Section 264 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) by the 1st Respondent is challenged on the limited ground that the same has been made without granting adequate/ reasonable opportunity to the petitioner.

2. It was submitted that two notices dated 21.10.2020 and 24.12.2020 were issued calling upon the petitioner to appear in person or to reply by e­mail on 22.10.2020 and 06.01.2021. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the first notice was not even served on the petitioner while the second notice was served on the petitioner and the assessment was being handled by a Chartered Accountant (Senior Citizen), he was unable to appear in person or reply because of the Covid-19 pandemic, as he was advised not to travel during the relevant period. In this regard, a medical report was also submitted which would show that he suffered from co-morbidities and thus unable to travel. The relevant portions of the same is extracted hereunder:

“This is to certify that, based on the medical reports of G.Kuppusamy Naidu Memorial Hospital, Coimbatore, that Mr.V.Sridharan underwent coronary angiogram for significant single vessel disease-moderate to severe left ventricular dysfunction on 05.05.2015. He is advised medication for life time.

He had a telephonic consultation with me about travelling to Coimbatore for a professional work during first week of January 2021. Being a senior citizen, considering his medical history, prevailing Covid pandemic throughout the country and absence vaccination for the pandemic then he was advice not to travel till covid situation improves. “

2.1. Therefore, it is submitted that they may be granted an opportunity to appear before the 1st Respondent to submit their objections. To which, the learned counsel for the Respondents do not have any serious objections.

3. In view thereof, the matter is remanded back to the Respondents to re-do the assessment after granting the petitioner a reasonable opportunity within a period of 12 weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, in accordance with law. The writ petition stands disposed of. No costs.

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