1. It is amply clear that in the case in hand the ACIT observed that the mechanical approval had to be accorded as there is hardly any time left for any discussion or consideration much less meaningful discussion including the fact that absolutely no time available for any further inquiry or investigation because of the fact that limitation for passing and service of order in the cases is expired today itself i.e. 31.03.2014 on which approval was given and we also note that on the very same day assessment order was passed. Above observation clearly shows that there was no time for the ACIT to make any inquiries, investigation, discussion or consideration of entire material placed before him for approval. Thus, in our considered opinion approval has been granted a mechanical manner without application of mind just to fulfill the gap in the proceeding and to formerly comply with the provisions of Section 153D of the Act. As we have above noted that the ACIT has shows inability to make any inquiry, investigation, discussion or consideration of material placed before him on 31.03.2014 and approval has been granted on the very same day in a mechanical manner. Considering the entirety and factual position and circumstances noted in the approval letter, we are compelled to hold that the approval granted by the ACIT is devoid of any application of mind and the same has been given in a mechanical manner without considering the material on record. Thus, in our humble opinion, the powers vested with the ACIT to grant or not to grant approval also require application of mind to the relevant record on which assessment order has been framed and he is also required to apply his mind to the proposals put up before him for approval in the light of material & record, gathered and relied upon by the Assessing Officer. The said power cannot be exercised in a mechanical manner casually without application of mind in a routine manner.
2. In the present case ACIT has granted impugned approval half heartedly without application of mind and without considering and perusing the material on record. Thus, we are inclined to hold that there has been no application of mind by the ACTT before granting the approval. Consequently, we hold that the assessment orders made u/s 143(3) of the Act r.w.s. 153A of the Act in the case of M/s Siddhbhumi Alloys Ltd. for Assessment Year 2006-07 is bad in law and deserve to be annulled, thus, we ordered accordingly. Finally additional ground of appeal raised by the assessee by way of Rule 27 of the ITAT Rules in ITA No. 321/Lkw/2016 for the Assessment Year 2006-07 is allowed.
3. Since, at the very beginning of the hearing, the Ld. counsel of the assessee as well as Ld. CIT DR placed their concurrence to the fact that the additional ground raised by the assessee in all three appeals of the Revenue and grounds of the assessee in other two appeals i.e. 167 & 168/Lkw/2016 for Assessment Years 2011-12 & 2006-07 respectively, are identical and the same are raising the similar legal issue as facts and circumstances of all five cases are quite similar and identical. Therefore, we hold that our conclusion drawn in ITA No. 321/Lkw/2016 (Supra) would apply mutatis mutandis to other four appeals and consequently assessment orders passed therein u/s 143(3) r.w.s. 153A of the Act are also held bad in law and thus we same are also annulled. Hence the same are quashed. Accordingly additional grounds of the assessee in ITA No. 322/Lkw/2016 and ITA No. 192/Lkw/2016 and ground of the assessee other two appeals i.e. 167 & 168/Lkw/2016 are allowed.
14. In the result, all three appeals of the Revenue are dismissed by allowing additional ground of the assessee raised under Rule 27 of the ITAT Rules and other two appeals of the assessee are allowed on legal ground no. 2.
5. Before we part with the order, it is pertinent to note that even though the Revenue has raised several grounds on merit in the three appeals and the assessee has also raised grounds on merit in their respective two appeals but since we have annulled assessment orders relevant to all five appeals passed ups 143(3) of the Act, therefore, grounds of Revenue as well as of the assessee on merit become academic and infructuous and we are not adjudicating upon them as having become infructuous.