Citation: CWJC No.4833 of 2020
Decided On: 16-10-2023
Coram: Honourable The Chief Justice And Honourable Mr. Justice Rajiv Roy
The petitioner is aggrieved with the proceedings taken by the Income Tax Officer, Ward 6(4), Patna. Notice dated 24.09.2018 is issued under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as against the assessee, who is assigned to the Income Tax Officer, Ward 2(3), Jamshedpur. Admittedly, the assessee is assigned to Income Tax Officer, Ward 2(3), Jamshedpur before which Officer, she also filed the Income Tax returns for the Assessment year 2016- 17, as is evident from. No further proceedings were taken by the Assessing Officer, who was the Income Tax Officer, Ward 2(3), Jamshedpur.
The petitioner was then issued with notice dated 24.09.2018, in reply to which the petitioner specifically filed response dated 01.03.2019, along with supplementary counter affidavit. The petitioner questioned the jurisdiction and raised specific contentions against the allegations in the notice under Section 148. The petitioner specifically pointed out that there could be no proceedings taken by the Income Tax Officer, Ward 6(4) Patna.
The learned Standing Counsel for the Income Tax Department referred to Section 124(3) and also the consolidation of matters done by the Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Range – 6, Patna, who has overall jurisdiction of State of Bihar and the State of Jharkhand. It is also specifically pointed out that the land, subject to a development agreement, based on which the notice was issued under Section 148 was located within the State of Bihar.
The Joint Commissioner seems to have transferred the file of the Assessee to the Income Tax Officer Ward 6(4) Patna, on the ground that the property in relation to which the addition is threatened, was located within the State of Bihar, that too inside the boundaries of Patna. Court, specifically noticed that Section 127 which clothes the Principal Director General, Director General, the Principal Chief Commissioner, Chief Commissioner or Commissioner to transfer any case from one or more Assessing Officers sub- ordinate to him, whether with or without concurrent jurisdiction to any other Assessing Officer or Assessing Officers also sub- ordinate to him. However, the specific mandate in Section 127 is that the Assessee should be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter wherever it is possible to do so.
Court’s Analysis and Judgement:
There is no circumstance brought on record which made the extension of such an opportunity, which is also the statutory mandate, to be impossible in the facts of the present case. Obviously, the transfer was done behind the back of the petitioner. Court found no reason to uphold the order of assessment, which was passed pursuant to a notice issued on the wrong premise of a transfer made by the Commissioner without following the principles of natural justice, which is specifically made a mandate in the provision enabling such transfer. Hence, the assessment order passed and find the notice was set aside.
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Written by- Sushant Kumar Sharma