|CORAM:||Ashok Bhushan J, M. R. Shah J|
|CATCH WORDS:||satisfaction, search and seizure, Search assessment|
|COUNSEL:||Arijit Prasad, R. P. Bhatt|
|DATE:||March 5, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||March 7, 2020 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to view full post with file download link|
|S. 153C: Compliance with the requirements of s. 153C is mandatory. (i) If the AO of the searched person is different from the AO of the other person, the AO of the searched person is required to transmit the satisfaction note & seized documents to the AO of the other person. He is also required to make a note in the file of the searched person that he has done so. However, the same is for administrative convenience and the failure by the AO of the searched person to make a note in the file of the searched person, will not vitiate the proceedings u/s 153C. (ii) If the AO of the searched person and the other person is the same, it is sufficient for the AO to note in the satisfaction note that the documents seized from the searched person belonged to the other person. Once the note says so, the requirement of s. 153C is fulfilled. In such case, there can be one satisfaction note prepared by the AO, as he himself is the AO of the searched person and also the AO of the other person. However, he must be conscious and satisfied that the documents seized/recovered from the searched person belonged to the other person. In such a situation, the satisfaction note would be qua the other person. The requirement of transmitting the documents so seized from the searched person would not be there as he himself will be the AO of the searched person and the other person and therefore there is no question of transmitting such seized documents to himself|
This Court had an occasion to consider the scheme of Section 153C of the Act and the conditions precedent to be fulfilled/complied with before issuing notice under Section 153C of the Act in the case of Calcutta Knitwears (2014) 6 SCC 444 as well as by the Delhi High Court in the case of Pepsi Food Pvt. Ltd (367) ITR 112 (Delhi). As held, before issuing notice under Section 153C of the Act, the Assessing Officer of the searched person must be “satisfied” that, inter alia, any document seized or requisitioned “belongs to” a person other than the searched person. That thereafter, after recording such satisfaction by the Assessing Officer of the searched person, he may transmit the records/documents/things/papers etc. to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over such other person. After receipt of the aforesaid satisfaction and upon examination of such other documents relating to such other person, the jurisdictional Assessing Officer may proceed 7 to issue a notice for the purpose of completion of the assessment under Section 158BD of the Act and the other provisions of Chapter XIV-B shall apply.