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DATE: October 21, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 20, 2015 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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S. 271B: The requirement in s. 44AB that the the tax audit report has to be obtained "before" the specified date has to be interpreted to mean "on or before" the specified date. So, even if the audit report is obtained "on" the specified date, there is no default

The term “before” specified date in section 44AB means “on or before” the specified date. Therefore, though audit report is signed on 30th September 2008 and the requirement of law is to be construed as tax audit report required to be obtained on or before 30th September 2008. Hence, the assessee has obtained tax audit report in time and there is no default u/s 271B. In Prem Chand Nathmal Kothari vs. Kishanlal Bachharaj Vyas & Ors dated 5th April 1975 reported in AIR 1976 Bombay 82 the Bombay High Court, relying on the Chambers Dictionary, held that word ‘before’ means ‘previous to the expiration of’. Therefore, before 30th September, 2008 means before the end of 30th September 2008