Direct Sales Pvt. Ltd vs. ITO (ITAT Delhi)

DATE: February 25, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 26, 2015 (Date of publication)
AY: 2002-03
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S. 147/151: Merely stating "Approved" is not sufficient sanction of CIT and renders reopening void

A simple reading of the provisions of Sec. 151 (1) with the proviso clearly show that no such notice shall be issued unless the Commissioner is satisfied on the reasons recorded by the AO that it is a fit case for the issue of notice which means that the satisfaction of the Commissioner is paramount for which the least that is expected from the Commissioner is application of mind and due diligence before according sanction to the reasons recorded by the AO. In the present case, the order sheet which is placed on record show that the Commissioner has simply affixed “approved” at the bottom of the note sheet prepared by the ITO. Nowhere the CIT has recorded his satisfaction. In the case before the Hon’ble Supreme Court (supra) that on AO’s report the Commissioner against the question “whether the Commissioner is satisfied that it is a fit case for the issue of notice under section 148 merely noted ” Yes” and affixed his signature there under. On these facts, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the important safeguards provided in sections 147 and 151 were lightly treated by the officer and the Commissioner. The Hon’ble Supreme Court further observed that the ITO could not have had reason to believe that income had escaped assessment by reasons of the appellant-firm’s failure to disclose material facts and if the Commissioner had read the report carefully he could not have come to the conclusion that this was a fit case for issuing a notice under section 148. The notice issued under section 148 was therefore, invalid (ITO vs. N. C. Cables Ltd (ITAT Delhi) followed).

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