Golden Tobacco Limited vs. DCIT (ITAT Mumbai)

DATE: October 28, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 23, 2016 (Date of publication)
AY: 2005-06
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S. 147: Reopening of assessment is not permissible in the absence of "fresh tangible material". Entire law on the subject reiterated

(i) In the present case, it was noticed by us that the case of the assesse is that there was no fresh tangible material in the possession of AO at the time of recording of impugned reasons. A perusal of the ‘Reasons’ recorded by the AO in this case reveals that at the time of recording of these ‘Reasons’ the AO had examined original assessment records only and no fresh material had come in the possession of the AO. In response to our specific query also, Ld DR could not point out any fresh material available with the AO at the time of reopening of the case of the assessee. Thus, assertion of the assessee that there was no fresh material with AO for reopening of this case, remained uncontroverted.

(ii) Under these facts and circumstances, let us now examine settled position of law on this issue. It has been held in various judgments coming from various courts that availability of fresh tangible material in the possession of AO at the time of recording of impugned reasons is a sine qua none, before the AO can record reasons for reopening of the case. We begin with the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of CIT vs. Kelvinator India Ltd. 320 ITR 561 (SC), laying down that for reopening of the assessment, the AO should have in its possession ‘tangible material’. The term ‘tangible material’ has been understood and explained by various courts subsequently. There has been unanimity of the courts on this issue that in absence of fresh material indicating escaped income, the AO cannot assume jurisdiction to reopen already concluded assessment.

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