Varshaben Sanatbhai Patel vs. ITO (Gujarat High Court)

COURT:
CORAM: ,
SECTION(S): ,
GENRE:
CATCH WORDS: ,
COUNSEL:
DATE: October 13, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 26, 2015 (Date of publication)
AY: 2009-10
FILE: Click here to download the file in pdf format
CITATION:
S. 143(1)/ 147: If the assessment is reopened on the ground of “bogus purchases”, the reasons must contain an averment of which details on record reflect the bogus purchases

(i) The returns filed by the assessee have been processed under section 143(1) of the Act. The Assessing Officer in the reasons recorded for the purpose of reopening the assessment has placed reliance upon the record of the case. As noted hereinabove, there is no assertion as regards on what basis the Assessing Officer has stated that the assessee had made claim in respect of bogus purchases in the trading and the Profit and Loss Account as expenditure. The Assessing Officer has stated that on verification of the details available on record, it has been noticed that the assessee has made bogus purchases; however, no specific averments are made as regards which details available on record reflected such bogus purchases. It is evident that the Assessing Officer for the purpose of reopening the assessment has placed reliance upon the material from an external source which does not form part of the record. However, the said aspect is not reflected in the reasons recorded. On behalf of the Assessing Officer, the learned counsel is not in a position to point out any material on the record on the basis of which the Assessing Officer could have formed such belief. What is now sought to be stated by way of the order rejecting the objections as well as the affidavit-in-reply filed in response to the averments made in the petitions is that the formation of belief is based upon the information which is received from the DGIT (Inv.), Mumbai. It is settled legal position as held by a catena of decisions that the substratum for formation of belief that income liable to tax has escaped assessment has to form part of the reasons recorded. In the present case, the substratum for formation of belief, as indicated in the order rejecting the objections as well as the affidavit-in-reply, is the information given by the DGIT (Inv.), Mumbai, which got no relation with the reasons recorded, which are stated to be based upon the material available on record. Under the circumstances, the Assessing Officer, on the basis of the material on record, could not have formed belief that there was any escapement of income chargeable to tax so as to validly assume jurisdiction under section 147 of the Act. As held by the Supreme Court in a catena of decisions, the reasons recorded cannot be supplemented in the affidavit or by the order rejecting the objections. The material, on the basis of which, the belief that income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment has been formed, has to find place in the reasons itself.

(ii) In the aforesaid premises, the formation of belief that income has escaped assessment not being based upon record, it is evident that the substratum for reopening the assessment is not laid in the reasons recorded, but on material extraneous thereto. Under the circumstances, the basic requirement for assumption of jurisdiction under section 147 of the Act for reopening the assessment is not satisfied in the present case. The impugned notice under section 148 of the Act, therefore, cannot be sustained.

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