Ganesh Dass Khanna v. ITO (2023) 156 taxmann.com 417 (Delhi )( HC)

S. 148A: Reassessment – Conducting inquiry, providing opportunity before issue of notice – Where the alleged escaped income is below the prescribed monetary threshold of Rs.50 lakhs, the period of limitation as stipulated under Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 149 of the 1961 Act would be applicable- The period prescribed under the said Clause is three (03) years from the end of the relevant assessment year – Reopening notices dated 30.6.2021 and 28.06.2021 issued were held to be barred by limitation . [ S. 148 , 148A(b) , 148A(d), 149(1))(a) , Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Act, 2020, S. 3 , Art .142 , 226 ]

Relying on the  judgement of Supreme Court in UOI  v. Ashish Agarwal [2022] /286 Taxman 183/444 ITR 1 (SC) the  Revenue issued another notice under section 148A(b) dated 20-5-2022  for the Assessment years 2016 -17 ,& 2017 -2018 . Notice under unamended provision were  issued to the assessee for the assessment year 2016 -17 and 2017 -18 respectively on  30 -6 -2021 and 28 -6 -2021 . On writ against the said notices the Assessee contended that  reassessment proceedings triggered against it were time-barred as limitation period of three years qua relevant assessment years had expired  . The  assessee contended that  cases where the alleged escaped income is below the prescribed monetary threshold of Rs.50 lakhs, the period of limitation as stipulated under Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 149 of the 1961 Act would be applicable. The period prescribed under the said Clause is three (03) years from the end of the relevant assessment year .  Allowing the petition the Court held that  the  reassessment notice issued on or after 1-4-2021 under unamended section 148 would be deemed to have been issued under substituted section 148A(b) and revenue could not have issued another notice under section 148A(b) of the Act .  On the facts the notices were issued between 01.04.2021 and 30.06.2021, by which time limitation of three years under section 149(1)(a) had already expired and, thus, same were barred by limitation . (AY. 2016-17 , 20017 -18 )

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