Question And Answer
Subject: In the course of faceless assessment proceedings , the assessee has requested for Video conference , however the order was passed without giving an opportunity of Video Conference , Whether the faceless assessment i s valid in law ?
Querist: Ravi
Answered by:
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Date: May 11, 2021
Query asked by Ravi

In the course of assessment proceedings we have requested for video conference for explaining the issues involved , however we have not been an opportunity of video conference , what is the remedy for the assessee, can the assessee approach to HIgh Court for not giving an opportunity of video conference .

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Answer given by

The right to be heard is a fundamental right of any party to a legal proceedings. The right to the heard is an important The Supreme Court in the case of Rajesh Kumar v. DCIT [2006] 287 ITR 91 (SC) has re-iterated based on Section 136 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, that proceedings before Income-tax Authorities are judicial proceedings. The restriction on the right to be heard therefore is a serious violation of the fundamental rights of the Assessee and is prima-facie unconstitutional. The rules governing specifically provide for a video conference hearing with permission of Chief Commissioner or Director-General of Income-tax in charge of the regional e-assessment centre. The rejection of such approval shall undoubtedly qualify for a constitutional challenge as a violation of the principles of natural justice that are intrinsic to judicial proceedings, even if carried on by a quasi-judicial authority. In fact, though the very un-availability of personal hearing via video conference as a default choice vested in the assessee may also be considered a violation of the principles of natural justice, an express denial of the same may very well be considered as a cause of action in which the High Court may be convinced to exercise it’s writ jurisdiction under Articles 226/ 227 of the Constitution of India. The fact that there is no provision of appeal from the order of refusal of permissions by the Chief Commissioner or Director-General of Income-tax in charge of the regional e-assessment centre to provide such a video conference / hearing would leave a writ petition as the only remedy of an Assessee aggrieved by such an order.
Note :
The assessee should take specific ground on violation of principle of natural justice when an appeal is filed before the CIT (A)
Dr . K. Shivaram , Senior Advocate

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