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Natural Justice: Punjab & Haryana High Court Sets Aside Re-Assessment Order Stating Reasonable Time Ought To Be Given To Respond To Show Cause

Drishti Yadav
4 Jun 2022 5:45 AM GMT
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that when a draft assessment order/show cause notice is issued to an assessee, reasonable time ought to be furnished to respond to the notice, so as to comply with the principles of natural justice.

Observing thus, a bench comprising Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa and Justice Pankaj Jain set aside the re-assessment order passed by the respondent authorities under Section 147 read with Section 144-B of the Income Tax Act 1961 on the very next day.

Significantly, the draft assessment order/show cause notice was issued on March 30 at 8pm and the assessee was called upon to furnish a reply on the same date itself i.e. by March 30, 11.59 PM. Further, the final order was passed on the next day, i.e., March 31.

The Court however granted liberty to the respondents to proceed afresh in the matter regarding framing of the re-assessment order de novo from the stage of issuance of the draft assessment order/show cause notice and to conclude proceedings within a period of four months after affording due and adequate opportunity to the assessee.

Court further observed that the assessee ought to have been given a reasonable time to respond to the draft assessment order/show cause notice so as to comply with the principles of natural justice in consonance with a fair and transparent procedure.

There would be no gainsaying the assessee ought to have been furnished a reasonable time to respond to the draft assessment order/show cause notice so as to comply with the principles of natural justice. The same would also be consonance with a fair and transparent procedure.

After considering submissions of the parties in the light of the facts and circumstances of the instant case, the court concluded that the impugned reassessment order has been set aside on the ground that due opportunity had not been afforded to the assessee to respond to the draft assessment order/show cause notice.

Also Read: Time Of 8 Hours To File Reply To Show Cause Notice, Not Reasonable: Delhi High Court

Case Title: Mukesh Mittal Versus National Faceless Assessment Centre and others

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 132

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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