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Rajmannar Ramaswamy Vs. Income Tax Officer, Ward-1(3) and Ors. - (High Court of Madras) (28 Jun 2021)

Delivery of cover is immaterial and if department could establish that, notice was dispatched before expiry of limitation, it would be sufficient to meet the requirement of Section 149 of IT Act


Direct Taxation

The notice issued under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (IT Act) in proceeding as well as the impugned letter issued by the 2nd Respondent are sought to be quashed in the present Writ Petition. The learned counsel for the Petitioner made a submission that admittedly, the 1st Respondent has no jurisdiction to issue notice under Section 148 of the IT Act. However, subsequent letter sent by the 2nd Respondent in proceeding dated 6th December, 2018 is also without jurisdiction, as Section 148 notice was not served on the writ Petitioner, as contemplated under the provision.

Once the notice under Section 148 of the IT Act is issued within the period of limitation by despatching the notice in the Post-Office, the same would be sufficient to meet out the requirements. Section 149 of the IT Act itself contemplates time limit for notice.

It is possible in many circumstances, the addressee may receive the cover one or two days later or on account of various other reasons, the postal department may deliver after three or four days and all these circumstances are possible. Thus, the delivery of cover is immaterial and if the department could able to establish that, the notice was issued and despatched before the expiry of limitation, the same would be sufficient to meet out the requirement of Section 149 of the IT Act. In the present case, the postal receipt is produced to establish that the notice was despatched on 31st March, 2017 and therefore, the point of limitation raised stands failed.

The authorities once identified that, the jurisdictional office is different, then transfer of such files to the jurisdictional office is the procedure to be followed and in the present case, the 1st Respondent rightly transferred the case to the 2nd Respondent to proceed with reopening of assessment proceedings and the 2nd Respondent, in turn, sent a letter to the Petitioner/assessee on 6th December, 2018 and the Petitioner, instead of responding to the letter, has chosen to file the Writ Petition. Therefore, present Court is of the considered opinion that, the Writ Petition is pre-matured and the petitioner has to establish his case by producing documents and furnishing information to the 2nd respondent, who, in turn, has to follow the procedures contemplated and proceed with re-assessment proceedings. In view of the facts and circumstances, the Petitioner has not raised any acceptable ground for the purpose of interfering with the orders impugned. Petition dismissed.


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