High Court imposes Rs. 1.50 Lakh cost on Income Tax officers for raising demand without valid notice to Assessee

High Court  imposes Rs. 1.50 Lakh cost on Income Tax officers for raising demand without valid notice to Assessee

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High Court  imposes Rs. 1.50 Lakh cost on Income Tax officers for raising demand without valid notice to Assessee

Bombay HC imposes cost of Rs. 1.5 lakh on Revenue officials for irreverently adjusting refund due to assessee against the demand raised, without serving notice of demand on assessee;
A demand of over Rs. 1.5 cr was raised on petitioner-assessee for AYs 2003-04 and 2009-10, however, observes that there was absolutely no communication of the said demand to assessee;
 Noting that the officer while making adjustment proceeded on assumption that that the notice of demand must have been duly served by the other officer (i.e. his predecessor), HC remarks that before taking such drastic measures, it was duty of the officer to ascertain whether there was a valid notice of demand and the procedural requirements were being complied with, “If he does not do it, he must face the consequences.”;
 Expressing anguish on Department’s working, HC cautions that “They (Revenue officials) would now have to set their house in order”, directs the Departmental heads to weed out promptly and expeditiously inefficient and corrupt officials; With a view to send strong signal against such lapses, HC imposes cost of Rs. 1.5 lakh to be apportioned between the officer and his predecessor and to be recovered from the salaries of these two officers, directs the Revenue to issue the refunds due to the assessee and to take deterrent steps against such officers.

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