Income Tax Reassessment Notices issued between 1/4/21 to 30/6/21 are valid: Chhattisgarh HC

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Income Tax Reassessment Notices issued between 1/4/21 to 30/6/21 are valid: Chhattisgarh HC

Palak Khatuja Vs Union Of India (Chhattisgarh High Court) W.P.(T) No. 149 of 2021
Short Overview of the case:
1. From 1st April 2021,  Section 148A was inserted which prescribed that before issuing the notice under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, the Assessing Officer was bound to conduct an enquiry giving an opportunity of hearing to the assessee with the prior approval of specified authority and show cause notice in detail was necessary specifying particular date for hearing.
2. The notice was issued to the petitioner on 30.06.2021 under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, without following the procedure under Section 148A ie without giving an opportunity of hearing. So as per the petitioner, the notice was illegal and cannot be sustained.
3. The AO stated that on account of the pandemic and lock down of all activities including the normal working of office, lot of people could not file their return and submit the necessary papers with the department in respect of their income tax. So the CBDT issued a notification whereby the application of old provisions of Section 148 of the Income Tax Act was extended initially uptill 30th April, 2021 and thereafter was further extended uptill 30th day of June, 2021.
The Hon HC on this controversial issue has held as under:
1. The notification extending the operation of old Sec 148 was done by way of conditional legislation in the peculiar circumstances which arose during the pandemic and lock down and Central Government can not be said to have encroached upon turf of Parliament.
2. The pandemic and lock down prevailed all over India. The people could not file their return or comply with the various mandate of Income Tax Act. Considering such situation for the benefit of the assessee and to facilitate the individual to come out of woods the time limit framed under Income Tax Act was extended. Likewise certain right which was reserved in favour of the Income Tax Department was also preserved and was extended at parity.
3. So no interference is required to be made in the said issuance of notice and accordingly the petitions are dismissed.
The above judgment is delivered by Chhattisgarh HC. There are other HC where also the issue is pending.
Let’s see what other HC opines on this.
Still there is a hope

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