Delhi HC decides date of issue of notices sent through various modes for purposes of time-barring reassessment

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Reassessment

Case Details: Suman Jeet Agarwal v. ITO - [2022] 143 taxmann.com 11 (Delhi)

Judiciary and Counsel Details

    • Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora & Manmohan, JJ.
    • Satyen SethiArta Trana Padna, Advs. for the Petitioner.
    • Zoheb Hossain, Sr. Standing Counsel, Vipul AgrarwalParth Semwal, Jr. Standing Counsel for the Respondent.

Facts of the Case

The Supreme Court in the case of Ashish Agarwal [2022] 138 taxmann.com 64 (SC) held that reassessment notices issued on or after 1-4-2021 to be treated as show cause notices in terms of section 148A(b).

In the instant case, the Delhi High Court has disposed of batch of various petitions seeking validity of the notices issued under Section 148. The issue before the Court was:

“Whether the notices generated through various modes on 31-03-2021 but despatched on or after 01-04-2021 will be governed by the re-assessment regime which came into effect on 01-04-2021 or which was in existence as on 31-03-2021”

High Court Held

The Delhi High Court disposed of the writ petitions with the following directions:

1) Category ‘A’: The Notices falling under category ‘A’, which were digitally signed on or after 01-04-2021, are held to bear the date on which the said Notices were digitally signed and not 31-03-2021. Said Notices are to be considered as show-cause-notices under Section 148A(b) as per the directions of the Apex Court in the Ashish Agarwal judgment.

2) Category ‘B’: The Notices falling under category ‘B’ which were sent through the registered e-mail ID of the respective JAOs, though not digitally signed are held to be valid. JAOs are directed to verify and determine the date and time of its despatch as recorded in the ITBA portal as the date of issuance. If the date and time of despatch recorded are on or after 01-04-2021, the notices are to be considered as show-cause-notices under Section 148A(b).

3) Category ‘C’: Notices falling under category ‘C’ are those that were digitally signed on 31-03-2021. Said notices are disposed of with the direction to the JAOs to verify and determine the date and time of despatch as recorded in the ITBA portal. If the date and time of despatch recorded are on or after 01-04-2021, the notices are to be considered as show-cause-notices under Section 148A(b).

4) Category ‘D’: Notices falling under the category ‘D’ are those that were only uploaded in the E-filing portal of the assessees without any real-time alert. Said notices are disposed of with the direction to the JAOs to determine the date and time when the assessees viewed the notices in the E-filing portal. If such date of issuance is determined to be on or after 01-04-2021, the notices will be construed as issued under Section 148A(b).

5) Category ‘E’: The notices falling under category ‘E’ are those that were manually despatched. Said notices are disposed of with the direction to the JAOs to determine, the date and time, when the notices were delivered to the post office for despatch. If the date and time of despatch recorded are on or after 01-04-2021, the notices are to be construed as show-cause-notices under Section 148A(b).

6) Notices sent to unrelated e-mail addresses: The notices which were sent to unrelated e-mail addresses are disposed of with the direction the JAOs to verify the date on which the notice was first viewed by the assessee on the E-filing portal. If such date of issuance is determined to be on or after 01-04-2021, the notices will be construed as issued under Section 148A(b).

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