Delhi HC Dismissed ‘Congress’ Plea Against Block Assessments as it Challenged Notice at Fag End of Proceedings

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  • Last Updated on 26 March, 2024

Section 153C notice

Case Details: Indian National Congress v. DCIT - [2024] 160 606 (Delhi)

Judiciary and Counsel Details

    • Yashwant Varma & Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, JJ.
    • A.M. SinghviVivek TankhaA.S. ChandhiokP.C. Sen, Sr. Adv. PrasannaAmit BhandariSiddharth S.Vipul TiwariInder SinghMs Simran KohliMs Vidhushi KeshariKanishka SinghNikhil BhallaMs Swati Arya, Advs. for the Petitioner. & Others.
    • Zoheb HossainVipul AgrawalSanjeev MenonMs Sakshi ShairwalVivek Gurnani, Advs. for the Respondent. & Others.

Facts of the Case

Assessee-Indian National Congress filed a writ petition contesting the validity of a notice issued under Section 153C. They argued that the proposed assessment for the years 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 would be time-barred according to the first proviso of Section 153C.

High Court Held

The Delhi High Court held that Section 153C notice was issued on March 07 2023, while the Satisfaction Note was provided to the assessee on 28 and 30 June 2023. The writ petitions were filed on March 19, 2024.

It’s noted that under Section 153B of the Income-tax Act, assessment proceedings should ideally conclude within twelve months from when the AO receives the books of account or material from the non-searched person. Thus, in this case, the assessment should ideally be completed by March 31 2024, considering the date of satisfaction as the starting point.

Assessee approached the Court shortly before the assessment completion deadline, implying a last-minute intervention. Therefore, there is no valid reason to halt the assessment proceedings at this late stage using Article 226 of the Constitution. However, whether the delay in initiating proceedings would affect the assessment itself remains an open question for future consideration.

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