No Prosecution proceedings for non-filing of ITR on second PAN which was issued inadvertently to assessee: HC

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  • Last Updated on 7 March, 2022

Offence and prosecution; Failure to furnish return of income; Income Tax Returns; ITR; PAN; Permanent Account Number

Case Details: Sudhir Kumar Hasija v. ACIT - [2022] 135 271 (Madras)

Judiciary and Counsel Details

    • N. Sathish Kumar, J.
    • S. Santosh for the Petitioner. 
    • N. Bhaskaran, Special Public Prosecutor for the Respondent.

Facts of the Case

In the instant case, the assessee didn’t file an Income Tax return for the Assessment Year 2013-14. The Assessing Officer (AO) launched prosecution proceedings by contending that the assessee had committed wilful and deliberate default to furnish his return of income in due time, which is punishable under section 276CC.

The assessee filed a writ petition before the Madras High Court to quash prosecution proceedings initiated for the offences under sections 276CC.

Assessee said that the prosecution was launched under the wrong premise that he had not filed his return. The fact was that he was issued with two PANs bearing numbers AKKPS7295P and ALIPS4185M inadvertently. It filed ITR in respect of PAN No. AKKPS7295P without any default and duly paid tax. Thus, he cannot be prosecuted merely because there were two pan numbers allotted to him.

High Court Held

The Madras High Court held that the issuances of two PAN cards bearing numbers AKKPS7295P and ALIPS4185M were not disputed. Though applying for two PAN cards may not be correct, it was the duty of the Department to verify and issue PAN cards, which had not been done in this case.

Further, the assessee had not transacted anything on his second PAN and repeatedly requested its surrender. Later, he finally surrendered the second PAN and obtained an acknowledgement vide letter dated 10-2-2012.

When the assessee had already surrendered the PAN bearing number ALIPS4185M, the question of initiating prosecution for wilful and deliberate default to furnish return of income tax did not arise. Accordingly, the continuation of prosecution against the assessee was futile, and the same was liable to be quashed.

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