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Finance Act, 2015 amendments to sec. 153C would apply to search initiated on or after June 1, 2015

June 18, 2019[2019] 106 137 (Gujarat)

IT : In case any notice under section 153C which had been issued for assessment years beyond six assessment years as contemplated under section 153A, such notices would be beyond jurisdiction

• Trigger point for issuance of notice under section 153A is a search under section 132 or a requisition under section 132A and notice is required to be issued to searched person calling upon him to file return of income for six assessment years immediately preceding assessment year relevant to previous year in which such search is conducted or requisition is made

• When amended provisions of section 153(1) have been brought into force with effect from 1-6-2015, it has to be construed that such amended provisions would apply to a search initiated under section 132 or in relation to books of account, other documents or any assets requisitioned under section 132A after 31-5-2015. Consequently, in relation to searches carried out till 31-5-2015, it was not permissible for the Assessing Officer to assume jurisdiction under section 153C as amended with effect from 1-6-2015.

• While computing the period of limitation with respect to notice, under section 153C, one has to consider the period of limitation provided under clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 153B, as well as the alternative limitation of nine months from the end of the financial year in which the books of account or documents or assets seized or requisitioned are handed over under section 153C to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over such other person, whichever is later. Therefore, when the statute itself provides for an alternative period of limitation, merely because the period of limitation is provided under the first part has elapsed, it cannot be said that the notices are barred by limitation on this ground.

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