2022 (11) TMI 780 - HC - Income Tax
Validity of faceless assessment u/s 144B - Assessee argued not being granted a fair opportunity of hearing in the course of the assessment being made - HELD THAT:- This court is of the opinion that in the instant case also though the petitioner did move an application requesting for a personal hearing on the first day itself on which she was supposed to make her submissions, the impugned order is silent as to why the said request was not considered or why the authorities did not find it proper or necessary for giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner.
Thus, this court is of the firm view that the principles of natural justice to the aforesaid extent, particularly when the Act itself provides for a procedure for the same, stands violated. The impugned assessment order Annexure P/1, dated 29.09.2022, for the aforesaid reason stands set aside/quashed and the matter stands remitted back to the assessment authority for a fresh consideration after giving an opportunity of personal hearing to the petitioner in accordance with Section 144B(6)(vii)&(viii) of the Act of 1961.
This court fixes 01.12.2022 for making the petitioner herself available before the Assessment Authority who by that time shall take necessary steps in ensuring all arrangements to be made for personal hearing to be given to the petitioner in respect of the assessment under challenge in the present writ petition. After giving a reasonable opportunity of hearing to the petitioner the authority may pass a fresh order.
This court while allowing the writ petition has not entered into the merits of the assessment made by the assessing authority. The authority would be free to take an appropriate decision after hearing the petitioner.