2023 (1) TMI 428 - HC - Income Tax
Reopening of assessment u/s 147 - notice passed u/s.148 was not signed by the AO digitally or manually - curable defect u/s 292B - HELD THAT:- Applying the ratio of the judgment of B.K. Gooyee [1965 (2) TMI 101 - CALCUTTA HIGH COURT] and Aparna Agency (P.) Ltd. [2004 (3) TMI 51 - CALCUTTA HIGH COURT] to the facts of the present case, the signature of the Assessing Officer admittedly not having been affixed on the notice issued u/s.148 of the Act, the notice itself would be invalid and consequently, the Assessing Officer could not assume jurisdiction to proceed in the matter in terms of section 148 of the Act.
As in Umashankar Mishra [1982 (4) TMI 60 - MADHYA PRADESH HIGH COURT] has dealt with a similar fact situation where the first substantial question of law dealt with in that case had considered the effect of whether an unsigned notice can be considered as an irregularity or clerical mistake. The Madhya Pradesh High Court after making reference to the conclusions drawn in B.K.Gooyee (supra) by the Calcutta High Court, has taken the view, that a notice without a signature affixed on it is an invalid notice and is effectively no notice in the eyes of law.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court in Umashankar (supra) has further dealt with the second substantial question of law as to whether the Tribunal was right in holding that the absence of a signature on the notice constitutes a mistake or omission within the meaning of section 292B of the Act and while addressing itself to that question, has concluded that in the absence of a signature on the notice, the same would not constitute a mistake or omission and would not be curable under the provisions of section 292B of the Act.
The notice u/s.148 having no signature affixed on it, digitally or manually, the same is invalid and would not vest the Assessing Officer with any further jurisdiction to proceed to reassess the income of the petitioner. Decided in favour of assessee.