2023 (1) TMI 489 - HC - Income Tax
Application for settlement of cases - Settlement Commission u/s 245B - Validity of order passed by the Settlement Commission under Section 245D(4) - estimation and quantification of undisclosed income - HELD THAT:- Having regard to the nature of settlement contemplated under Chapter XIX-A, Supreme Court in JYOTENDRASINHJI [1993 (4) TMI 1 - SUPREME COURT] held that the scope of enquiry under Article 226 of the Constitution of India would be very limited – confined to procedural irregularity or violation of the principles of natural justice (audi alteram partem), challenge on the ground of bias, fraud and malice. Supreme Court referred to its earlier decision in Sri Rant Durga Prasad v. Settlement Commission [1989 (1) TMI 4 - SUPREME COURT] wherein it was held that judicial review is concerned with the legality of procedure followed and not with the validity of the order; judicial review is concerned not with the decision, but with the decision making process.
After reference to the factual matrix and after hearing the revenue as well as the assessee, Settlement Commission found that there was no basis for estimation and quantification of undisclosed income by the department. Settlement Commission found that a sum of Rs.2,00,00,000.00 comprising of Rs.50,00,000.00 offered in the return filed under Section 153A, Rs.1,13,70,000.00 in the settlement application as well as a further sum of Rs.36,30,000.00 offered in the course of hearing would meet the ends of justice. The same was accepted and the issue was settled.
No procedural or substantive error or infirmity in the approach of the Settlement Commission. Settlement Commission had followed the laid down procedure contemplated under Chapter XIX-A of the Act as well as under the Rules. Principles of natural justice were duly complied with. There is no allegation of any fraud or misrepresentation. In the absence thereof, we are afraid we cannot reopen a concluded settlement in a proceeding under Article 226 of the Constitution of India like an appellate authority. No merit in the writ petition.