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2023 (9) TMI 390 - DELHI HIGH COURT
Best judgment assessment - draft assessment orders and final Assessment Orders AO recorded that no reply to the notice u/s 142(1) was submitted by the petitioner/assessee - HELD THAT:- Firstly, it seems that the Assessing Officer inadvertently overlooked the email reply dated 20.07.2022 of the petitioner, wherein the petitioner not just sought extension of time till 05.08.2022 to respond but also disclosed vital facts pertaining to its case. However, in the impugned draft assessment orders and the final Assessment Orders, the Assessing Officer recorded that no reply to the notice u/s 142(1) of the Act was submitted by the petitioner/assessee. On account of this clear non-application of mind, the impugned draft assessment orders, the final Assessment Orders and the consequential demand notices cannot be sustained.
Secondly, the notice dated 12.07.2022 under Section 142(1) of the Act was clearly vitiated on account of granting hardly three days to the petitioner to respond. Denial of sufficient time to respond was not just an abrogation of jus naturale but the same also infringed clause B(1) of the Standard Operating Procedure dated 19.11.2020 of the CBDT, according to which normally a response time of 15 days has to be given to the assessee in order to respond to the notice under Section 142 of the Act.
That being so, the impugned draft assessment orders, the final Assessment Orders and demand notice are liable to be set aside.