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2016 (5) TMI 757 - ITAT KOLKATA

2016 (5) TMI 757 - ITAT KOLKATA - TMI - Penalty u/s 271(1)(c) - Held that:- Satisfaction for initiation of penalty proceedings u/s.271(1)( c) of the Act is not discernible from the order of assessment. The show cause notice u/s.274 of the Act is also defective as it does not spell out the grounds on which the penalty is sought to be imposed. See Shri Satyananda Achariya Biswas Versus DCIT, Central Circle-Xiii, Kolkata [2015 (12) TMI 1524 - ITAT KOLKATA ] - Decided in favour of assessee - I.T.A N .....

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imposed by the AO are as follows :- The Assessee is a partnership firm. It is engaged in the business of running retail showrooms for watches, clocks and time pieces etc. The Assessee filed return of income for A.Y.2003-04 declaring the loss of ₹ 1,89,627/-. AO framed an order of assessment u/s 144 of the Act determining the total income of the assessee at ₹ 2,06,73,855/- by order dated 27.03.2006. This assessment was set aside by C.I.T. in exercising of powers u/s 263 of the Act. S .....

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ct imposed penalty on the assessee u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act. 5. On appeal by the assessee CIT(A) confirmed the order of AO. Aggrieved by the order of the CIT(A), the Assessee has preferred the present appeal before the Tribunal. 6. None appeared on behalf of the Revenue. We have heard the submissions of the learned counsel for the assessee. Before the Tribunal the learned counsel drew our attention to the show cause notice issued u/s.274 of the Act before imposing penalty and submitted that the .....

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Taxman 423 (Kar.) wherein it was held that if the show cause notice u/s.274 of the Act does not specify as to the exact charge viz., whether the charge is that the Assessee has furnished inaccurate particulars of income or concealed particulars of income by striking out the irrelevant portion of printed show cause notice, than the imposition of penalty on the basis of such invalid show cause notice cannot be sustained. 7. Reference was also made to several judicial pronouncements. In particular .....

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2002-03 to 2006-07. The AO in the said show cause notice has not struck off the irrelevant portion as to whether the charge against the Assessee is concealing particulars of income or furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income . In this regard, this tribunal in the case of Shri Satyananda Achariya Biswas (supra) has taken the following view on both the question with regard to existence of satisfaction for initiation of penalty proceedings and the effect of not striking off the irrelevant po .....

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quirement of the law that the satisfaction has to be recorded in a particular manner, especially after the introduction of the provisions of Sec.271(1B) of the Act with retrospective effect from 1.4.1989. Nevertheless, as laid down by the Hon ble Delhi High Court in the case of Ms.Madhushree Gupta (supra), the position of law both pre and post Sec.271(1B) of the Act is similar, inasmuch, the AO will have to arrive at a prima facie satisfaction during the course of proceedings with regard to the .....

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is that a further prognosis is called for. The decision of the Hon ble Supreme Court in the case of MAK Data (P) Ltd. (supra) has to be understood in the context of the facts of the said case. The relevant portion of the judgment in the aforesaid case, reads thus: 9. We are of the view that the surrender of income in this case is not voluntary in the sense that the offer of surrender was made in view of detection made by the AO in the search conducted in the sister concern of the assessee. In th .....

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e assessee. The survey was conducted more than 10 months before the assessee filed its return of income. Had it been the intention of the assessee to make full and true disclosure of its income, it would have filed the return declaring an income inclusive of the amount which was surrendered later during the course of the assessment proceedings. Consequently, it is clear that the assessee had no intention to declare its true income. It is the statutory duty of the assessee to record all its trans .....

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rse of the assessment proceedings and the AO is not required to record his satisfaction in a particular manner or reduce it into writing……. 8. The Revenue places reliance only on the sentence appearing in para-10 of the judgment without reading it in the context of the observations in the last portion of para-9 of the said judgment. Therefore even the Hon ble supreme court s decision suggests that the satisfaction need not be recorded in a particular manner but from a reading of th .....

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in good faith offers income to tax voluntarily prior to any positive detection by the AO, such voluntary offer cannot be taken advantage of by the AO to initiate penalty proceedings against the Assesssee without specifying the reasons why penalty proceedings are initiated u/s.271(1) ( c) of the Act. In the present case, we have read the order of assessment as a whole and are satisfied that satisfaction for initiation of penalty proceedings is not discernible from the order of assessment. We ther .....

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his aspect we find that in the show cause notice u/s.274 of the Act the AO has not struck out the irrelevant part. It is therefore not spelt out as to whether the penalty proceedings are sought to be levied for furnishing inaccurate particulars of income or concealing particulars of such income . 9.1. The Hon ble Karnataka High Court in the case of CIT & Anr. v. M.anjunatha Cotton and Ginning Factory, 359 ITR 565 (Karn), has held that notice u/s. 274 of the Act should specifically state as t .....

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cision will squarely apply and all the orders imposing penalty have to be held as bad in law and liable to be quashed. 9.2. The Hon ble Karnataka High Court in the case of CIT & Anr. v. Manjunatha Cotton and Ginning Factory (supra) has laid down the following principles to be followed in the matter of imposing penalty u/s.271(1)(c) of the Act. NOTICE UNDER SECTION 274 59. As the provision stands, the penalty proceedings can be initiated on various ground set out therein. If the order passed .....

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lanation-1(B), then though penalty proceedings are in the nature of civil liability, in fact, it is penal in nature. In either event, the person who is accused of the conditions mentioned in Section 271 should be made known about the grounds on which they intend imposing penalty on him as the Section 274 makes it clear that assessee has a right to contest such proceedings and should have full opportunity to meet the case of the Department and show that the conditions stipulated in Section 271(1) .....

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h he has to meet specifically. Otherwise, principles of natural justice is offended if the show cause notice is vague. On the basis of such proceedings, no penalty could be imposed on the assessee. 60. Clause (c) deals with two specific offences, that is to say, concealing particulars of income or furnishing inaccurate particulars of income. No doubt, the facts of some cases may attract both the offences and in some cases there may be overlapping of the two offences but in such cases the initiat .....

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ve to be specifically stated so that the assessee would have the opportunity to meet those grounds. After, he places his version and tries to substantiate his claim, if at all, penalty is to be imposed, it should be imposed only on the grounds on which he is called upon to answer. It is not open to the authority, at the time of imposing penalty to impose penalty on the grounds other than what assessee was called upon to meet. Otherwise though the initiation of penalty proceedings may be valid an .....

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e hands of the authority imposing the penalty at the time the order was passed and further discovery of facts subsequent to the imposition of penalty cannot validate the order of penalty which, when passed, was not sustainable. 61. The Assessing Officer is empowered under the Act to initiate penalty proceedings once he is satisfied in the course of any proceedings that there is concealment of income or furnishing of inaccurate particulars of total income under clause (c). Concealment, furnishing .....

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6 and the Delhi High Court in the case of VIRGO MARKETING reported in 171 Taxman 156, has held that levy of penalty has to be clear as to the limb for which it is levied and the position being unclear penalty is not sustainable. Therefore, when the Assessing Officer proposes to invoke the first limb being concealment, then the notice has to be appropriately marked. Similar is the case for furnishing inaccurate particulars of income. The standard proforma without striking of the relevant clauses .....

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sine qua non for initiation of penalty proceedings under Section 271. e) The existence of such conditions should be discernible from the Assessment Order or order of the Appellate Authority or Revisional Authority. f) Even if there is no specific finding regarding the existence of the conditions mentioned in Section 271(1)(c), at least the facts set out in Explanation 1(A) & (B) it should be discernible from the said order which would by a legal fiction constitute concealment because of deem .....

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ax liability is admitted is not automatic. k) Even if the assessee has not challenged the order of assessment levying tax and interest and has paid tax and interest that by itself would not be sufficient for the authorities either to initiate penalty proceedings or impose penalty, unless it is discernible from the assessment order that, it is on account of such unearthing or enquiry concluded by authorities it has resulted in payment of such tax or such tax liability came to be admitted and if n .....

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income have been disclosed by him, no penalty could be imposed. n) The direction referred to in Explanation IB to Section 271 of the Act should be clear and without any ambiguity. o) If the Assessing Officer has not recorded any satisfaction or has not issued any direction to initiate penalty proceedings, in appeal, if the appellate authority records satisfaction, then the penalty proceedings have to be initiated by the appellate authority and not the Assessing Authority. p) Notice under Section .....

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