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2018 (4) TMI 644

at:- The show cause notice issued in the present case u/s 274 of the Act does not specify the charge against the assessee as to whether it is for concealing particulars of income or furnishing inaccurate particulars of income. The show cause notice u/s 274 of the Act does not strike out the inappropriate words. In these circumstances, we are of the view that imposition of penalty cannot be sustained. - Decided in favour of assessee. - I.T.A. No. 1869/Kol/2017 - Dated:- 11-4-2018 - Shri A. T. Varkey, JM And Shri M.Balaganesh, AM For the Appellant : Shri Manoj Kataruka, Advocate For the Respondent : Shri Sallong Yaden, Addl. CIT ORDER Per Shri A.T.Varkey, JM The appeal filed by the assessee is against the order of Ld. CIT(A)-22, Kolkata dated 26.06.2017 for AY 2011-12 in respect of upholding the penalty of ₹ 10,78,306/- imposed by the AO u/s. 271(1)(c) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the Act ). 2. In this appeal the assessee has challenged the order of CIT(A) in confirming the penalty u/s. 271(1)(c) of the Act. The facts and circumstances under which penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act was imposed on the assessee by the AO are that in this case the assessme .....

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rs of income. A copy of the show cause notice u/s 274 of the Act was filed before us and perusal of the same reveals that AO has not struck out the irrelevant portion in the show cause notice and, therefore, the show cause notice does not specify the charge against the assessee as to whether the charge is of concealment of particulars of income or furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income. The same is reproduced for the purpose of ready reference: Whereas in the course of proceedings before me for the assessment year 2011-12 it appears that you have concealed the particulars or furnished inaccurate particulars of such income. 4. The ld. Counsel for the assessee drew our attention to the decision of the Hon ble Karnataka High Court in the case of CIT vs. SSA s Emerald Meadows in ITA No.380 of 2015 dated 23.11.2015 wherein the Hon ble Karnataka High Court following its own decision in the case of CIT vs Manjunatha Cotton and Ginning factory (2013) 359 ITR 565 took a view that imposing of penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act is bad in law and invalid for the reason that the show cause notice u/s 274 of the Act does not specify the charge against the assessee as to whether it is for c .....

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taxmann.com 51 (iii) Mahesh M.Gandhi Vs. ACIT Vs. ACIT ITA No.2976/Mum/2016 dated 27.2.2017. Reliance was placed on two decisions of the Hon ble Bombay High Court viz., (i) CIT Vs. Kaushalya 216 ITR 660(Bom) and (ii) M/S.Maharaj Garage & Co. Vs. CIT dated 22.8.2017. This decision was referred to in the written note given by the learned DR. This is an unreported decision and a copy of the same was not furnished. However a gist of the ratio laid down in the decision has been given in the written note filed before us. 9. In the case of CIT Vs. Kaushalya (supra), the Hon ble Bombay High Court held that section 274 or any other provision in the Act or the Rules, does not either mandate the giving of notice or its issuance in a particular form. Penalty proceedings are quasi-criminal in nature. Section 274 contains the principle of natural justice of the assessee being heard before levying penalty. Rules of natural justice cannot be imprisoned in any straight-jacket formula. For sustaining a complaint of failure of the Principles of natural justice on the ground of absence of opportunity, it has to be established that prejudice is caused to the concerned person by the procedure follo .....

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butable to a patent non application of mind on the part of the Assessing authority. Further, it held that the Assessing Officer had made additions under Section 69 of the Act being undisclosed investment. In the appeal, the said finding was set-aside. But addition was sustained on a new ground, that is under valuation of closing stock. Since the Assessing Authority had initiated penalty proceedings based on the additions made under Section 69 of the Act, which was struck down by the Appellate Authority, the initiated penal proceedings, no longer exists. If the Appellate Authority had initiated penal proceedings on the basis of the addition sustained under a new ground it has a legal sanctum. This was not so in this case and therefore, on both the grounds the impugned order passed by the Appellate Authority as well as the Assessing Authority was set-aside by its order dated 9th April, 2009. Aggrieved by the said order, the revenue filed appeal before High Court. The Hon ble High Court framed the following question of law in the said appeal viz., 1. Whether the notice issued under Section 271(1)(c) in the printed form without specifically mentioning whether the proceedings are initia .....

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eading of the Assessment order in which the penalty was initiated. 14. From the aforesaid discussion it can be seen that the line of reasoning of the Hon ble Bombay High Court and the Hon ble Patna High Court is that issuance of notice is an administrative device for informing the assessee about the proposal to levy penalty in order to enable him to explain as to why it should not be done. Mere mistake in the language used or mere non-striking of the inaccurate portion cannot by itself invalidate the notice. The Tribunal Benches at Mumbai and Patna being subordinate to the Hon ble Bombay High Court and Patna High Court are bound to follow the aforesaid view. The Tribunal Benchs at Bangalore have to follow the decision of the Hon ble Karnataka High Court. As far as benches of Tribunal in other jurisdictions are concerned, there are two views on the issue, one in favour of the Assessee rendered by the Hon ble Karnataka High Court in the case of Manjunatha Cotton & Ginning (supra) and other of the Hon ble Bombay High Court in the case of Smt.Kaushalya. It is settled legal position that where two views are available on an issue, the view favourable to the Assessee has to be followe .....

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