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2019 (7) TMI 658

..... ses of Kakoor Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. [2018 (1) TMI 548 - ITAT COCHIN] the assessee has not offered any valid reason for not furnishing the information called for u/s 133(6) of the Act. Many of the notices issued by the ITO (Intelligence) were never responded to by the assessee. In many instances the AO has mentioned that when they had approached, the assessee Society, for seeking information u/s 133(6) there was total lack of co-operation on the part of the assessee society as well as threat (reference order imposing penalty u/s 272A(2)(c) in appeals. Since there is no reasonable cause furnished by the assessee as mentioned u/s 273B of the IT Act for non furnishing of information sought by the ITO(intelligence) u/s 133(6) of the Act, the order imposing penalty cannot be quashed. - Decided in favour of revenue. - ITA No.418/Coch/2019, SA No.37/Coch/2019, ITA No.392/Coch/2019, SA No.35/Coch/2019, ITA No.405/Coch/2019, SA No.36/Coch/2019, ITA No.262/Coch/2019 - 8-7-2019 - ITA No.261/Coch/2019, ITA No.260/Coch/2019, ITA No.259/Coch/2019, ITA No.235/Coch/2019, ITA No.226/Coch/2019 Shri Chandra Poojari, AM And Shri George George K, JM For the Assessees : Smt.Swathy S. Advocate Fo .....

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..... ted ITA No.262/Coch/2019 21.02.2014 to 27.10.2014 24,900 5. Pallippuram Village Service Co-operative Bank Limited ITA No.261/Coch/2019 07.02.2014 to 23.09.2015 59,400 6. Thycattussery Service Co-operative Bank Limited ITA No.260/Coch/2019 30.09.2013 to 22.12.2015 81,300 7. Pudukkad Service Cooperative Bank Limited ITA No.259/Coch/2019 25.09.2013 to 10.04.2015 56,300 8. Manakkad Service Cooperative Bank Limited ITA No.235/Coch/2019 20.10.2014 to 25.08.2015 31,000 9. Polpully Service Cooperative Bank Limited ITA No.226/Coch/2019 25.09.2013 to 06.02.2015 50,000 4.2 Aggrieved by the orders of the imposition of penalty, the assessees preferred appeals to the first appellate authority. The CIT(A) dismissed the appeals filed by the assessees. 5. Aggrieved by the orders of the CIT(A), the assessees have filed the present appeals. Since the grounds raised are almost similar, except variance in figure, we reproduce the grounds raised in case of Mekkadampu Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. in ITA No.418/Coch/2019 as follows:- 1. On the facts and in the circumstances of the case and in law the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) erred in arriving into a conclusion that the Income tax Officer (I& .....

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..... ssions made before the Income-tax Authorities. 5.2 The learned Departmental Representative submitted that the Cochin Bench of the Tribunal in the case of The Kakoor Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. in ITA No.473/Coch/2015 & Others (21 appeals) order dated 23.08.2017 had adjudicated an identical issue in favour of the Revenue. 6. We have heard the rival submission and perused material the record. On identical facts the Cochin Bench of the Tribunal in the cases of Kakoor Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. (supra) had held that the penalty imposed u/s 272A(2)(c) of the Act is valid. The relevant finding of the Tribunal reads as follow:- ''8. I have heard the rival contentions and perused the material on record. From the grounds raised and the argument note submitted by the assessee, I am of the view that three contentions are raised by the assessee in this appeal; namely; (i) ITO (Intelligence) does not have jurisdiction to issue notice u/s 133(6) of the I T Act; (ii) the order passed u/s 272A(2)(c) is barred by limitation; (iii) there was reasonable cause, as mentioned in section 2738 of the Act for non furnishing information sought u/s 133(6); therefore, penalty u/s 272A(2) ( .....

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..... will be useful for or relevant to any enquiry or proceedings under the Income-tax Act in the case of any person. The Assessing Officer would, however, continue to have the power to requisition information in specific cases in respect of which any proceeding is pending as at present. However, an Income-tax authority below the rank of the Director or Commissioner can exercise this power in respect of an inquiry in a case where no proceeding is pending, only with the prior approval of the Director or the Commissioner." 8.2 In the instant case, notice u/s 133(6) of the Act was issued by the ITO (Intelligence) after obtaining necessary approval from the Director of Income Tax (Intelligence). The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Kathiroor Service Co-op Bank Ltd vs C/T (CIB) & others, reported in 360 ITR 243 have considered an identical case and decided that the ITO(CIB) has power to issue notice u/s 133(6) of the IT Act The relevant findings of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, read as follows: "19. In view of the aforesaid, we are of the view that the powers under section 133(6) are in the nature of survey and a general enquiry to identify persons who are likely to h .....

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..... ater. " 8.5 Admittedly, penalty proceedings u/s 272A(2)(c) was initiated on 12.8.2014 by issuance of notice u/s 274 of the I T Act and the order imposing penalty u/s 272A(2)(c) was passed on 19.9.2014. Therefore, the penalty order is well within the time limit prescribed u/s 275(1)(c) of the Act The Judgment of the Hon'ble Rajasthan High Court, relied on by the Id AR of the assessee, in the case of CIT vs Sri Jithendra Singh Rathore, is not applicable to the facts of the instance case. In the case considered by the Hon'ble Rajasthan High Court the penalty proceedings u/s 2710 was initiated by issuing notice on 25.3.2003 and the penalty order was passed only on 30.9.2003 by which time, six months period mentioned u/s 275(l)(c) had already expired. The contention of the Id AR that notice issued u/s 133(6) should be reckoned for considering the time limit u/s 275(1)( c) of the Act is de-void of any merits; because Section 275(1)( c) prescribes the time limit only from the date of initiation of penalty proceedings; namely issuance of notice u/s 274 of the Act for the aforesaid reasons, I hold that the order passed by the Jt Director of Income Tax (Intelligence) is a valid .....

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