Dr. Gautam Sen vs. CCIT (Bombay High Court)

S. 158BC: Action of the Revenue in issuing s. 158BC notice despite the appraisal report clearly stating that no incriminating material was found is highly deplorable as it amounts to harassment of the taxpayer. The Officers cannot act on their whim and fancy. The Dept should adopt a SOP to provide adequate safeguards before issuing notices under Ch. XVIB. Chief CIT directed to pay costs to the assessee

We note that this action on the part of the revenue to issue the impugned notice ignoring the appraisal report is highly deplorable. We live in a Country governed by laws. The Officers of the Income Tax Department are obliged to proceed in accordance with the statutory provisions and not on their whim and fancy. The Officers hold power in trust and must ensure that no citizen is harassed by sending him notices, when on the basis on its own record, such notices are not sustainable. We trust that the Income Tax Department would adopt a standard operating procedure which would provide for appropriate safeguards before issuing notices under Chapter XIVB of the Act. This alone would ensure that Officers of the Revenue act in terms of the mandate provided in the Act. In fact, at the very outset, after a preliminary hearing, we had asked the learned Counsel for the Revenue whether the Revenue would still want to persist with the impugned notice under Section 158BC of the Act. On instructions, Mr. Suresh Kumar, learned Counsel for the revenue informed us that the revenue seeks to press the impugned notice and seek dismissal of the present Petition. In the above view, this is the fit case where costs should be awarded to the Petitioner

Dr. Gautam Sen vs. CCIT (Bombay High Court)

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