Case Law: Woodward Governor (India) Ltd vs. ACIT (Delhi High Court)

S. 147: Even if the claim for s. 80-IA deduction is contrary to Pandian Chemicals 262 ITR 278 (SC) and Liberty India 317 ITR 218 (SC), the assessment cannot be reopened (beyond 4 years) in the absence of tangible material. The reasons recorded for the reopening cannot be improved or supplemented later

The rationale furnished by the revenue in its counter affidavit and reiterated in the court during the hearing was that a component of income which was otherwise inadmissible but escaped the notice of the AO, because of the ratio in Liberty India and Pandian (supra) is unpersuasive. Besides, the lack of any reference to objective material, cannot in any way improve the case of the revenue – much less its reference to otherwise binding judgments that could have been the basis of a valid revision by the revenue under Section 264. It goes without saying that statutory orders containing reasons are to be judged on the basis of what is apparent and not what is explained later, as the validity of those orders does not improve with time or on account of better explanations furnished in the course of legal proceedings (refer M.S. Gill and Anr. vs. Chief Election Commissioner AIR 1978 SC 581



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