Dr. Sarita Milind Davare vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 271(1)(c): The law in Dilip Shroff 291 ITR 519 (SC) & Kaushalya 216 ITR 660 (Bom) requires a show-cause notice u/s 274 to be issued after due application of mind. The non-specification in the notice as to whether penalty is proposed for concealment or for furnishing of inaccurate particulars reflects non-application of mind and renders it void. The fact that the assessee participated in the penalty proceedings does not save it u/s 292B/292BB

A combined reading of the decision rendered by Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the case of Smt. B Kaushalya and Others (216 ITR 660) and the decision rendered by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Dilip N Shroff (supra) would make it clear that there should be application of mind on the part of the AO at the time of issuing notice. In the case of Lakhdir Lalji (supra), the AO issued notice u/s 274 for concealment of particulars of income but levied penalty for furnishing inaccurate particulars of income. The Hon’ble Gujarat High Court quashed the penalty since the basis for the penalty proceedings disappeared when it was held that there was no suppression of income. The Hon’ble Kerala High Court has struck down the penalty imposed in the case of N.N.Subramania Iyer Vs. Union of India (supra), when there is no indication in the notice for what contravention the petitioner was called upon to show cause why a penalty should not be imposed. In the instant case, the AO did not specify the charge for which penalty proceedings were initiated and further he has issued a notice meant for calling the assessee to furnish the return of income. Hence, in the instant case, the assessing officer did not specify the charge for which the penalty proceedings were initiated and also issued an incorrect notice. Both the acts of the AO, in our view, clearly show that the AO did not apply his mind when he issued notice to the assessee and he was not sure as to what purpose the notice was issued

Dr. Sarita Milind Davare vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

 

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