DDIT vs. Metapath Software International Ltd (ITAT Delhi)

S. 271(1)(c) penalty cannot be levied unless there is “evidence beyond doubt” that there was concealment of particulars of income or furnishing inaccurate particulars thereof on the part of the assessee. The fact that the assessee did not voluntarily furnish the return of income, and that the merits were decided against it, does not per se justify levy of penalty. The bonafides of the explanation of the assessee for not complying with the law have to be seen

It is an well established proposition of law that being penal in nature, the provisions of section 271(1)(c) of the Act are invoked only when there is evidence beyond doubt that there was concealment of particulars of income or furnishing inaccurate particulars thereof on the part of the assessee towards the tax alleged to be evaded. That is the reason behind that assessment proceedings and penalty proceedings are independent proceedings. In other words, making and sustaining an addition against the assessee will not be always resulted into levy of penalty

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ITO vs. Aditya Narain Verma (HUF) (ITAT Delhi)

S. 50C: Failure by the AO to refer the valuation of the capital asset to a valuation officer instead of adopting the value taken by the stamp duty authorities is a fatal error and the assessment order has to be annulled. The matter cannot be set aside to the AO for a second chance. The power of the ITAT to set aside cannot be exercised so as to allow the AO to cover up the deficiencies in his case

When the assessee in the present case had claimed before Assessing Officer that the value adopted or assessed by the stamp valuation authority under sub section (1) exceeds the fair market value of the property as on the date of transfer, the Assessing Officer should have referred the valuation of the capital asset to a valuation officer instead of adopting the value taken by the state authority for the purpose of stamp duty. The very purpose of the Legislature behind the provisions laid down under sub section (2) to section 50C of the Act is that a valuation officer is an expert of the subject for such valuation and is certainly in a better position than the Assessing Officer to determine the valuation. Thus, non-compliance of the provisions laid down under sub section (2) by the Assessing Officer cannot be held valid and justified

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Binoy Visam vs. UOI (Aadhaar Card Linkage With PAN) (Supreme Court)

S. 139AA (inserted by the Finance Act 2017) which mandates quoting of Aadhaar number with the PAN is constitutionally valid under Articles 14 and 19(1)(g). The proviso to s. 139AA(2) (which deems the PAN void ab initio if the Aadhaar number is not quoted) is also valid. However, as the challenge under Article 21 is pending before the Constitution Bench, a partial stay is granted. Those who are already enrolled under the Aadhaar scheme should comply with s. 139AA (2). Those who are not enrolled need not do so for the time being and their PAN will not be treated as invalid. The said proviso to s. 139AA(2) cannot be read retrospectively as it takes away vested rights. It will only have prospective effect

Having said so, it becomes clear from the aforesaid discussion that those who are not PAN holders, while applying for PAN, they are required to give Aadhaar number. This is the stipulation of sub-section (1) of Section 139AA, which we have already upheld. At the same time, as far as existing PAN holders are concerned, since the impugned provisions are yet to be considered on the touchstone of Article 21 of the Constitution, including on the debate around Right to Privacy and human dignity, etc. as limbs of Article 21, we are of the opinion that till the aforesaid aspect of Article 21 is decided by the Constitution Bench a partial stay of the aforesaid proviso is necessary. Those who have already enrolled themselves under Aadhaar scheme would comply with the requirement of sub-section (2) of Section 139AA of the Act. Those who still want to enrol are free to do so. However, those assessees who are not Aadhaar card holders and do not comply with the provision of Section 139(2), their PAN cards be not treated as invalid for the time being. It is only to facilitate other transactions which are mentioned in Rule 114B of the Rules. We are adopting this course of action for more than one reason. We are saying so because of very severe consequences that entail in not adhering to the requirement of sub-section (2) of Section 139AA of the Act. A person who is holder of PAN and if his PAN is invalidated, he is bound to suffer immensely in his day to day dealings, which situation should be avoided till the Constitution Bench authoritatively determines the argument of Article 21 of the Constitution. Since we are adopting this course of action, in the interregnum, it would be permissible for the Parliament to consider as to whether there is a need to tone down the effect of the said proviso by limiting the consequences

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Honda Siel Cars India Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

Technical know-how: Entire law explained on whether expenditure incurred under a Technical Collaboration Agreement for setting up of new plant for the first time to manufacture cars constitutes capital or revenue expenditure

When we apply the aforesaid parameters to the facts of the present case, the conclusion drawn by the High Court that expenditure incurred was of capital nature, appears to be unblemished. Admittedly, there was no existing business and, thus, question of improvising the existing technical know-how by borrowing the technical know-how of the HMCL, Japan did not arise. The assessee was not in existence at all and it was the result of joint venture of HMCL, Japan and M/s. HSCIL, India. The very purpose of Agreement between the two companies was to set up a joint venture company with aim and objective to establish a unit for manufacture of automobiles and part thereof. As a result of this agreement, assessee company was incorporated which entered into TCA in question for technical collaboration. This technical collaboration included not only transfer of technical information, but, complete assistance, actual, factual and on the spot, for establishment of plant, machinery etc. so as to bring in existence manufacturing unit for the products. Thus, a new business was set up with the technical know-how provided by HMCL, Japan and lumpsum royalty, though in five installments, was paid therefor

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Crescent Construction Co vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 147/ 148: Entire law on reopening of assessments in the context of “change of opinion” vs. “failure to apply mind”, with reference to s. 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and all judgements on the point discussed

Section 114 of the Evidence Act, 1872, is permissive and not a mandatory provision. Nine situations by way of illustrations are stated, which are by way of example or guidelines. As a permissive provision it enables to judge to support his judgment but there is no scope of presumption when facts are known. Presumption of facts under section 114 is rebuttable. The presumption raised under illustration (e) to section 114 of the Act means that when an official act is proved to have been done, it will be presumed to have been regularly done but it does not raise any presumption that an act was done for which there is no evidence or proof

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AAA Paper Marketing Ltd vs. ACIT (ITAT Lucknow)

(i) S. 153A/ 153C: When the Addl CIT records that he is granting “mechanical approval” u/s 153D to the draft assessment order for want of time to have meaningful discussion, the assessment order is bad in law and has to be annulled (ii) The Respondent is entitled to raise an objection under Rule 27 even in respect of fresh issues. It is not necessary that the ground should have been decided against the Respondent by the CIT(A)

The approval granted by the Addl. Commissioner is devoid of any application of mind, is mechanical and without considering the materials on record. In our considered opinion, the power vested in the Joint Commissioner/Addl Commissioner to grant or not to grant approval is coupled with a duty. The Addl Commissioner/Joint Commissioner is required to apply his mind to the proposals put up to him for approval in the light of the material relied upon by the AO. The said power cannot be exercised casually and in a routine manner. We are constrained to observe that in the present case, there has been no application of mind by the Addl. Commissioner before granting the approval. Therefore, we have no hesitation to hold that the assessment order made u/s. 143(3) of the Act r.w. Sec. 153A of the Act is bad in law and deserves to be annulled

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Ameeta Mehra vs. ADIT (Delhi High Court)

S. 132/153A: Important law explained on the preconditions necessary for the department to initiate valid search and seizure action u/s 132 and whether the assessee is entitled to challenge the same. Consequences of the search being declared void on the s. 153A assessment also explained

The law in relation to searches under Section 132 of the Act has been explained in a large number of decisions of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The jurisdictional facts that have to be established before a search under Section 132 (1) of the Act can be authorised are that (i) the authority issuing the authorisation is in possession of some credible information, other than surmises and conjectures (ii) that the authority has reason to believe that the conditions stipulated in clauses (a), (b) and (c) of Section 132 (1) qua the person searched exist; and (iii) the said information has nexus to such belief. The Courts have laid emphasis on the mandatory nature of the above requirement to be fulfilled under Section 132 (1) of the Act

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