Supreme Court upholds Over 90,000 Re-Assessment Notices deeming them as Sec 148A Notices [Read Judgment]

Supreme Court - Re-Assessment Notices - s S. 148A Notices - Taxscan

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice M R Shah and Justice B V Nagaratna, on Wednesday, upheld the reassessment notices under Section 148 of the unamended Income Tax Act which were issued beyond 01.04.2021 (the effective date of amendment of the said provision by the Finance Act, 2021) to be deemed to have been issued under Section 148A of the IT Act as substituted by the Finance Act, 2021 and be construed as show cause notices in terms of section 148A(b).

Recently, various High Courts have quashed these assessments on ground of non-compliance of section 148A notice.

Overruling the High Court orders, the Apex Court ruled that the new provisions substituted by the Finance Act, 2021 being remedial and benevolent in nature and substituted with a specific aim and object to protect the rights and interest of the assessee as well as and the same being in public interest, the respective High Courts have rightly held that the benefit of new provisions shall be made available even in respect of the proceedings relating to past assessment years, provided section 148 notice has been issued on or after 1st April, 2021. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the various High Courts in holding so.

“However, at the same time, the judgments of the several High Courts would result in no reassessment proceedings at all, even if the same are permissible under the Finance Act, 2021 and as per substituted sections 147 to 151 of the IT Act. The Revenue cannot be made remediless and the object and purpose of reassessment proceedings cannot be frustrated. It is true that due to a bonafide mistake and in view of subsequent extension of time vide various notifications, the Revenue issued the impugned notices under section 148 after the amendment was enforced w.e.f. 01.04.2021, under the unamended section 148. In our view the same ought not to have been issued under the unamended Act and ought to have been issued under the substituted provisions of sections 147 to 151 of the IT Act as per the Finance Act, 2021,” the Court ruled.

“There appears to be genuine non-application of the amendments as the officers of the Revenue may have been under a bonafide belief that the amendments may not yet have been enforced. Therefore, we are of the opinion that some leeway must be shown in that regard which the High Courts could have done so. Therefore, instead of quashing and setting aside the reassessment notices issued under the unamended provision of IT Act, the High Courts ought to have passed an order construing the notices issued under unamended Act/unamended provision of the IT Act as those deemed to have been issued under section 148A of the IT Act as per the new provision section 148A and the Revenue ought to have been permitted to proceed further with the reassessment proceedings as per the substituted provisions of sections 147 to 151 of the IT Act as per the Finance Act, 2021, subject to compliance of all the procedural requirements and the defences, which may be available to the assessee under the substituted provisions of sections 147 to 151 of the IT Act and which may be available under the Finance Act, 2021 and in law,” the Court said.

Subscribe Taxscan AdFree to view the Judgment

Support our journalism by subscribing to Taxscan AdFree. Follow us on Telegram for quick updates.

Union of India & Ors. Vs Ashish Agarwal

Case Number:   CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3005/2022

CITATION:   2022 TAXSCAN (SC) 140

Related Stories