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M/s Swarovski India Pvt. Ltd Vs. Deputy Commissioner Of Income Tax
October, 13th 2015
         THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
%                                      Judgment delivered on: 29.09.2015
+      W.P.(C) 1772/2014 & CM 3695/2014
M/S SWAROVSKI INDIA PVT. LTD                                   ... Petitioner

                                          versus

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX                              ... Respondent
Advocates who appeared in this case:
For the Petitioner    : Mr M. S. Syali, Sr Advocate with Ms Husnal Syali,
                        Mr Mayank Nagi and Mr Harkunal Singh
For the Respondent    : Mr Rohit Madan with Mr Zoyeb Shaikh and Mr Ajay Kshatriya

CORAM:-
HON'BLE MR JUSTICE BADAR DURREZ AHMED
HON'BLE MR JUSTICE SANJEEV SACHDEVA
                                       JUDGMENT

BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J (ORAL)

1.     This petition is directed against the notice dated 28.03.2013 issued by

the Assessing Officer under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961

(hereinafter referred to as `the said Act'), whereby re-assessment of the

income for the assessment year 2006-07 was initiated. The petition is also

directed against the order dated 18.02.2014, whereby the Assessing Officer

rejected the objections taken by the petitioner.




WPC 1772/2014                                                         Page 1 of 12
2.     The original assessment was completed under Section 143(3) of the

said Act on 04.12.2009. Since the brought forward losses of the Delhi Unit

had not been accounted for in the assessment order, the petitioner moved an

application under Section 154 of the said Act seeking rectification, which

was allowed by the Assessing Officer, by an order dated 05.03.2010 after

verifying the records. This is where the matter rested for more than four

years when the impugned notice under Section 148 was issued on

28.03.2013. The reasons for invoking Section 147 of the said Act were

supplied to the petitioner and to which the petitioner filed its objections on

07.01.2014. Thereafter, the impugned order dated 18.02.2014 was passed by

the Assessing Officer rejecting the objections.





3.     The purported reasons, which were supplied to the petitioner for the

belief that the income has escaped assessment, were as under:-

      "The original assessment u/s 143(3) was completed after scrutiny
      in December 2009, at 18712850/-u/s 143(3) as against the
      returned loss of Rs. (-) 9082195/-, and further assessed at Nil by
      way of rectification by order dated 05/03/2010. Perusal of records
      revealed that:-

            1.       The assessee had debited Rs. 27637716/- to the
            P&L account on account of provision for obsolete. As the
            provision made was not an ascertained liability, it should
            have been disallowed and added back to the total income
            of the assessee. The assessee has not done so. There is



WPC 1772/2014                                                    Page 2 of 12
            mistake on the part of the assessee, no justification or
            detail of obsolete inventory has been given in the
            assessment proceedings.

            2.       The assessee company was running two units
            namely "100% EOU undertaking at Pune and Trading
            Unit at Delhi." The income of 100% EOU undertaking at
            Pune was exempted u/s 10B of the Income Tax Act, while
            framing the assessment order, the AO has set off the B/f
            losses of Previous year which were pertaining to 100%
            EOU undertaking at Pune. The Income of the trading unit
            was required to be assessed separately and cannot be set
            off against the b/ f losses of Pune unit.

            3.        The assessee company was running two units
            namely,'100% EOU undertaking at Pune & Trading unit
            at Delhi. The assessee has claimed and was allowed
            deduction of Rs. 108380645/- before set off unabsorbed
            depreciation and business losses of earlier year to the
            extent of income available. Had this loss been taken into
            account for computing the Profit of the business eligible
            for deduction u/s 10B, the assessee company would have
            been left with no income and thereby no deduction would
            have been allowed. The omission to do so resulted in
            incorrect allowance of deduction of Rs. 108380645/- u/s
            10B. There is a failure on the part of the assessee to
            furnish complete details of brought forward losses,
            unitwise and its allowabiltiy against the current income
            before claiming the deduction.

            4.       On perusal of records revealed that goods in
            transit of Rs.1,77,53,040/-and stores & spares of Rs.
            1443503/- was not taken into account while crediting the
            closing stock in P& L account which resulted in under
            valuation of closing stock and consequently resulted in
            under assessment of income by like amount i.e. by Rs.
            1,91,96,543/-. There is a failure on the part of the
            assessee to disclose the method of accounting followed



WPC 1772/2014                                                    Page 3 of 12
            by it in respect of the goods in transit and stores & spares.
            There is further failure on the part of the assessee in
            showing the same as closing stock and thereby
            suppressing the assessable profits. I have therefore,
            reason to believe that an amount of Rs.17,39,27,754/- has
            escaped assessment within the meaning of section 147(c)
            of the IT Act, 1961. The escapement of the income has
            been by the reason of failure on the part of the assessee to
            disclose fully & truly, all material fact necessary for
            assessment. Since the assessment has been completed u/s
            143(3) of the IT Act, 1961 and 4 years have since
            elapsed. The assessment record is being submitted for
            kind perusal and approval u/s 151(1) of the IT Act, 1961
            for issuance of notice u/s 148 of the IT Act, 1961."


4.     The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the notice under

Section 148 of the said Act and the proposed re-assessment of income in

respect of the assessment year 2006-07 was bad in law because there was no

failure on the part of the assessee to disclose particulars which were material

for its assessment which was a requirement of the first proviso to Section

147 of the said Act. It was also pointed out by the learned counsel for the

petitioner that the reasons were also based on mere change of opinion. All

the four points, which were raised in the `reasons', were considered by the

Assessing Officer at the time of the original assessment.



5.     The learned counsel for the respondent/revenue supported the re-




WPC 1772/2014                                                       Page 4 of 12
assessment proceedings as also the order dated 18.02.2014 and submitted

that the petitioner's case was validly taken up for re-assessment because of

failure on the part of the assessee to fully and truly disclose all the particular

materials for its assessment.



6.     After having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the

view that the impugned notice under Section 148 dated 28.03.2013 and the

impugned order dated 18.02.2014 are liable to be set aside. The reasons for

the same are given herein below.



7.     The reason No. 1 pertains to an allegation that the assessee had

debited an amount of Rs 2,76,37,773/- to the profit and loss account by way

of provision for obsolete stock. According to the said `reason', the provision

could not have been made and there was a mistake on the part of the

assessee. We find that on the aspect of obsolete stock, a specific question

was raised in the questionnaire furnished to the assessee by the Assessing

Officer at the time of the original assessment. Question No. 17 of the

questionnaire dated 17.09.2009 required the assessee to furnish details of

valuation of stock along with related computation.            The details were




WPC 1772/2014                                                       Page 5 of 12
provided by the assessee on 03.11.2009 by stating that the summary of

stocks as on 31.03.2006 were enclosed as per Annexure-7.             The said

Annexure-7 clearly indicated the details of valuation of stock as on

31.03.2006.     It disclosed that the assessee had deducted provision for

obsolete goods in respect of both traded goods and manufactured goods to

the extent of Rs 2,73,11,377/- and Rs 3,26,396/-, respectively. The sum of

these two figures adds up to Rs 2,76,37,773/-, which is the amount referred

to in the first reason given in the purported reasons for re-opening the

assessment. This point was also taken in the objections preferred by the

assessee before the Assessing Officer. But, we find that no heed has been

taken thereof. All that this discloses is that the very point which is now

sought to be raised in the re-assessment proceedings had been examined and

considered by the Assessing Officer in the original assessment proceedings.

Therefore, this issue cannot now be raised as it would be a mere change of

the opinion. Apart from this, there was full disclosure on the part of the

assessee to the specific queries raised by the Assessing Officer and,

therefore, the re-assessment proceedings, being beyond four years, even the

conditions stipulated in the proviso have not been satisfied.




WPC 1772/2014                                                   Page 6 of 12
8.     The second reason for initiating re-assessment proceedings indicates

that income of the trading unit was required to be assessed separately and

could not be set off against the brought forward losses of the Pune unit. First

of all, we agree with the learned counsel for the petitioner that this is

factually incorrect. The losses of the 100% EOU undertaking at Pune had

not been set off against the income of the trading unit at Delhi. Furthermore,

the questionnaire which was given to the assessee at the time of the original

assessment sought for details of brought forward losses etc. as per question

No.14 thereof. The said question No. 14 reads as under:-

       "14. Details of b/f assessed losses and unabsorbed depreciation
       longwith evidence. Also give the same details in respect of b/f book
       losses and unabsorbed depreciation."


9.     The reply to this was given by the assessee in the following manner:-

       "Point No.14: Regarding brought forward losses/deprecation
       allowance, your kind attention is drawn to Schedule X of the Tax
       Audit Report for AY 2006-07 filed by the assessee with your
       goodself."


10.    A reference was made to Schedule X of the Tax Audit Report for the

assessment year 2006-07 which was already with the Assessing Officer

where all the necessary details were provided.         Furthermore, it may be

recalled that the assessee had sought rectification under Section 154 with




WPC 1772/2014                                                       Page 7 of 12
regard to the brought forward losses which had not been accounted for by the

Assessing Officer in the original assessment order. In the rectification order

dated 05.03.2010, the Assessing Officer had examined this aspect of brought

forward losses in detail and clearly noted as under:-

       "After verifying the records and facts, the contention of the assessee
       is found to be correct. Since this is a mistake apparent from record,
       the same is being rectified under Section 154 of IT Act".
As a result of the rectification, the income/loss of the assessee was re-

computed as under:-

                "Income assessed u/s 143(3)            1,87,12,850/-
      Less:     B/f losses adjusted to the extent of   1,87,12,850/-
                Revised assessed income                        NIL"

11.    These facts also disclose clearly that the second reason, which was

given by the Assessing Officer for initiating re-assessment proceedings, had

also been examined in detail by the Assessing Officer and, therefore, the

only conclusion that can be arrived at is that the second reason was also a

mere change of opinion which cannot be permitted. This is apart from the

fact that nothing new has been brought to the fore by the Assessing Officer

and all the details were available with the Assessing Officer at the time of

the original assessment. Therefore, there can be no failure on the part of the




WPC 1772/2014                                                      Page 8 of 12
assessee to disclose full and true particulars of its income for the purposes of

assessment.


12.    The third reason given in the purported reasons to believe that income

had escaped assessment pertains to an allegation that an incorrect allowance

of deduction of Rs 10,83,80,645/- had been given to the assessee when it was

not eligible for the same. The learned counsel for the petitioner pointed out

that the sum of approximately Rs 10.83 crores was exempted income of the

assessee in respect of the 100% EOU Unit at Pune under Section 10B of the

said Act. Therefore, it is incorrect to suggest that it was a deduction. It was

an exemption. Furthermore, even if, for the sake of arguments, it is taken

that the brought forward losses and unabsorbed depreciation were to be

adjusted against this figure, the resultant figure would be Rs 7.8 crores and

consequently, there would be no escapement of income which is an essential

ingredient for invoking the provisions of Section 147 of the said Act. In any

event, there is no failure on the part of the assessee to disclose full particulars

with regard to its assessment of income. We agree with the submission

made by the learned counsel for the petitioner on this aspect also.







WPC 1772/2014                                                       Page 9 of 12
13.    Lastly, the fourth reason was with regard to goods in transit as also

stores and spares of the amount of Rs 1,77,53,040/- and Rs 14,43,503/-

respectively. In this connection also, we find that the details of the stock had

been given by the assessee at the time of the original assessment and

particularly, in response to the questionnaire that the Assessing Officer had

handed over to the assessee. The details given to the Assessing Officer at

that time were, inter alia, has under:-


         "Swarovski India Private Limited
         Assessment Year: 2006-07

         Details of Valuation of Stock as on 31.03.2006

          SR.NO    DESCRIPTION            Total Value      Delhi        Pune

          1        Raw Material        13,351,037.00    10,912,162   2,438,875

                   PACKING
          2        MATERIAL            2,687,740.00                  2,687,740

          3        WIP                 745,532.00                    745,532

          4        Finished Goods      3795050          928,196      2,866,854

          5        Traded Goods        76468791         76,468,79

          6        Goods in Transit    17753040         17,753,040

          7        Stores and Spares   1443503                       1,443,503

                  Grand Total          116,244,693      106,062,189 10,182,504
                                                                                      "




WPC 1772/2014                                                         Page 10 of 12
14.    It is evident from the above extract that the goods in transit as well as

the stores and spares had been clearly indicated. This aspect had, therefore,

been specifically examined by the Assessing Officer during the original

assessment. Apart from this, the goods in transit as well as the stores and

spares, which were also in transit, could not have been taken as part of the

stock particularly, in view of the fact that the assessee had not received the

same and the purchases had not been claimed as a deduction.


15.    We may also point out that in CIT v. Usha International: 348 ITR

585 (Delhi) (Full Bench), it was clearly held as under:-


       "13. It is, therefore, clear from the aforesaid position that:

       (1)      xxxx       xxxx         xxxx          xxxx

       (2)      xxxx       xxxx         xxxx          xxxx

       (3) Reassessment proceedings will be invalid in case an issue or
       query is raised and answered by the assessee in original assessment
       proceedings but thereafter the Assessing Officer does not make any
       addition in the assessment order. In such situations it should be
       accepted that the issue was examined but the Assessing Officer did not
       find any ground or reason to make addition or reject the stand of the
       assessee. He forms an opinion. The reassessment will be invalid
       because the Assessing Officer had formed an opinion in the original
       assessment, though he had not recorded his reasons."




WPC 1772/2014                                                      Page 11 of 12
16.    In the present case, this is exactly what has happened as queries and

issues have been specifically raised and answered by the assessee in the

original assessment proceedings. Thus, even though the Assessing Officer

did not make any addition in the assessment order, it would have to be

accepted that the issue was examined but the Assessing Officer did not find

any ground or reason to make any addition or to reject the stand of the

assessee. Consequently, it will have to be presumed that the Assessing

Officer had formed an opinion which is now sought to be changed through

the re-assessment notice, which cannot be permitted.


17.    For all the foregoing reasons, the impugned notice under Section 148

dated 28.03.2013 and the impugned order dated 18.02.2014 are set aside and

the re-assessment proceedings in respect of the assessment year 2006-07

stand quashed. There shall be no order as to costs.



                                      BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J


SEPTEMBER 29, 2015                      SANJEEV SACHDEVA, J
SR




WPC 1772/2014                                                  Page 12 of 12

 
 
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