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February, 26th 2013
%                                     Judgment delivered on: 08.02.2013

+       W.P.(C) 711/2013

        M/S JAY BHARAT MARUTI LTD                               ..... Petitioner


        INCOME TAX AND ORS                                      ..... Respondent

Advocates who appeared in this case:
For the Appellant   : Mr R. Santhanam with Mr A.P. Sinha, Advocates.
For the Respondent     : Ms Anshul Sharma, Proxy for Mr Abhishek Maratha, Sr.
                         Standing Counsel.




        This writ petition is directed against the notice dated 30.08.2011
issued by the respondent under section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961
(hereinafter referred to as ,,the said Act) pertaining to the assessment
year 2007-08.        It is also directed against the order dated 28.01.2013
whereby the respondent has rejected the objections raised by the
petitioner pursuant to the receipt of the purported reasons behind the
proposed reopening of the assessment for the said assessment year 2007-

W.P. (C) 711/2013                                                      Page 1 of 4
2.      On going through the order dated 28.01.2013 we find that the same
has been passed without any application of mind. To say the least, it is a
cut-and-paste job. This is apparent from the fact that the paragraph 3 is
merely a repetition of the provisions of section 147 and 148 of the said
Act. Thereafter, paragraphs 4, 5 upto 5.6 comprise of quotations and
extracts from Supreme Court and High Court decisions. Paragraph 5.7 is
perhaps a reference to the case at hand. However, we find that the words
mentioned therein could apply to any case. It appears to be a generic
paragraph which is perhaps applied by the respondent to several such
cases. In order to appreciate this fact we are reproducing the paragraph
5.7 hereinbelow: -

        "5.7 In this case, the belief of the AO has been held in good
        faith and not on the basis of any rumour. In fact the reasons
        for issue of notice existed at the time of issue of notice and
        the reasons are genuine. They were in fact communicated to
        the assessee also. The reasons recorded are quite detailed.
        As is evident from the perusal of the reasons recorded, they
        in fact record the satisfaction of the AO that the income has
        escaped assessment on the basis of the reasons elucidated
        and the material on record as relied upon by the AO at the
        time while recording his satisfaction that the income had in
        fact escaped assessment."

3.      Apart from the aforesaid paragraph there is no discussion of the
points raised by the petitioner in its objections. In fact, portions of the
objections furnished by the petitioner have been copied verbatim as
would be apparent from paragraph 2 of the order which reads as under: -

        "2. Notice u/s. 148 was issued after recording the reasons
        under section 147 of the Act on 30.08.2011 and duly served.

W.P. (C) 711/2013                                                 Page 2 of 4
        In response to the same, assessee has submitted written
        submission dated 27.09.2011 wherein the assessee submitted
        that the notice is illegal and without jurisdiction. We object
        the reassessment proceedings. The return already filed by u/s
        139 for A Y 2007-08 may please be treated as return filed in
        pursuance of the notice now received. Further, it was also
        requested to enable us to make objections both on facts and
        in law to the proposed reassessment, please give us reasons
        recorded for reopening the assessee and also the order of
        sanction obtained for the purpose and on receipt of the same
        we shall make detailed submission and objection, both on
        facts and in law after which we wish to be heard in person
        for which adequate opportunity be granted to determine the
        justifiability or otherwise of the action for reassessment in
        terms of the decision of GKN Driveshaft Ltd. Vs. CIT (2003)
        259 ITR 19 (SC) and not issue on merits be taken up for any
        decision before the validity of action for reassessment is
        decided. The reasons recorded under section 147 were
        provided to the AR of the Assessee Company. The assessee
        filed an objection against the issuance of notice under section
        148 vide written submission."

It is apparent on going through the above extract that the respondent has
not even bothered to change the words such as "we", "us", etc. which the
petitioner had used in its objections/ reply.         This shows that the
respondent had not even applied his mind and not even bothered to
correct the contents of paragraph 2 so as to put it into second person or
third person in the grammatic sense.

4.      For the aforesaid reasons, after hearing the counsel for the parties
at the stage of admission itself we feel that such an order cannot be
permitted to stand as it smacks of non-application of mind. The passing
of an order dealing with the objections filed by the assessee is not an

W.P. (C) 711/2013                                                  Page 3 of 4
empty formality. The assessing officer has to apply his mind to the
objections raised and has to deal with the objections in the order. This
has not been done in the present case.         Consequently, order dated
28.01.2013 is set-aside. The matter is remitted to the respondent to pass a
fresh order after taking into account the objections filed by the petitioner
as also after giving the petitioner an opportunity of hearing. The order be
passed by the respondent within three weeks. We have not commented at
all on the merits of this petition with regard to the validity of the notice
dated 30.08.2011. That issue is kept open. The writ petition stands
disposed of.


                                          BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J

                                                         R.V.EASWAR, J
FEBRUARY 08, 2013

W.P. (C) 711/2013                                                 Page 4 of 4
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