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SKY Light Hospitality Llp Vs. Assistant Commissioner Of Income Tax, Circle -28(1), New Delhi
February, 14th 2018
$~4
*      IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

%                                     Date of Judgment: 2nd February, 2018

+                    W.P.(C) 10870/2017 and CMNo. 44503/2017

SKY LIGHT HOSPITALITY LLP                                   ..... Petitioner
                  Through               Mr. C. S. Aggarwal, Sr. Adv. with
                                        Mr. Gautam Jain, Mr. Madhur
                                        Aggarwal and Mr. Uma Shankar,
                                        Advs.
                             versus


ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF
INCOME TAX, CIRCLE -28(1), NEW DELHI           ..... Respondent
                  Through     Mr. Zoheb Hussain, Sr. Standing
                              Counsel
     CORAM:
     HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SANJIV KHANNA
     HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE CHANDER SHEKHAR

SANJIV KHANNA, J. (ORAL)

       Sky Light Hospitality LLP, a limited liability partnership, who had

on 13.05.2016 taken over and acquired rights and liabilities of M/s Sky

Light Hospitality Private Limited upon conversion under the Limited

Liability Partnership Act, 2008, has filed the present writ petition

impugning notice dated 30.03.2017 for the assessment year 2010-11 under

Section 147/148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (,,Act for short).


2.     Petitioner also impugns the order dated 09.11.2017 passed by the

Assessing Officer, the Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, Circle-28



W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                 Page 1 of 19
(1) New Delhi, rejecting objections against initiation of proceedings under

Section 147/148 of the Act.


3.     Contentions raised by the petitioner in brief are:-

      (i)      Notice under Section 147/148 of the Act dated 30.03.2017 was

      addressed and issued to M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., PAN No.

      AALCS3800N, a company which had ceased to exist and was

      dissolved on 13.05.2016. This notice issued to a dead juristic person

      is invalid and void in the eyes of law.

      (ii)     Section 292B of the Act is inapplicable as (a) issue of notice

      in the name of the Assessee to be assessed is a jurisdictional pre-

      condition and (b) the Assessing Officer after due application of mind

      and deliberation had issued notice to M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt.

      Ltd. Impugned order dated 09.11.2017 is relied. Accordingly, this is

      not a case of error, mistake or omission on the part of Assessing

      Officer. The Assessing Officer had intentionally issued notice under

      Section 147/148 of the Act to M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. and

      not in the name of Sky Light Hospitality LLP.

      (iii)   There is lack of live nexus and "reasons to believe" are mere

      reasons to suspect that do not establish that income had escaped

      assessment.

4.     The respondent has contested the contentions raised.         Error or

W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                 Page 2 of 19
mistake in addressing the notice under Section 147/148 of the Act to M/s

Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. was not a jurisdictional error, but an

irregularity and procedural lapse. Section 292B is relied and is applicable.

No prejudice has been caused.      The assessment proceedings are pending

and would be decided on merits. Reasons to believe are elaborate and

detailed and reflect honest and objective belief that income has escaped

assessment.

5.     In the present case, the return for the assessment year 2010-2011

filed by M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. was processed under Section

143(1) of the Act and was not subjected to scrutiny assessment.

6.     We begin by referring to the reasons to believe. The relevant portion






of the reasons to believe read as under:-


         "1. A Tax Evasion Petition (TEP) has been sent by ADIT
         lnv, Unit-3(1), Delhi vide F.No./ADIT(Inv.)/U-3(1)/2016-
         17/563 regarding the assessee.

         (a). Brief facts of the case: The assessee was previously
         called M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd. is presently known
         as M/s Sky Light Hospitality LLP having converted into LLP
         from company on 13.05.2016 under Limited Liability
         Partnership Act, 2008.

         (b). The assessee entered into purchase of property with M/s
         Omkareswar Properties Pvt Ltd. situated at Mauja
         Shikohpur on 28.01.2008 for which payment was done
         against purchase of land on 09.08.2008 (vide cheque no.
         0978951 amounting to Rs. 7,95,00,000/·) and for license fee
         paid to Haryana Govt through Omkareshwar properties
         (Rs. 7,43,44,500/- on 11.08.2008). Further, then the

W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                 Page 3 of 19
         assessee entered into a collaboration agreement, dated
         05.08.2008, with M/s DLF Retail Developers Ltd. (herein
         referred to as "DLF") to construct commercial complex
         with its own investment (DLF's) and in return DLF was
         entitled to retain 50% of the total super area and Qther
         50% to be retained by the assessee. The assessee received
         amounts of Rs. 5 crores on 03.06.2008 and Rs. 10 crores on
         27.03.2009 under the agreement. Further, another
         agreement was entered on 07.10.2009 (FY 2009-10
         pertaining to AY 2010-11), whereby it was provided that
         due to adverse market conditions and slowdown in the
         economy, the land owner had agreed to transfer entire
         development rights and all other rights in favour of
         developer (DLF) on receipt of entire consideration of Rs. 58
         crores. Thus, further Rs. 35 crores were received on
         07.10.2009 (during FY 2009-10 pertaining to AY 2010·11).
         Balance of Rs. 8 crores were received on 25.07.2012. It is
         also to be noted that the possession of above land was
         handed over by the assessee to DLF on 05.08.2008.

         (c). From the above and on the basis of submissions made
         by the assessee during assessment proceedings of AY 2013-
         14, it is found that the assessee had claimed to have
         received advance of Rs. 5 crores from DLF even before the
         purchase of land, for which agreements were signed later.
         Further, assessee after purchasing the said land made
         payment to· convert the land from agricultural use to non-
         agricultural use. Also, the collaboration agreement entered
         with the DLF (from which it had taken loan to buy the land)
         was done in a short time and sold 50% rights. Further along
         with looking the agreement dated 07.10.2009 it should be
         understood that the assessee went into a business agreement
         to make quick business profit with DLF. Thus, in all the
         amounts received are the business profits which has
         escaped assessment in the respective year.

         (d). Further, assesse had contributed Rs. 35,00,00,000/· to
         the capital of M/s Saket Courtyard Hospitality vide cheque
         no. 411355 dated 16.3.2010 drawn on Standard Chartered
         Bank. However, a loss of Rs. 3,27,55,695/- was allocated by
         firm to the assessee and net capital decreased to Rs.


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                 Page 4 of 19
         31,72,43,305/-. The assessee has also not been able to
         satisfactorily explain the source of Rs. 35,00,00,000/-.

         (e). Thus, the amount of Rs. 35,00,00,000/- received by the
         assessee during FY 2009-10 (pertaining to AY 2010-11) has
         escaped assessment.

         (f). Further, assessee had purchased land at Bikaner for a
         consideration of Rs. 79,56,530/- for which the source of
         money has not be satisfactorily explained in reply to
         summons by the investigation. Thus, the above amount of
         Rs. 79,56,530/- has escaped assessment

         2. In view of the above peculiar facts the undersigned has
         reason to believe that the income of the assessee has
         escaped assessment as per the provisions stipulated in
         Explanation2 (b) to Section 147 of the Act which
         reproduced below:

               "where a return of income has been furnished by the
         assessee but no assessment has been made and it is noticed
         by the Assessing Officer that the assessee has understated
         the income or has claimed excessive loss, deduction,
         allowance of relief in return;"

               XXXXX
         6. In view of the above case laws and the material available
         on record, it is evident that there is a "Live Link" between
         the material available on record and the escaped income, as
         mentioned in the above case laws.

         7. Considering the factual matrix, Information received,
         statutory provisions and legal principles, the undersigned
         has reason to believe that the assessee has not disclosed
         fully and truly material facts necessary or assessment and
         there has been an escapement of income to the tune of Rs.
         35,79,76,530/· or more chargeable to tax for the assessment
         year 2010·11 and hence it is a fit case for initiation of
         proceedings in terms of section 147 of the I.T. Act,1961.


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                 Page 5 of 19
         8. Accordingly, necessary approval u/s 151 of the l.T. Act,
         196l is solicited for issuance of notice u/s 148 of the l.T. for
         Assessment Year 2010-11."

7.     The "reasons to believe" mention that M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt.

Ltd. who had filed the return for the assessment year 2010-2011, was

converted into limited liability partnership on 13.05.2016 under the Limited

Liability Partnership Act, 2008. Thus, it is accepted, is factually correct.

Reference is made to the Tax Evasion Report received from the

Investigation Unit of the Income Tax Department. Peculiar and specific

details relating to transactions between the assessee and third party are

mentioned in paragraph (b). Facts were ascertained by the Investigation

Unit. Paragraph (c) of the "reasons to believe" refers to the Assessment

Order for the year 2013-2014 and the findings recorded. Copy of the said

Assessment Order has been placed on record and was passed on

31.03.2016. In paragraph (d) and (e) reference is made to contribution of

Rs.35 crores towards capital in another concern. As per Profit and Loss

account, the assessee had suffered loss of Rs.3.27 crores and the net capital

had decreased to Rs.31.72 crores. The assessee as per Tax Evasion Report

had not been able to satisfactorily explain source of Rs. 35 crores.

Accordingly, this amount of Rs.35 crores had escaped from assessment.

Paragraph (f) refers to purchase of land at Bikaner for Rs.79,56,530/-.

Source of money for purchase of this land had not been satisfactorily


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                     Page 6 of 19
explained before the Investigation Unit.

8.     Tax Evasion Report received from the Investigation Unit dated

17.03.2017 placed on record is detailed and elaborate. We are not

reproducing the report or its contents as this is not required and necessary.

9.     After going through the reasons, we are satisfied that the "reasons to

believe" show and establish a live link and connect with the inference

drawn that income had escaped assessment, which is required for issuance

of notice under Section 147/148 of the Act. Reasons to believe refer to

several facts and information that had come to knowledge and was

available with the Assessing Officer. At this stage, when notice is issued

under Section 147/148 of the Act, firm and conclusive findings are not

required for merits would be examined and thereafter final finding recorded

in the assessment order. As long as, there is honest and reasonable opinion

formed by the Assessing Officer and the "reasons to believe" are not mere

"reasons to suspect", the courts should not interject to stop the adjudication

process and scrutiny on merits. Absolute certainty is not required at the

time of issue of notice and at the same time, "reasons to believe" must not

be based on mere suspicion, gossip or rumour. The said test and criteria,

we have no hesitation in holding, is satisfied in the present case. There is

evidence and material on record to justify issue of notice under Section

147/148 of the Act.


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                  Page 7 of 19
10.    Next question relates to validity of notice issued in the name of the

M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. The notice had also mentioned the

PAN Number of the said company. The legal position is that this company

had ceased to exist and was dissolved upon conversion into a limited

liability partnership as per Section 56 of the Limited Liability Partnership

Act, 2008 with effect from 13.05.2016.


11.    There is substantial and affirmative material and evidence on record

to show that issue of notice in the name of M/s Skylight Hospitality Pvt.

Ltd. was a mistake. Conversion of the private limited company into a

limited liability partnership with effect from 13.05.2016 was noticed and

mentioned in the tax evasion report, the reasons to believe recorded by the

Assessing Officer, the approval obtained from the Principal Commissioner

and the order under Section 127 of the Act. PAN number of the limited

liability partnership was also mentioned in some of these documents. The

error or mistake was that the notice did not record the aforesaid conversion

of M/s Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. into M/s Skylight Hospitality LLP. In

fact, the notice under Section 147/148 of the Act was not in conformity

with the file noting, i.e., "reasons to believe" and approval from the

Principal Commissioner.


12.            The petitioner relying on the impugned order dated 19 th

November, 2017 had submitted that the Assessing Officer did not accept
W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                Page 8 of 19
the said mistake and had asserted that the notice in the name of M/s

Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. was rightly issued. Reliance was placed on

the judgment of the Supreme Court in Mohinder Singh Gill & Anr. Vs.

Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi & Ors., (1978) 1 SCC 405.

This contention is flawed and without merit. Assessing Officer in the order

dated 19.11.2017 has tried to defend the notice issued in the name of M/s

Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., whereas the legal position is that the said

company had ceased to exist and had been converted into a limited liability

partnership, a factum recorded in the tax evasion report, the reasons to

believe, the approval granted by the Principal Commissioner and the order

under Section 127 of the Act. Attempt by the Assessing Officer to justify

and explain why notice was issued in the name of M/s Skylight Hospital

Pvt. Ltd. would not obliterate and erase the aforesaid factual position.

This error and mistake has led to this litigation. We have to examine

whether this error and mistake is fatal or protected and shielded under

Section 292B of the Act. The respondent relies on the statutory provision

because of the error and mistake. Aid and reliance on a statutory provision,

if applicable, cannot be denied for the reasoning and justification given in

the order dated 19.11.2017.


13.     Section 292B of the Act, enacted by Tax Laws (Amendment) Act,

1975, reads:-

W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                Page 9 of 19
       "292-B. Return of income, etc., not to be invalid on certain
        grounds.-- No return of income, assessment, notice,
        summons or other proceeding, furnished or made or issued
        or taken or purported to have been furnished or made or
        issued or taken in pursuance of any of the provisions of this
        Act shall be invalid or shall be deemed to be invalid merely
        by reason of any mistake, defect or omission in such return
        of income, assessment, notice, summons or other proceeding
        if such return of income, assessment, notice, summons or
        other proceeding is in substance and effect in conformity
        with or according to the intent and purpose of this Act."

       The said provision had come up for consideration before a Division

Bench of this Court in Commissioner of Income Tax Vs. M/s Jagat Novel

Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd., (2013) 356 ITR 559 (Del).             After extensive

examination of the case law, one of us (Sanjiv Khanna J.) had held:-

       " 28. The aforesaid provision has been enacted to curtail and
         negate technical pleas due to any defect, mistake or
         omission in a notice/summons/return. The provision was
         enacted by Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 1975 with effect
         from 1st October, 1975. It has a salutary purpose and
         ensures that technical objections, without substance and
         when there is effective compliance or compliance with intent
         and purpose, do not come in the way or affect the validity of
         the assessment proceedings. In the present case, as noticed
         above, the respondent took the plea before the Assessing
         Officer that they were never served with the notices under
         Section 148 of the Act. However, it is prudent to note that
         according to the Assessment Order dated 22nd March 2002,
         a letter dated 1st March 2002 was submitted by the company
         wherein it was stated that the returns filed on 10th December
         1999, may be treated as filed in response to notice under
         Section 148 of the Act. Further, a letter dated 18th March
         2002 was submitted and some details, called for in the
         questionnaire, which was sent along with another notice
         dated 7th March 2002 under Section 142(1) and 143(2) of

W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                 Page 10 of 19
         the Act, were submitted. The respondent had only
         challenged the service of notice and not their validity before
         the Assessing Officer. Before the appellate authority,
         however, the respondent took the plea that the notices under
         Section 148 were defective as the words "Private Limited"
         were missing. The photocopies of the original notices have
         been placed on record and show that after the words ,,Jagat
         Novel Exhibitors some alphabets, which according to the
         appellant read as ,,PL, have been mentioned in the notices
         for assessment years 1992-93 to 1995-96. As far as notice
         under Section 148 for the assessment year 1989-90 is
         concerned, the words "Pvt. Ltd." are clearly stated. The
         address mentioned on all notices is 1489, Chandni Chowk,
         Delhi. This is the correct address of the respondent. The
         tribunal has not accepted the plea of the respondent
         assessee that the notice under Section 148 of the Act was
         not duly served as the said notices were sent under
         registered post at the aforesaid address. It is not the case of
         the respondent that there was any other firm/concern at the
         same address by the name of Jagat Novel Exhibitors. In the
         present case, we do not think that failure to mention the
         words ,,Principal Officer and the specific words ,,Pvt. Ltd.
         or the use of the abbreviation ,,P.L has caused or could
         have caused any confusion or has resulted in vagueness
         which justifies the quashing of the entire assessment
         proceedings and the consequent assessment orders.
       29. Object and purpose behind Section 292-B is to ensure
        that technical pleas on the ground of mistake, defect or
        omission should not invalidate the assessment proceedings,
        when no confusion or prejudice is caused due to non-
        observance of technical formalities. The object and purpose
        of this Section is to ensure that procedural irregularity(ies)
        do not vitiate assessments. Notice/summons may be
        defective or there may be omissions but this would not make
        the notice/summon a nullity. Validity of a summon/notice
        has to be examined from the stand point whether in
        substance or in effect it is in conformity and in accordance
        with the intent and purpose of the Act. This is the purport of
        Section 292B. Notice/summons are issued for compliance
        and informing the person concerned, i.e the assessee.
        Defective notice/summon if it serves the intent and purpose
        of the Act, i.e to inform the assessee and when there is no
W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                   Page 11 of 19
           confusion in his mind about initiation of proceedings under
           Section 147/148 of the Act, the defective notice is protected
           under Section 292B. In such circumstances, the defective
           notice/summon is in substance and in accordance with the
           intent and purpose of the Act. The primary requirement is to
           go into and examine the question of whether any prejudice
           or confusion was caused to the assessee. If no
           prejudice/confusion was caused, then the assessment
           proceedings and their consequent orders cannot and should
           not be vitiated on the said ground of mistake, defect or
           omission in the summons/notice."


14.    This judgment had also made reference to decision dated 11 th

November, 2011 in ITA No.1525/2010, Venad Properties Pvt. Ltd. Vs.

Commissioner of Income Tax, in which Section 282 of the Act relating to

service of notices was considered and examined.               This section on

description/inscription on notice and method/mode of service was held to

be procedural in nature and should be interpreted in a practical and

pragmatic manner.        Procedural rules and requirements were meant to

deliver justice and not to hamper cause of justice and lead to miscarriage of

justice.

15.    The following paragraphs from M/s Jagat Novel Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd.

(supra) on objective behind issue of notice, in consequential defect and

purpose behind 292-B of the Act are also relevant :-

           "42. In Commissioner of Income Tax v. Anand and
           Company (1994) 207 ITR 418 (Cal.), it has been observed
           as under:-








W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                   Page 12 of 19
         "In our view, the Tribunal has taken an unduly technical
         view of the whole matter. The judiciary in this country has
         never gone on technical triviality. Even in the litigation of
         private parties, the courts have shown a wide measure of
         forgiveness in similar acts of omission or failure as pointed
         out by learned counsel for the Revenue. (See Gouri Kumari
         Devi's case [1959] 37 ITR 220). At page 223 of the Reports,
         the Patna High Court has observed as follows:
         "With regard to the analogous provisions of Order 6, rule
         14, there is authority for the view that the omission or
         failure on the part of the plaintiff to sign the plaint is a mere
         irregularity which can subsequently be rectified and the
         omission is not a vital defect. That is the view expressed by
         the Judicial Committee in Mohini Mohun Das v. Bungsi
         Buddan Saha Das [1889] ILR 17 (Cal) 580 and by the
         Madras High Court in Lodd Govindoss Krishnadas
         Varu v. P. M. A. R. M. Muthiah Chetty, AIR 1925 Mad
         660."
         XXX                              XXX                       XXX
         43. In Hind Samachar Limited v. Union of India (2011) 330
         ITR 266 (P&H) reference was made to Section 292B and
         Section 139(9) of the Act. In the said case, return of income,
         filed by the company was signed by someone other than the
         authorized person. It was observed that the question was of
         removal of defect, which could be rectified. Reference was
         made to another decision of the Punjab and Haryana High
         Court in CIT v. Norton Motors [2005] 275 ITR 595.
         44. Bombay High Court in Prime Securities Ltd. v. Varinder
         Mehta, Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax (2009) 317
         ITR 27 (Bom) has observed that Section 292B of the Act
         makes it clear that a return of income shall not be treated as
         invalid merely by reason of any mistake, defect or omission
         ,if the return of income is in substance and effect in
         conformity with or according to the intent and purpose of
         the Act. The return of income, if not signed by the
         authorized signatory, as contemplated under Section 140 of
         the Act, would be a mistake, defect or omission stated in
         Section 292B of the Act.
         45. We may note, observations of the Supreme Court
         in Balchand v. ITO (1969) 72 ITR 197 (SC) wherein it was

W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                     Page 13 of 19
         held that in construing a statutory notice, extraneous
         evidence may be looked into to find out whether the
         technical defects or lacuna had any effect on the validity of
         the notice. The facts had revealed that though there were
         defects in drafting the preamble of the notice, it did not
         affect its validity as the notice itself clearly informed the
         assessee that he had to file a return of income for the
         relevant year.
         46. In Chief Forest Conservator, Government of Andhra
         Pradesh v. Collector (2003) 3 SCC 472, the Supreme Court
         examined the question of misdescription or misnomers of
         parties and the effect thereof and it was held as under:-
           "12. It needs to be noted here that a legal entity -- a
         natural person or an artificial person -- can sue or be sued
         in his/its own name in a court of law or a tribunal. It is not
         merely a procedural formality but is essentially a matter of
         substance and considerable significance. That is why there
         are special provisions in the Constitution and the Code of
         Civil Procedure as to how the Central Government or the
         Government of a State may sue or be sued. So also there are
         special provisions in regard to other juristic persons
         specifying as to how they can sue or be sued. In giving
         description of a party it will be useful to remember the
         distinction between misdescription or misnomer of a party
         and misjoinder or non-joinder of a party suing or being
         sued. In the case of misdescription of a party, the court may
         at any stage of the suit/proceedings permit correction of the
         cause-title so that the party before the court is correctly
         described; however, a misdescription of a party will not be
         fatal to the maintainability of the suit/proceedings. Though
         Rule 9 of Order 1 CPC mandates that no suit shall be
         defeated by reason of the misjoinder or non-joinder of
         parties, it is important to notice that the proviso thereto
         clarifies that nothing in that Rule shall apply to nonjoinder
         of a necessary party. Therefore, care must be taken to
         ensure that the necessary party is before the court, be it a
         plaintiff or a defendant, otherwise, the suit or the
         proceedings will have to fail. Rule 10 of Order 1 CPC
         provides remedy when a suit is filed in the name of the
         wrong plaintiff and empowers the court to strike out any


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                  Page 14 of 19
         party improperly joined or to implead a necessary party at
         any stage of the proceedings."
         47. One of the questions, which arises for consideration, in
         such cases is whether there was prejudice. The test to be
         applied is whether the party receiving the notice would be in
         doubt whether the said notice is meant for him or not. If the
         recipient of notice was not in doubt that it was meant for
         him, the misnomer or misdescription is not fatal. Thus
         failure to mention the words "Principal Officer" on the
         notices is not fatal."

16.      In M/s Jagat Novel Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. (supra), reference was

made to Mahadev Govind Gharge v. Special Land Acquisition Officer,

Upper Krishna Project, Jamkhandi, Karnataka, (2011) 6 SCC 321,

Sardar Amarjit Singh Kalra v. Pramod Gupta, (2003) 3 SCC 212 and

State of Punjab v. Shamlal Murari, (1976) 1 SCC 719. Several decisions

including Commissioner of Income Tax, Andhra Pradesh v. K.

Adinarayana Murty, (1967) 65         ITR 607 (SC) and Commissioner of

Income Tax, Gujarat II v. Kurban Hussain Ibrahimji Mithiborwala,

(1971) 82 ITR 821 (SC) referred to by the assessee to support his

contention that Section 292B of the Act should not be invoked as the

notices issued were defective and had not correctly described the assessee,

were dealt with and distinguished.



17.    In the context of the present writ petition, the aforesaid ratio is a

complete answer to the contention raised on validity of the notice under


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                 Page 15 of 19
Section 147/148 of the Act as it was addressed to the erstwhile company

and not to the limited liability partnership.       There was no doubt

and debate that the notice was meant for the petitioner and no one else.

Legal error and mistake was made in addressing the notice. Noticeably, the

appellant having received the said notice, had filed without prejudice

reply/letter dated 11.04.2017. They had objected to the notice being issued

in the name of the Company, which had ceased to exist. However, the

reading of the said letter indicates that they had understood and were

aware, that the notice was for them. It was replied and dealt with by them.

The fact that notice was addressed to M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., a

company which had been dissolved, was an error and technical lapse on the

part of the respondent. No prejudice was caused.

18.    Petitioner relies on Spice Infotainment Ltd. vs. Commissioner of

Service Tax, (2012) 247 CTR 500. Spice Corp. Ltd., the company that had

filed the return, had amalgamated with another company. After notice

under Section 147/148 of the Act was issued and received in the name of

Spice Corp. Ltd., the Assessing Officer was informed about amalgamation

but the Assessment Order was passed in the name of the amalgamated

company and not in the name of amalgamating company. In the said

situation, the amalgamating company had filed an appeal and issue of

validity of Assessment Order was raised and examined. It was held that the


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                               Page 16 of 19
assessment order was invalid. This was not a case wherein notice under

Section 147/148 of the Act was declared to be void and invalid but a case

in which assessment order was passed in the name of and against a juristic

person which had ceased to exist and stood dissolved as per provisions of

the Companies Act. Order was in the name of non-existing person and

hence void and illegal.

19.    Spice Infotainment Ltd.(supra) refers to decision of Allahabad High

Court in Sri Nath Suresh Chand Ram Naresh v. CIT, (2006) 280 ITR 396

(All). We have examined the decision in Sri Nath Suresh Chand Ram

Naresh (supra) and would observe that facts were peculiar. There was oral

partition of the Hindu undivided family, M/s Munna Lal Moti Lal, on death

of the ,,Karta, Moti Lal. Capital was divided amongst three brothers, who

were the coparceners. Controversy was regarding legality of oral partition

that was not recognized by the Revenue.       Re-assessment notices were

issued, in the name of M/s Sri Nath Suresh Chand Ram Naresh, Karta Shri

Nath. ,,Nil return was filed along with letter stating that no business was

conducted in the name of the assessee and notices were wrongly issued.

Revenue had asserted that this notice was meant to assess M/s Munna Lal

Moti Lal though the notice was to another assessee, who was also existing

in law. Recording this factual matrix, the notice under Section 148 and

assessments made were held to be invalid.


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                               Page 17 of 19
20.    Commissioner of Income Tax v. Dimension Apparels Private

Limited, (2015) 370 ITR 288 (Del) and Commissioner of Income Tax v.

Intel Technology India (P.) Ltd., (2016) 380 ITR 272 (Kar) follow the

ratio and decision in the case of Spice Infotainment Ltd. (supra), as

assessment orders had been passed in the name of the non-existing

assessee. These cases are therefore distinguishable.

21.    Our attention was drawn to Parashuram Pottery Works Co. Ltd. v.

ITO, Circle I, Ward A, Rajkot, (1977) 106 ITR 1 (SC) which records that

the Assessing Officer entrusted with the task of calculating and realising

tax should familiarise themselves with the relevant provisions and become

well versed with the law on the subject. This is a salutary advise. Indeed

there have been lapses and faults resulting in the present litigation. Notice

under Section 147/148 of the Act was issued at the end of the limitation

period. Noticeably, Assessment Order for the assessment year 2013-2014

was passed on 31.03.2016, one year earlier. Second lapse is also apparent.

Despite correctly noting the background, notice under Section 147/148 of

the Act was not addressed in the correct name and even the PAN Number

mentioned was incorrect. Nevertheless, human errors and mistakes cannot

and should not nullify proceedings which are otherwise valid and no

prejudice had been caused. This is the effect and mandate of Section 292B

of the Act.


W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                                Page 18 of 19
22.    In view of the aforesaid discussion, we do not find any merit in the

present writ petition. We clarify that we have not expressed any opinion on

merits of the case. We also deem it proper and appropriate to record that

the petitioner had raised contention on merits, which we have no doubt

would be examined in depth and detail by the Assessing Officer.          We

would expect that the Assessing Officer would deal with all issues

independently and fairly, without being influenced by this order and

challenge made by the petitioner to notice under Section 147/148 of the

Act. There would be no order as to costs.

23.    To cut short delay, the petitioner would appear before the Assessing

Officer on 19.02.2018 when the date of hearing will be fixed.



                                                    SANJIV KHANNA, J



                                               CHANDER SHEKHAR, J

FEBRUARY 02, 2018
b




W.P.(C) 10870/2017                                               Page 19 of 19

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