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Lreal India Private Limited vs. DCIT (ITAT Mumbai)
May, 16th 2016

S. 153A/ 153C: If the assessee stands amalgamated with another Co, it ceases to exists and all proceedings of search u/s 132, notice and assessment u/s 153C on the assessee are a nullity and void ab initio

(i) The Assessee which was initially incorporated on 1st January, 1999 merged with M/s B. S. Infratech Pvt. Ltd. with effect from 1st April, 2008 by the order of the Court. A search took place on 20th October, 2008 in the cases of Mr B. K. Dhingra, Smt. Poonam Dhingra and M/s Madhusudan Buildcon Pvt. Ltd. On the basis that in the course of search certain documents belonging to the Assessee company were found, notice was issued to the Assessee under Section 153C (1) on 10th September, 2010. Therefore, not only on the date on which notice was issued but even on the date of the search, the Assessee had ceased to exist in the eyes of law.

(ii) In identical circumstances, in cases arising out of the same search, this Court has by its order dated 19th August, 2015 in the Revenue’s appeals ITA Nos.582, 584, 431, 533, 432 & 433 of 2015 (Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax (Central-II) v. Images Credit And Portfolio Pvt. Ltd.) and order dated 29th September, 2015 in ITA Nos.745, 746,748, 749 and 750/2015 (Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax (Central-2) v. M/s Mevron Projects Pvt. Ltd.) invalidated the assessment proceedings against the Assessee in those cases which, on account of having merged with another entity with effect from a date anterior to the search, also no longer existed on the date of search, on the date of the issue of notice and consequent assessment order passed under Section 153 C of the Act.

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