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Jagdish Narayan Sharma vs. ITO (ITAT Jaipur)
June, 12th 2018

S. 251(1): While the CIT(A) has the power to "enhance the assessment", he has no power to travel beyond the subject-matter of the assessment and is not entitled to assess new sources of income. In order for the CIT(A) to enhance, there must be something in the assessment order to show that the AO applied his mind to the particular subject-matter or the particular source of income with a view to its taxability or to its non-taxability and not to any incidental connection (all judgements considered)

The issue which arise for consideration is whether the ld CIT(A) was justified in bringing to tax long term capital gains, on sale of land by the assessee to his two daughter-in-laws, by way of enhancement of income in terms of provisions of section 251(1)(a) of the Act which reads as under:

“251(1) In disposing of an appeal, the Commissioner(Appeals) shall have the following powers:

(a) In an appeal against an order of assessment, he may confirm, reduce, enhance or annual the assessment.”

45. Regarding the powers of the ld CIT(A) by way of enhancement of income in hands of the assessee, the matter had come up for the consideration before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of CIT vs Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry reported in 44 ITR 891 wherein the question framed for consideration was “whether in an appeal filed by an assessee, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner can find a new source of income not considered by the Income-tax Officer and assess it under his powers granted by section 31 of the Income-tax Act ?

46. The legal proposition laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court reads as under:

“There is no doubt that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner can “enhance the assessment”. It is admitted also by the assessee that within the four corners of the sources processed by the Income-tax Officer, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner can enhance the assessment. This power must, at least, fall within the words “enhance the assessment”, if they are not to be rendered wholly nugatory. The controversy in this case is about his discovering new sources, not mentioned in the return and not considered by the Income-tax Officer. The High Court held following its earlier view in Narrondas Manordass v. Commissioner of Income-tax [1957] 31 ITR 909, that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner has revisional powers, but that they are confined to what was before the Income-tax Officer and considered by the latter. The correctness of this view is challenged in this appeal by the Commissioner of Income-tax, Bombay.

The earliest case, which considered the meaning of section 31(3), was Jagarnath Therani v. Commissioner of Income-tax AIR 1925 Pat. 408 decided by the Patna High Court. In that case, the assessee had three businesses at Purnea, Jalpaiguri and Calcutta. His income from Purnea only was assessed by the Income-tax Officer. On appeal by the assessee, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner assessed him with regard to the income from the other two businesses. The head of income was the same within section 6 of the Incometax Act, but the sources of income were different. The Patna High Court observed :

“Now this section relating to appeals is enacted for the benefit of the subject and also, to the limited extent therein stated, for the benefit of the Crown. But the subject-matter of the appeal is the assessment and the scope of the appeal must in my opinion be limited by the subject-matter. The appellate authority has no power to travel beyond the subject-matter of the assessment and, for all the reasons advanced by the appellant, is in my opinion not entitled to assess new sources of income.”

The view of the Patna High Court receives support from a decision of the Madras High Court in Gajalakshmi Ginning Factory v. Commissioner of Income-tax [1952] 22 ITR 502 where, at page 510, the Divisional Bench observed as follows:

“Of course, it would not be open to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner to introduce into the assessment new sources, as his power of enhancement should be restricted only to the income which was the subject-matter of consideration for purposes of assessment by the Income-tax Officer.” In Bishwanath Prasad Bhagwat Prasad v. Commissioner of Income-tax [1956] 29 ITR 748, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner had actually remanded the case, but while considering the powers of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, the Divisional Bench appears to have approved of the abovequoted passage from the Madras case. The observations in that case may be treated as obiter. In Narrondas Manordass v. Commissioner of Income-tax [1957] 31 ITR 909 is to be found the earlier case of the Bombay High Court, which was followed in the judgment under appeal. In that case, the assessee was carrying on business in Bombay and also in Rajkot. The profits from the Rajkot business were assessed by the Income-tax Officer at Rs. 1,17,643. The Income-tax Officer also found remittances to the extent of Rs. 4 lakhs from Rajkot to Bombay, but did not include that amount in the assessment in view of the concession allowed by the Part B States Taxation Concession Order. The assessee appealed with respect to the sum of Rs. 1,17,643, contending that the Rajkot business had no profits but only loss. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner accepted this contention, but set aside the assessment and remanded the case to the Income-tax Officer for reassessment with a view to assessing the sum of Rs. 4 lakhs. In dealing with the case, the High Court held that the powers of remand were extremely wide, but it quoted with approval the decision of the Patna High Court in Jagarnath Therani v. Commissioner of Income-tax AIR 1925 Pat. 408 and also the above observation of the Madras High Court. The learned Chief Justice on that occasion added that there was a distinction between the subject-matter of the appeal and the subject-matter of the assessment, and that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner’s powers under section 31 were not confined to the subject-matter of the appeal but extended to the subject-matter of the assessment. Those powers included a power of remand to include in the assessment something which ought to have been so included by the Incometax Officer, and a remand in that case was, therefore, proper.

The matter also came before this court in Commissioner of Income-tax v. McMillan & Co. [1958] 33 ITR 182 (SC); but the question, with which we are concerned, was left open. There is, however, a passage in the judgment, approving of the observations of Chagla, C.J., in Narrondas Manordass v. Commissioner of Income-tax [1957] 31 ITR 909 to the following effect:

“It is clear that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner has been constituted a revising authority against the decisions of the Income-tax Officer; a revising authority not in the narrow sense of revising what is the subject-matter of the appeal, not in the sense of revising those matters about which the assessee makes a grievance, but a revising authority in the sense that once the appeal is before him he can revise not only the ultimate computation arrived at by the Income-tax Officer but he can revise every process which led to the ultimate computation or assessment. In other words, what he can revise is not merely the ultimate amount which is liable to tax, but he is entitled to revise the various decisions given by the Income-tax Officer in the course of the assessment and also the various incomes or deductions which came in for consideration of the Income-tax Officer.”

The learned Chief Justice in the judgment under appeal considers that this court has thus given approval to his view and also the view of the Patna High Court in the earlier case.

In our opinion, this court must be held not to have expressed its final opinion on the point arising here, in view of what was stated at pages 709 and 710 of the report. This court, however, gave approval to the opinion of the learned Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court that section 31 of the Income-tax Act confers not only appellate powers upon the Appellate Assistant Commissioner in so far as he is moved by an assessee but also a revisional jurisdiction to revise the assessment with a power to enhance the assessment. So much, of course, follows from the language of the section itself. The only question is whether in enhancing the assessment for any year he can travel outside the record that is to say, the return made by the assessee and the assessment order passed by the Income-tax Officer with a view to finding out new sources of income not disclosed in either. It is contended by the Commissioner of Income-tax that the word “assessment” here means the ultimate amount which an assessee must pay, regard being had to the charging section and his total income. In this view, it is said that the words “enhance the assessment” are not confined to the assessment reached through a particular process but the amount which ought to have been computed if the true total income had been found. There is no doubt that this view is also possible. On the other hand, it must not be over looked that there are other provisions like sections 34 and 33B, which enable escaped income from new sources to be brought to tax after following a special procedure. The assessee contends that the powers of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner extend to matters considered by the Income-tax Officer, and if a new source is to be considered, then the power of remand should be exercised. By the exercise of the power to assess fresh sources of income, the assessee is deprived of a finding by two tribunals and one right of appeal.

The question is whether we should accept the interpretation suggested by the Commissioner in preference to the one, which has held the field for nearly 37 years. In view of the provisions of sections 34 and 33B by which escaped income can be brought to tax, there is reason to think that the view expressed uniformly about the limits of the powers of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner to enhance the assessment has been accepted by the legislature as the true exposition of the words of the section. If it were not, one would expect that the legislature would have amended section 31 and specified the other intention in express words. The Income-tax Act was amended several times in the last 37 years, but no amendment of section 31(3) was undertaken to nullify the rulings, to which we have referred. In view of this, we do not think that we should interpret section 31 differently from what has been accepted in India as its true import, particularly as that view is also reasonably possible.”

47. The Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court in case of Commissioner of Income-tax vs. Associated Garments Makers reported in 64 Taxman 215, following the above decision of the Hon’ble Supreme has held as under:

“7. Appeals are provided under section 246 of the Act before the AAC and the Commissioner (Appeals). These appeals are by the assessee aggrieved by the orders mentioned therein. Any order made under section 143(3) is appealable and the powers of the appellate court are provided in section 251 of the Act wherein appellate authority has power to confirm, reduce, enhance or annul the assessment or he may set aside the assessment and refer the case back to the ITO for making fresh assessment in accordance with directions given in appeal and after making such further enquiry as may be necessary. These powers are, inter alia, mentioned in the other powers. According to subsection (2) of section 251, the AAC has no power to enhance assessment or a penalty, or reduce the amount or refund unless the appellant has a reasonable opportunity for showing cause against such enhancement or reduction. An explanation has been provided according to which the AAC may consider and decide any matter arising out of the proceedings in which the order appealed against was passed, notwithstanding the fact that such matter was not raised before him. A perusal of sections 246 to 251 of the Act makes it clear that any questions arising out of the assessment orders in an appeal by the assessee can be possible and wide powers are given to the appellate authority, but these powers are circumscribed by the assessment order in the matters arising thereof or a matter arising out of the proceedings. Even the appellate authority has suo motu power to consider the questions arising thereof but there is no provision to go beyond the matter arising out of the proceedings before the assessing authority, more particularly as separate provisions for that are made in the Act. The Tribunal has elaborately discussed the provisions of the Act and the case law on the subject and has rightly come to the conclusion that new sources not mentioned in the return or considered by the ITO are beyond the scope of powers of the AAC. The case relied on by the learned counsel for the petitioner about the power of setting aside the assessment order remanding the case for re-consideration of the whole matter including the evasion by the assessee, is not applicable to the facts of the present case because the matter arising in that case was one which arose out of the proceedings before the ITO. The question was not about new and fresh material for the purposes of enhancement. On the contrary, the case is clearly covered by the decisions of the Supreme Court in CIT v. Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry’s case (supra) wherein it has been held that, “In an appeal filed by the assessee the Appellate Assistant Commissioner has no power to enhance the assessment by discovering new sources of income not mentioned in the return of the assessee or considered by the Income-tax Officer in the order appealed against”, and in the case of Rai Bahadur Hardutroy Motilal Chamaria (supra) wherein it has been held that, “It is not therefore open to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner to travel outside the record, i.e., the return made by the assessee or the assessment order of the Income-tax Officer, with a view to finding out new sources of income and the power of enhancement under section 31(3) is restricted to the sources of income which have been the subject-matter of consideration by the Income-tax Officer from the point of view of taxability”.

Their Lordships considered the meaning of the word ‘consideration’ and held that, ” ‘consideration’ does not mean ‘incidental’ or ‘collateral’ examination of any matter by the Income-tax Officer in the process of assessment. There must be something in the assessment order to show that the Income-tax Officer applied his mind to the particular subject-matter or the particular source of income with a view to its taxability or to its nontaxability and not to any incidental connection”. In the instant case, the AAC had himself, after issuing notice, considered the new material and had gone into new sources of income for the consideration of which he had no jurisdiction.

8. In fact, we fail to understand as to why when the order was brought to the notice of the Commissioner he proceeded into wrong direction when he had ample powers under other provisions of this Act. There are various other provisions under the Act which can be invoked in cases of escaped income or such situation where the new sources had been left to be considered, but that would not give powers to the AAC to transgress his jurisdiction.”

48. In case of CIT v. Sardari Lal & Co. [2001] 251 ITR 864 (Delhi) (FB), the matter again came up for consideration before the Full Bench of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court regarding the first appellate authority’s power to take into account a new source of income and to consider the correctness of the view expressed earlier in case of CIT v. Union Tyres [1999] 240 ITR 556, and the Full Bench of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court has held that the view expressed in Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry’s case (supra) still holds the feet and it was further held as under:



“8. Looking from the aforesaid angles, the inevitable conclusion is that whenever the question of taxability of income from a new source of income is concerned, which had not been considered by the Assessing Officer, the jurisdiction to deal with the same in appropriate cases may be dealt with under section 147/148 and section 263, if requisite conditions are fulfilled. It is inconceivable that in the presence of such specific provisions, a similar power is available to the first appellate authority. That being the position, decision in Union Tyres’ case (supra) of this Court expresses the correct view and does not need re-consideration. This reference is accordingly disposed of.”

49. We have also look at the recent decisions on the subject and find that the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala in case of Commissioner of Income Tax, Thrissur v. B.P. Sherafudin reported in [2017] 87 taxmann.com 330 (Kerala) had an occasion to examine a similar issue as to whether the Appellate Authority has the power under section 251 of the Act to add income not at all considered by the AO? Referring to the catena of decisions including the decisions of Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of CIT vs Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry (supra) and in case of CIT v. Rai Bahadur Hardutory Motilal Chamaria [1967] 66 ITR 443 (SC), the decision of the Full Bench of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in case of CIT v. Sardari Lal & Co. [2001] 251 ITR 864 (Delhi) (FB), besides various other decisions, it held that the powers under section 251 are, indeed, very wide; but, wide as they are, they do not go to the extent of displacing powers under, say, sections 147, 148 and 263. We deem it appropriate to reproduce the discussions and the relevant findings of the Hon’ble High Court as under:

“The Ambit of Appellate Power:

37. To begin with, let us examine section 251 of the Act. As the assessment year was 1995-96, we will examine the provision as stood then. Before the amendment by Act 18 of 2008, section 251 read as:

251. Powers of the [* * *] Commissioner (Appeals).—

(1) In disposing of an appeal, the [* * *] Commissioner (Appeals) shall have the following powers—

(a) in an appeal against an order of assessment he may confirm, reduce, enhance or annul the assessment; [* * *]

(b) in an appeal against an order imposing a penalty, he may confirm or cancel such order or vary it so as either to enhance or to reduce the penalty;

(c) in any other case, he may pass such orders in the appeal as he thinks fit.

(2) The [* * *] Commissioner (Appeals) shall not enhance an assessment or a penalty or reduce the amount of refund unless the appellant has had a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against such enhancement or reduction.

Explanation.—In disposing of an appeal, the [* * *] Commissioner (Appeals) may consider and decide any matter arising out of proceedings in which the order appealed against was passed, notwithstanding that such matter was not raised before the [* * *] Commissioner (Appeals) by the appellant.

38. The provision clarifies that in an appeal against an order of assessment, the Appellate Authority may confirm, reduce, enhance, or annul the assessment. In an appeal against an order imposing a penalty, he may confirm or cancel such order or vary it so as either to enhance or to reduce the penalty. The explanation to the provision further emphasizes that the Appellate Authority may consider and decide any matter arising out of proceedings in which the order appealed against was passed, though such matter was not raised before him by the appellant.

Precedential Position:

39. A Full Bench of this Court in the CIT v. Best Wood Industries & Saw Mills [2011] 33 ITR 63/11 taxmann.com 278 has examined the powers of the AO, but not the Appellate Authority. It has held that once the assessment is reopened for any valid reason recorded under Section 148(2), then the entire assessment is open for the AO to bring to tax any item of escaped income which comes to his notice in such reassessment.

40. Under the old Income Tax Act, the corresponding provision is section 31.

Interpreting that provision, the Supreme Court in CIT v. Kanpur Coal Syndicate [1964] 53 ITR 225 has held that under section 31(3)(a), in disposing of an appeal, the Appellate Authority may confirm, reduce, enhance or annul the assessment; under clause (b), he may set aside the assessment and direct the Income-tax Officer [now AO] to make a fresh assessment.

The Appellate Authority has, therefore, plenary powers in disposing of an appeal.

“The scope of his power is conterminous with that of the Income-tax Officer. He can do what the Income-tax Officer can do and also direct him to do what he has failed to do.”

41. As we can see, CIT v. P. Mohanakala [2007] 291 ITR 278/161 Taxman 169 (SC) deals with the powers of High Court in interfering with the findings of fact— and concurrent findings, at that—by re-appreciating the evidence. The Supreme Court has held in the negative. The Supreme Court in Jute Corpn. of India Ltd. v. CIT [1991] 187 ITR 688/[1990] 53 Taxman 85 has stated that the declaration of law is clear that the power of the Appellate Authority is co-terminus with that of the Income Tax Officer, and if that is so, there appears to be no reason why the appellate authority cannot modify the assessment order on an additional ground even if not raised before the Income Tax Officer. No exception could be taken, held the Supreme Court in CIT v. Nirbheram Deluram [1997] 224 ITR 610/91 Taxman 181 to this view as the Act places no restriction or limitation on exercising appellate power. Even otherwise, an appellate authority while hearing the appeal against the order of a subordinate authority, has all the powers which the original authority may have in deciding the question before it subject to the restrictions or limitation, if any, prescribed by the statutory provisions. Absent any statutory provision, the appellate authority is vested with all the plenary powers which the subordinate authority may have.

42. In CIT v. Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry [1962] 44 ITR 891 (SC) the assessment year was 1947-1948, and the case was finally decided in 14.02.1962. So the Act considered was pre-Independence enactment. Examining section 31 of the old Act, the Supreme Court has held that there is no doubt that the appellate authority can “enhance the assessment”. This power must, at least, fall within the words “enhance the assessment”, if they are not to be rendered wholly nugatory.

43. Now, we may examine the authorities that also have dealt with the powers of the appellate authority but seem to have taken a divergent path.

44. In CIT v. Rai Bahadur Hardutroy Motilal Chamaria,[1967] 66 ITR 443 (SC) a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court has observed that it is only the assessee who has a right conferred under section 31 to prefer an appeal against the order of assessment made by the Income-tax Officer. If the assessee does not appeal the order of assessment becomes final subject to any power of revision that the Commissioner may have under section 33B of the Act. Therefore, it would be wholly erroneous to compare the powers of the appellate authority with the powers possessed by a court of appeal, under the Civil Procedure Code. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner is not an ordinary court of appeal. It is impossible to talk of a court of appeal when only one party to the original decision is entitled to appeal and not the other party, and because of this peculiar position the statute has conferred very wide powers upon the appellate authority once an appeal is preferred to him by the assessee.

45. Chamaria goes on to hold that the appellate authority has no jurisdiction under section 31(3) of the Act to assess a source of income not processed by the Income-tax Officer “and which is not disclosed either in the returns filed by the assessee or in the assessment order,” and therefore the appellate authority cannot travel beyond the subject-matter of the assessment. In other words, the power of enhancement under section 31(3) of the Act is restricted to the subject-matter of assessment or the sources of income considered expressly or by clear implication by the Income-tax Officer from the viewpoint of the taxability of the assessee.

46. A question regarding powers of the first Appellate Authority came up for consideration before the Supreme Court recently in Nirbheram Daluram (supra). Following the earlier decisions in Kanpur Coal Syndicate and Jute Corporation of India, the Supreme Court reiterated that the appellate powers conferred on the Appellate Commissioner under Section 251 could not be confined to the matter considered by the ITO, as the Appellate Commissioner is vested with all the plenary powers which the Income Tax Officer may have while making the assessment.

47. Indeed, examining Daluram’s holding, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court in CIT v. Union Tyres [1999] 240 ITR 556/107 Taxman 447, has observed that Daluram did not comment whether these wide powers also include the power to discover a new source of income. So, Union Tyres concludes that the principle of law laid down in Shapoorji and Chamaria still holds the field.

48. The principle emerging from various pronouncements of the Supreme Court, Union Tyres observes, is that the first Appellate Authority is invested with very wide powers under Section 251(1)(a) of the Act and once an assessment order is brought before the authority, his competence is not restricted to examining only those aspects of the assessment about which the assessee makes a grievance and ranges over the whole assessment to correct the Assessing Officer not only regarding a matter raised by the assessee in appeal but also regarding any other matter considered by the Assessing Officer and determined in assessment.

49. There is a solitary but significant limitation, according to Union Tyres, to the power of revision: It is not open to the Appellate Commissioner to introduce in the Assessment a new source of income and the assessment must be confined to those items of income which were the subject-matter of the original assessment.

50. In course of time, Union Tyres was doubted. In. Sardari Lal & Co.,(supra) the same issue—whether the appellate authority has the power under section 251 to discover a new source of income—was referred to a Full Bench. After examining the authorities holding the fielding on that issue, the learned Full Bench has held that the inevitable conclusion is that whenever the question of taxability of income from a new source of income is concerned, which had not been considered by the assessing officer, the jurisdiction to deal with the same in appropriate cases may be dealt with under section 147, or section 148, or even section 263 of the Act if requisite conditions are fulfilled. It is inconceivable, according to Sardari Lal, that in the presence of such specific provisions, a similar power is available to the first appellate authority. Eventually, Sardari Lal upheld the decision in Union Tyres.

51. Undeniably, the precedential position on the powers of the first appellate authority under section 251 undulates. There are seeming contradictions. But, as held by Union Tyres, and as affirmed on reference by Sardari Lal, there is a consistent judicial assertion that the powers under section 251 are, indeed, very wide; but, wide as they are, they do not go to the extent of displacing powers under, say, sections 147, 148, and 263 of the Act.

52. Therefore, we are in respectful agreement with the view taken by the Full Bench of the High Court of Delhi in Sardari Lal. As a corollary, we hold that the Tribunal’s deleting the enhancement of Rs. 22,15,116/- and canceling the order of the CIT (A) on that issue call for no interference.”

50. The issue which is being disputed before us has to be considered and decided in light of facts on record and the legal proposition which emerges from the above referred decisions. In the instant case, the enhancement of income by the ld CIT(A) relates to long term capital gains on sale transactions executed through the registered sale deeds of even date i.e, 11.01.2007 whereby the assessee has sold certain plots of land at Village Goner, Tehsil Sanganer, Jaipur to his two daughters-in-law namely Narangi Devi w/o Chhaju lal and Jamna Devi w/o Kaluram for a total consideration of Rs 1,62,72,000.

Now, if we look at the return of income filed by the assessee, it is noted that pursuant to issuance of notice u/s 148, the assessee had filed his return of income disclosing agricultural income of Rs. 1,10,000/- and prior to that, no return of income was filed by the assessee. The notice issued under section 148 dated 15.03.2013 talks about an amount of Rs 16,50,000 deposited in assessee’s bank account maintained with PNB, the source of which has not been explained and the same has thus escaped assessment. On perusal of the assessment order passed under section 143(3) read with section 147 of the Act, it is noted that the said deposits in assessee’s bank has been examined however, there is no linkage with the impunged sale transactions which are the subject matter of enhancement by the ld CIT(A). Further, there is a sale transaction which is the subject matter of assessment which relates to sale of ancestral land situated at the same village Goner, Village Goner, Tehsil Sanganer, Jaipur vide sale deed dated 26.12.2006 to M/s Fine Tech Macro Developers Pvt. Ltd for a consideration of Rs 13,20,000 and which has been valued by the stamp duty authorities at Rs 14,88,000. The said transaction has been brought to tax by the Assessing officer after providing the index cost of acquisition. We thus find that the impunged sale transactions relating to sale of land by the assesee to his two daughters-in-law for a total consideration of Rs 1,62,72,000 was neither the subject matter of notice issued under section 148 and the subsequent return filed by the assessee nor the subject matter of assessment order passed by the Assessing officer.

It is clearly a new source of income which has been discovered by the ld CIT(A) while adjudicating the matter and not a matter arising out of the assessment proceedings. Our view is fortified by the fact that the impunged sale transactions relating to sale of land by the assesee to his two daughters-inlaw for a total consideration of Rs 1,62,72,000 was the subject matter of reopening of assessment for preceding A.Y. 2006-07 whereby these transactions were identified with specific particulars in the reasons recorded before issuance of notice under section 148 for the said assessment year. Subsequently, the AO while passing the assessment order for A.Y. 2006-07 has discussed the taxability of such transaction in the body of the assessment order and has brought the same to tax. It is therefore a case where the impunged transactions are subject matter of assessment and arising out of the assessment order for A.Y 2006-07 and not that of A.Y 2007-08. It is not a case that the additions in respect of the said transactions are made on substantive basis in A.Y 2006-07 and on protective basis in A.Y 2007-08. The ld CIT(A) while adjudicating the matter for A.Y. 2006-07 had determined that the said transaction pertains to A.Y 2007-08 and not to A.Y 2006-07 and has deleted the additions in A.Y. 2006-07 and brought the same to tax in the impunged A.Y 2007-08 by way of exercising her enhancement powers under section 251(1)(a) of the Act which is clearly beyond her powers.

In light of the legal propositions so laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and other High Courts referred supra, the powers of the ld CIT(A) are circumscribed by the assessment order in the matters arising thereof or a matter arising out of the proceedings. As held by the Courts, even though, the ld CIT(A) has suo motu power to consider the questions arising thereof but there is no provision to go beyond the matter arising out of the proceedings before the Assessing officer, more particularly as separate provisions for such eventuality are provided in the Act. In light of the same, the enhancement so done by the ld CIT(A) whereby the impunged sale transactions are brought to tax in the year under consideration are beyond the scope of her powers envisaged under section 251(1)(a) and the same thus cannot be accepted. However, the AO shall be free to take action as per law.

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