Delhi High Court Sets Aside Assessment Order For Violation of Faceless Assessment Scheme
The Petitioner submitted that no personal hearing was granted as per Standard Operating Procedure For Personal Hearing Through Video Conference under The Faceless Assessment Scheme
The Delhi High Court has set aside the assessment order passed by the National Faceless Assessment Centre under Section 156 and Section 270A of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
A Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi, comprising Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh dealt with this matter titled Satia Industries Limited v National Faceless Assessment Centre.
The present application was filed by the Petitioner – Company seeking stay on the operation of the assessment order dated 23 April 2021 and the consequential proceedings passed under Section 156 and Section 270A of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The Petitioner submitted that no personal hearing was granted as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For Personal Hearing Through Video Conference under The Faceless Assessment Scheme, 2019, issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
The Respondent – Revenue Authorities, on the other hand, stated that there was no clear demand for personal hearing from the Petitioner.
The bench noted that an adverse view was taken by triggering the provisions of Section 144B(7)(vii) of the Act based on the fact that the Petitioner's income was varied.
The bench went through the following two judgments of the Delhi High Court to understand the issue at hand with regards to Section 144B(7)(vii) :
• Ritnand Balved Education Foundation (Umbrella Organisation of Amity Group of Institutions) v National Faceless Assessment Centre & Ors
• Lemon Tree Hotels Limited v National Faceless Assessment Centre Delhi (Earlier National E-Assessment Centre Delhi) & Anr.
The bench noted the observations in these judgments that the standards, procedures and processes u/S 144B(7)(vii) were required to be framed, to guide the assessing officer as to whether or not personal hearing in a given matter should be granted.
The Court, based on these judgments, directed the Respondent to grant a personal hearing to the authorized representative of the Petitioner.
Therefore, the Court set aside the assessment order dated 23 April 2021 with liberty to the Respondent to proceed from the stage of the show cause notice-cum-draft assessment order.