BT india Private Ltd. v. Income-tax Officer
[Citation -2020-LL-0422-1]

Citation 2020-LL-0422-1
Appellant Name BT india Private Ltd.
Respondent Name Income-tax Officer
Court HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Relevant Act Income-tax
Date of Order 22/04/2020
Assessment Year 2012-13
Judgment View Judgment
Keyword Tags demand notice • penalty
Bot Summary: Lastly, the petitioner seeks quashing of the penalty proceedings initiated by the respondent/Income Tax Department under Section 271C of the Act, pursuant to passing of the order dated 26.3.2020. The gravamen of the grievance raised in both the petitions is that the respondent has acted with undue haste in passing the impugned orders in both the matters knowing very well that the Notices to show cause was issued to the petitioner on 17.3.2020, calling upon it to show cause as to why W.P. Nos. 2981 2984/2020 Page 2 of 4 proceeding should not be initiated against it under Section 201 of the Act and for seeking necessary explanation from the petitioner on or before 20.3.2020. Mr. Chopra, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that in response to the show cause notices dated 17.3.2020, issued by the respondent for the relevant Assessment Years, the petitioner had immediately sent an e-mail and letter dated 19.3.2020, requesting for a period of three weeks to respond to the same on account of the lockdown declared by the Government of India across India so as to effectively deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again, the petitioner sought time to furnish the requisite information and reply to the show cause notice, but to no avail. At this stage, Mr. Sunil Aggarwal, learned Senior Standing Counsel of the respondent/Department submits on advance instructions that the respondent will withdraw the impugned orders dated 26.3.2020 passed in respect of the petitioner for the Assessment Years 2012-13 and 2013-14 and all consequent orders and shall afford an opportunity to the petitioner to reply to the Show cause notices dated 17.3.2020. Immediately after the lockdown is withdrawn by the Government, a period of two weeks reckoned therefrom is granted to the petitioner to reply to the Notices to the show cause issued by the respondent.


IN HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI + W.P.(C) 2981/2020 & C.M. Nos.10339-41/2020 M/S. BT INDIA PRIVATE LTD. .... Petitioner Through Mr. Deepak Chopra and Mr. Abhimanyu Chopra, Advocates. Versus INCOME TAX OFFICER ..... Respondent Through Mr. Sunil Agarwal, Sr. Standing Counsel with Mr. Tushar Gupta, Advocate. + W.P.(C) 2984/2020 & C.M. Nos.10347-49/2020 M/S. BT INDIA PRIVATE LTD. .... Petitioner Through Mr. Deepak Chopra and Mr. Abhimanyu Chopra, Advocates. Versus INCOME TAX OFFICER ..... Respondent Through Mr. Sunil Agarwal, Sr. Standing Counsel with Mr. Tushar Gupta, Advocate. CORAM: HON'BLE MS. JUSTICE HIMA KOHLI HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SUBRAMONIUM PRASAD ORDER % 22.04.2020 1. matters have been heard through Video Conferencing. 2. W.P. (C) 2981/2020 has been filed by petitioner praying inter alia for issuance of writ of mandamus for quashing order, bearing DIN and Letter No.ITBA/COM/F/17/2019-20/1026889793 (1), dated 26.3.2020, passed by Income Tax Officer for Assessment Year 2012-2013 under W.P. (C) Nos. 2981 & 2984/2020 Page 1 of 4 Section 201 of Income Tax Act, 1961 (in short Act ), for quashing demand notice dated 26.3.2020, issued by Income Tax Officer Ward INT Tax (1) (2), Delhi, vide DIN and Letter No.ITBA/COM/17/2019- 20/1026890226 (1) dated 26.3.2020, issued under Section 156 of Act for Assessment Year 2012-13 raised pursuant to impugned order dated 26.3.2020 and lastly, for quashing of penalty proceedings initiated by respondent/Income Tax Department under Section 271C of Act pursuant to order dated 26.3.2020. 3. connected writ petition, registered as W.P. (C) 2984/2020, has been filed by petitioner praying inter alia for issuance of writ of mandamus for quashing order dated 26.3.2020, bearing DIN and Letter No.ITBA/COM/F/17/2019-20/1026889224 (1) dated 26.3.2020, passed by Income Tax Officer for Assessment Year 2013-14 under Section 201 (1) (1A) of Act, for quashing of demand notice, bearing No.DIN and Letter No.ITBA/COM/F17/2019-20/1026890238 (1), dated 26.3.2020, issued by Income Tax Officer Ward INT Tax (1) (2), Delhi, under Section 156 of Act dated 26.2.2020 for Assessment Year 2013-14 pursuant to passing of impugned order dated 26.3.2020. Lastly, petitioner seeks quashing of penalty proceedings initiated by respondent/Income Tax Department under Section 271C of Act, pursuant to passing of order dated 26.3.2020. 4. gravamen of grievance raised in both petitions is that respondent has acted with undue haste in passing impugned orders in both matters knowing very well that Notices to show cause was issued to petitioner on 17.3.2020, calling upon it to show cause as to why W.P. (C) Nos. 2981 & 2984/2020 Page 2 of 4 proceeding should not be initiated against it under Section 201 (1) (1A) of Act and for seeking necessary explanation from petitioner on or before 20.3.2020. Mr. Chopra, learned counsel for petitioner submits that in response to show cause notices dated 17.3.2020, issued by respondent for relevant Assessment Years, petitioner had immediately sent e-mail and letter dated 19.3.2020, requesting for period of three weeks to respond to same on account of lockdown declared by Government of India across India so as to effectively deal with Covid-19 pandemic. It was explained by petitioner that its officers were working from home and they did not have access to official records to enable them to reply to show cause notices. 5. It is submitted that despite aforesaid position, respondent proceeded to issue another Notice to show cause dated 23.3.2020 to petitioner and they were required to comply with said notice on or before 24.3.2020. Once again, petitioner sought time to furnish requisite information and reply to show cause notice, but to no avail. Finally, impugned order dated 26.3.2020 came to be passed by respondent. 6. Ironically, while passing impugned order dated 26.3.2020, Income Tax Officer has noted in para 3 that assessee has given reply requesting for adjournment but said request was turned down and thereafter, in para 5, gone on to observe that he had gone through contentions raised in submissions and case law cited by assessee, which were found to be meritless. paradoxicality of aforesaid observations made in impugned order is apparent on face of record. W.P. (C) Nos. 2981 & 2984/2020 Page 3 of 4 7. At this stage, Mr. Sunil Aggarwal, learned Senior Standing Counsel of respondent/Department submits on advance instructions that respondent will withdraw impugned orders dated 26.3.2020 passed in respect of petitioner for Assessment Years 2012-13 and 2013-14 and all consequent orders and shall afford opportunity to petitioner to reply to Show cause notices dated 17.3.2020. 8. Immediately after lockdown is withdrawn by Government, period of two weeks reckoned therefrom is granted to petitioner to reply to Notices to show cause issued by respondent. Immediately after receiving replies to Notices to show cause, respondent shall be at liberty to take further steps in both matters, in accordance with law. 9. Both petitions are disposed of alongwith pending applications in terms of aforesaid statement made by learned Senior Standing Counsel of respondent/Department and order passed above. It is made clear that aforesaid order has been passed in peculiar facts and circumstances of present cases and shall not be treated as precedent in any other matter. HIMA KOHLI, J SUBRAMONIUM PRASAD, J APRIL 22, 2020 NA W.P. (C) Nos. 2981 & 2984/2020 Page 4 of 4 BT india Private Ltd. v. Income-tax Officer
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