Tuesday, April 1, 2014

‘Satisfaction’ of AO for assessment of other person may come after concluding assessment of searched person: SC

The Assessing Officer could record his satisfaction for issuing notice under section 158BD in the case of person other than searched person even after the completion of assessment of searched person.
The issue that falls for consideration of Supreme Court is:
At what stage of proceedings under Chapter XIV-B the assessing authority is required to record his satisfaction for issuing a notice under section 158BD?
The Supreme Court held in favour of revenue as under:
1)  The section 158BD is a machinery provision and it is inserted in the statute book for the purpose of carrying out assessment of a person other than the searched person. Under Section 158BD, if an officer is satisfied that there exists any undisclosed income which may belong to a person other than the searched person, after recording such satisfaction, he may transmit the records/documents to the Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over such other person;
2)  After receipt of the aforesaid satisfaction and upon examination of the said other documents relating to such other person, the jurisdictional Assessing Officer may proceed to issue a notice for the purpose of completion of the assessments under Section 158BD;
3)  Section 158BD provides that the satisfaction note could be prepared by the Assessing Officer either at the time of initiating proceedings for completion of assessment of a searched person under Section 158BC or during the stage of the assessment proceedings.
4)  It didn't mean that after completion of the assessment, the Assessing Officer couldn't prepare the satisfaction note to the effect that there exists undisclosed income belonging to person other than the searched person;
5)  Thus, for the purpose of Section 158BD, a satisfaction note is sine qua non and must be prepared by the Assessing Officer before he transmits the records to the other Assessing Officer who has jurisdiction over such other person. The satisfaction note could be prepared at either of the following stages:
a)  At the time of or along with the initiation of proceedings against the searched person under Section 158BC;
b)  Along with the assessment proceedings under Section 158BC ; and

c)  Immediately after the assessment proceedings are completed under Section 158BC of the searched person.- CIT v. Calcutta Knitwears [2014] 43 taxmann.com 446 (SC)