Saturday, January 10, 2015

Petitioner couldn't ask for transfer of case for his convenience to participate in proceedings, says High Court


Facts:

a)Petitioner was residing with her husband at Tanjore till 2008, after which they moved to Chennai. Petitioner's husband as well as the petitioner were Income-tax assessee and the petitioner's husband died on 29-3-2013, leaving behind two sons and a daughter as his legal heirs.

b)The Income-tax Officer (‘ITO’) issued notices to the petitioner and her two sons under section 148, calling upon them to produce the accounts and documents pertaining to the estate of her husband.

c)Pursuant to the notice, the petitioner had sought for transfer of the files from Tanjore to Chennai.

d)The assessee submitted that merely because notices were issued at Tanjore and statement of the petitioner's son was recorded at Tanjore, it could not be a ground to compel the petitioner to travel from Chennai to Tanjore on each occasion for participating in the assessment proceedings.

The High Court held in favour of revenue as under:

1)On a reading of the provisions of section 127, it was seen that the object for which such provision was enacted is for the purpose of administrative convenience. The said provision does not empower the Assessing Officer to transfer a case from his jurisdiction to that of another and even when the Director General or the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner exercising such power, can transfer any case after recording his reasons for doing so.

2)For the purpose of recording reasons, it is obvious that the Commissioner has to consider the circumstances involved in each case.

3)When the transactions have taken place within the jurisdiction of the ITO and the transaction pertained to the immovable property, the petitioners could not insist that the files should be transferred from Tanjore to Chennai solely on the ground that it would be convenient for the first petitioner to partake in the assessment proceedings.

4)The ITO after considering the representation of petitioner, called for a report from the Assessing Officer and the contentions raised by the representative of the petitioner was considered and reasoned order had been passed.

5)Thus, the impugned order being a reasoned order and nothing has been placed before Court to show that the impugned order was either ex facie perverse or vitiated by any patent error. In the impugned order reasons have been assigned for rejecting the request for transfer, which was based on the records. Therefore, Court was not inclined to interfere with the discretion exercised by the ITO in refusing to transfer the case from Tanjore to Chennai. - D.V. MERCY V. ITO [2014] 52 taxmann.com 519 (Madras)
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