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A search and seizure operation was carried on the assessee on 19-2-2008 and consequently, notice under section 153A was issued. During the assessment proceedings, the AO arrived to an opinion, that having regard to the nature and complexity of the accounts of the assessee and in the interest of revenue, it was necessary to get the accounts audited by an Accountant, as provided in section 142(2A).Prior to arriving at this conclusion, the AO issued a detailed letter dated 27-11-2009 requiring the assessee to show cause as to why the accounts should not be got audited under section 142(2A) by an Accountant. The assessee raised objections to the aforesaid show cause notice and the AOvidehis office letter dated 8-12-2009 rejected the assessee's objections and later on , with the approval of the CIT, Central-II ordered for special audit in accordance with the provisions of Section 142(2A). During the course of special audit, the special auditors requested for grant of additional time to submit its report on the ground that the assessee was not co-operating with them and there was a delay on the part of the assessee to furnish details and information required for conducting special audit. The request was acceded to and special audit report was received by the AO from the special auditors in his office on 11-6-2010.

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Section 142(2A) of the Income-tax Act, 1961—Audit—The extension could have been valid only if it had been given by the Assessing Officer after due application of mind and after examining the existence of circumstances as provided in proviso below Sec. 142 (2C), since, it has to be given only by competent authority, in case of assessee, the extension has not been given by the Assessing Officer but by the CIT, Central-II and the Assessing Officer has only conveyed the approval, therefore, the extension given by the CIT, Central-II is beyond the powers vested as per the statute and accordingly the assessment completed after the due date is held to be void ab initio. - ASSTT. CIT V/s SOUL SPACE PROJECTS LTD. - [2020] 183 ITD 281 (ITAT-DELHI)