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Section 147 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 — Reassessment — Information which comes to the notice of the assessing officer during proceedings for subsequent assessment years can definitely form tangible material to invoke powers vested with the assessing officer under Section 147. 54 ITCD 1 (SC)
Facts: Being aggrieved of the order of High Court, assessee went on appeal before High Court and raised the question of law that (i) Whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, it can be said that the revenue had a valid reason to believe that undisclosed income had escaped assessment?(ii) Whether the assessee did not disclose fully and truly all material facts during the course of original assessment which led to the finalisation of the assessment order and undisclosed income escaping detection?(iii) Whether the notice dated 31.03.2015 along with reasons communicated on 04.08.2015 could be termed to be a notice invoking the provisions of the second proviso to Section 147 of the Act?
Held, that with regard to question no (i) it was held that subsequent facts which come to the knowledge of the assessing officer can be taken into account to decide whether the assessment proceedings should be reopened or not. Information which comes to the notice of the assessing officer during proceedings for subsequent assessment years can definitely form tangible material to invoke powers vested with the assessing officer under Section 147. The material disclosed in the assessment proceedings for the subsequent years as well as the material placed on record by the minority shareholders form the basis for taking action under Section 147. At the stage of issuance of notice, the assessing officer is to only form a prima facie view. In our opinion the material disclosed in assessment proceedings for subsequent years was sufficient to form such a view. We accordingly hold that there were reasons to believe that income had escaped assessment in this case. Question No.1 is answered accordingly. With regard to question no 2, it was held that , the assessee disclosed all the primary facts necessary for assessment of its case to the assessing officer. What the revenue urges is that the assessee did not make a full and true disclosure of certain other facts. We are of the view that the assessee had disclosed all primary facts before the assessing officer and it was not required to give any further assistance to the assessing officer by disclosure of other facts. It was for the assessing officer at this stage to decide what inference should be drawn from the facts of the case. In the present case the assessing officer on the basis of the facts disclosed to him did not doubt the genuineness of the transaction set up by the assessee. This the assessing officer could have done even at that stage on the basis of the facts which he already knew. The other facts relied upon by the revenue are the proceedings before the DRP and facts subsequent to the assessment order, and we have already dealt with the same while deciding Issue No.1. However, that cannot lead to the conclusion that there is nondisclosure of true and material facts by the assessee. We are clearly of the view that the revenue in view of its counter affidavit before the High Court that it was not relying upon the nondisclosure of facts by the assessee could not have been permitted to orally urge the same. Even otherwise we find that the assessee had fully and truly disclosed all material facts necessary for its assessment and, therefore, the revenue cannot take benefit of the extended period of limitation of 6 years. We answer Question No.2 accordingly. With regard to question no (iii), it was held that appeal was allowed holding that the notice issued to the assessee shows sufficient reasons to believe on the part of the assessing officer to reopen the assessment but since the revenue has failed to show nondisclosure of facts the notice having been issued after a period of 4 years is required to be quashed. Having held so, we make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on whether on facts of this case the revenue could take benefit of the second proviso or not. Therefore, the revenue may issue fresh notice taking benefit of the second proviso if otherwise permissible under law. We make it clear that both the parties shall be at liberty to raise all contentions with regard to the validity of such notice. All pending application(s) shall stand(s) disposed of.