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The ld. AR submitted that there is a delay in filing the present appeal and an affidavit of the assessee along with an application requesting for condonation of delay has been placed on record. It was submitted by the ld AR that the assessee had left India way back in year 2010 and is currently resident of Germany. It was submitted that when he had come to India subsequently in the month of February, 2020, he came to know that the order has been passed by the ld. CIT(A) confirming the levy of penalty u/s 271(1)(b) of the Act. It was accordingly submitted that since the assessee was not present in India, he could not take the necessary steps in terms of filing the present appeal in time. However, there was no mala fide on the part of the assessee and as soon as he came to know about the impugned order, he reached out to his tax consultant and filed the present appeal.

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Sec. 271(1)(b) of Income Tax Act, 1961— Penalty — Where the assessee had already left the country way back in year 2010 and when the notice was issued in July 2017, there was no one available to receive the notice at the last known address, the very service of the notice issued u/s 142(1) is in doubt and CIT(A) has also recorded a similar finding and the Assessing officer in his remand report has also taken note of the fact that the assessee was out of India since 2010 as evidenced by the assessee’s passport, therefore, in such peculiar facts and circumstances where the assessee was out of the country and he had no knowledge of the subject notice and there is nothing on record that the notice was duly served on the assessee and it was found that the assessee’s explanation that he could not have complied with the notice is found to be reasonable and the penalty so levied u/s 271(1)(b) is hereby directed to be deleted. - RAMANDEEP SINGH SANDHU V/s ITO - [2020] 27 ITCD Online 049 (ITAT-JAIPUR)

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