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30-11-2018, SHAH E NAAZ JUDGE, Section 153A, 132, 37, 131, HIGH COURT OF DELHI
This common judgment would dispose of the afore-captioned writ petitions preferred by Shah-E-Naaz Judge, her husband Sandeep Kohli and her daughter Sahyr Kohli, who have challenged notices under Section 153A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Act, for short) dated 3rd May, 2016, 8th November, 2016 and 8th November, 2016, respectively. They have also challenged warrant of authorization dated 27th June, 2014 under Section 132 of the Act for search of locker No.7325-A in the joint names of Nagina Judge and Shah-E-Naaz Judge, locker No.7637-A in the joint names of Shah-E-Naaz Judge and Sahyr Kohli and locker No. 7712-D in the joint names of Sandeep Kohli and Shah-E-Naaz Judge in Delhi Safe Deposit Company Ltd. as illegal, bad in law and without jurisdiction. Other prayers made in the writ petition include quashing of proceedings initiated pursuant to notice under Section 153A of the Act. The notices under Section 153A and the proceedings initiated under Section 153A of the Act relate to Assessment Years 2009-10 to 2014-2015.
2. Nagina Judge is sister of Shah-E-Naaz Judge and is a Non-Resident Indian. Nagina Judge has not filed any writ petition. Nagina Judge, it was stated, has filed a statutory appeal challenging the assessment order dated 10th March, 2017 under Section 153A of the Act.
3. Precursor to the search warrants noted in paragraph 1 above, were search and seizure operations under Section 132 of the Act at the residential and business premises of Karamjit Singh Jaiswal on 10th June, 2014. Karamjit Singh Jaiswal is the first cousin (Bua‟s son) of Shah-E-Naaz Judge. During the course of search at the residential premises of Karamjit Singh Jaiswal, key of locker No. 7325-A in the Delhi Safe Deposit Company in the joint names of Nagina Judge and Shah-E-Naaz Judge was found and seized. The panchnama/seizure memo specifically records that the locker was in the name of Nagina J. Water and Shah-E-Naaz J. Kohli. We are not concerned with the search and seizure operations and consequent proceedings against Karamjit Singh Jaiswal.
4. On 10th June, 2014 itself, a search team had visited Delhi Safe Deposit Company Ltd. and on inquiry had learnt about locker No.7712-D in the joint names of Sandeep Kohli and Shah-E-Naaz Judge and locker No. 7637-A in joint names of Shah-E-Naaz Judge and Sahyr Kohli. On 10th June, 2014, a restraint order under Section 132 (3) in respect of locker Nos.7325-A, 7712- D and 7637-A was passed based upon search warrants under Section 132(1) of the Act in the case of Karamjit Singh Jaiswal.
5. For the purpose of present decision, we have gone through and examined the satisfaction note in the case of Karamjit Singh Jaiswal or Jaiswal Group. Three petitioners are not mentioned and their involvement is not alluded to and alleged. The petitioners have stated that they do not have any commercial, business or financial relation with Karamjit Singh Jaiswal, Jaiswal Group or business entities managed by them. This factual position is not denied by the respondents in the counter affidavit. The respondents, however, rely on seizure of the key of locker No.7325-A from the residential premises of Karamjit Singh Jaiswal on 10th June, 2014, which locker was in the names of Nagina Judge and Shah-E-Naaz Judge.
6. On 10th June, 2014, statement of Karamjit Singh Jaiswal was recorded on oath under Section 132 (4) of the Act. Second and third question posed and the answer given by Karamjit Singh Jaiswal, which relate to locker No.7325-A read as under:-
“Q No.2 During the search at your residence i.e. The Green Rajokari a loker (sic) key mentioning locker No.7325 A with The Delhi Safe Deposit Co. Ltd was found. Please state to whom it belong?
Ans. The locker belongs to Ms. Nagina J. Water & Ms. Shah-e-naaz J. Kohli.
Q. No.3 What is the relationship with Ms Nagina J. Water & Ms. Sheh-E-naaz J. Kohli and why there keys are kept here?
Ans. Ms. Nagina J. Water is my first cusion (sic) & Ms. Sheh-e-naaz J. Kohli is Nagina J. Water‟s sister. she (sic) was staying here till April 15, 2014. she (sic) is the resident of London and British Passport holder.” No other question or suggestion was put to Karamjit Singh Jaiswal.
7. On 27th June, 2014, search warrant was issued in the names of Nagina Judge, Shah-E-Naaz Judge, her husband Sandeep Kohli and her daughter Sahyr Kohli in respect of three lockers. For the sake of convenience, we would reproduce the relevant portions of the search warrant in the names of Nagina Judge and Shah-E-Naaz Judge Kohli, which reads as under:-