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13-06-2019, P.Durai, Section 144, 147, 148, HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Mr.T.N.Rajagopalan, learned counsel on record for writ petitioner and Mr.A.N.R.Jayapratap, learned Junior Standing Counsel (Income Tax) on behalf of sole respondent are before this Court.
2. With the consent of both learned counsel, the main writ petition itself is taken up, heard out and disposed of.
3. The entire writ petition turns on a very narrow compass.
4. It arises under 'Income Tax Act, 1961' ('IT Act' for brevity).
5. The relevant assessment year is 2011-2012.
6. This is a case where the writ petitioner is an individual and though he had obtained a Permanent Account Number (PAN), the writ petitioner had not filed returns or paid tax at any point of time.
7. This Court is informed that the writ petitioner is in a small hamlet and was running a small grocery shop.
8. On gaining the information that the writ petitioner has made several cash deposits in his savings Bank Account, the respondent initiated proceedings. In response to notice issued by the respondent, the writ petitioner had sent a reply dated 21.03.2018, wherein the writ petitioner has submitted that he was doing provision store business (Grocery Shop) upto the financial year 2009-2010. After closure of business, he had deposited certain amounts in bank by way of cash and also Fixed Deposits The money is realized from the sale of small grocery shop and also from sundry debtors, besides capital from the closed business. This is articulated in paragraph-4 of the counter affidavit filed by the respondent and the same reads as follows:
''4. In response to the above communication, the assessee furnished his replay which was received by the AO on 21.03.2018. The assessee stated that ''I was doing provision store business upto the financial year 2009-2010. After the closure of business, I have deposited in bank by cash/fixed deposits, in the bank account of my realization of sundry debtors and capital in the closed business''. The assessee further informed that he had no taxable income. However, the assessee did not produce any documentary evidences towards his above claim."
9. Ultimately, the respondent passed an assessment order inter alia under Section 144 read with Section 147 of IT Act. This assessment order is dated 22.12.2018. From this assessment order, the Income Tax Officer assessed the income of the writ petitioner for the relevant assessment year i.e. 2011-2012 at Rs. 27,31,370/- and demanded tax payable at Rs.14,12 880/-. The calculation sheet was also enclosed to that order.
10. What is of mportance was, after the response of the writ petitioner dated 21.03.2018, the writ petitioner did not go before the respondent and submit any document, in spite of repeated opportunities being given. This has been set out in the impugned assessment order itself.
11. However, from the files, it is seen that since no response was received by the writ petitioner assessee to the notice under Section 148 of IT Act, Assessing Officer issued notice dated