Vishal Ashwin Patel vs Assistant Commissioner Of Income … on 28 March, 2022


Try out our Premium Member services: Virtual Legal Assistant, Query Alert Service and an ad-free experience. Free for one month and pay only if you like it.

Supreme Court of India

Vishal Ashwin Patel vs Assistant Commissioner Of Income … on 28 March, 2022

Author: M.R. Shah

Bench: M.R. Shah, B.V. Nagarathna

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                                IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2200 OF 2022

         Vishal Ashwin Patel                                     ..Appellant (S)

                                              Versus

         Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax                   ..Respondent (S)
         Circle 25(3) & Ors.

                                               With

                                 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2201 OF 2022

                                               With

                                 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2202 OF 2022

                                               With

                                 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2203 OF 2022


                                         JUDGMENT

M. R. Shah, J.

1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned

orders passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by R

in Writ Petitions Nos. 3209/2019, 3150/2019, 3208/2019
Natarajan
Date: 2022.03.28
16:51:33 IST
Reason:

and 3137/2019, by which the Division Bench of the High

1
Court has dismissed the said writ petitions in which the

appellants herein – original writ petitioners challenged the

reopening of the assessment/re­assessment proceedings,

the original writ petitioners have preferred the present

appeals.

2. We have heard Shri Devendra Jain, learned counsel

appearing on behalf of the respective appellants and Shri

Balbir Singh, learned ASG appearing on behalf of the

Revenue. We have gone through the respective orders

passed by the High Court dismissing the writ petitions.

Having gone through the orders passed by the High Court

dismissing the writ petitions, it can be seen that the said

orders are cryptic, non­speaking and non­reasoned orders.

The order dated 11.01.2022 reads as under: ­

“1. We are not inclined to entertain this petition. At the same
time, the Assessing Officer who will be different from the
officer who had pass the order dated 10th October, 2019
rejecting the objections filed by petitioner for re­opening
under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act)
shall permit petitioner to file further documents and case
laws if adviced and also grant a personal hearing before
passing the assessment order. The assessment order to be
passed within 12 weeks from the date this order is uploaded.
Petitioner shall be given atleast seven days advance notice
about the date and time of the personal hearing.

2. The Assessing Officer shall deal with all the submissions
made by petitioner including those raised in his objections to

2
the re­opening and pass detailed order in accordance with
law. “

From the writ petitions produced on record, it appears

that the reopening of the assessment under Section 148 of

the Income Tax Act has been challenged on a number of

grounds. None of the grounds raised in the writ petitions

has been dealt with and/or considered by the High Court

on merits. There is no discussion at all on any of the

grounds raised in the writ petitions. The Division Bench of

the High Court has dismissed the writ petitions in a most

casual manner which is unsustainable. Except stating that

‘we are not inclined to entertain writ petition’, nothing

further has been stated by the High Court giving reasons

for the disinclination to entertain the writ petitions.

2.1 The manner in which the High Court has dealt with and

disposed of the writ petitions without passing any

reasoned order is not appreciated by this Court. When a

number of issues/grounds were raised in the writ

petitions, it was the duty cast upon the court to deal with

the same and thereafter, to pass a reasoned order. When

the Constitution confers on the High Courts the power to

3
give relief it becomes the duty of the Courts to give such

relief in appropriate cases and the Courts would be failing

to perform their duty if relief is refused without adequate

reasons.

2.2 The High Court in exercise of powers under Article 226 of

the Constitution of India was required to have

independently considered whether the question of

reopening of the assessment could be raised in a writ

petition and if so, whether it was justified or not.

2.3 While emphasising the necessity to pass a reasoned order,

in the case of Central Board of Trustees Vs. Indore

Composite Private Limited, (2018) 8 SCC 443, it is

observed and held by this Court that the courts need to

pass a reasoned order in every case which must contain

the narration of the bare facts of the case of the parties to

the lis, the issues arising in the case, the submissions

urged by the parties, the legal principles applicable to the

issues involved and the reasons in support of the findings

on all the issues arising in the case and urged by the

learned counsel for the parties in support of its conclusion.

4
It is further observed in the said decision that an order

bereft of reasoning causes prejudice to the parties because

it deprives them to know the reasons as to why one party

has won and other has lost.

2.4 In the recent decision in the case of Union Public Service

Commission Vs. Bibhu Prasad Sarangi and Ors., (2021)

4 SCC 516, while emphasising the reasons to be given by

the High Court while exercising powers under Article 226

of the Constitution of India, it is observed and held by this

Court that the reasons constitute the soul of judicial

decision and how Judges communicate in their judgment

is a defining characteristic of judicial process since quality

of justice brings legitimacy to the judiciary. It is further

observed that though statistics of disposal of cases is

important of higher value is the intrinsic content of

judgment. It is further observed that in exercise of powers

under Article 226 the courts require to independently

consider the issues involved.

5

3. Applying the law laid by this Court in the aforesaid

decisions to the facts of the case on hand and the manner

in which the High Court has disposed of the writ petitions,

in the interest of sobriety, we may only note that the

orders are bereft of reasoning as diverse grounds were

urged/raised by the parties which ought to have been

examined by the High Court in the first place and a clear

finding was required to be recorded upon analysing the

relevant documents.

4. Since we cannot countenance the manner in which the

orders have been passed by the High Court which has

compelled us to remand the matter to the High Court for

deciding the writ petitions afresh on merits, we do so in

light of the aforesaid observations.

5. In light of the foregoing discussion, we allow the present

appeals and set aside the impugned orders passed by the

High Court and remand the matters to the Division Bench

of the High Court for deciding the writ petitions afresh in

accordance with law, keeping in view our observations

6
made supra. We, however, make it clear that we have

refrained from making any observation on merits of the

controversy, having formed an opinion to remand the

cases to the High Court only for the reasons mentioned

above. The High Court would, therefore, decide the writ

petitions, bearing in mind our observations made above,

strictly in accordance with law.

With the above directions, the present appeals are

accordingly allowed and the impugned orders are set aside.

The matters are remanded to the High Court as aforesaid.

No costs.

…………………………………J.

(M. R. SHAH)

…………………………………J.

(B.V. NAGARATHNA)
New Delhi,
March 28th 2022.

7



Source link