If notice under section 148(2) is valid,addition can be made on all grounds

By | October 3, 2015

If notice under section 148(2) is found to be valid, then addition can be made on all grounds or issues which may come to notice of Assessing Officer subsequently during course of proceedings under section 147, even though reason for notice for ‘such income’ which may have escaped assessment, may not survive

HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA

N Govindaraju

v.

Income-tax officer, Ward – 8(2), Bangalore

VINEET SARAN AND MRS. S. SUJATHA, JJ.

IT APPEAL NO. 504 OF 2013

JULY  1, 2015

A. Shanker and V.S. Yogesh Kumar, Advs. for the Appellant. E. Sanmathi Indrakumar, Adv. for the Respondent.

JUDGMENT

Vineet Saran, J. – The primary question that requires determination in this appeal is that when the reason recorded for reopening the assessment under section 147 of the Income Tax Act (for short ‘Act’) itself does not survive, can tax be levied by the Assessing Officer totally different reason or issue, which was not the subject matter of reopening the assessment. In other words, if reasons for reopening are (a) and (b) and during fresh assessment proceedings under section 147 of the Act, income is found to have escaped from assessment for some other reason say, (c) and (d), then, if reasons (a) and (b) do not survive and no addition can be made for such reasons, can additions be made on the basis of reasons or grounds (c) and (d). Besides the aforesaid issue, on facts/merits also certain questions have been raised which would require consideration of this Court.

2. Brief facts of this case are that the appellant, who is assessed as an individual, has income from house property, transport business, capital gains and other sources. For the assessment year 2004-05, he filed his Income Tax return on 16.12.2004 declaring an income of Rs. 4,82,330/- and agriculture income of Rs. 1,62,470/-. Such return was first processed under section 143(1) of the Act and accepted on 2.3.2005. Thereafter, notice under Section 148 was issued on 17.1.2006 stating that the assessee had converted agricultural land into non-agricultural purposes, formed sites and sold the same during the relevant period, and while arriving at the capital gains, the assessee had considered the indexation up to the financial year 2003-04 whereas the provision of section 45(2) envisages, if such capital assets were invested in stock-in-trade, the income is chargeable to tax as business income in the year in which the stock is sold. It was also stated that the assessee had claimed indexation till the assessment year 2003-04 and arrived at the capital gains without considering the provisions of section 45(2) and the assessee has thus understated the income and claimed excessive indexation. Thus, it was stated that the Assessing Officer had reason to believe that income chargeable to tax had escaped assessment for the year 2004-05.

3. The assessment was reopened for the purpose of assessing the income from the sale of property under section 45(2) of the Act and denying the benefit of indexation. The reassessment was completed on total income of Rs. 29,90,672/-, which was for reasons other than the one recorded in the notice.

4. During the relevant period, the assessee had sold a plot of land measuring 12,430 sq. ft. for a consideration of Rs. 74,58,000/-. The property devolved upon the assessee in a family partition in the year 1972. Assessee treated it as a case of sale of long term capital asset, for which a fair market value was adopted at Rs 225/- per sq.ft. and offered the capital gains for taxation after availing the benefit of indexation.

5. After reopening of the case, ‘the Assessing Officer adopted fair market value at Rs. 84/- per sq.ft. and computed the capital gains, and also disallowed 50% of expenses on transfer claimed by the assessee. Besides this, certain other disallowances were also made by the Assessing Officer.

6. Challenging the same, the assessee filed an appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals), who granted certain relief, but confirmed the reopening of assessment under section 147 of the Act; the assessment of fair market value at Rs. 84/- per sq.ft.; and also the disallowance of 50% of transfer expenses claimed by the assessee.

7. Being aggrieved by the said order, an appeal was filed before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), claiming the reopening of assessment under section 147 of the Act to be bad in law on the ground, that besides the fact that Assessing Officer had formed his opinion purely on suspicion and surmises on the same facts amounting to change of opinion, the assessment was also for different reasons than which were recorded by the Assessing Officer in the notice for reassessment. On merits, the assessee also challenged the adopting of fair market value at Rs. 84/- per sq.ft., as well as disallowance of 50% of the expenditure.

8. Reiving on the decision of the Apex Court in the case of ITO v. Mewalal Dwarka Prashad [1989] 176 ITR 529  , the Tribunal held that the reopening of assessment was justified in law. On merits also, the finding of the CIT(A) with regard to adopting the fair market value and disallowance of expenditure, were upheld by the Tribunal.

9. Being aggrieved by the said order of the Tribunal, this appeal has been filed, which has been admitted on the following four substantial questions of law:

(1) Whether the Tribunal was correct in upholding reassessment proceedings, when the reason recorded for re-opening of assessment under S.147 of Act itself does not survive.
(2) Whether the Tribunal was correct in upholding levy of tax on a different issue, which was not a subject matter for re-opening the assessment and moreover the reason recorded for the re-opening of the assessment itself does not survive.
(3) Whether the Tribunal was justified in law in passing an order without application of mind as to the determination of the fair market value as on 1.4.1981 by not taking into consideration the material on record and the valuation report filed by the appellant and consequently passed a perverse order on the facts and circumstance of the case.
(4) Whether the Tribunal was justified in law in not allowing a sum of Rs. 3,75,000/- being expenditure incurred wholly and exclusively in connection with the transfer more so when the payments are through banking channels, and consequently passed a perverse order on the facts and circumstance of the case.

10. We have heard Sri A. Shanker, learned counsel for the appellant and Sri E.I. Sanmathi learned counsel for the respondent-department, as well as Sri K.V. Aravind, learned counsel for the department appearing in the connected appeals, and have also perused the record.

11. The first two questions relate to the primary issue and are interconnected. They are thus being first considered together.

12. Sri A. Shanker has submitted that the order under section 147 of the Act has to be in consonance with the reasons given for which notice under section 148 has been issued, and once it is found that no tax can be levied for the reasons given in the notice for reopening the assessment, independent assessment or reassessment on other issues would not be permissible, even if subsequently, in the course of such proceedings some other income chargeable to tax may have been found to have escaped assessment. In the submission of Sri Shankar, the reason for which notice was given has to survive, and it is only thereafter that ‘any other income’ which is found to have escaped assessment can be assessed or reassessed in such proceedings. He thus submitted that the reopening of assessment should first be valid (which could be only when reason for reopening survives) and once the reopening is valid, then under section 147 of the Act, the entire case can be reassessed on all grounds or issues. That is to say, if reopening is valid and reassessment can be made for such reason then only the Assessing Officer can proceed further. According to the appellant, if the Assessing Officer can proceed further even without the reason for reopening surviving, it could lead to fishing and roving enquiry and would give unfettered powers to the Assessing Officer.

13. Per contra , learned counsel for the respondents have submitted that under the old section 147 (as it stood prior to 1989), grounds or items for which no reasons had been recorded could not be opened, and because of conflicting decisions of the High Courts, the provisions of the said section have now been clarified to include or cover any other income chargeable to tax which may have escaped assessment and for which reasons may not have been recorded before giving the notice. In support of this, Sri Sanmathi has referred to certain circulars of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

14. Sri K V Aravind has submitted that the said section 147 is in two parts, which have to be read independently, and the phrase “such income” in the first part is with regard to which reasons have been recorded and the phrase “any other income” in the second part is with regard to where no reasons are recorded in the notice and has come to notice of the Assessing Officer during the course of the proceedings. According to him, both being independent, once the satisfaction in the notice is found sufficient, addition can be made on all grounds, i.e., for which reason had been recorded and also for which no reason had been recorded, and all that is necessary is that during the course of the proceedings under section 147, income chargeable to tax must be found to have escaped assessment. In support of his submission, he has relied on Explanation 3 to Section 147 which was inserted by Finance Act, 2009 with effect from 1.4.1989.

15. Learned counsel for the parties have relied on certain circulars of the CBDT and also several decisions of the Courts, which all shall be referred to while considering their submission.

16. For ready reference, the relevant sections 147 and 148 are reproduced below:

“S. 147: Income escaping assessment:— If the Assessing Officer has reason to believe that any income, chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for any assessment year, he may, subject to the provisions of S. 148 to 153, assess or reassess such income and also any other income chargeable to tax which has escaped assessment and which comes to his notice subsequently in the course of the proceedings under this section, or recomputed the loss or the depreciation allowance or any other allowance, as the case may be, for the assessment year concerned (hereafter in this section and in sections 148 to 153 referred to as the relevant assessment year):

Provided that . . . . . . . . . . ** ** **
Provided further that . . . . . . . . . . ** ** **
Provided also that . . . . . . . . . . .** ** **
Explanation (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . ** ** **
Explanation (2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . ** ** **

Explanation 3: For the purpose of assessment or reassessment under this section, the Assessing Officer may assess or reassess the income in respect of any issue, which has escaped assessment, and such issue comes to his notice subsequently in the course of the proceedings under this section, notwithstanding that the reasons for such issue have not been included in the reasons recorded under sub-section (2) of S. 148.”

17. Prior to the amendment with effect from 1.4.1989, section 147 stood as under:

“S.147: Income escaping assessment – If

(a ) the income tax officer has reason to believe that, by reason of the omission or failure on the part of an assessee to make a return under S.139 for any assessment year to the Income Tax Officer or to disclose fully and truly all material facts necessary for his assessment for that year, income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for that year, or
(b ) notwithstanding that there has been no omission or failure as mentioned in clause (a) on the part of the assessee, the Income Tax Officer has in consequence of information in his possession reason to believe that income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for any assessment year,
he may, subject to the provisions of Ss. 148 to 153, assess or reassess such income or recomputed the loss or the depreciation allowance, as the case may be, for the assessment year concerned (hereafter in Ss. 148 to 153 referred to as the relevant assessment year).

S. 48: Issue of notice where income has escaped assessment:

(1) Before making the assessment, reassessment or recomputation under S.147, the Assessing Officer shall serve on the assessee a notice requiring him to furnish within such period, as may be specified in the notice, a return of his income or the income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year corresponding to the relevant assessment year, in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed,; and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply accordingly as if such return were a return required to be furnished under S.139:

Provided that . . . . . . . . . . ** ** **
Provided further that . . . . . . . . . . ** ** **
Explanation (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . ** ** **

(2) The Assessing Officer shall, before issuing any notice under this section, record his reasons for doing so.”

18. Section 148 of the Act requires the Assessing Officer to issue notice to the assessee where the income has escaped assessment. Sub-section (2), which was inserted by Direct Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 1989 with effect from 1.4.1989, requires the Assessing Officer to record his reasons before issuance of any such notice under sub-section (1) of section 148.

19. The question which first arises is with regard to the validity of the reopening proceedings, which is by issuance of notice under section 148, reasons for which are to be recorded under sub-section (2). The assessee has an opportunity to challenge the reasons given for issuance of notice and if the same are found to be vague or illegal or without any basis, the notice would become invalid.

20. In the case of Raymand Woollen Mills Ltd. v. ITO [1999] 236 ITR 34 (SC) where such notice had been challenged, the Supreme Court held that what is to be seen is “whether there was prima facie some material on the basis of which the Department can reopen the case. The sufficiency of correctness of the material is not to be considered at this stage”. Relying on this decision, the Apex Court, in the case of Asstt. CIT v. Rajesh Jhaveri Stock Brokers (P.) Ltd. [2007] 291 ITR 500  , while considering the issuance of notice under section 147 of the Act prior to the amendment of 2009, has held that the final outcome of the proceedings is not relevant and at the initial stage, what is required is ‘reason-to believe’ but not established fact of escapement of income. It further held that “at the stage of issue of notice, the only question is whether there was relevant material on which a reasonable person could have formed a requisite belief whether the materials would conclusively prove the escapement is not the concern at this stage”.

21. This would clearly mean that the issuance of notice is justiciable. If the assessee chooses not to challenge the notice or if it is challenged and found to be valid, then in either case, such notice is to be treated as valid and final. Since the validity of the notice issued under section 148(2) can be challenged or is subject to judicial scrutiny, in our view, the assessment or reassessment of ‘any other income’ in the case of a validly issued notice cannot be said to be a case of fishing and roving enquiry. The assessee has the opportunity to challenge the notice, and if it is held to be invalid for not giving adequate reasons for reopening the assessment, the entire reopening proceedings would lapse. In such a case there would be no question of assessment of either ‘such income’ of the first part of section 147 or ‘any other income’ of its second part. But if the notice is either not challenged or if challenged and found to be justified, it would be a case of reopening the assessment on the basis of a valid notice.

22. Once the notice for reopening of a previously closed assessment is held to be valid, the assessment proceedings as well as the assessment order already passed would be deemed to have been set aside. The Assessing Officer would then have the power to pass fresh assessment order with regard to the entire income which has escaped assessment. As long as the proceedings have been initiated on the basis of a valid notice, it becomes the duty of the Assessing Officer to levy tax on the entire income which may have escaped assessment during the assessment year.

23. The said section 147 of the Act, as it now stands after 1.4.1989, may be read in a simple manner, in parts, as follows:

“If the Assessing Officer has reason to believe that any income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment, he may assess or reassess such income’ “and also” ‘any other income’ chargeable to tax which has escaped assessment and which comes to his notice subsequently in the course of the proceedings . . .”

24. The ‘reason to believe’ that any income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment, is one aspect of the matter. If such reason exists, the Assessing Officer can undoubtedly assess or reassess such income, for which there is such ‘reason to believe’ that income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment. This is the first part of the section and up to this extent, there is no dispute.

25. It is the latter part of the section that is to be interpreted by this Court, which is as to whether the second part relating to ‘any other income’ is to be read in conjunction with the first part (relating to ‘such income’) or not. If it is to be read in conjunction, then without there being any addition made with regard to ‘such income’ (for which reason had been given in the notice for reopening the assessment), the second part cannot be invoked. But if it is not to be read in conjunction, the second part can be invoked independently even without the reason for the first part surviving.

26. From a plain reading of section 147 of the Act it is clear that its latter part provides that ‘any other income’ chargeable to tax which has escaped assessment and which has come to the notice of the Assessing Officer subsequently in the course of the proceedings, can also be taxed. The said two parts of the section having been joined by the words ‘and also’, what we have to now consider is whether ‘and also’ would be conjunctive, or the second part has to be treated as independent of the first part. If we treat it as conjunctive, then certainly if the reason to believe is there for a particular ground or issue with regard to escaped income which has to be assessed or reassessed, and such ground is not found or does not survive, then the assessment or reassessment of ‘any other income’ which is chargeable to tax and has escaped assessment, cannot be made.

27. Chapter XIV of the Act deals with the ‘Procedure for Assessment’. It provides for filing of Return of Income (s.139), Self Assessment (s.140 A), Assessment (s.143), Best Judgment Assessment (s.144) and also for Income Escaping Assessment (s.147). The purpose of these provisions is to bring to tax the entire taxable income of the assessee and in doing so, where the Assessing Officer has reason to believe that some income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment, he may assess or reassess such income. Since the purpose is to tax all such income which has escaped assessment, in our view, besides ‘such income’ for which he has reason to believe to have escaped assessment, it would be open to the Assessing Officer to also independently assess or reassess any other income which does not form the subject matter of notice.

28. Although in a different context, which was whether in the course of reassessment of an escaped item of income an assessee could seek review in respect of an item which stood concluded in the original assessment order, the Supreme Court in the case of Sun Engg. Works (P.) Ltd. v. CIT [1992] 198 ITR 297 has held that “the proceedings under S.147 of the Act are for the benefit of the Revenue and not an assessee and are aimed at garnering the ‘escaped income’ of an assessee”.

29. While interpreting the provisions of section 147, different High Courts have held differently, i.e., some have held that the second part of section 147 is to be read in conjunction with the first part, and some have held that the second part is to be read independently. To clarify the same, in the year 1989, the legislature brought in suitable amendments in sections 147 and 148 of the Act, which was with the object to enhance the power of the Assessing Officer, and not to help the assessee. Explanation 3 was inserted in section 147 by Finance (No. 2) Act, 2009 with effect from 1.4.1989. By the said Explanation , which is merely clarificatory in nature, it has been clearly provided that the Assessing Officer may assess or reassess the income in respect of any issue, which has escaped assessment, and such issue comes to his notice subsequently in the course of the proceedings, notwithstanding that the reasons for such issue had not been included in the reasons recorded under sub-section (2) of section 148. Insertion of this Explanation cannot be but for the benefit of the Revenue, and not the assessee.

30. In this background, if we read Section 147 it would be clear that in the phrase ‘and also’ which joins the first and second parts of the section, ‘and’ is conjunctive which is to join the first part with the second part, but ‘also’ is for the second part and would be disjunctive. It segregates the first part from the second. Thus, when we read the full section, the phrase ‘and also’ cannot be said to be conjunctive.

31. The Punjab & Haryana High Court in the case of Majinder Singh Kang v. CIT [2012] 344 ITR 358  has, after noticing that the earlier judgments [of the Punjab & Haryana and Rajasthan High Courts in the cases of CIT v. Atlas Cycle Industries [1989] 180 ITR 319  and CIT v. Shri Ram Singh [2008] 306 ITR 343 respectively] were rendered prior to the insertion of Explanation 3 to section 147 of the Act, held that “a plain reading of Explanation 3 to S.147 clearly depicts that the Assessing Officer has power to make additions even on the ground that reassessment notice might not have been issued in the case during the reassessment proceedings, if he arrives at a conclusion that some other income has escaped assessment which comes to his notice during the course of proceedings for reassessment under S.148 of the Act. The provision no where postulates or contemplates that it is only when there is some addition on the ground on which reassessment had been initiated, that the Assessing Officer can make additions on any other grounds on which the income has escaped assessment”. The same view was reiterated by the Punjab & Haryana High Court in the case of CIT v. Mehak Finvest (P.) Ltd. [2014] 367 ITR 769  . In the said judgment, it was also noticed that the Special Leave Petition filed against the judgment in the case of Majinder Singh (supra) had been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

32. Circular No. 5 of 2010 issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) after the amendment of 2009, provided for the “Explanatory Notes to the Provisions of Finance (No. 2) Act, 2009” by which Explanation 3 to section 147 of the Act had been inserted with effect torn 1.4.1989. The relevant paragraph 47 of this Circular is reproduced below:

“47: Clarificatory amendment in respect of reassessment proceeding under S.147.

47.1: The existing provisions of S.147 provides that if the Assessing Officer has reason to believe that any income chargeable to tax has escaped assessment for any assessment year, he may, subject to the provisions of S. 148 to 153, assess or reassess such income and also any other income chargeable to tax, which has escaped assessment. Further Assessing Officer may also assess or reassess such other income which has escaped assessment and which comes to his notice subsequently in the course of proceedings under this section. Assessing Officer is required to record the reasons for reopening the assessment before issuing notice under S.148 with a view to reassess the income of assessee.

47.2: Some courts have held that the Assessing Officer has to restrict the reassessment proceedings only to the reasons recorded for reopening of the. assessment and he is not empowered to touch upon any other issue for which no reasons have been recorded. The above interpretation is contrary to the legislative intent.

47.3: Therefore, to articulate the legislative intention clearly Explanation 3 has been inserted in S.147 to provide that the Assessing Officer may examine, assess or reassess any issue relevant to income which comes to his notice subsequently in the course of proceedings under this section, notwithstanding that the reason for such issue has not been included in the reasons recorded under sub-section (2) of S.148.

47.4: Applicability – This amendment has been made applicable with retrospective effect from 1st April, 1989 and will apply accordingly in relation to assessment year 1989-90 and subsequent years.”

33. It is thus clear that once satisfaction of reasons for the notice is found sufficient, i.e., if the notice under section 148(2) is found to be valid, then addition can be made on all grounds or issues (with regard to ‘any other income’ also) which may come to the notice of the Assessing Officer subsequently during the course of proceedings under section 147, even though reason for notice for ‘such income’ which may have escaped assessment, may not survive.

34. In the case of CIT v. Jet Airways (I) Ltd. [2011] 331 ITR 236/[2010] 195 Taxman 117 the Bombay High Court has held that “Explanation 3 does not and cannot override the necessity of fulfilling the conditions set out in the substantive part of section 147. An Explanation to a statutory provision is intended to explain its contents and cannot be construed to override it or render the substance or core nugatory. Section 147 has this effect that the Assessing Officer has to assess or reassess the income (“such income”) which escaped assessment and which was the basis of the formation of belief and if he does so, he can also assess or reassess any other income which has escaped assessment and which comes to his notice during the course of the proceedings. However, if after issuing a notice under section 148, he accepted the contention of the assessee and holds that the income which he has initially formed a reason to believe had escaped assessment, has as a matter of fact not escaped assessment, it is not open to him independently to assess some other income. If he intends to do so, afresh notice under section 148 would be necessary, the legality of which would be tested in the event of a challenge by the assessee.”

35. Thus, what has been held is that ‘such income’ in the first part of section 147 is joined with ‘any other income’ of the second part of the section by the phrase “and also” which is used in a “cumulative and conjunctive sense”. Following the said judgment of the Bombay High Court, same view has been taken by the Delhi High Court in the cases of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. v. CIT [2011] 336 ITR 136 and CIT v. Adhunik Niryat Ispat Ltd. [2011] 63 DTR 212 and also the Gujarat High Court in the case of CIT v. Mohmed Juned Dadani 355 ITR 172 .

36. With due respect to the view taken in the aforesaid cases, we are unable to persuade ourselves to follow the same.

37. Insertion of ‘Explanation ‘ in a section of an Act is for a different purpose than insertion of a ‘Proviso’. ‘Explanation ‘ gives a reason or justification and explains the contents of the main section, whereas ‘Proviso’ puts a condition on the contents of the main section or qualifies the same. ‘Proviso’ is generally intended to restrain the enacting clause, whereas ‘Explanation ‘ explains or clarifies the main section. Meaning thereby, ‘Proviso’ limits the scope of the enactment as it puts a condition, whereas ‘Explanation ‘ clarifies the enactment as it explains and is useful for settling a matter or controversy.

38. Orthodox function of an ‘Explanation ‘ is to explain the meaning and effect of the main provision. It is different in nature from a ‘Proviso’, as the latter except, excludes or restricts, while the former explains or clarifies and does not restrict the operation of the main provision. It is true that an ‘Explanation ‘ may not enlarge the scope of the section but it also does not restrict the operation of the main provision. Its purpose is to clear the cob-webs which may make the meaning of the main provision blurred. Ordinarily, the purpose of insertion of an ‘Explanation’ to a section is not to limit the scope of the main provision but to explain or clarify and to clear the doubt or ambiguity in it.

39. Explanation is also different from Rules framed under an Act. Rules are for effective implementation of the Act whereas Explanation only explains the provision of the Section. Rules cannot go ‘beyond or against the provision of the Act as it is framed under the Act’ and if there is any contradiction, the Act will prevail over the Rules. Same is not the position vis-à-vis the Section and its Explanation . The latter, by its very name, is intended to explain the provision of the Section, hence there can be no contradiction. Section has to be understood and read hand-in-hand with the Explanation , which is only to support the main provision, like an example does to explain any situation.

40. In the present case, insertion of Explanation 3 to section 147 does not in any manner override the main section and has been added with no other purpose than to explain or clarify the main section so as to also bring in ‘any other income’ (of the second part of section 147) within the ambit of tax, which may have escaped assessment, and comes to the notice of the Assessing Officer subsequently during the course of the proceedings. Circular 5 of 2010 issued by the CBDT (already reproduced above) also makes this position clear. In our view, there is no conflict between the main section 147 and its Explanation 3. This Explanation has been inserted only to clarify the main section and not curtail its scope. Insertion of Explanation 3 is thus clarificatory and is for the benefit of the Revenue and not the assessee.

41. If there is ambiguity in the main provision of the enactment, it can be clarified by insertion of anExplanation to the said section of the Act. Same has been done in the present case. Section 147 of the Act was interpreted differently by different High Courts, i.e., whether the second part of the section was independent of the first part, or not. To clarify the same, Explanation 3 was inserted by which it has been clarified that the Assessing Officer can assess the income in respect of any issue which has escaped assessment and also ‘any other income’ (of the second part of section 147) which comes to his notice subsequently during the course of the proceedings under the section. After the insertion of Explanation 3 to section 147 it is clear that the use of the phrase “and also” between the first and the second parts of the section is not conjunctive and assessment of ‘any other income’ (of the second part) can be made independent of the first part (relating to ‘such income’ for which reasons are given in notice under section 148), notwithstanding that the reasons for such issue (‘any other income’) have not been given in the reasons recorded under section 148(2) of the Act. We are thus in agreement with the view taken by the Punjab & Haryana High Court in the cases of Majinder Singh Kang and Mehak Finvest (supra ).

42. Considering the provision of section 147 as well as its Explanation 3, and also keeping in view that section 147 is for the benefit of the Revenue and not the assessee and is aimed at garnering the escaped income of the assessee [viz. Sun Engg. (supra )] and also keeping in view that it is the constitutional obligation of every assessee to disclose his total income on which it is to pay tax, we are of the clear opinion that the two parts of section 147 (one relating to ‘such income’ and the other to ‘any other income’) are to be read independently. The phrase ‘such income’ used in the first part of section 147 is with regard to which reasons have been recorded under section 148(2) of the Act, and the phrase ‘any other income’ used in the second part of the section is with regard to where no reasons have been recorded before issuing notice and has come to the notice of the Assessing Officer subsequently during the course of the proceedings, which can be assessed independent of the first part, even when no addition can be made with regard to ‘such income’, but the notice on the basis of which proceedings have commenced, is found to be valid.

43. In the end it was vehemently argued by the learned counsel for the appellant that the reason to be given under sub-section (2) of section 148 would be the very foundation of the issuance of notice and if it is false or baseless, then everything goes and the structure erected on such foundation would crumble.

44. It is true that if the foundation goes, then the structure cannot remain. Meaning thereby, if notice has no sufficient reason or is invalid, no proceedings can be initiated. But the same can be checked at the initial stage by challenging the notice. If the notice is challenged and found to be valid, or where the notice, is not at all challenged, then in either case it cannot be said that notice is invalid. As such, if the notice is valid, then the foundation remains and the proceedings on the basis of such notice can go on. We may only reiterate here that once the proceedings have been initiated on a valid notice, it becomes the duty of the Assessing Officer to levy tax on the entire income (including ‘any other income’) which may have escaped assessment and comes to his notice during the course of the proceedings initiated under section 147 of the Act.

45. In view of the aforesaid, we answer the first two substantial questions of law in favour of the Revenue and against the assessee.

46. After having answered the first two questions relating to the primary issue, we may now deal with questions 3 and 4, which relate to the merits of the case at hand.

47. Question 3 relates to the evaluation of the ‘fair market value’ of the property in question as on 1.4.1981. From the record it is borne out that the assessee had claimed the value of the property at the rate of Rs. 261/- per sq. ft. but had submitted the valuation report of a registered valuer at Rs. 225/- per sq. ft. as on 1.4.1981. However, the same was assessed by the Assessing’ Officer at the rate of Rs. 84/- per sq. feet and confirmed by the Tribunal.

48. Section 48 of the Act deals with the ‘Mode of Computation’ of income chargeable under ‘Capital gains’ and in that context ‘full value of the consideration’ would mean the consideration or price received as a result of the transfer of a capital asset. It is different from ‘fair market value’ of the property, which phrase is used in section 45(2) [relating to capital gains] and section 55(2)(b) [relating to cost of acquisition].

49. Section 45 of the Act provides for how profit or gain arising from transfer of capital asset is to be charged to income tax as ‘Capital gains’. Sub-section (2) provides that the ‘fair market value’ of the asset would be deemed to be the ‘full value of the consideration’ on the relevant date.

50. Section 55(2)(b) of the Act provides that ‘cost of acquisition’ of a capital asset, where the capital asset became the property of the assessee before 1.4.1981, would mean the actual cost of acquisition to the assessee or the ‘fair market value’ of the asset as on 1.4.1981, at the option of the assessee ‘Fair, Market Value’ has been defined under sub-section (22-B) of section 2 of the Act to be the price that the capital asset would ordinarily fetch on sale in the open market on the relevant date. ‘Full value of the consideration’ has not been defined.

51. The legislature has expressly drawn a distinction between the two phrases: ‘full value of the consideration’ and ‘fair market value’. The former would be the price received on transfer of a capital asset and the latter would be the price that a capital asset would ordinarily fetch on sale in open market on the relevant date (i.e. 1.4.1981 in the case at hand).

52. In the present case, the assessee had provided the reasons for determining Rs. 225/- per sq. ft. as the fair market value of the property by producing the relevant material, including valuation report of a registered valuer, which all have been ignored while arriving at the price of Rs. 84/- per sq. ft. The Assessing Officer assessed the value of the property as on 1.4.1981 on the basis of sale deeds of some nearby properties registered for such price in the year 1981 and thus, arrived at that figure. In our opinion, the same cannot be the proper mode of arriving at the ‘fair market value’ of the property in question as on 1.4.1981, for the purpose of determining ‘Capital gains’ under the Act.

52.1 In a recent case of Smt. Krishna Bajaj v. Asstt. CIT 221 Taxman 431 (Kar.)the question for consideration before this Court was “Whether the authorities were justified in relying on either the guideline value for the purpose of stamp duty and registration charges, or the value adopted under the Wealth Tax Act, for determining the fair market value under the Income Tax Act, 1961”. After considering the facts, this Court has held that “in determining the fair market value under the Act, neither the guideline value prescribed for the purpose of stamp duty and registration under the Karnataka Stamp Act and the Indian Registration Act nor the net wealth value arrived at under the provisions of the Wealth Tax Act, cannot be the guiding factor. The market value of the property is certainly far more than the guideline value.”

53. In the said case of Smt Krishna Bajaj (supra ) the assessee had not provided the valuation report to substantiate the valuation of the property, and in such context it was held that “merely because it was not produced, no adverse inference could be drawn. Even in the absence of production of such report, a duty was cast on the authorities to assess the fair market value independent of the evidence adduced by the assessee. Instead of calling for particulars from the Sub-Registrar’s office about the guideline value, the Assessing Officer himself could have referred the matter to the valuator to get the valuation done under Section 53-A of the Act, which he has not resorted to. . . . . .”. In the present case at hand, the valuation report of the registered valuer, valuing the property in question as on 1.4.1981, was filed which, in our opinion, has wrongly been ignored by the Assessing Officer.

54. In such view of the matter, we are of the opinion that the Tribunal was not justified in arriving at the fair market value of the property in question as on 1.4.1981 without taking into consideration the material on record, including the valuation report filed by the assessee. The matter thus requires to be remanded to the Assessing Officer for determination of the fair market value of the property in question in accordance with law and in the light of the observations made hereinabove.

55. As regards the fourth question, which relates to disallowance of 50% of the expenditure towards brokerage incurred by the assessee, we are of the opinion that the same was also not justified in law. Without assigning any reason, the Assessing” Officer disallowed 50% of Rs. 7,50,000/-, which was the total expenditure claimed by the assessee towards transfer and brokerage charges, even when the same had been paid by cheque and the receipt of which was obtained from the broker. Merely saying that generally 1-2% of the sale consideration is the brokerage, would not suffice when the specific case of the assessee was that heavy brokerage had to be paid because of the property being under litigation and that it being occupied by unauthorized persons for which payment had to be made to get it vacated. In our view, when the said brokerage was paid by cheque and there was sufficient reason for paying higher brokerage, the entire amount ought to have been allowed and deduction of 50% amount i.e., Rs. 3,75,000/- cannot be justified in law. It is noteworthy that the Assessing Officer, after observing that what is normally allowed as brokerage in such deals is 1-2%, had himself allowed 5% brokerage, meaning thereby that in the facts of the case, higher brokerage was required to be paid. Once the Assessing Officer accepts that the facts required payment of higher brokerage and it is not disputed that the transaction of brokerage was through banking channel, reduction of allowance of brokerage paid from 10% to 5%, without assigning or giving any reasons for the same, cannot be justified in law.

56. As such, in the facts of this case, we are satisfied that the entire amount of Rs. 7,50,000/- ought to have been allowed by the authorities towards expenses of brokerage charges.

57. Accordingly, we answer the third and fourth substantial questions of law in favour of the assessee and against the Revenue.

58. For the foregoing reasons, the answer to the first two questions is in favour of the Revenue and against the assessee. The third and fourth questions are answered in favour of the assessee and against the Revenue. The matter is remanded back to the Assessing Officer for re-determining the taxable income of the assessee, in accordance with law and in light of the observations made and directions given hereinabove.

59. Accordingly, this appeal stands disposed of. There shall be no order as to costs.

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