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Income Tax--Search Assessments
Regular Assessment Attained Finality--Whether Can Be Disturbed in Search Assessments, In Absence of Incriminating Material
CA. Manoj Gupta
Whether a search opens the doors of reassessment of concluded assessments has remained a contentious issue since the insertion of Section 153A. The concluded judicial opinion is that the assessing officer, while passing the order under Section 153A read with Section 143(3) of the Act, ordinarily cannot disturb the assessment/reassessment order which has attained finality, unless the materials gathered in the course of the proceedings establishes that the finalized assessments are contrary to the material unearthed during the course of 153A proceedings. The learned author examines the issues in the light of various judicial pronouncements including the recent verdict of the Supreme Court in PCIT v. Abhisar Buildwell P. Ltd. Civil Appeal No. 6580 of 2021 dtd. 24-04-2023. Recently the Supreme Court has upheld the view of the High Courts but at the same time has also held that such materials can be used to reopen the concluded assessments.
1. Relevant provisions
Section 153A of the Act reads thus:
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