Kerala H.C : The appellant was assessed for four years from 1983-84 to 1986-87 under s. 18(4) of the Kerala Agrl. IT Act.

High Court Of Kerala

Abdulla vs. Agricultural Income Tax Officer

Section KER Agrl. 18(4)

Asst. Year1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87

K. S. Paripoornan & K. A. Nayar, JJ.

WA No. 418 of 1989

31st May, 1989

Counsel Appeared

Arikkat Vijayan Menon, for the Petitioner : N. N. D. Pillai, for the Respondent


The petitioner in Original Petition No. 2655 of 1989 is the appellant. The respondent is the Revenue. The petitioner is an assessee to agricultural income-tax. By exhibit P-4 dt. 18th Feb., 1989, the appellant was assessed for four years from 1983-84 to 1986-87 under s. 18(4) of the Kerala Agrl. IT Act. The attack in the original petition was against exhibit P-4. It was argued that exhibit P-4 is illegal and void, in that the assessee was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to file his objections and exhibit P-4 was rendered in undue haste. The learned single judge dismissed the original petition. The petitioner in the original petition has come up in appeal.

In the appeal, the appellant has filed exhibit X-1, a proceeding passed by the Agrl. ITO, dt. 28th March, 1989. It is stated therein that in pursuance to the pre-assessment notice dt. 9th Feb., 1989, issued to the assessee and received by him on 11th Feb., 1989, the assessee did not file his objections within seven days as stipulated in the notice, exhibit P-1. The application filed by the appellant to cancel the assessment under s. 19 of the Kerala Agrl. IT Act was rejected by exhibit X1.

We heard counsel for the appellant, as also learned Government Pleader. The relevant assessment records were produced before us. The Agrl. ITO who passed exhibit P-4 as also exhibit X-1 proceedings was also present in Court. It is evident that the assessing authority required the assessee (appellant) to file his objections to the pre- assessment notice within seven days from the date of receipt of the notice. Exhibit P-1 shows this. This notice was received by the assessee on 11th Feb., 1989. The assessee filed his objections dt. 25th Feb., 1989, which reached the officer on 27th Feb., 1989. It is evident from exhibit P-3. Exhibit P-4 assessment order is dt. 18th Feb., 1989. The officer has admitted in exhibit X-1 that the assessment was finalised on 18th Feb., 1989. The officer would further state that the time to file objections expired on 17th Feb., 1989, see exhibit X-1. This is a patent error. The assessment, exhibit P-4, was finalised on 18th Feb., 1989, on the mistaken impression that the time to file objections expired on 17th Feb., 1989. Indeed, the assessee had time to file his objections till and inclusive of 18th Feb., 1989. Before the expiry of that period, the assessing authority was not empowered or competent to pass the best judgment assessment under s. 18(4) of the Agrl. IT Act. The assessing authority had no jurisdiction to render exhibit P-4 on 18th Feb., 1989. Exhibit P-4 is illegal and void. There has been denial of natural justice and failure to comply with the provisions of the Agrl. IT Act. On this short ground, exhibit P4 assessment order for the years 1983-84 to 1986-87 should stand annulled. The fact that the assessee (appellant) did not file the objections before the expiry of seven days, but filed it only on 25th Feb., 1989, is an irrelevant factor in considering whether exhibit P-4 was passed with jurisdiction. In this view of the matter, we quash exhibit P-4.

In the said circumstances of the case, we direct the Agrl. ITO, the 1st respondent herein, to consider the objections filed by the appellant, dt. 25th Feb., 1989, and proceed to make the assessments. Indeed, the appellant’s counsel, Mr. Vijayan Menon, also prayed only for a consideration of his objections before finalising the assessments. In the light of our direction to the assessing authority to consider the objections before finalising the assessments, no further directions are called for.

The writ appeal is disposed of as above.

[Citation :180 ITR 391]

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