ITAT will undoubtedly choose claim on benefits regardless of whether assessee was absent during hearing : Bombay High Court

  • Income Tax
  • High Court
  • Supreme Court

Assessee-challenged the assessment orders passed by the Assessing Officer (AO) by assessing income of assessee under section 144 read with section 147 of the Income-tax Act.CIT(A) excused the allure and assessee moved toward the Income-charge Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) by documenting further bids.

By the order dated 01-02-2013, the ITAT dismissed appeal by common order on the grounds that none appeared on behalf of the assessee, which means that the assessee was not interested in prosecuting this appeal. Against the order of ITAT, the assessee filed appeal before the Karnataka High Court.

The Karnataka High Court held that rule 24 of the Income-tax (Appellate Tribunal) Rules, 1963 in clear terms mandates that when the appeal is called on for hearing and the litigant doesn't show up, the Tribunal is needed to discard the allure on benefits in the wake of hearing the respondent.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court in S. Chenniappa Mudaliar [1969] 74 ITR 41 (SC) has held that in an appeal, the Tribunal is required to go into the correctness or otherwise of the points decided by the departmental authorities in the light of the submissions made by the appellant.This can only be done by making a decision on the merits on matter of fact and law and not by simply disposing of the appeal on the grounds that the party concerned has not appeared.

Thusly, the ITAT was not supported in excusing the interest for nonappearance of assessee in limine and it should have chosen the claims on benefits regardless of whether the assessee or his delegate was absent when the requests were taken in the mood for hearing.