Decided on November 30,1982



P.V.B. Rao, Vice President - (1.) AS a Third Member, has to resolve the following point of controversy that arose between the members who heard the appeal: Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, a penalty under Section 285A(2) was exigible in respect of the year 1978-79 ? AS can be seen from the above, the matter is very simple. The question is, whether the assessee is liable to pay fine under Section 285A(2).
(2.) The facts leading to the levy of penalty are as follows : On 24-3-1977, the assessee entered into a contract for supply of goods and/or services to a certain party for Rs. 17,820. In accordance with the provisions of Section 285A(2), the assessee was required to furnish to the ITO concerned, particulars in Form No. 52 as prescribed in Rule 120 of the Income-tax Rules. The due date was 23-4-1977. The assessee did not comply with the above provisions. However, he supplied to the ITO information on 6-9-1980. The Commissioner initiated proceedings against the assessee for levy of fine under Section 285A. The assessee pleaded that this was the first time that the assessee entered into a contract and he did not know the legal formalities regarding furnishing of information. The Commissioner rejected the plea and imposed fine of Rs. 2,000. The assessee came up in appeal and he appeared in person. The learned Judicial Member held that the penalty is leviable at Rs. 1.65 per day for the period from 24-7-1977 to the date of filing of the return of total income. On the other hand, the learned Accountant Member held that no penalty was leviable. According to him, the ITO completed the assessment sometime in September 1978 and there was no difficulty for him to complete the assessment without the information required under Rule 120. It was also pointed out by the learned Accountant Member that the assessee's case was petty and that there was no professional advice taken by him. He has also taken into account that the assessee was merely a college student and that the contract was with the Government and the tax was also deducted at source. Ultimately, a refund was due when the assessment was made. Thus, he cancelled the fine.
(3.) NONE appeared for the assessee. The learned departmental representative placed orders of both the members in extenso. He strongly relied on the order of the learned Judicial Member and contended that the assessee having committed the default was rightly made liable for the fine.;

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