Decided on June 03,1997



M. Srinivasan, C.J. - (1.)IN these two writ petitions, the petitioner is aggrieved by an order of the Commissioner of INcome-tax rejecting the claim of the petitioner for the benefit of Section 273A with reference to the assessment years 1976-77, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82 and 1982-83. The facts pertaining to those assessment years are almost the same. It was found by the INcome-tax Officer that the returns filed by the assessee for those relevant years did not contain the correct particulars and he opined that there was a deliberate concealment of income by the asses-see to an extent of Rs. 1,22,843.77. He issued a notice on August 10, 1983, calling upon the assessee to give an explanation before August 20, 1983. Thereafter, the assessee filed a revised return on March 13, 1984, admitting the factum of the particulars being incorrect, but gave an explanation for such incorrect particulars. According to him, the discrepancies in the particulars occurred on account of certain valid reasons and that he had no control over the same. It is not necessary for us to go into those reasons and decide whether they are genuine or not.
(2.)FOR the purpose of this case, it is sufficient to take note of the fact that the revised returns were filed after the Income-tax Officer detected the factum of incorrect particulars in the returns filed by the assessee within the meaning of Section 271(1)(c) of the Income-tax Act. Under that Clause, if the assessee had concealed the particulars of the income or furnished inaccurate particulars of such income, it is open to the Income-tax Officer to levy in addition to any tax payable by him, a sum which shall not be less than but which shall not exceed twice, the amount of tax sought to be evaded by reason of the concealment of the particulars of the income or the furnishing of inaccurate particulars of such income.
The assessee took the precaution of filing an application before the Commissioner on February 23, 1984, itself for exercising his powers under Section 273A of the Income-tax Act. That application was considered by the Commissioner in his order dated July 12, 1988. The Commissioner found that in so far as the assessment years 1976-77, 197980, 1980-81, 1981-82 and 1982-83 are concerned, there was a clear case of the detection of incorrect particulars in the' returns filed by the assessee and consequently Section 273A will not be available to the assessee.

It is that order of the Commissioner with which the assessee is aggrieved. A perusal of Section 273A shows that the following conditions shall be satisfied by the assessee in order to invoke the benefit of the Section in cases which fall within the scope of Section 271(1)(c). Under Clause (b) of Section 273A(1), the assessee has to furnish in respect of an income with reference to which there was concealment of particulars of income or inaccuracy of particulars voluntarily and in good faith, full and true disclosure of such particulars prior to the detection by the Income-tax Officer. Thus, it is a condition precedent for invoking this Sub-section on the part of the assessee to furnish full and true disclosure of particulars before the detection by the Income-tax Officer. Such furnishing of full and true disclosure of particulars shall be made voluntarily and in good faith by the assessee. If that condition is satisfied, the Section goes on to say that he shall also co-operate in any enquiry relating to the assessment of his income and has either paid or made satisfactory arrangements for the payment of any tax or interest payable in consequence of an order passed under the Act in respect of the relevant assessment years. It is not necessary for us to consider whether the latter part of the Section has been complied with by the assessee in this case. It is evident from the facts of the case stated above that the disclosure of full and true particulars has come into existence only after the detection of the defective returns by the Income-tax Officer. Consequently, the assessee is not entitled to the benefit of Clause (b) of Section 273A(1). The view expressed by the Commissioner of Income-tax is, therefore, correct. We do not find any justification to interfere with the order passed by the Commissioner. Hence, these two writ petitions are dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. Interim orders are vacated.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.