Shri Surinder Pal Singh Kohli, Dehradun v. DCIT, Dehradun

ITA 2784/DEL/2015 | 2011-2012
Pronouncement Date: 31-05-2021 | Result: Allowed

Appeal Details

RSA Number 278426014 RSA 2015
Assessee PAN AGIPA5786B
Bench Dehradun
Appeal Number ITA 2784/DEL/2015
Duration Of Justice 6 year(s) 22 day(s)
Appellant Shri Surinder Pal Singh Kohli, Dehradun
Respondent DCIT, Dehradun
Appeal Type Income Tax Appeal
Pronouncement Date 31-05-2021
Appeal Filed By Assessee
Order Result Allowed
Bench Allotted DB
Tribunal Order Date 31-05-2021
Last Hearing Date 03-03-2021
First Hearing Date 03-03-2021
Assessment Year 2011-2012
Appeal Filed On 08-05-2015
Judgment Text
IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBU NAL DEHRADUN CIRCUIT BENCH: DEHRADUN BEFORE SHRI SUDHANSHU SRIVASTAVA JUDICIAL MEMBER AND SHRI PRASHANT MAHARISHI ACCOUNTANT MEMBER ITA NO.3900/DEL/2015 (ASSESSMENT YEAR 2007-08) SH. INDER PAL SINGH ARORA BH-6 SHALIMAR BAGH WEST NEW DELHI. PAN AGIPA 5786B VS. DY. CIT CENTRAL CIRCLE DEHRADUN. (APPELLANT) (RESPONDENT) ITA NO.2784/DEL/2015 (ASSESSMENT YEAR: 2011-12) SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI 46 SAHARANPUR ROAD DEHRADUN. PAN ACGPK 1598R VS. DY. CIT CENTRAL CIRCLE DEHRADUN. (APPELLANT) (RESPONDENT) APPELLANT BY DR.RAKESH GUPTA ADV. SH. K. K. JUNEJA CA & SH. SOMIL AGGARWAL ADV. RESPONDENT BY SH. N.C.UPPADHAY SR. DR DATE OF HEARING 03.03.2021 DATE OF PRONOUNCEMENT 31.05.2021 2 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT ORDER PER SUDHANSHU SRIVASTAVA JM: BOTH THE APPEALS ARE ARISING OUT OF COMMON SEARC H UNDERTAKEN U/S 132 OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961 (HER EINAFTER CALLED THE ACT) UNDERTAKEN ON THE JUYAL GROUP OF CASES A ND ARE BEING HEREBY HEARD AND DECIDED TOGETHER AS A COMMON LEGAL ISSUE IN INVOLVED IN BOTH THE APPEALS. 2.0 FIRST WE ARE TAKING UP APPEAL IN THE CASE OF THE ASSESSEE SHRI INDER PAL SINGH ARORA BEARING ITA NO.3900/DEL/2015. THIS APPEAL IS AGAINST THE ORDER PASSED BY THE LD. COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX DEHRADUN {(CIT (A) } VIDE ORDER DATED 30/03/2015 AND IS RELATING TO ASSESSMENT YEAR 2007-08. THE BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE ARE THAT A SEARCH ACTION U/ S 132 OF THE ACT WAS CARRIED OUT ON 21/10/2010 ON THE JUYAL GROUP COV ERING THE CASE OF THE ASSESSEE. PURSUANT TO THE SEARCH THE A SSESSMENT FOR THE YEAR UNDER CONSIDERATION WAS COMPLETED U/S 153A(1)(B ) R.W.S. 143(3) OF THE ACT VIDE ORDER DATED 28/03/2013. THE ASSESSING OFFICER (AO) MADE ADDITIONS OF RS. 36 05 000/- AND RS. 36 00 950/- AS UNDISCLOSED INVESTMENT AND UNEXPLAINED CREDIT U/ S 68 OF THE ACT 3 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT RESPECTIVELY. THE LD. CIT (A) HAS UPHELD THE ADDITI ONS MADE BY THE ASSESSING OFFICER AND HENCE THE ASSESSEE IS IN APPE AL BEFORE US. 2.1 THE ASSESSEE HAS RAISED THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS OF APPEAL: 1. THAT IN FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCE OF THE CASE THE LEARNED CIT HAS ERRED WRONGLY IN SUSTAINING THE ADDITION OF RS. 72 05 950/ - TREATING RS. 36 00 950/ - AS UNEXPLAIN ED CASH CREDIT AND RS. 36 05 000/- AS UNEXPLAINED INVESTMEN T. 2. THAT IN FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE SU STAINING THE ADDITION OF RS. 36 00 950 / - WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE BALANCE SHEET WHEREIN AT THE LIABILITY SIDE THE NAM E OF M/S BANKEV BIHARI MARKETING (P) LTD. IS CLEARLY MENTION ED AND THE PARTY HAS FILED THE CONFIRMATION OF ACCOUNT. TH E ADDITION IS ARBITRARY AND ILLEGAL. 3. THAT IN FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE TH E ASSESSING OFFICER HAS INCORRECTLY INVOKED THE PROVISION OF SE CTION 68 AND SUSTAINED BY THE CIT(A) IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INCRIMINATORY DOCUMENT FOUND DURING THE COURSE OF S EARCH. 4. THAT IN FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE SU STAINING THE ADDITION OF RS. 35 00 000/-ADVANCE TO SHRI KUMAR S VISHAL AND INTEREST THEREUPON RS. 1 05 000/- TREATING THE SAME AS UNDISCLOSED INCOME IS WRONG AND BAD AT LAW. 5. THAT THE ADDITION TO THE RETURNED INCOME AS SUS TAINED BY THE LD. CIT (A) MAY PLEASE BE DELETED. 2.2 IN ADDITION TO THE GROUNDS RAISED IN THE MEM O OF APPEAL THE ASSESSEE HAS ALSO RAISED ADDITIONAL GROUNDS VIDE APPLICATION DATED 28/12/2018 WHICH ARE AS UNDER: 4 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT 1. THAT HAVING REGARD TO THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCE S OF THE CASE LD. CIT(A)HAS ERRED IN LAW AND ON FACTS IN NO T QUASHING THE IMPUGNED ASSESSMENT ORDER AND THAT TOO WHEN LD. AO HAS PASSED THE IMPUGNED ORDER WITHOUT VALID STATUTO RY APPROVAL IN TERMS OF SECTION 153D OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961. 2. THAT IN ANY CASE IN ANY VIEW OF THE MATTER ACTI ON OF LD. CIT(A) IN NOT QUASHING THE IMPUGNED ASSESSMENT ORDE R AND THAT TOO WHEN LD. AO HAS PASSED THE IMPUGNED ORDER WITHOUT VALID STATUTORY APPROVAL IN TERMS OF SECTIO N 153D OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961 IS BAD IN LAW ON FACTS AN D CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE. 3.0 THE ASSESSEE HAS RAISED ADDITIONAL GROUNDS CHALLENGING THE VALIDITY OF THE ASSESSMENT ORDER ON THE GROUND OF INVALID APPROVAL IN TERMS OF PROVISIONS OF SECTION 153D OF THE ACT. THIS GROUND WAS NOT RAISED BEFORE THE LD. FIRST APPE LLATE AUTHORITY AND THE SAME HAS BEEN RAISED FOR THE FIRST TIME BEF ORE THIS TRIBUNAL. AS THE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS INVOLVE LEGAL ISSUE CHALL ENGING THE VALIDITY OF THE ASSESSMENT ORDER IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE TO HEAR BOTH THE PARTIES ON THE SAME FIRST. 4.0 THE LD. COUNSEL APPEARING FOR THE ASSESSEE SUBMITTED THAT THE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS ARE PURELY OF LEGAL NATURE AND REQUESTED THE ADMISSION OF THE SAME BY CITING V ARIOUS JUDICIAL 5 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT DECISIONS. ON MERITS OF THE ADDITIONAL GROUND OUR ATTENTION WAS DRAWN TO THE APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE ACT DATED 28/0 3/2013 PLACED AT PAGES 2-3 OF THE PAPER BOOK. IT WAS SUBMIT TED THAT THE APPROVING AUTHORITY U/S 153D OF THE ACT IS VESTED WI TH IMPORTANT POWER TO GRANT APPROVAL AND SAME SHOULD BE EXERCISE D AFTER DUE APPLICATION OF MIND. IT WAS SUBMITTED THAT THE ASSES SING OFFICER FORWARDED THE COPY OF DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDER TO THE ADDL. CIT ON 28/03/2013 AND THE APPROVAL WAS GRANTED ON THE SAME DATE I.E. 28/03/2013. THE LD. COUNSEL FURTHER HIGHLIGHTED THA T A COMMON APPROVAL WAS ACCORDED TO THE DRAFT ORDERS PASSED IN THE CASES OF 20 ASSESSEES IN VERY LIMITED TIME I.E. ONLY ON A SINGL E DAY. IT WAS THE SUBMISSION OF THE LD. COUNSEL THAT THE APPROVING AU THORITY HAS MECHANICALLY GRANTED THE APPROVAL WITHOUT EVEN GOING THROUGH THE DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDER AND AS SUCH THE APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE ACT WAS INVALID AND BAD IN LAW. 5.0 THE LD. DR ON THE OTHER HAND PLACED ON RECORD THE REPORT SUBMITTED BY THE ASSESSING OFFICE R IN RESPECT OF THE 6 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT ADDITIONAL GROUNDS TAKEN BY THE ASSESSEE AND ARGUED THAT THE APPROVAL ACCORDED BY THE ADDL. CIT U/S 153D WAS VALI D. 6.0 WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE RIVAL SUBMISSIONS AND HAVE GONE THROUGH THE MATERIAL AVAILABLE ON RECORD. AS FAR AS THE ISSUE OF ADMISSIBILITY OF ADDITIONAL GROUNDS IS CON CERNED IT IS NOTED THAT THE ISSUE OF APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE ACT IS A LEGAL GROUND AND GOES TO THE VERY ROOT OF THE MATTER. FURTHER IT IS OBSERVED THAT NO NEW FACTS ARE REQUIRED FOR ADJUDICATION OF THE ADDIT IONAL GROUNDS AND SAME CAN BE DECIDED ON THE BASIS OF MATERIAL AV AILABLE ON RECORD WHICH DULY FORMS PART OF ASSESSMENT RECORD. M OREOVER EVEN THE ASSESSING OFFICER IN HIS REPORT DATED 14/02/201 9 ADDRESSED TO LD. CIT DR HAS NOT OBJECTED TO THE ADMISSION OF THE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS. IN THE LIGHT OF THE FACTS OF THE CASE AND GUIDANCE BY THE HONBLE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE OF NTPC LTD. V. CIT 229 ITR 383 (SC) WE ARE OF THE CONSIDERED VIEW THAT THE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS CHALLENGING THE VALIDITY OF ASSESSMENT BEING PURELY OF LEGAL NATURE DESERVE ADMISSION AND ARE HEREBY ADMITTED FOR ADJUD ICATION. 7 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT 7.0 NOW COMING TO THE MERITS OF THE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS THE LD. COUNSEL HAS VEHEMENTLY ARGUED THAT THE APPROVAL GRANTED BY THE ADDL. CIT WAS INVALID AND SAME WAS NO T IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 153A OF TH E ACT. ON CAREFUL PERUSAL OF THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS THE FOLL OWING FACTS EMERGE: DATE OF FORWARDING DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDER TO ADDL. CIT FOR APPROVAL U/S 153D 28/03/2013 DATE OF APPROVAL LETTER U/S 153D 28/03/2013 DATE OF ASSESSMENT ORDER 28/03/2013 7.1 IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT THE ENTIRE EX ERCISE OF GRANT OF APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE ACT AND PASSIN G OF THE FINAL ASSESSMENT ORDER WAS COMPLETED WITHIN A SINGLE DAY THAT TOO WHEN THE ASSESSING OFFICER WAS LOCATED IN DEHRADUN AND TH E SANCTIONING AUTHORITY WAS SITTING AT NOIDA. FURTHER VIDE COMMON LETTER THE APPROVAL HAS BEEN GRANTED TO MULTIPLE DRAFT ASSESSM ENT ORDERS PASSED IN 20 ODD CASES ON THE VERY SAME DAY OF RECE IVING THE DRAFT 8 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT ASSESSMENT ORDERS. ANOTHER GLARING FACT NOTED IS TH AT THE ADDL. CIT GRANTED THE SO-CALLED APPROVALS MERELY ON THE BASIS OF DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDERS WITHOUT EVEN EXAMINING THE ASSESSM ENT RECORD OF EACH CASE. IT IS SELF-EVIDENT THAT THE APPROVAL HAS BEEN ACCORDED WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE FACTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL CA SES. THIS POSITION IS FURTHER CORROBORATED FROM THE CONTENTS OF THE APPROVAL LETTER ITSELF WHEREIN THE APPROVING AUTHORITY IS ADM ITTING THAT DUE TO LIMITATION OF TIME ONLY BROAD ISSUES WERE DISCUSSE D. THE RELEVANT PARAGRAPH I.E. PARAGRAPH 3 IN THE APPROVAL LETTER I S REPRODUCED HEREUNDER: 3. AS MOST OF THE DRAFT ORDERS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AT THE END OF THE LIMITATION PERIOD IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DISCUSS MINUTE DETAILS AND ONLY BROAD ISSUES HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED W ITH YOU. DUE TO LIMITATION INVOLVED APPROVAL IS BEING ACCOR DED. 7.2 WE FIND IT DIFFICULT TO COMPREHEND AS TO HOW THE APPROVING AUTHORITY SATISFIED ITSELF ABOUT THE CORRECTNESS OF THE SEARCH BASED DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDERS WITHOUT EVEN LO OKING AT THE SEARCH MATERIAL. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WE HAVE NO DOUBTS IN OUR MIND THAT THE APPROVING AUTHORITY HAS ACTED CASUALL Y AND GRANTED 9 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT THE APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961 I N A MECHANICAL MANNER WITHOUT JUDICIOUS EXERCISE OF POWER. 7.3 AT THIS JUNCTURE IT IS RELEVANT TO MAKE A REFERENCE TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 153D OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961: PRIOR APPROVAL NECESSARY FOR ASSESSMENT IN CASES O F SEARCH OR REQUISITION 153D. NO ORDER OF ASSESSMENT OR REASSESSMENT SHALL BE PASSED BY AN ASSESSING OFFICER BELOW THE RANK OF JOINT COM MISSIONER IN RESPECT OF EACH ASSESSMENT YEAR REFERRED TO IN C LAUSE (B) OF SUB-SECTION (1) OF SECTION 153A OR THE ASSESSMENT Y EAR REFERRED TO IN CLAUSE (B) OF SUB-SECTION (1) OF SECTION 153B EXCEPT WITH THE PRIOR APPROVAL OF THE JOINT COMMISSIONER: PROVIDED THAT NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION SHA LL APPLY WHERE THE ASSESSMENT OR REASSESSMENT ORDER AS THE CASE MAY BE IS REQUIRED TO BE PASSED BY THE ASSESSING OFFIC ER WITH THE PRIOR APPROVAL OF THE PRINCIPAL COMMISSIONER OR COM MISSIONER UNDER SUB-SECTION (12) OF SECTION 144BA. 7.4 FROM A BARE READING OF THE SECTION IT IS CLEAR THAT THE STATUTE HAS PLACED INBUILT CHECKS AN D BALANCES SO AS TO ENSURE THAT THE ASSESSMENT ORDERS PASSED U/S 153 A PURSUANT TO SEARCH OR REQUISITION ARE PASSED UNDER THE SUPERVIS ION OF SUPERIOR AUTHORITY. AS THE ASSESSMENTS U/S 153A ARE EXTRA-OR DINARY PROCEEDINGS THE PURPOSE BEHIND SUCH APPROVAL IS TO AVOID FRAMING 10 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT OF ARBITRARY ASSESSMENTS AND TO MAKE SURE THAT THE SCHEME AND SPIRIT OF SPECIAL PROVISIONS ARE ADHERED TO BY THE ASSESSING OFFICER. FURTHER THE STATUTE MANDATES APPROVAL OF ASSESSMEN T ORDER FOR EACH ASSESSMENT YEAR REFERRED TO IN SECTION 153A( 1)(B) WHICH NECESSARILY MEANS THAT INDEPENDENT APPROVAL IS REQU IRED FOR DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDER OF EACH ASSESSMENT YEAR AND IT IS NOT OPEN TO THE APPROVING AUTHORITY TO ACCORD BLANKET APPROVAL AS H AS BEEN DONE IN THE PRESENT CASE. IT DESERVES MENTION THAT THE SHOR TCOMING IN APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE ACT WILL HAVE FATAL CONSEQU ENCE ON THE VALIDITY OF THE ASSESSMENT ORDER AND THE ASSESSMENT ORDER WOULD BE RENDERED AS NULL AND VOID IN ABSENCE OF PROPER APPR OVAL. 7.5 AN IDENTICAL ISSUE CAME UP FOR CONSIDERATION BEFORE THE COORDINATE BENCH OF THIS T RIBUNAL IN THE CASE OF SANJAY DUGGAL AND ORS V. ACIT (ITA NO. 1813/DEL/201 9 DATED 19/01/2021) (DELHI BENCH) . THE RELEVANT FINDINGS ARE REPRODUCED HEREUNDER: 11.6. THEREFORE IN THE CASES OF SEARCH ASSESSMEN T ORDERS WHETHER FRAMED UNDER SECTION 153A OR 153C THE JOIN T COMMISSIONER [APPROVING AUTHORITY] IS REQUIRED TO S EE THAT 11 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT WHETHER THE ADDITIONS HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE HANDS O F ASSESSEE ARE BASED PROPERLY ON INCRIMINATING MATERI AL FOUND DURING THE COURSE OF SEARCH OBSERVATIONS/COMMENTS IN THE APPRAISAL REPORT THE SEIZED DOCUMENTS AND FURTHER ENQUIRIES MADE BY THE A.O. DURING THE COURSE OF ASSESSMENT PR OCEEDINGS. THEREFORE NECESSARILY AT THE TIME OF GRANT OF APPR OVAL OF THE ASSESSMENT MADE BY THE A.O THE JOINT COMMISSIONER IS REQUIRED TO VERIFY THE ABOVE ISSUES APPLY HIS MIND THAT WHETHER THEY HAVE BEEN PROPERLY APPRECIATED BY THE A.O. WHI LE FRAMING THE ASSESSMENT ORDERS OR NOT. THE JCIT IS ALSO REQU IRED TO VERIFY WHETHER THE REQUIRED PROCEDURE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED B Y THE A.O. OR NOT AT THE TIME OF FRAMING OF THE ASSESSMENTS. T HUS THE APPROVAL CANNOT BE A MERE DISCRETION OR FORMALITY BUT IS MANDATORY BEING QUASI JUDICIAL FUNCTION AND IT SHOU LD BE BASED ON REASONING. IN OUR VIEW WHEN THE LEGISLATURE HAS ENACTED SOME PROVISION TO BE EXERCISED BY THE HIGHER REVENU E AUTHORITY ENABLING THE A.O. TO PASS ASSESSMENT ORDER OR REASS ESSMENT ORDER IN SEARCH CASES THEN IT IS THE DUTY OF THE JCIT TO EXERCISE SUCH POWERS BY APPLYING HIS JUDICIOUS MIND. WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT THE OBLIGATION OF THE APPROVAL OF THE APPROVIN G AUTHORITY IS OF TWO FOLDS ; ON ONE HAND HE HAS TO APPLY HIS MIN D TO SECURE IN BUILD FOR THE DEPARTMENT AGAINST ANY OMISSION OR NE GLIGENCE BY THE A.O. IN TAXING RIGHT INCOME IN THE HANDS OF RIG HT PERSON AND IN RIGHT ASSESSMENT YEAR AND ON THE OTHER HAND JCI T IS ALSO 12 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT RESPONSIBLE AND DUTY BOUND TO DO JUSTICE WITH THE T AX PAYER [ASSESSEE] BY GRANTING PROTECTION AGAINST ARBITRARY OR UNJUST OR UNSUSTAINABLE EXERCISE AND DECISION BY THE A.O. CRE ATING BASELESS TAX LIABILITY ON THE ASSESSEE AND THUS TH E JCIT HAS TO DISCHARGE HIS DUTY AS PER LAW. THUS GRANTING APPRO VAL UNDER SECTION 153D OF THE I.T. ACT IS NOT A MERE FORMALIT Y BUT IT IS A SUPERVISORY ACT WHICH REQUIRES PROPER APPLICATION O F ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL SKILL BY THE JCIT ON TH E APPLICATION OF MIND AND THIS EXERCISE SHOULD BE DISCERNABLE FRO M THE ORDERS OF THE APPROVAL UNDER SECTION 153D OF THE I.T. ACT. 12. IT MAY BE NOTED THAT PROVISIONS OF SECTION 153D PROVIDES FOR APPROVAL IN CASE OF [EACH] THE ASSESSMENT YEAR. T HEREFORE EACH OF THE ASSESSMENT YEAR IS REQUIRED TO BE VERIF IED AND APPROVED BY THE JCIT BEING APPROVING AUTHORITY THAT IT COMPLIES WITH LAW AS WELL AS THE PROCEDURE LAID DOWN. THE AS SESSEE HAS FILED DETAILS ON RECORD REGARDING RETURNS FILED UND ER SECTION 139 (1) FOR A.YS. 2010- 2011 TO 2015-2016. IT IS ALSO E XPLAINED THAT THERE ARE UNABATED ASSESSMENTS EXCEPT A.Y. 2015-201 6 IN WHICH THE ASSESSMENTS HAVE BEEN ABATED. THEREFORE FOR EACH UNABATED AND ABATED ASSESSMENTS THE AUTHORITIES BE LOW AND THE APPROVING AUTHORITY [JCIT] SHALL HAVE TO VERIFY THE INCRIMINATING MATERIAL FOUND DURING THE COURSE OF S EARCH OR THE SEIZED MATERIAL IF PERTAIN TO THE SAME ASSESSMENT Y EAR AND ITS BASIS. THE ASSESSEE HAS EXPLAINED ABOVE THAT THESE CASES ARE 13 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT COMING UP BECAUSE OF THE ASSESSMENTS FRAMED IN THE CASE OF M/S. JIL AND OTHERS PRIOR TO THE SEARCH IN THE CASE OF ASSESSEE. THEREFORE ALL MATERIAL WAS WITHIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE INCOME TAX AUTHORITIES PRIOR TO THE SEARCH IN THE CASES OF THE ASSESSEES. THEREFORE FOR GRANTING APPROVAL UNDER SECTION 153D OF THE I.T. ACT THE APPROVING AUTHORITY SHALL HAVE TO VERIFY A ND CONSIDER EACH ASSESSMENT YEAR AND SHALL HAVE TO APPLY INDEPE NDENT MIND TO THE MATERIAL ON RECORD TO SEE WHETHER IN EA CH ASSESSMENT YEAR THERE ARE UN-ABATED OR ABATED ASSES SMENTS AND THEIR EFFECT IF ANY. BUT IN THE PRESENT CASE THE APPROVING AUTHORITY I.E. JCIT HAS GRANTED COMMON APPROVAL FO R ALL THE ASSESSMENT YEARS IN RESPECT OF THE SINGLE ASSESSEE. THUS THERE IS NO APPLICATION OF MIND ON THE PART OF JCIT WHILE GRANTING APPROVAL FOR ALL THE COMMON YEARS INSTEAD OF GRANTI NG APPROVAL UNDER SECTION 153D FOR EACH ASSESSMENT YEARS SEPARA TELY. 16. IN SOME OF THE CASES THE APPROVAL WAS GRANTED O N THE DATE THE REQUEST WAS MADE FOR APPROVAL BY THE A.O. IN AL L THOSE CASES MERELY DRAFT ASSESSMENT ORDER AND THE ASSESSM ENT FOLDERS WERE AVAILABLE WITH THE A.O. FOR EXAMPLE IN THE CASE OF SHRI SANJAY DUGGAL FAMILY IN THE CASE OF MS. KRITI KA TALWAR ON THE SAME DATE THE APPROVAL WAS GRANTED AND THAT TOO MERELY ON THE BASIS OF THE ASSESSMENT RECORDS AND DRAFT ASSES SMENT ORDER AND IN MOST OF THE CASES APPROVAL HAS BEEN GRANTED EITHER ON THE SAME DAY OR ON THE NEXT DAY. FURTHER THERE IS NO REFERENCE 14 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT THAT SEIZED MATERIAL AS WELL AS APPRAISAL REPORT HA VE BEEN VERIFIED BY THE JCIT. IT IS NOT CLARIFIED WHETHER A SSESSMENT RECORD IS ALSO SEEN BY THE JCIT.IT MAY ALSO BE NOTE D THAT EVEN IN SOME OF THE TALWAR GROUP OF CASES APPROVAL IS GRANT ED PRIOR TO 30.12.2017 BUT IN MAIN CASES OF SHRI SANJAY DUGGAL AND RAJNISH TALWAR THE APPROVAL IS GRANTED ON 30.12.201 7. THEREFORE WITHOUT GRANTING APPROVAL IN THE MAIN CA SES HOW THE JCIT SATISFIED HIMSELF WITH THE ASSESSMENT ORDERS I N GROUP CASES WHICH IS ALSO NOT EXPLAINED. THEREFORE THE A PPROVAL GRANTED BY THE JCIT IN ALL THE CASES ARE MERELY TEC HNICAL APPROVAL JUST TO COMPLETE THE FORMALITY AND WITHOUT APPLICATION OF MIND AS NEITHER THERE WAS AN EXAMINATION OF THE SEIZED DOCUMENTS AND THE RELEVANCE OF VARIOUS OBSERVATIONS MADE BY THE INVESTIGATION WING IN APPRAISAL REPORT. THUS W E HOLD THE APPROVAL UNDER SECTION 153D HAVE BEEN GRANTED WITHO UT APPLICATION OF MIND AND IS INVALID BAD IN LAW AND IS LIABLE TO BE QUASHED. SINCE WE HAVE HELD THAT APPROVAL UNDER SEC TION 153D IS INVALID AND BAD IN LAW THEREFORE A.O. CANNOT P ASS THE ASSESSMENT ORDERS UNDER SECTION 153A OF THE I.T ACT AGAINST ALL THE ASSESSEES. THEREFORE ALL ASSESSMENT ORDERS ARE VITIATED FOR WANT OF VALID APPROVAL UNDER SECTION 153D OF THE I. T. ACT AND AS SUCH NO ADDITION COULD BE MADE AGAINST ALL THE ASSE SSEES. IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE WE SET ASIDE THE ORDERS OF THE A UTHORITIES BELOW AND QUASH THE ASSESSMENT ORDERS PASSED UNDER SECTION 15 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT 153A OF THE I.T. ACT AS WELL AS THE IMPUGNED APPELL ATE ORDER. RESULTANTLY ALL ADDITIONS ARE DELETED. THE ADDITIO NAL GROUNDS ARE ALLOWED. 7.6 IN LIGHT OF THE FINDING RECORDED IN THE AFORESAID PARA AND RESPECTFULLY FOLLOWING THE ORDER OF THE COORDINATE BENCH WE ARE OF THE CONSIDERED VIEW THAT THE APPRO VAL GRANTED U/S 153D OF THE ACT SUFFERS FROM VARIOUS INFIRMITIES AN D SAME IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LETTER AND SPIRIT OF THE LAW AND IS LIABLE TO BE QUASHED. AS WE HAVE NEGATED THE APPROVAL U/S 153D THE ASSESSMENT ORDER PASSED U/S 153A R.W.S 143(3) OF THE ACT STANDS VITIATED FOR WANT OF APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961 AND IS HEREBY QUASHED. ACCORDINGLY THE ADDITIONAL GROUNDS ARE ALLOWED. 7.7 AS WE HAVE QUASHED THE IMPUGNED ASSESSMENT ORDER FOR WANT OF PROPER APPROVAL OTHER GROUNDS RAISED BY THE ASSESSEE BECOME ACADEMIC IN NATURE AND DO NO T REQUIRE ANY ADJUDICATION. 8.0 IN THE RESULT ITA NO.3900/DEL/2015 STANDS ALLOWED. 16 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT 9.0 WE NOW TAKE UP THE APPEAL OF THE OTHER ASSESSEE I.E. SHRI SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI IN ITA NO. 2784/DEL/2015. THIS APPEAL IS AGAINST THE ORDER PAS SED BY THE LD. CIT (A) VIDE ORDER DATED 05/02/2015 AND RELATES TO ASSESSMENT YEAR 2011-12. SINCE SEARCH U/S 132 OF THE ACT WAS CARRIED OUT ON 21/10/2010 THE YEAR UNDER CONSIDERATION I.E. AY 20 11-12 (FY 2010-11) IS THE YEAR OF SEARCH AND ACCORDINGLY TH E ASSESSMENT WAS FRAMED U/S 143(3) OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961. 10.0 IT IS RELEVANT TO NOTE THAT REQUIREMENT OF APPROVAL U/S 153D OF THE INCOME TAX ACT IS EQUALLY RELEVANT FOR PASSING OF THE ASSESSMENT ORDER FOR THE YEAR OF SEA RCH AS PER SECTION 153D READ WITH SECTION153B(1)(B) OF THE INCO ME TAX ACT 1961. FURTHER IN THIS CASE THE APPROVAL U/S 153D WAS ACCORDED VIDE THE SAME COMMON APPROVAL LETTER DATED 28/03/20 13 WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN DEALT BY US WHILE DECIDING THE APPE AL IN THE CASE OF SHRI INDER PAL SINGH ARORA (SUPRA) IN ITA NO. 39 00/DEL/2015. 10.1 AS THE ISSUE INVOLVED IN THIS APPEAL IS IDE NTICAL TO THAT IN ITA NO. 3900/DEL/2015 WHEREIN WE HAVE QUA SHED THE 17 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT APPROVAL U/S 153D AND CONSEQUENTLY THE ASSESSMENT O RDER THE FINDING RECORDED IN THAT CASE IS APPLICABLE MUTATIS MUTANDIS TO THIS APPEAL. ACCORDINGLY BY PARITY OF REASONING WE HER EBY QUASH THE ASSESSMENT ORDER PASSED U/S 143(3) DATED 28/03/2013 . AS A RESULT THE ADDITIONAL GROUND RAISED BY THE ASSESSE E IS ALLOWED. 10.2 AS WE HAVE QUASHED THE IMPUGNED ASSESSMENT ORDER FOR WANT OF PROPER APPROVAL OTHER GROUNDS RAI SED BY THE ASSESSEE BECOME ACADEMIC IN NATURE AND DO NOT REQUI RE ANY ADJUDICATION. 11.0 IN THE RESULT ITA NO. 2784/DEL/2015 STANDS ALLOWED. 12.0 IN THE FINAL RESULT BOTH THE APPEALS OF TH E ABOVE CAPTIONED ASSESSES STAND ALLOWED. ORDER PRONOUNCED ON 31/05/2021. SD/- SD/- (PRASHANT MAHARISHI) (SUDHANSHU SRIVASTAVA) ACCOUNTANT MEMBER JUDICIAL MEMBER DATED: 31/05/2021 *DRAGON* 18 ITA NOS.3900 & 2784 /DEL/2015 SH. INDER PAL SIN GH ARORA VS. DCIT SH. SURINDER PAL SINGH KOHLI VS. DCIT COPY FORWARDED TO: 1. APPELLANT 2. RESPONDENT 3. CIT 4. CIT(APPEALS) 5. DR: ITAT ASSISTANT REGISTRAR ITAT NEW DELHI (DEHRADUN CIRCUIT BENCH DEHRADUN)