CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has issued notices to the Government of India on a petition filed by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) challenging the reopening of the assessment of the regional party’s income for 2014-15.
The notice, issued by the Income Tax department, had sought to add Rs 8 crore to BJD's earnings chargeable to income tax on the ground that the voluntary contribution amount was received from a donor (General Electoral Trust) who did not have a Permanent Account Number (PAN).
The court also extended by another 12 weeks the interim restriction it had imposed on the notices issued by the Income Tax department to BJD on May 6 and May 21, 2021 for reopening of the assessment.
Earlier while issuing notice to the department on July 11, the court had in an interim order said, "Till the next date (August 23) no coercive action will be taken against the petitioner pursuant to the impugned notices dated 6th May, 2021 and 20th May, 2021."
The division bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray on Monday issued the notices after allowing BJD's application for impleading the Government of India. The court expected the Government of India to give a reply, if any within four weeks.
Assistant Solicitor General PK Parhi accepted the notice.The Bench also allowed BJD to file a consolidated petition within two weeks while allowing the regional party's plea to amend the petition it had filed challenging the notice issued under section 148 of IT Act on May 6 and May 20.
The BJD's petition hinges on the contention that the impugned notice under section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 for the Assessment Year (AY) 2014-15 has been issued more than a month after the expiry of the maximum permissible period of six years after the conclusion of the AY.
The second issue raised by the petition is that under section 148 of the Act, as amended in 2021, it is mandatory for the department to conduct an enquiry under section 148 A of the Act even before issuing a notice. In the present case, this mandatory requirement has not been complied with, the petition further contends.