Nagpur: The High Court quashed the notice in section 148 of the Income Tax Act for reopening the return of the deceased person if a person is dead after the death of the person and the court also observed that Proceedings against the heirs were to be continued only if the same notice had been given during the lifetime of the person. The matter came up in the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court.
The office of the Income Tax Department, Nagpur had sent a notice to a person named Mahadev Shambharkar, a government official, on the ground that he had evaded income tax of about Rs 1.5 crore from the sale of land. The notice was issued in the month of March 2021. But, about 2.5 years ago, the government official Shambharkar had passed away and the deal for that land was done in the middle of 2015-16.
After serving the first notice, the lawyer on behalf of his legal heir informed the department that now Shambharkar is no more, he has died. Then another notice has been sent.
“After the 1st notice was sent in the month of the march, we had informed to the department about that the death of the assessee, but in the month of July another notice was also sent,” Ram Heda said, one of his son, name Bandu Shambharkar lawyer, who approached the court.
Ram Heda Said
Heda has said that the court has dismissed this notice on Thursday.
Shambharkar died on 27 January 2019. About 9 days before the death of Shambharkar, a notice was sent to him under section 133(6) of Income Tax, which was related to the demand of certain information from an assessee. Heda has also stated that the officer had sought some information from Shambharkar, who had passed away sometime back, about the land deal. This notice was not related to the re-opening of returns.
After almost 2 years, another notice under section 148 was issued regarding the reopening of returns. By then Shambharkar had died.
Talking about the stand of the court, Heda has said that in this case the notice seeking information was issued due to the life of the deceased Shambharkar, the notice of reopening the return was sent after the death of the deceased.
In this case this proceeding cannot be continued against one of his sons who is absolutely legal heir.
Court has directed to the (ITD) Income Tax Department to issue the another fresh notice to the all legal heirs in accordance with the law. Heda has also said that now this matter has been limited and the returns of 4 years which could have been opened till the month of March 2021, and now it has been reduced to 3 years. He has also said that it can now put a stay on the matter which pertains to the assessment year 2016-17.