Lead Advertising v. Union of India

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Delivery of notices in income tax proceedings via email and uploading them on the website

Lead Advertising v. Union of India
In the High Court of Kerala
WP(C) 30620/2021
Before Justice Gopinath P
Decided on October 20, 2022

Relevancy of the case: Delivery of notices in income tax proceedings via email and uploading them on the website

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Income Tax Act, 1961 (Section 142(1), 148, 282)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The petitioner firm is an advertising agency. The petitioner’s partners had not filed the firm’s tax returns for the concerned assessment year.
  • The Assessing Officer had reason to believe income liable to tax has escaped assessment.
  • The Income Tax department issued a notice for proceedings under Section 148. They sent their notice to the petitioner’s email and uploaded it to the department’s website. The petitioner also accepted receiving a hard copy on 15.04.2021.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel stated that the post and email didn’t reach the petitioner in time. The petitioner’s email address was no longer in use, and it had given a new email address to the Income Tax department. Taking this into consideration, the notice received by the post alone will be taken into consideration.
  • The respondent’s counsel submitted that the department had issued both notices before April 01, 2021. Hence, the amended provisions of the act will not apply to these notices.

Opinion of the Bench

  • For proceedings under Section 148, the department issued the notice on March 30, 2021, under Section 282 through three modes. These modes are email, uploading on the website, and regular post.
  • There is no reason for the court to believe that the department sent the notice at a later date.
  • There is no ground to hold that the proceedings violated principles of natural justice.

Final Decision

  • The court rejected the writ petition.

Aparna Ajay, an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, prepared this case summary during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in January/February 2023.