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Orissa High Court Makes Centre A Party In BJD’s Petition Against Income Tax Notice

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has made the Central government a party in the case filed by the BJD challenging a notice of the Income Tax department regarding the income assessment for 2014-15.

The two-judge bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray on Monday issued the notice to the Centre while admitting the BJD’s petition. The court has asked the Centre to file its reply within four weeks.

The BJD had filed the petition challenging the notice issued by the IT department which had asked it to add Rs 8 crore to the party’s income assessment for 2014-15 on the ground that the voluntary contribution amount was received from a donor (General Electoral Trust) which did not have PAN.

The High Court bench has also allowed the BJD to amend its earlier petition filed in this regard and submit a consolidated petition within two weeks.

Earlier, the division bench had heard the BJD’s first petition and issued a notice to the Income Tax department on August 23. “Till the next date, no coercive action will be taken against the petitioner pursuant to the impugned notices issued on May 6 and 20, 2021”, the bench said in its order.

The BJD challenged the IT department’s notice on the ground that it was issued more than a month after the expiry of maximum permissible period of six years. It contended that in terms of settled legal position, this is a jurisdictional issue and unless the notice under Section 148 of the Act is issued within the time stipulated, the proceedings would stand vitiated.

The ruling party in the state also pointed out that though the amendment made in 2021 to Section 149 of the Act extends the period of limitation, it is applicable only to assessment year subsequent to April 1, 2021.