Hon’ble Supreme court had vide order Dt. 27.04.2021 in suo moto writ petition and in continuation of it’s earlier order which was passed last year, had extended limitation period for all judicial and quasi judicial proceedings until further order in the light of ongoing pandemic.
The due dates were extended stating:
“We, therefore, restore the order dated 23rd March, 2020 and in continuation of the order dated 8th March, 2021 direct that the period(s) of limitation, as prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, whether condonable or not, shall stand extended till further orders.”
Later, CBDT vide it’s circular no. 08/2021 Dt. 30.04.2021 had extended limitation period for filing of appeal before CIT(A) and replying to notices u/s 148 which were due after 01.04.2021 till 31.05.2021.
After the above circular many people were confused as to how can CBDT limit filing period of appeal before CIT(A) when Hon’ble Supreme court has removed all limitation period and this was being considered as a contempt of court.
Recently, CBDT has vide circular Dt. 10/2021 Dt. 25.05.2021 has clarified that although it has issued relaxation for filing of appeal before CIT(A) till 31.05.2021 as against relaxation by Hon’ble Supreme court and where different relaxation are available before taxpayers, the taxpayer is entitled to relaxation which is more beneficial to him.
Thus, taxpayer is entitled to relaxation as provided by Supreme court and hence the above relaxation in relation to filing of Appeal before CIT(A) stands extended till further orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court.
To download the circular 10/2021 issued by CBDT CLICK HERE.
Although, CBDT has extended due date for filing of appeal before CIT(A), people are still not satisfied and are confused as to why the order by Hon’ble Supreme court has been limited to filing of appeal before CIT(A) and not extended to assessment proceedings before Assessing officer.
In various Supreme Court and High court judgements it has been held that assessment proceedings before Assessing officer are judicial proceedings. One such judgement of Hon’ble Supreme court was in case of Suraj Mall Mohta and Co. v. A. V. Visvanatha Sastri  26 ITR 1 (SC), wherein the Supreme Court has held that the assessment proceedings before the Income-tax Officer are judicial proceedings and all the incidents of such judicial proceedings have to be observed before any conclusion is arrived at.
Another such judgement was Judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Union of India (UOI) and Ors. vs. Madras Steel Re-Rollers Association (11.02.2011 – SC) : MANU/SC/0453/2011 where the Hon’ble Court held that :
“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and relying on the aforesaid decision of this Court, we hold that the Assessing Authorities as well as the Appellate and the Revisional Authorities are creatures of the Act and they perform the functions of the quasi judicial authorities and the orders passed by them are also quasi judicial orders.”
As mentioned above on one hand Supreme court has extended limitation period of all judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings and on the other hand it has been held that assessment proceedings before the Income tax officer are judicial proceedings and hence such relaxation by Supreme court should also apply to assessment proceedings whether it is being conducted under faceless assessment or e-assessment.
Disclaimer: The views presented in the above article are personal views of the author and has no legal binding. For any legal opinion consult a tax professional.
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