The writ petition filed by the assessee was dismissed by the High Court as the assessee could not take advantage of a mere technical mistake in the order passed under section 148A(d). The assessee had filed a return with the email id ‘email@example.com‘, and the Assessing Officer had sent a notice under section 148A(b) to the same email id. However, the assessee did not respond to the notice. Meanwhile, the Assessing Officer passed an order under section 148A(d), stating that the notice was sent to the assessee’s email id ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘, and no reply had been received from the assessee.
The assessee challenged both the notice issued under section 148A(b) and the order passed under section 148A(d) in the writ petition. The assessee argued that they did not receive the notice under section 148A(b) because it was sent to an invalid/incorrect email id where the name of the web service provider ‘yahoo’ had been misspelled as ‘yhoo’.
The revenue presented evidence to support their claim that the notice had been sent to the correct email id. They furnished a copy of the assessee’s master profile on the Income-tax department’s website, which showed the email id as ‘email@example.com‘. Additionally, a screenshot of the ‘sent mail’ page of the Assessing Officer was provided, which confirmed that the notice under section 148A(b) had been sent to the email id ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘. It was also noted that the email id ‘email@example.com‘ was mentioned in the return filed by the assessee for the relevant assessment year.
The Court found the assessee’s argument regarding the spelling error in ‘yahoo’ and the claim that no notice was sent to the gmail id to be not only misconceived but also mischievous. In the present era of advanced technology, it is the responsibility of the assessee to provide accurate credentials, including email id and mobile numbers, to the Income-tax department.
The Court observed that the assessee had not presented the facts in the correct manner and was attempting to take advantage of a technical mistake in the order passed under section 148A(d). This approach by the assessee was strongly disapproved. Therefore, the writ petition deserved to be dismissed.
Furthermore, it was noted that the notice under section 148A(b) had indeed been sent to the email id ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘. Since the assessee had misrepresented the facts and attempted to benefit from a technical mistake in the order passed under section 148A(d), the Court ordered the assessee to pay a sum of Rupees One Lakh (Rs.1,00,000/-) to the Cancer Institute, Adayar, Chennai. The writ petition was dismissed with costs, in favor of the revenue.
In conclusion, the High Court dismissed the writ petition filed by the assessee, as they had not presented the facts truthfully and had attempted to take advantage of a technical mistake in the order. The Court emphasized the importance of providing accurate information to the Income-tax department and imposed a monetary penalty on the assessee for their misrepresentation.