The Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained the Income Tax Department from proceeding further on the show cause notice issued to Rajya Sabha MP and senior advocate Kapil Sibal in relation to the assessment proceedings pending against him.
A bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju issued a notice and asked the income tax authorities to file a response on the petition of the former Congress leader.
"We are of the view that since the impugned notice has been challenged on jurisdiction as well as on the breach of principles of natural justice, it would require some amount of deliberation," the bench said.
"In the meanwhile, the concerned officer will stay his hands vis-a-vis the show cause notice of March 11, 2023," it added.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on September 14 and asked the officer concerned to first deal with the objections of Mr Sibal.
Kapil Sibal has challenged the notice issued by the IT department under Section 153C of the Income Tax Act concerning (assessment year) AY 2013.
Senior advocate P Chidambaram, who was representing Mr Sibal, said the authorities seemed to be in great haste to conclude the assessment proceedings.
He said a search concerning the World Window Group was conducted in May 2018 and in so far as Mr Sibal was concerned, the notice under Section 153C of the Act was issued six years later in May 2021.
"Pursuant to the said notice, the petitioner (Sibal) filed his return on June 16, 2021. A request was made on November 3, 2021 seeking a copy of the satisfaction note and reasons/material based on which the notice under Section 153C had been issued. This request was reiterated by petitioner on March 1, 2023," Mr Chidambaram said.
He said the satisfaction note was furnished to Kapil Sibal on March 9 this year and material or reasons were furnished to him on March 10.
The counsel for the IT authorities said the officer concerned can proceed further on the basis of the material brought to his notice.
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