Madras High Court Refuses To Quash I-T Notices Against Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chidambaram and others involved in the deal had sought to quash the proceedings as "illegal, without jurisdiction and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution".

Madras High Court Refuses To Quash I-T Notices Against Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chaidambaram has been issued a show-cause notice by the I-T Department (File)

Chennai:

The Madras High Court on Monday refused to quash the show-cause notice against Karti Chidambaram and others issued by the Income Tax department for the assessment years 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The charge against Karti Chidambaram - P Chidambaram's son - is that he had sold 5.11 acres to Agni Estates and Foundations Private Limited and in the deal Rs 6.38 crore had escaped the assessment for 2014-15. The Assessing Officer initiated proceedings against him under Section 148 of the I-T Act.

Karti Chidambaram and others involved in the deal had sought to quash the proceedings as "illegal, without jurisdiction and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution".

Dismissing the petitions, Justice SM Subramaniyan pointed out that the writ petitions were filed challenging the show-cause notices issued under relevant sections of the I-T Act.

"The procedures for assessment/reassessment are yet to commence. The petitioners are expected to avail the opportunity and defend their case in the manner known to law."

The judge said the scope of judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution is to scrutinize the processes and procedures through which a decision is arrived at in consonance with the provisions of the Statutes by the competent authority, but not the decision itself.

In the present case, the competent authority must be allowed to scrutinize the searched and impounded materials and provide an opportunity to the assessees to defend their case.

Such an adjudicatory process alone would provide justice to the parties and therefore, this Court is not inclined to interfere at the stage of "show cause notice" as far as the present writ petitions are concerned.

"The factual controversies and intricacies involved are to be adjudicated elaborately for the purpose of culling out the truth and such adjudication is the dictum of law.

Thus, any interference at this stage would cause prejudice to the due process of law to be undertaken by the authorities," the judge said and directed the I-T officials to proceed with the assessment/reassessment by following the procedures as contemplated and by affording an opportunity to the petitioners and complete the same as expeditiously as possible.

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