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Telangana High Court imposes litigations costs on the Assessing Officer for non-consideration of evidence during assessment.

In the recent case by the Telangana High Court, the Assessing Officer was charged with litigation costs for not considering the evidence filed by the petitioner. According to the facts of the case, the petitioner submitted in his plea that he received neither any reminder notices not any opportunity was provided for the petitioner for a personal hearing. The respondent i.e., the assessing officer just passed the impugned Assessment order ignoring the two declaration forms filed by the petitioners.

It was also submitted by the petitioner that it is the duty of the assessing officer to get the record from the authority and look into it before passing the Assessment order. In this, the AO has to consider the personal hearing to the petitioner as well which was not done in the present case. According to the assistant government pleader, the Assessing officer did not call for the record from authority and could not notice this material which the petitioner has filed and therefore couldn’t consider the evidence filed by the petitioner before passing the assessment order.

The bench of the Telangana High Court held that the manner in which the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and the officials working under him are discharging their duties is violating the rights of all the assessee and it’s leaving them with no choice other than approaching the High Court to ask for the justice they were not given by the AO due to non-compliance with the principles of Natural Justice.  Therefore, considering the present matter, the court directed the AO to serve show-cause notice under Rule 64(1)(b) of the Telangana VAT Rules on petitioner which would indicate the turnover proposed to be assessed and the tax proposed to be levied thereon. The petitioner is also granted time of 6 week to file objection along with the evidence. After this, the AO will hear the petitioner and then pass the order providing with the proper reasons in accordance with the law.

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