Assessment Order Passed Against ‘Dead’ Without Bringing On Record Legal Heirs Is Void

coporate Law, Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court in the case Vikram Bhatnagar Versus ACIT observed and has quashed the assessment order which is being passed against the dead person without bringing on record all his legal representatives is void.
The division bench comprising of Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora has observed and has stated that his legal heirs duly communicated the death of the assessee. Also, it has been duly disclosed by the ITR that it was filed by the legal representative. Thus, due to a lack of knowledge of the facts of the case on the record, the scrutiny proceedings were wrongfully conducted in the name of the deceased assessee without bringing all of his legal heirs to the record as required by the law.
In the present case, the petitioner, the Late Virendra Kumar Bhatnagar is the son of the deceased assessee, , who died on 10.03.2018.
It has been stated by the petitioner that upon the demise of the assessee, an e-application has been filled by him wherein seeking registration as a legal representative of the deceased assessee in the records as stated of the Income Tax Department. The court accepted the said application and has allowed the petitioner to use the deceased assessee’s account on the E-portal to make necessary filings on behalf of the deceased assessee as the registered legal representative.
The income tax return (ITR) has been filled by the petitioner of the deceased assessee for AY 2018–2019 in his capacity as a legal representative. It was duly verified in the ITR and was declared that the petitioner filled the ITR in his capacity as a representative of the deceased assessee.
The Assessing officer issued a statutory notice under Section 143(2) for the assessment year for limited scrutiny. In the name of the deceased assessee the notice was issued. Therefore, the AO concluded the aforesaid assessment proceedings and has passed the consequential assessment order in the name of the deceased assessee, bearing his PAN, and assessing the total income.
Further, it has been contended by the petitioner that the notice suffered from a fundamental jurisdictional error as it was issued in the name of a dead person and the scrutiny proceedings were proposed in the case of a deceased person. Moreover, the notice mentioned the name of the legal heirs nor the PAN number of the legal heirs and at the time of issuing notice no steps were taken by AO to bring on record all of the deceased assessee’s legal heirs.
Accordingly, the petition was allowed by the court and the court has quashed the assessment order along with all consequential proceedings and notices.

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