The Delhi bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), has recently allowed an illiterate assessee a fresh opportunity to produce the documents before the assessing officer since he was not properly represented by the counsel during the proceedings.
The appellant is a small farmer owning small agricultural land who does not know Income Tax Law. The assessee claimed that he blindly trusted on his Chartered Accountant and given all the necessary documents & information. However, the counsel did not submitted the return of income, all the information & documents during the assessment & Appeal proceedings as per the Income Tax Law and did not performed his professional duties and did not give proper advice to the appellant.
Before the Tribunal, the assessee requested an opportunity to explain the case and to submit all the necessary information & documents to the Assessing Officer.
It was contended on behalf of the assessee that the counsel appearing before the CIT(A) did not submit all the necessary documents and the assessee being an illiterate farmer who trusted the counsel was betrayed by the counsel.
The Tribunal noted that the assessment order was framed ex-parte. “The documents filed before us show that the assessee has entrusted his counsel to furnish evidence before the first appellate authority but a perusal of the order of the first appellate authority shows that the appellate proceedings were not properly attended,” the Tribunal observed.
“We have also given through the application for the admission of additional evidence. We are of the considered view that these documents go to the root of the matter. Therefore, in the interest of justice and fair play, we deem it fit to restore the entire quarrel to the files of the AO. The assessee is directed to furnish all those documents before the AO and the AO is directed to decide the issue fresh after considering the documents and after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the assessee,” the Tribunal said.To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE