Vodafone Idea Ltd. (Earlier known as Vodafone Mobile Services Limited)


Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax Circle 26(2) & Anr

SLP (Civil) No. 1169 of 2019

Provisions Involved

Section 143(2) of the Income Tax Act, 1961


Income Tax Return was filed by the Appellant continuously for the AY 2014-15 to 2017-18 and refund was claimed, respectively. Submitting that there was complete inaction on part of the respondents in processing the ITRs and in issuing the appropriate refund to the appellant, Writ Petition (civil) No. 2730 of 2018 was filed by the appellant in the HC of Delhi at New Delhi, for grant of refunds along with interest u/s 244A of ITA, 1961. By the Judgement and order dated 14/12/2018, HC dismissed the said petition. Then in an order dated 23/07/2018 Assessing Officer u/s 143(1) and u/s 241(A) of the ITA, process of return was declined. Then is SLP No. 1169 of 2018, The Hon’ble court had held that the order dated 23/07/2018 was without jurisdiction because on that date neither the return of income was processed nor a notice u/s 143(2) was issues, warranting exercise of powers u/s 241 A of the Act. On 14/03/2019 intimation was sent to the appellant by the respondent regarding withholding of refund for AY 2017-2018.




It was held in CIT v.Gujarat Electricity Board that the power u/s 143(1) is summary in nature designed to cause adjustments which are apparent from the return while that under sub-section (2) and (3) it is to scrutinize the return and cause deeper probe to arrive at the correct determination of the liability of the assesses. Similarly on referring to the judgement made in Gujarat Poly Avx Electronics Ltd v. Dy. Commissioner of Income Tax (Asstt.) where it was held that once regular assessment proceedings have commenced u/s 143(2) of the ITA, 1961, it is a limitation on the jurisdiction of the assessing officer to commence proceeding u/s 143(1) (a) of the Act. Section 241-A of the Act requires a separate recording of satisfaction on part of the assessing officer that having regard to the fact that a notice has been issued u/s 143(2), the grant of refund is likely to adversely affect the revenue ; where after, with the previous approval of the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner and for reasons to be recorded in writing, the refund can be withheld.


The apex court held that the order dated 23/07/2018 was without jurisdiction and order dater 14/03/2018 was made within the jurisdiction of the Assessing Officer. SC further directed that the Amount of rs 733 crore must be paid for the AY 2014 -2015 and the proceeding initiated in respect of AY 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 must be concluded as early as possible.