Failed to respond to the several notices sent by the AO (faceless), assessee cannot contend that he was not afforded personal hearing even on request : Madras HC

As per guidelines of E-proceeding, assessee can demand for virtual hearing under certain circumstances.

In case of Suyambulingam Suresh (W.P.No.6695 of 2020 &
W.M.P.No.7951 of 2020B), based on e proceedings guidelines, assessee argued before Madras HC that whenever a show
cause notice contemplates any adverse view against the assessee, the request
for personal hearing made by the assessee has to be acceded by the
respondent.E mail id of Chartered Accountant was given and assessee was not aware about initial notices issued u/s 142(1) of the act.If he had been afforded an opportunity of personal
hearing, he would have been able to establish before the authority concerned
that he had infact incurred the expenditure which has been disallowed under
the impugned assessment order.

On rejecting writ filed by assessee, Madras HC stated in para 10 of order that “….no documents were produced by the petitioner before
the respondent to substantiate his claim that he had actually incurred
expenditure which has been disallowed in the impugned assessment order,
despite several opportunities having been given to the petitioner, pursuant to
the notices issued by the respondent….”


From the judgment, it can be observed that if assessee don’t co-operate during the assessment proceeding and request for virtual hearing can be rejected. In such case, Shelter of “principles of natural justice” can not be taken on the ground that opportunity of being heard is not provided. Also it is very important that active e-mail id is updated at income tax portal, as almost all the communications in e proceedings are through e-mail.