Refund – Interest on refund – Section 244A of ITA, 1961 – Amount seized from assessee in search proceedings shown as advance tax in return – Return accepted and assessment made – Assessee entitled to interest u/s 244A on such amount
7.Agarwal Enterprises vs. Dy.
CIT;  415 ITR 225 (Bom.) Date of order: 24th January, 2019 A.Y.: 2015-16
Refund – Interest on refund – Section 244A
of ITA, 1961 – Amount seized from assessee in search proceedings shown as
advance tax in return – Return accepted and assessment made – Assessee entitled
to interest u/s 244A on such amount
In the course of
the search proceedings u/s 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 conducted in the
office premises of the assessee on 9th October, 2014 cash of Rs. 35
lakhs was seized. The assessee applied for release of the seized cash after
adjusting tax liability due on the amount but the same was not accepted by the
AO. The assessee filed its return of income for the A.Y. 2015-16, declaring
total income of Rs. 39.15 lakhs, which included the cash of Rs. 35 lakhs seized
during the course of the search. The assessee showed the seized cash of Rs. 35
lakhs as advance tax and claimed a refund of Rs. 27.50 lakhs. The AO passed an
assessment order u/s 143(3) of the Act including the said cash of Rs. 35 lakhs
in the total income. However, the amount of Rs. 35 lakhs which was shown as
advance tax was not accepted and an independent demand of Rs. 9.18 lakhs was
raised on the assessee u/s 156 of the Act. The demand was paid by the assessee.
Subsequently, on application for refund of seized cash of Rs. 35 lakhs, the AO
refunded Rs. 31.5 lakhs after deducting the outstanding penalty demand of Rs.
3.5 lakhs. However, the AO refused to pay interest on the refunded amount.
The assessee filed
a writ petition and challenged the order. The Bombay High Court allowed the
writ petition and held as under: