Income Tax (Investigation) 2002 (256) ITR 498 (Guj), in support of the legal issues.
We have gone both the decisions and find that whereas the judgment in Raghu Raj Pratap Singh (supra) related to the validity of search and seizure and the recovery of materials from
the bank, the judgment in Madhupuri Corporation (supra) rendered by the Gujarat High Court, relates to the retention of the seized documents and books and accounts beyond the statutory
period of 15 days. The Gujarat High Court held that such illegality would not vitiate the evidence collected during such search. We are informed by Shri R.K. Upadhyay, that the judgment in
Smt. Vandana Verma's case (supra) has been challenged in the Supreme Court by the revenue in Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 18366 of 2010 (C.I.T. vs. Vandana Verma) in which notices
have been issued and thereafter fresh steps were directed to be taken up on 4.8.2011 fixing 15.9.2011. In the instance case before us in pursuance to the warrant of authorisation issued by the DIT (Investigation)/Kanpur, search and seizure operations under Section 132 (1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961were carried on 6.9.2006 at the residential premises of Shri
Ashok Chawla, Smt. Madhu Chawla and Shri Anuj Chawla at 42 S.C. Basu Road, Allahabad as well as the locker No. 301 with Punjab National Bank, Chowk, Allahabad and also a survey u/s
133-A was conducted in the case of Chawla Mill Store (Prop. Shri Ashok Chawla) 1 S.C., Basu Road, Allahabad and in shop No. 58 at 45, V.N. Marg, Allahabad. As per provisions of Section 153A(b), the assessment of six preceding assessment years (block period) was required to be made from the search. Accordingly, notices were issued to the assessees. The A.O. passed separate assessment orders for Ashok Chawla and Smt. Madhu Chawla. We do not find that the Tribunal has committed any error in law in relying upon the judgment in Smt. Vandana Verma's case (supra) in which it was held that where the search operations are carried
out in the joint names, the individual assessment could not have been made. The Court has given reasons to reach to such conclusion. They have held that in case, the authorizing authority had information in his possession in consequence of which he had
reason to believe that Mudit Verma and Vandana Verma though living in a single premises as husband and wife, possessed undisclosed assets including income separately, then, he might
have issued warrant of search individually for conducting the search as both Mudit Verma and Vandana Verma are assessed to income tax in their individual capacity. When warrant of
authorization was issued in the joint names it was not open for the assessing authority to assess Smt. Vandana Verma on the basis of the assets and documents seized during the course of search in pursuance of the warrant of authorization which was in the joint names, and that too by invoking the provisions of Chapter XIV-B in an individual capacity. She could be assessed jointly only as AOP of BOI as per the definition of the word "person" under the Income Tax Act.
Since the questions raised in these appeals are covered by the Division Bench judgment of this case in Smt. Vandana Verma's case and with which we respectfully agree, we need not to decide
them all over again. The Income Tax Appeals are accordingly dismissed. We make it
clear that it will be open to the assessing authority to make assessment orders in respect of the assessees who have been assessed separately as AOP/BOI.