Section 142/143 assessment scheme says that assessee be given ‘opportunity’ for the purpose of assessment. The word ‘adequate’ is missing.
There is a stage during assessment when the AO has to issue a show cause notice in case of proposed variations that r prejudicial to the interest of the assessee. No minimum or extended time is specified in section 143 or 144B.
With the result the AO has a liberty to his side entirely who often may give 3 days time to file response which may not be adequate given the complexities of the subject.
In the absence of the timelines the Courts also do not entertain pleas for inadequate opportunity in a writ.
The Telangana High Court in (2022) 444ITR581 held that there is no straight jacket formula to know whether opportunity granted in a case was adequate and reasonable or not and that according to them would depend on facts and circumstances of each case to be ascertained in appeal before Commissioner (Appeals).
In this high value assessment case a draft assessment order was framed on 4th September served on 6 September seeking show cause response to proposed variations by 9 September which was further extended to 13 September failing the assessee to get justice in his making resubmissions to the findings in the draft order.
Ideally this show cause notice procedure must be with some timelines or formulas as in case of section 148A scheme of not less than 7 days ( extendable)lest the AO would follow 3 day ritual for final show cause in all cases.