Dr. Anita Sumanth J in her ruling in  450 ITR 568 (Mad) while dealing with the contextual relevance of the word ‘ information’ in section 148A held that no doubt the definition of “information” is wide and could include just about any material in the possession of the officer. However, the caveat/ precondition is that such information must enable the suggestion of escapement of tax. Then again, the mandate cast upon the officer under section 148A(d) is that he is to decide whether it is a “fit case” for issue of a notice for reassessment, upon a study of the material in his possession, including the response of the assessee.
She went on to hold further that not all information in possession of the officer can be construed as “information” that qualifies for initiation of proceedings for reassessment, and it is only such “information” that suggests escapement and which, based upon the material in his possession, that the officer decides as “fit” to trigger reassessment, that would qualify.
The “information” in possession of the Department must prima facie, satisfy the requirement of enabling a suggestion of escapement from tax. This is not to say that the sufficiency or adequacy of the “information” must be tested, as such an analysis would be beyond the scope of juris- diction of this court in writ jurisdiction. However whether at all the “information” gathered could lead to a suggestion of escapement from tax can certainly be ascertained.
For the purposes of such ascertainment and to determine “fitness” to re- assess, the materials gathered must be seen in the context of the allegation of tax evasion, taking assistance of decided cases to ascertain whether the allegation is sustainable or not. With the necessity for “belief” effaced from the statutory provision, the dimension of subjectivity that existed pre-April 1, 2021 stands substantially whittled.
In case of any deviation from this path one can raise an objection or a ground.
In this case the AO failed to take into consideration settled legal position on the subject under consideration viz contract for service and one of service and merely on the basis of certain documents impounded during survey held the remuneration paid to doctor liable to tax under salary head.