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In the previous system of reopening action the AO initiation solely on the basis of some information received from fellow officer is held improper in (2023] 105 ITR (Trib) 73 (ITAT[Del]). 

Even on merits in this case the AO neither even could point to any defect in the maintenance of the books of account while doubting genuineness of purchases. 


In the present law there is a bounden duty of the AO to conduct an independent inquiry and follow the procedure laid down in section 148A before issuing notice u/s 148. Only because an inquiry is conducted by investigation etc may not be a good start to issue of notice u/s 148. 


Given this verdict as it follows delhi high court decisions on independent inquiry and independent Application of mind whether the proviso to section 148A exempting by deeming fiction independent inquiry in search and survey cases violate the principle of natural justice is something that the Courts may have to ponder in near future as and when challenged. 


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