Sahara challenges IT Deptt's order for special audit



Sahara challenges IT Deptt`s order for special audit New Delhi: Sahara India on Wednesday challenged the directions of the Income Tax department which ordered a special audit of the annual return filed by the diversified business group.

Sahara, in its petition, submitted the special audit would cause "irrepairable loss, mental agony, harassment and injury" to it as the group has already clarified its stand over the points raised by the department.

The Income Tax department had on November 24 this year directed conduct of a special audit of the annual return of Sahara India submitted for financial year 2007-08 in which it shows a loss of Rs 148 crore.

The IT had directed Sahara India to get its annual return of 2007-08 audited by a Charted Accountant under section 142 (2A) of the Income Tax Act.

Admitting the petition of Sahara, a division bench comprising Justice A K Sikri and Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notices to the government and directed it to file its reply.

Under section 142 (2A), if the IT department is of the opinion that there is a need for an independent assessment of return, then it may get it audited by an accountant.

In its petition filed through its partner J B Roy, Sahara claimed it has "submitted information/detail in respect of each and every query. Book of accounts with voucher/bills were also produced."

After going through Sahara's return, the IT department had sent 70 questions regarding their assessment.

Opposing the IT Department order, Sahara said the department had made the special audit a "continuous exercise" for the last 14 years.

"Successive officers merely as a matter of routine pass an order without making any genuine attempt to examine whether in fact there is any complexity in the account book of the petitioner," said Sahara.

It alleged the order for a special audit for 2007-08 is a "virtual reproduction of proposal for assessment year 2006-07" which is also pending before the High Court.

The Court has directed to list the matter for hearing on April 27, 2010.

PTI