Procedure on receipt of an application under section 245C.19

245D. 20[(1) On receipt of an application under section 245C, the Settlement Commission shall, within seven days from the date of receipt of the application, issue a notice to the applicant requiring him to explain as to why the application made by him be allowed to be proceeded with, and on hearing the applicant, the Settlement Commission shall, within a period of fourteen days from the date of the application, by an order in writing, reject the application or allow the application to be proceeded with:

Provided that where no order has been passed within the aforesaid period by the Settlement Commission, the application shall be deemed to have been allowed to be proceeded with.]

(1A) 21[Omitted by the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1991, w.e.f. 27-9-1991.]

(2) A copy of every order under sub-section (1) shall be sent to the applicant and to the Commissioner.

22[(2A) Where an application was made under section 245C before the 1st day of June, 2007, but an order under the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section, as they stood immediately before their amendment by the Finance Act, 2007, has not been made before the 1st day of June, 2007, such application shall be deemed to have been allowed to be proceeded with if the additional tax on the income disclosed in such application and the interest thereon is paid on or before the 31st day of July, 2007.

Explanation.—In respect of the applications referred to in this sub-section, the 31st day of July, 2007 shall be deemed to be the date of the order of rejection or allowing the application to be proceeded with under sub-section (1).

(2B) The Settlement Commission shall,—

           (i)  in respect of an application which is allowed to be proceeded with under sub-section (1), within thirty days from the date on which the application was made; or

          (ii)  in respect of an application referred to in sub-section (2A) which is deemed to have been allowed to be proceeded with under that sub-section, on or before the 7th day of August, 2007,

call for a report from the Commissioner, and the Commissioner shall furnish the report within a period of thirty days of the receipt of communication from the Settlement Commission.

(2C) Where a report of the Commissioner called for under sub-section (2B) has been furnished within the period specified therein, the Settlement Commission may, on the basis of the report and within a period of fifteen days of the receipt of the report, by an order in writing, declare the application in question as invalid, and shall send the copy of such order to the applicant and the Commissioner:

Provided that an application shall not be declared invalid unless an opportunity has been given to the applicant of being heard:

Provided further that where the Commissioner has not furnished the report within the aforesaid period, the Settlement Commission shall proceed further in the matter without the report of the Commissioner.

(2D) Where an application was made under sub-section (1) of section 245C before the 1st day of June, 2007 and an order under the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section, as they stood immediately before their amendment by the Finance Act, 2007, allowing the application to have been proceeded with, has been passed before the 1st day of June, 2007, but an order under the provisions of sub-section (4), as they stood immediately before their amendment by the Finance Act, 2007, was not passed before the 1st day of June, 2007, such application shall not be allowed to be further proceeded with unless the additional tax on the income disclosed in such application and the interest thereon, is, notwithstanding any extension of time already granted by the Settlement Commission, paid on or before the 31st day of July, 2007.]

23[(3)The Settlement Commission, in respect of—

           (i)  an application which has not been declared invalid under sub-section (2C); or

          (ii)  an application referred to in sub-section (2D) which has been allowed to be further proceeded with under that sub-section,

may call for the records from the Commissioner and after examination of such records, if the Settlement Commission is of the opinion that any further enquiry or investigation in the matter is necessary, it may direct the Commissioner to make or cause to be made such further enquiry or investigation and furnish a report on the matters covered by the application and any other matter relating to the case, and the Commissioner shall furnish the report within a period of ninety days of the receipt of communication from the Settlement Commission:

Provided that where the Commissioner does not furnish the report within the aforesaid period, the Settlement Commission may proceed to pass an order under sub-section (4) without such report.

(4) After examination of the records and the report of the Commissioner, if any, received under—

           (i)  sub-section (2B) or sub-section (3), or

          (ii)  the provisions of sub-section (1) as they stood immediately before their amendment by the Finance Act, 2007,

and after giving an opportunity to the applicant and to the Commissioner to be heard, either in person or through a representative duly authorised in this behalf, and after examining such further evidence as may be placed before it or obtained by it, the Settlement Commission may, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, pass such order as it thinks fit on the matters covered by the application and any other matter relating to the case not covered by the application, but referred to in the report of the Commissioner.

(4A) The Settlement Commission shall pass an order under sub-section (4),—

           (i)  in respect of an application referred to in sub-section (2A) or sub-section (2D), on or before the 31st day of March, 2008;

          (ii)  in respect of an application made on or after the 1st day of June, 2007, within twelve months from the end of the month in which the application was made.]

24[(5) Subject to the provisions of section 245BA, the materials brought on record before the Settlement Commission shall be considered by the Members of the concerned Bench before passing any order under sub-section (4) and, in relation to the passing of such order, the provisions of section 245BD shall apply.]

(6) Every order passed under sub-section (4) shall provide for the terms of settlement25 including any demand by way of 26[tax, penalty or interest], the manner in which any sum due under the settlement25 shall be paid and all other matters to make the settlement effective and shall also provide that the settlement shall be void if it is subsequently found by the Settlement Commission that it has been obtained by fraud or misrepresentation of facts.

27[(6A) Where any tax payable in pursuance of an order under sub-section (4) is not paid by the assessee within thirty-five days of the receipt of a copy of the order by him, then, whether or not the Settlement Commission has extended the time for payment of such tax or has allowed payment thereof by instalments, the assessee shall be liable to pay simple interest at 28[one and one-fourth per cent for every month or part of a month] on the amount remaining unpaid from the date of expiry of the period of thirty-five days aforesaid.]

(7) Where a settlement becomes void as provided under sub-section (6), the proceedings with respect to the matters covered by the settlement shall be deemed to have been revived from the stage at which the application was allowed to be proceeded with by the Settlement Commission and the income-tax authority concerned, may, notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Act, complete such proceedings at any time before the expiry of two years from the end of the financial year in which the settlement became void.

29[(8) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that nothing contained in section 153 shall apply to any order passed under sub-section (4) or to any order of assessment, reassessment or recomputation required to be made by the 30[Assessing] Officer in pursuance of any directions contained in such order passed by the Settlement Commission 31[and nothing contained in the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 186 shall apply to the cancellation of the registration of a firm required to be made in pursuance of any such directions as aforesaid.]]