Decision on debatable point of law is not a mistake apparent from record thus rectification not possible – ITAT
Relevant Text of the Order as follows :
6. We have heard the rival submissions and perused the relevant materials on record. The reasons for our decisions are given below.
The power of rectification u/s 154 of the Act can be exercised only if there is a mistake apparent from the record of the assessment of the assessee. In other words, in order to attract the power to rectify u/s 154, it is not sufficient, if there is merely a mistake in the order sought to be rectified. The mistake could be rectified must be one apparent from the record. The plain meaning of the word “apparent” is that it must be something which appears to be so ex facie and is incapable of argument or debate. It, therefore, follows that a decision on a debatable point of law or fact or failure to apply the law to a set of facts, which remain to be investigated, cannot be corrected by way of rectification.
In T.S. Balaram v. Volkart Bros. (1971) 82 ITR 50 (SC), their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court have held that a mistake apparent on the record must be an obvious and patent mistake and not something which can be established by a long drawn process of reasoning on points on which there may be conceivably two opinions; a decision on a debatable point of law is not a mistake apparent from record.
In the instant case, the mistake as pointed out by the Ld. counsel is not apparent on the record; not obvious and patent mistake. In the instant case, the mistakes can be established by a long drawn process of reasoning on points on which there may be conceivably two opinions. In the instant case, the mistakes pointed out by the Ld counsel are rather debatable. Thus the ratio laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Volkart Bros (supra) is squarely applicable here.
In view of the above factual scenario and position of law, we uphold the order of the Ld. CIT(A).