After the successful implementation of the Faceless assessment scheme, the Income-tax department has also launched a faceless penalty scheme and faceless Appeals system before CIT(Appeals). It is claimed that Faceless Assessments & Faceless Appeals have drastically reduced unwanted interaction of the department with the assesses, helped in speedier disposal & transparency, and instilled an environment of mutual trust between the department and the assesses. In the Finance Bill, 2021, it has been proposed to make the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) faceless by amending section 255 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
This paper seeks to enquire about the impact of the e-initiatives in proceedings related to assessment, e-penalty, and appeals to the natural justice principles with special emphasis on the faceless assessment initiative undertaken by the Income-tax department. For this purpose, recent rulings of Income Tax Appellate Tribunals and higher appellate forums have been analysed, where the issue involved related to the violation of natural justice through orders passed by the department in the faceless regime.