In the case of ITO vs. Ashok Jain, ITAT Surat has held that:

No doubt in the present case, the ld.AO has applied for such approval which was granted on 29.3.2017, but before grant of approval, the ld.AO has already issued notice on 28.3.2014 which is without any jurisdiction. He can issue notice only after getting approval. Thus, the ld.CIT(A) has rightly quashed the assessment because the very foundation for issuance of notice under section 148 is the approval from the competent authority, i.e. Commissioner of Income Tax, and in the absence of such, such notice is void ab initio.

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