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2016 (11) TMI 211 - DELHI HIGH COURT
Validity of Assessment u/s 153A - addition made on the basis of the incriminating material found during the search? - Held that:- The search was conducted on 22-03-2006. Various materials: documents, agreements, invoices and statements in the form of accounts and calculations were seized. On 18 April 2006 and 3 May 2006, the assessee’s sons (including one of the appellants, Abhay Gupta) recorded statements under oath; the assessee too made her statement under oath, admitting that though returns were filed ostensibly on her behalf, she was not in control of the business. She and all other family members made short statements and endorsed the statements under oath, of those who elaborated the trading and business operations relating to clandestine income. These statements under oath were part of the record and continued to be so. They were never explained in any reasonable manner. Their probative value is undeniable; the occasion for making them arose because of the search and seizure that occurred and the seizure of various documents, etc. that pointed to undeclared income. In these circumstances, the assessee’s argument that they could not be acted upon or given any weight is insubstantial and meritless. This court also notices that the decision in CIT Vs. Anil Bhatia (2012 (8) TMI 368 - DELHI HIGH COURT ) which held that such statements are relevant, though noticed, has not been doubted in any later decision, including Kabul Chawla [2015 (9) TMI 80 - DELHI HIGH COURT ], which is the mainstay of the assessee’s case. Consequently the first question of law is answered against the assessee and in the revenue’s favour.
Rejection of books of accounts - estimating turn over and applying a high GP rate to estimate profit - Held that:- ITAT’s findings do not reveal any fundamental error, calling for correction. The inferences drawn in respect of undeclared income were premised on the materials found as well as the statements recorded by the assessees. These additions therefore were not baseless. Given that the assessing authorities in such cases have to draw inferences, because of the nature of the materials – since they could be scanty (as one habitually concealing income or indulging in clandestine operations can hardly be expected to maintain meticulous books or records for long and in all probability be anxious to do away with such evidence at the shortest possibility) the element of guess work is to have some reasonable nexus with the statements recorded and documents seized. In this case, the differences of opinion between the CIT (A) on the one hand and the AO and ITAT on the other cannot be the sole basis for disagreeing with what is essentially a factual surmise that is logical and plausible. These findings do not call for interference. The second question of law is answered again in favour of the revenue and against the assessee.