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2019 (5) TMI 422

Company and share subscribing companies did not appear before him - HELD THAT:- In this case on hand, the assessee had discharged its onus to prove the identity, creditworthiness and genuineness of the share applicants, thereafter the onus shifted to AO to disprove the documents. In the absence of any investigation, much less gathering of evidence by the Assessing Officer, we hold that an addition cannot be sustained merely based on inferences drawn by circumstance. In the facts of the present case, both the nature & source of the share application received was fully explained by the assessee. The assessee had discharged its onus to prove the identity, creditworthiness and genuineness of the share applicants. The PAN details, bank account statements, audited financial statements and Income Tax acknowledgments were placed on AO's record. Accordingly all the three conditions as required u/s. 68 of the Act i.e. the identity, creditworthiness and genuineness of the transaction was placed before the AO. The addition made by the AO is based on conjectures and surmises cannot be justified. Therefore, we do not want to interfere in the impugned order of Ld. CIT(A) which is confi .....

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made the addition of ₹ 1.62 cr. Aggrieved, the assessee preferred an appeal before the Ld. CIT(A), who was pleased to allow the claim of the assessee. Aggrieved, the revenue is before us. 4. Assailing the action of ld. CIT(A), the learned DR submitted that AO have found out after carrying out detailed enquiry that assessee had failed to discharge its burden to prove the creditworthiness of the share-subscribing companies, so he has rightly made the addition and also wondered as to how the assessee company commanded premium of ₹ 490 per share, which is against human probability. So according to learned DR the order of Ld. CIT(A) is erroneous and need to be reversed and AO order be restored. Per contra the learned AR supported the action of Ld. CIT(A) & does not want us to interfere the impugned order. 5. We have heard rival submissions and gone through the facts and circumstances of the case. We note that the AO issued summons u/s. 131 of the Act to Shri Sanjay Kumar Khemka, director of the assessee company to produce the investor/investors directors along with requisite documents. The AO acknowledges that the said Director of the assessee company had only filed the .....

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e assessee as held by the Supreme Court in the case of CIT v. Smt. P. K. Noorjahan [1999] 237 ITR 570. We note that against the said decision of Hon'ble Gujarat High Court the special leave petition filed by the Revenue has also been dismissed by the Hon'ble Apex Court. 8. The main plank on which the AO made the addition was because the directors of the share subscribers did not turn up before him. In such a case the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Orissa Corpn. (P) Ltd. (supra) 159 ITR 78 and the Hon'ble Gujarat High Court, in the case of Dy. CIT v. Rohini Builders [2002] 256 ITR 360 /[2003] 127 Taxman 523 , has held that onus of the assessee (in whose books of account credit appears) stands fully discharged if the identity of the creditor is established and actual receipt of money from such creditor is proved. In case, the Assessing Officer is dissatisfied about the source of cash deposited in the bank accounts of the creditors, the proper course would be to assess such credit in the hands of the creditor (after making due enquiries from such creditor). In arriving at this conclusion, the Hon'ble Court has further stressed the presence of word "may" .....

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along with section 106 of Evidence Act. The relevant observations at page 260 to 262, 264 and 265 of the report are reproduced herein below:- "While interpreting the meaning and scope of section 68, one has to bear in mind that normally, interpretation of a statute shall be general, in nature, subject only to such exceptions as may be logically permitted by the statute itself or by some other law connected therewith or relevant thereto. Keeping in view these fundamentals of interpretation of statutes, when we read carefully the provisions of section 68, we notice nothing in section 68 to show that the scope of the inquiry under section 68 by the Revenue Department shall remain confined to the transactions, which have taken place between the assessee and the creditor nor does the wording of section 68 indicate that section 68 does not authorize the Revenue Department to make inquiry into the source(s) of the credit and/or sub-creditor. The language employed by section 68 cannot be read to impose such limitations on the powers of the Assessing Officer. The logical conclusion, therefore, has to be, and we hold that an inquiry under section 68 need not necessarily be kept confine .....

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ace between the assessee and the creditor. What follows, as a corollary, is that it is not the burden of the assessee to prove the genuineness of the transactions between his creditor and sub-creditors nor is it the burden of the assessee to prove that the sub-creditor had the creditworthiness to advance the cash credit to the creditor from whom the cash credit has been. eventually, received by the assessee. It, therefore, further logically follows that the creditor's creditworthiness has to be Judged vis-a-vis the transactions, which have taken place between the assessee and the creditor, and it is not the business of the assessee to find out the source of money of his creditor or of the genuineness of the transactions, which took between the creditor and sub-creditor and/or creditworthiness of the sub- creditors, for, these aspects may not be within the special knowledge of the assessee. " ********** " ... If a creditor has, by any undisclosed source, a particular amount of money in the bank, there is no limitation under the law on the part of the assessee to obtain such amount of money or part thereof from the creditor, by way of cheque in the form of loan and in s .....

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d amounts had been received by him by way of cheques from the creditors aforementioned. In fact the fact that the assessee had received the said amounts by way of cheques was not in dispute. Once the assessee had established that he had received the said amounts from the creditors aforementioned by way of cheques, the assessee must be taken to have proved that the creditor had the creditworthiness to advance the loans. Thereafter the burden had shifted to the Assessing Officer to prove the contrary. On mere failure on the part of the creditors to show that their sub-creditors had creditworthiness to advance the said loan amounts to the assessee, such failure, as a corollary, could not have been and ought not to have been, under the law, treated as the income from the undisclosed sources of the assessee himself, when there was neither direct nor circumstantial evidence on record that the said loan amounts actually belonged to, or were owned by, the assessee. Viewed from this angle, we have no hesitation in holding that in the case at hand, the Assessing Officer had failed to show that the amounts, which had come to the hands of the creditors from the hands of the sub-creditors, had .....

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and address and further indicating that the loan was taken by account payee cheques, no doubt, prima facie, discharged the initial burden and those materials disclosed by the assessee prompted the Assessing Officer to enquire through the Inspector to verify the statements. 12. In a case where the issue was whether the assessee availed cash credit as against future sale of product, the AO issued summons to the creditors who did not turn up before him, so AO disbelieved the existence of creditors and saddled the addition, which was overturned by Ld. CIT(A). However, the Tribunal reversed the decision of the Ld. CIT(A) and upheld the AO s decision, which action of Tribunal was challenged by the Hon'ble High Court, Calcutta in the case of Crystal Networks (P.) Ltd. v. Commissioner of Income-tax 353 ITR 171 wherein the Tribunal s decision was overturned and decision of Ld. CIT(A) upheld and the Hon ble High Court has held that when the basic evidences are on record the mere failure of the creditor to appear cannot be basis to make addition. The court held as follows: 8. Assailing the said judgment of the learned Tribunal learned counsel for the appellant submits that Income-tax Offi .....

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the future sale of the product of the assessee or not. When it was found by the Commissioner of Incometax (Appeals) on facts having examined the documents that the advance given by the creditors have been established the Tribunal should not have ignored this -fact finding. Indeed the Tribunal did not really touch the aforesaid fact finding of the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) as rightly pointed out by the learned counsel. The Supreme Court has already stated as to what should be the duty of the learned Tribunal to decide in this situation. In the said judgment noted by us at page 464, the Supreme Court has observed as follows: "The Income-tax Appellate Tribunal performs a judicial function under the Indian Income-tax Act; it is invested with authority to determine finally all questions of fact. The Tribunal must, in deciding an appeal, consider with due care all the material facts and record its finding on all the contentions raised by the assessee and the Commissioner, in the light of the evidence and the relevant law. " 11. The Tribunal must, in deciding an appeal, consider with due care all the material facts and record its finding on all contentions raised by .....

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er of the assessee is bound to accept the same as genuine when the identity of the creditor and the genuineness" of transaction through account payee cheque has been established. We find that both the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeal) and the Tribunal below followed the well-accepted principle which are required to be followed in considering the effect of Section 68 of the Act and we thus find no reason to interfere with the concurrent findings of fact recorded by both the authorities. 14. Our attention was also drawn to the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court while dismissing SLP in the case of Lovely Exports as has been reported as judgment delivered by the CTR at 216 CTR 295: "Can the amount of share money be regarded as undisclosed income under section 68 of the Income tax Act, 1961? We find no merit in this special leave petition for the simple reason that if the share application money is received by the assessee- company from alleged bogus shareholders, whose names are given to the AO, then the Department is free to proceed to reopen their individual assessments in accordance with law. Hence, we find no infirmity with the impugned judgment. 15. Our attentio .....

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d. 16. Our attention was drawn to the decision of the Hon'ble High Court, Calcutta in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax vs M/s. Nishan Indo Commerce Ltd dated 2 December, 2013 in INCOME TAX APPEAL NO.52 OF 2001 wherein the Court held as follows: The Assessing Officer was of the view that the increase in share capital by ₹ 52,03,500/- was nothing but the introduction of the assessee's own undisclosed funds/income into the books of accounts of the assessee company. The Assessing Officer accordingly treated the investment as unexplained credit under Section 68 of the Income Tax Act and added the same to the income of the assessee. Being aggrieved, the assessee filed an appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) being the First Appellate Authority and contended that the Assessing Officer had no material to show that the share capital was the income of the assessee company and as such the addition made by the Assessing Officer under Section 68 of the Act was wrong. The learned Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) after hearing the department and the Assessee Company deleted the addition of ₹ 52, 03,500/- to the income of the assessee company during t .....

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nch of this Court held that when Section 68 is resorted to, it is incumbent on the assessee company to prove and establish the identity of the subscribers, their credit worthiness and the genuineness of the transaction. The aforesaid judgment was rendered in the context of the factual background of the aforesaid case where, despite several opportunities being given to the assessee, nothing was disclosed about the identity of the shareholders. In the instant case, the assessee disclosed the identity and address and particulars of share allocation of the shareholders. It was also found on the facts that all the shareholders were in existence. Only nine shareholders subscribing to about 900 shares out of 6, 12,000 shares were not found available at their addresses, and that too, in course of assessment proceedings in the year 1994, i.e., almost 3 years after the allotment. By an order dated 2nd May, 2001, this Court admitted the appeal on three questions which essentially centre around the question of whether the Appellate Commissioner erred in law in deleting the addition of ₹ 52, 03, 500/- to the income of the assessee as made by the Assessing Officer. We are of the view that .....

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foresaid courses but has simply blamed the assessee for not producing those share applicants. In our view, in the case before us so long the Assessing Officer was unable to arrive at a finding that the particulars given by the assessee were false, there was no scope of adding those money under section 68 of the Income- tax Act and the Tribunal below rightly held that the onus was validly discharged. We, thus, find that both the authorities below, on consideration of the materials on record, rightly applied the correct law which are required to be applied in the facts of the present case and, thus, we do not find any reason to interfere with the concurrent findings of fact based on materials on record. The appeal is, thus, devoid of any substance and is dismissed summarily as it does not involve any substantial question of law. 18. In the light of the aforesaid decisions of the Hon ble Apex and jurisdiction High court and other High Courts let us examine the present case in hand. We will examine each share subscribers totaling four (4). The Ld. AR took pains to bring out the relevant facts in respect of each share subscribers which will throw light as to the identity, creditworthine .....

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This company duly filed its return of income before ITO Ward 4(1), Kolkata and was having PAN AABCR5932J. This company was having a paid up capital with free reserves and surplus of ₹ 6,43,58,694/- as on 31/03/2012. The copy of the bank statement of the Company is duly available in the paper book. On examination of the bank statement it is taken note that there is no deposit of cash. The details of source of funds from which this company had made the share application are also available from a perusal of the bank statement and other documents filed in the paper book. 21. Coming to M/s. Rosewood Commosales Pvt. Ltd., Ld. AR drew our attention to pages 123 to 142 of the paper book and the Balance sheet, wherein we note that this Company invested a sum of ₹ 57,00,000/- in the appellant company. The share application was made by account payee cheque. This company was incorporated on 25/06/2009 and was having company identification number U51909WB2009PTC136229. This company duly filed its return of income before ITO Ward 43(3), Kolkata and was having PAN AAECR3861P. This company was having a paid up capital with free reserves and surplus of ₹ 12,76,92,280/- as on 31/0 .....

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assed in the respective balance sheets of the companies as share capital and investments. In respect of source of credit, the assessee has to prove the three necessary ingredients i.e. identity of share applicants, genuineness of transactions and creditworthiness of share applicants. For proving the identity of share applicants, the assessee furnished the name, address, PAN of share applicants together with the copies of balance sheets and Income Tax Returns. With regard to the creditworthiness of share applicants, as we noted supra, these Companies are having capital in several crores of rupees and the investment made in the appellant company is only a small part of their capital. These transactions are also duly reflected in the balance sheets of the share applicants, so creditworthiness is proved. Even if there was any doubt if any regarding the creditworthiness of the share applicants was still subsisting, then AO should have made enquiries from the AO of the share subscribers as held by Hon ble jurisdictional High Court in CIT vs DATAWARE (supra) which has not been done, so no adverse view could have been drawn. Third ingredient is genuineness of the transactions, for which we .....

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on money received. 3.4. 1. We also find that the impugned issue is also covered by the decision of Hon'ble Calcutta High Court in the case of CIT vs Roseberry Mercantile (P) Ltd in GA No. 3296 of 2010 ITAT No. 241 of 2010 dated 10.1.2011, wherein the- questions raised before their lordships and decision rendered thereon is as under:- "On the facts and in the circumstances of the case, Ld. CIT(A) ought to have upheld the assessment order as the transaction entered into by the assessee was a scheme for laundering black money into white money or accounted money and the Ld. CIT(A) ought to have held that the assessee had not established the genuineness of the transaction. " IT A No. 1669/KoI/2009-C-AM M/s. Global Mercantiles Pvt. Ltd 11 Held After hearing the learned counsel for the appellant and after going through the decision of the Supreme Court in the cases of CIT vs M/s Lovelv Exports Pvt Ltd, we are at one with the tribunal below that the point involved in this appeal is covered by the said Supreme Court decision in favour of the assessee and thus, no substantial question of law is involved in this appeal. The appeal is devoid of any substance and is dismissed. 3.4 .....

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use his power and authority for the physical appearance of the shareholders which was not exercised by the Learned AO. Instead the Learned AO continued to insist on the assessee to produce the shareholders before him. He ultimately concluded that the assessee had duly discharged its onus of providing complete details of the shareholders and in any case, no addition could be made u/s 68 of the Act in the asst year under appeal as no share application monies were received during the asst year under appeal. Aggrieved, the Revenue is in appeal before us by filing the following ground:- "That in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Ld. CIT(A) has erred in deleting the addition made u/s 68 in respect of the allotment of shares to 20 numbers of individual investors for an amount of ₹ 57 lakhs, where genuineness of the transactions and creditworthiness of the investors were not established. 4.3. The Learned DR prayed for admission of the additional ground raised before us and vehemently supported the order of the Learned AO. In response to this, the Learned AR fairly conceded to admission of this additional ground and vehemently supported the order of the Learned CIT(A). .....

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vs Lovelv Exports (p) Ltd reported in (2008) 216 CTR 195 (SC) is very well founded, wherein, it has been very clearly held that the only obligation of the company receiving the share application money is to prove the existence of the shareholders and for which the assessee had discharged the onus of proving their existence and also the source of share application money received. 6. 1. We also find that the impugned issue is also covered by the decision of Hon'ble Calcutta High Court in the case of CIT vs Roseberrv Mercantile (P) Ltd in GA No. 3296 of 2010 ITAT No. 241 of 2010 dated 10.1.2011, wherein the questions raised before their lordships and decision rendered thereon is as under:- On the facts and in the circumstances of the case, Ld. CIT(A) ought to have upheld the assessment order as the transaction entered into by the assessee was a scheme for laundering black money into white money or accounted money and the Ld. CIT(A) ought to have held that the assessee had not established the genuineness of the transaction." Held After hearing the learned counsel for the appellant and after going through the decision of the Supreme Court in the cases of CIT vs M/s Lovely Expor .....

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d perused the materials available on record. The Ld. DR vehemently supported the order of the AO. Before us the Ld. AR submitted that the assessee raised share application money during the year from 25 applicants. The AO was furnished with the copy of Form 2 of Allotment of Shares to the Applicants as filed with the Registrar of Companies, West Bengal. On the date of receipt of Share applications from the Applicants, they furnished their addresses, which were recorded in the Register of Members. The AO observed that as per ROC records the addresses of the nine companies were different from the address as per Form filed with him. The AO issued notices u/s.133(6) to all the companies at the addresses furnished in Form 2 as filed with him, which were duly served at the given addresses. The A0 argued that the letters should not have been served at the given address by the assessee. He served a show a cause notice dated 09.12.2011 asking for the explanation from the assessee as to how the notices u/s. 133(6) could be served to these nine companies who had different address as per ROC records. The AO was explained vide letter dated 20.12.2011 of the assessee that those companies had chan .....

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er ministry of Company Affairs records. o) Copy of Annual return. p) Copy of Memorandum and articles of Association. Finally the Ld. AR relied on the order of the Ld. CIT(A 10. 1 From the aforesaid discussion we find that the AO has made the addition of the share application money because all the nine companies were having the common address and the notice sent under section 133(6) was received by the single person. Accordingly the AO opined that the assessee has used its unaccounted money in the share application transactions. However we find that all the money received in the form of share capital is duly supported with the requisite document as discussed above. To our mind the basis on which the addition was made by the AO is not tenable. The Ld. DR also could not brought anything on record to controvert the findings of the Ld. CIT(A). In view of above we find no reason to interfere in the order of the Id. CIT(A). Accordingly the ground raised by Revenue is dismissed. (d) The Ld ITAT Kolkata in ITO vs Cygnus Developers (I) P Ltd in ITA No. 282/Kol/2012 dated 2.3.2016. In this the decision the Ld. Tribunal held as follows: 6. On appeal by the assessee the CIT(A) deleted the addit .....

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the addition of ₹ 54,00,000/ -. The ground Nos. 2 and 3 are allowed, " 7. Aggrieved by the order of CIT{A) the Revenue is in appeal before the Tribunal. 8. We have heard the submissions of the learned DR, who relied on the order of AO. The learned counsel for the assessee relied on the order of CIT(A) and further drew our attention to the decision of Hon'ble Allahabad High Court in the case of CIT vs Raj Kumar Agarwal vide ITA No. 179/2008, dated 17. 11.2009 wherein the Hon 'ble Allahabad High Court took a view that non production of the director of a Public Limited company which is regularly assessed to Income tax having PAN, on the ground that the identity of the investor is not proved cannot be sustained. Attention was also to the similar ruling of the ITAT Kolkata bench in the case of ITO vs Devinder Singh Shant in IT A No.20BIKo112009 vide order dated 17.04.2009. 9. We have considered the rival submissions., We are of the view that order of CIT(A) does not call for any interference. It may be seen from the grounds of appeal raised by the Revenue that the Revenue disputed only the proof of identity of the shareholder. In this regard it is seen that for A Y.2 .....

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led by the appellant nor prove that the share application were ingenuine or the applicants were non-creditworthy. The findings of the CIT(Appeals) were upheld by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. On appeal to the High Court, the Revenue placed strong reliance on the decision of another coordinate Bench of the same Court in the" case of CIT Vs Novo Promoters & Finlease (P) Ltd (342 ITR 169). The High Court however held that the aforesaid judgment was distinguishable from the facts of the present case. The Court observed that in that judgment the Assessing Officer had brought on record enough corroborative evidence to show that the assessee had routed unaccounted monies into its books through medium of share subscription. The share applicants had confessed that they were "accommodation entry providers". The Assessing Officer in the latter case was able to prove with enough material that the share subscription was a pre-meditated plan to route unaccounted monies. In the present case however the Department was unable to bring any material whatsoever shows that share application was in the nature of accommodation entries. The Court observed that the appellant had fil .....

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e contention of the assessee in respect of the amount is found correct. As such the unexplained amount is to be taken at ₹ 55,50,000/-. The assessee has further tries to explain the source of this amount of ₹ 55,50,000/- by furnishing copies of share application money, balance4 sheet etc. of the parties mentioned above and asserted that the question of addition in the income of the assessee does not arise. This explanation of the assessee has been duly considered and found not acceptable. This entry remains unexplained in the hands of the assessee as has been arrived by the Investigation wing of the department. As such entries of ₹ 5 50/000/- received by the assessee are treated as an unexplained cash credit in the hands of the assessee and added to its income. Since I am satisfied that the assessee has furnished inaccurate particulars of its income/ penalty proceedings under Section 271(1)(c) are being initiated separately. The facts of Nova Promoters and Finlease (P) Ltd. (supra) fall in the former category and that is why this Court decided in favour of the revenue in that case. However, the facts of the present case are clearly distinguishable and fall in the .....

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pra). Where the assessee adduces evidence in support of the share application monies, it is open to the Assessing Officer to examine it and reject it on tenable grounds. In case he wishes to rely on the report of the investigation authorities, some meaningful enquiry ought to be conducted by him to establish a link between the assessee and the alleged hawala operators, such a link was shown to be present in the case of Nova Promoters & Finlease (P) Ltd. (supra) relied upon by the revenue. We are therefore not to be understood to convey that in all cases of share capital added under Section the ratio of Lovely Exports (supra) is attracted, irrespective of the facts, evidence and material. " 29. Further, the Ld AR submitted that merely because the income of the shareholders is meagre, it cannot be said that their creditworthiness is doubtful, when their own funds are several times the investment made in the assessee company. In this regard, reliance was placed on the observation of the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi in the case of CIT vs. M/s. Mayawati 338 ITR 563, wherein a bench comprising of Hon'ble Justice A.K. Sikri and Hon'ble Justice Suresh Kait wherein Hon b .....

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ed by the impugned order of the Tribunal and on facts it was found satisfied. (ii) Further it was a submission on behalf of the Revenue that such large amount of share premium gives rise to suspicion on the genuineness (identity) of the shareholders i.e. they are bogus. The Apex Court in CIT v/s. Lovely Exports (P) Ltd. 317 ITR 218 in the context to the preamended Section 68 of the Act has held that where the Revenue urges that the amount of share application money has been received from bogus shareholders then it is for the Income Tax Officer to proceed by reopening the assessment of such shareholders and assessing them to tax in accordance with law. It does not entitle the Revenue to add the same to the assessee s income as unexplained cash credit. 31. According to Ld AR, recently, the Tribunal Mumbai Bench in the case of DCIT vs. M/s. Alcon Biosciences (P) Ltd., ITA No. 1946/M/2016, Order dated 28.02.2018 held as under - "As regards the AOs observation with regard to the issue of shares at a face value of ₹ 10/- issued at a premium of ₹ 990 per share, we find that there is no merit in the findings of the AO for the reason that the issue of shares at a premium an .....

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ferences drawn by circumstance. Applying the propositions laid down in these case laws to the facts of this case, we are inclined to uphold the order of the Ld. Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) 35. To sum up section 68 of the Act provides that if any sum found credited in the year in respect of which the assessee fails to explain the nature and source shall be assessed as its undisclosed income. In the facts of the present case, both the nature & source of the share application received was fully explained by the assessee. The assessee had discharged its onus to prove the identity, creditworthiness and genuineness of the share applicants. The PAN details, bank account statements, audited financial statements and Income Tax acknowledgments were placed on AO's record. Accordingly all the three conditions as required u/s. 68 of the Act i.e. the identity, creditworthiness and genuineness of the transaction was placed before the AO and the onus shifted to AO to disprove the materials placed before him. Without doing so, the addition made by the AO is based on conjectures and surmises cannot be justified. In the facts and circumstances of the case as discussed above, no addit .....

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