Pr CIT vs. Paradise Inland Shipping Pvt. Ltd (Bombay High Court)
December, 04th 2017
S. 68 Bogus share capital: Companies which invest share capital cannot be treated as bogus if they are registered and have been assessed. Once the assessee has produced documentary evidence to establish the existence of such companies, the burden shifts to the Revenue to establish their case. Reliance on statements of third parties who have not been subjected to cross examination is not permissible. Voluminous documents produced by the assessee cannot be discarded merely on the basis of statements of individuals contrary to such public documents
(i) The Revenue have failed to explain as to how such Companies have been assessed though according to them such Companies are not existing and are fictitious companies. Besides the documents also included the registration of the Company which discloses the registered address of such Companies. There is no material on record produced by the Appellants which could rebut the documents produced by the Respondents herein. In such circumstances, the finding of fact arrived at by the authorities below which are based on documentary evidence on record cannot be said to be perverse. Learned Counsel appearing for the Appellants was unable to point out that any of such findings arrived at by the authorities below were on the basis of misleading of evidence or failure to examine any material documents whilst coming to such conclusions. Under the guise of the substantial question of law, this Court in an Appeal under Section 260A of the Income Tax Act cannot re-appreciate the evidence to come to any contrary evidence. Considering that the authorities have rendered the findings of facts based on documents which have not been disputed, we find that there are no substantial question of law which arises in the present Appeal for consideration.
(ii) The Apex Court in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax, Orissa vs. Orissa Corporation Private Limited (supra), has observed at Para 13 thus :
“13. In this case the assessee had given the names and addresses of the alleged creditors. It was in the knowledge of the revenue that the said creditors were incometax assessees. Their index number was in the file of the revenue. The revenue, apart from issuing notices under S. 131 at the instance of the assessee, did not pursue the matter further. The revenue did not examine the source of income of the said alleged creditors to find out whether they were credit-worthy or were such who could advance the alleged loans. There was no effort made to pursue the so called alleged creditors. In those circumstances, the assessee could not do anything further. In the premises, if the Tribunal came to the conclusion that the assessee has discharged the burden that lay on him then it could not be said that such a conclusion was unreasonable or perverse or based on no evidence. If the conclusion is based on some evidence on which a conclusion could be arrived at, no question of law as such arises.”
(iii) This Court in the Judgments relied upon by the learned Counsel appearing for the Respondents, have come to the conclusion that once the Assessee has produced documentary evidence to establish the existence of such Companies, the burden would shift on the Revenue-Appellants herein to establish their case. In the present case, the Appellants are seeking to rely upon the statements recorded of two persons who have admittedly not been subjected to cross examination. In such circumstances, the question of remanding the matter for re-examination of such persons, would not at all be justified. The Assessing Officer, if he so desired, ought to have allowed the Assessee to cross examine such persons in case the statements were to be relied upon in such proceedings. Apart from that, the voluminous documents produced by the Respondents cannot be discarded merely on the basis of two individuals who have given their statements contrary to such public documents.
(iv) We find no infirmity in the findings arrived at by the ITAT as well as CIT Appeals on the contentions raised by the Appellants-Revenue in the present case and, as such, the question of interference by this Court in the present proceedings under Section 260A of the Income Tax Act would not at all be justified. Apart from that, as rightly pointed out by the learned Counsel appearing for the Respondents, the CIT Appeals had also noted that proceedings under Section 147 of the Income Tax Act cannot lead to reverification of the records. These findings of the CIT Appeals have not been assailed before the Income Tax Appellate Court.