|The Tax Publishers2020 TaxPub(DT) 5522 (Visakhapatnam-Trib)
INCOME TAX ACT, 1961
Addition made merely on the basis of Whatsapp messages and statement recorded under section 132(4) which was subsequently retracted could not be sustained without any corroborative material found during search.
Search and seizure - Statement recorded under section 132(4) - Evidentary value - No corroborative material found during search
Search was conducted at residential premises of assessee and simultaneously, search was also conducted at the residential premises of one 'L', employee in M/s. Navaratna Estates and during the course of search, Whatsapp messages were found on mobile phone of said 'L' assessee. Assessee stated since assessee could not produce any corroborative evidence to disprove statement of 'L', AO treated concerned amount as undisclosed income in the hands of assessee and made addition. Held: No evidence was found by department to establish that assessee had given loans to 'L' during the course of search and no evidence was found regarding utilization of purported advances by 'L' who also subsequently retracted from the statement and clarified that he has not received any cash loans from assessee. Addition was made merely on the basis of Whatsapp messages and statement recorded from section 132(4) from 'L' which was subsequently retracted. Therefore, addition made by AO was unsustainable.
FAVOUR : In assessee's favour.
IN THE ITAT, VISAKHAPATNAM BENCH
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