|DATE:||(Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||January 29, 2013 (Date of publication)|
|Click here to download the judgement (mak_data_surrender_income_concealment_penalty.pdf)|
S. 271(1)(c): Surrender of income without explanation attracts penalty
A survey u/s 133A was conducted on the assessee’s premises in the course of which certain documents belonged to certain entities who had applied for shares in the assessee company were found. The AO called upon the assessee to prove the nature and source of the monies received as share capital, the creditworthiness of the applicants and the genuineness of the transactions. The assessee offered Rs. 40.74 lakhs as income from other sources “to avoid litigation and to buy peace“. It was made clear that in making the surrender, there was no admission of concealment. The AO completed the assessment by adding the said sum and levied penalty u/s 271(1)(c) for furnishing inaccurate particulars of income u/s 271(1)(c). This was upheld by the CIT(A) though reversed by the Tribunal (included in file) on the ground that there was no material to show any concealment and even in the penalty order it was not specified as to the particular credit in respect of which the penalty was being imposed. It was also emphasized by the Tribunal that the assessee had made it clear while surrendering that there was no admission of concealment and that the offer was made in a spirit of settlement. On appeal by the Department to the High Court, HELD reversing the Tribunal:
When the AO called upon the assessee to produce evidence as to the nature and source of the amount received as share capital, the creditworthiness of the applicants and the genuineness of the transactions the assessee simply folded up and surrendered the sum of Rs. 40.74 lakhs by merely stating that it wanted to “buy peace“. In the absence of any explanation in respect of the surrendered income, the first part of clause (A) of Explanation 1 to s. 271(1)(c) is attracted because the nature and source of the amount surrendered are facts material to the computation of total income. The absence of any explanation regarding the receipt of the money, which is in the exclusive knowledge of the assessee leads to an adverse inference against the assessee and is statutorily considered as amounting to concealment of income under the first part of clause (A) of the Explanation to s. 271(1)(c) and penalty has to be levied.