Sinhgad Technical Education Society vs. ACIT (ITAT Pune)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 29, 2011 (Date of publication)

Click here to download the judgement (sinhgad_bharti_vidyapeeth_153C.pdf)

S. 153C assessment sans “speaking” & “incriminating” documents void

Search & seizure action u/s 132 was carried out in the case of Shri M.N. Navale, the President of the assessee Educational Society, in the course of which certain documents pertaining to the assessee were found. Based on the documents, the AO issued a notice u/s 153C and made an assessment on the assessee. The assessee challenged the s. 153C proceedings on the ground that the mere finding of documents in the premises of the searched person was not sufficient if the documents were not “incriminating”. HELD upholding the challenge:

Though s. 153C confers jurisdiction if the AO is “satisfied” that “documents” seized belong to a person other than the person referred to in s. 153A so as to be able to assess that other person, the document must have prima facie incriminating information. The document seized must not only be a ‘speaking one’ but also be prima facie ‘incriminating one’ for attracting s.153C. If the impugned documents merely contain the notings of entries which are already recorded in the books of account or subjected to scrutiny of the AO in the past in regular assessment u/s 143(3) of the Act, such document cannot be said to be containing the incriminating information so as to confer jurisdiction u/s 153C.

Note: The same view has been taken in Bharati Vidyapeeth (ITAT Pune) (included in the file)

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