Question And Answer
Subject: WhatsApp chat
Querist: BKS
Answered by:
Tags: ,
Date: May 26, 2023
Query asked by BKS

Is it admissible as evidence under Tax laws ?

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WhatsApp chats are not admissible as evidence unless they comply with the provisions of the Information Technology Act, of 2000.

The Supreme Court in the case of Anwar P. V. v. P. V. Basheer, reported in (2014) 10 SCC 473 has held and observed that an electronic record by way of secondary evidence shall not be admitted in evidence unless the requirements under Section 65B are satisfied. Thus, in the case of CD, VCD, chip, etc., the same shall be accompanied by the certificate in terms of Section 65B obtained at the time of taking the document, without which, the secondary evidence pertaining to that electronic record, is inadmissible.

The Hon’ble Jurisdictional Tribunal in the case of ACIT v. Katrina Rosemary Turcotte [2017] 87 116 (Mumbai – Trib.), where the Ld. AO relied on the backup of chats from the mobile, it was held that AO failed to bring on record corroborative evidence to establish the fact that entries made in those sheets were correct and in the absence of any direct and clinching evidence indicating incurring of cash expenditure for purchasing the house, impugned addition could not be made on mere presumption and surmises.

As the strict rule of evidence is not applicable to income tax proceedings , one has to study the facts of the case .

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