Case Law Details

Case Name : Dushyant Ji Lohani Vs I.T.O. (ITAT Jodhpur)
Appeal Number : ITA No. 155/Jodh/2017
Date of Judgement/Order : 05/05/2017
Related Assessment Year : 2008- 09
Courts : All ITAT (4212) ITAT Jodhpur (19)

A discretion has been conferred on the ITO U/s 69 of the Act to treat the source of investment as income of the assessee if the explanation offered by the assessee is not found satisfactory. However, the said discretion should be exercised keeping in view the facts and circumstances of a particular case. when it is claimed that the assessee could not possibly have any source of income, the addition on his hand is not justified within the parameters of the Income Tax Act.

RELEVANT EXTRACT OF ITAT JUDGMENT

6. We have perused the case records, analysed the facts and circumstances of the case and heard the rival contentions. The Honourable Apex Court in the case of CIT Vs. Smt. P.K. Noorjahan (supra) wherein the assessee was a Muslim lady aged 20 years. She made certain investments in land. The explanation of assessee regarding the source of the purchase money for these investments was that the same were financed from out of the savings from the income of the properties which were left by her mother’s first husband. The said explanation offered by the assessee was rejected and addition was made u/s 69. The Tribunal, however, held that even though the explanation about the nature and sources of the purchase money was not satisfactory but in the facts and circumstances of the case it was not possible for the assessee to earn the amount invested in the properties and that by no stretch of imagination could the assessee be credited with having earned this income in the course of the assessment year or was even in a position to earn it for a decade or more. The Tribunal took the view that although the explanation of the assessee was liable to be rejected, Section 69 of the Act conferred only a discretion on the ITO to deal with the investment as income of the assessee and that it did not make it mandatory on his part to deal with the investment as income of the assessee as soon as the latter’s explanation happened to be rejected. According to the High Court, the Tribunal had not committed any error in taking into account the complete absence of resources of the assessee and also the fact that having regard to her age and the circumstances in which she was placed she could not be credited with having made any income of her own and in these circumstances the Tribunal was right in refusing to make an addition of the value of the investments to the income of the assessee. Ld. counsel appearing for the Revenue, has urged that the Tribunal as well as the High Court were in error in their interpretation of Section 69 of the Act. It was held by Honourable Supreme Court as under:-

“We are unable to agree. As pointed out by the Tribunal, in the corresponding clause in the Bill which was introduced in Parliament, the word “shall” had been used but during the course of consideration of the Bill and on the recommendation of the Select Committee, the said word was substituted by the word “may”. This clearly indicates that the intention of Parliament in enacting s. 69 was to confer a discretion on the ITO in the matter of treating the source of investment which has not been satisfactorily explained by the assessee as the income of the assessee and the ITO is not obliged to treat such source of investment as income in every case where the explanation offered by the assessee is found to be not satisfactory. The question whether the source of the investment should be treated as income or not under s. 69 has to be considered in the light of the facts of each case. In other words, a discretion has been conferred on the ITO under s. 69 of the Act to treat the source of investment as the income of the assessee if the explanation offered by the assessee is not found satisfactory and the said discretion has to be exercised keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the particular case. In the instant case, the Tribunal has held that the discretion had not been properly exercised by the ITO and the A AC in taking into account the circumstances in which the assessee was placed and the Tribunal has found that the sources of investments could not be treated as income of the assessee. The High Court has agreed with the said view of the Tribunal. We also do not find any error in the said finding recorded by the Tribunal. There is thus no merit in these appeals and the same are accordingly dismissed. ”

In the present case, in the paper book filed by the assessee, it was clear from the documentary evidence that at the relevant time, the assessee was a tudent of ICFAI University, Dehradun and had no source of income. The bank account details filed clearly shows that both the accounts, one was the joint account with his father and another was with the mother of the assessee. From taking guidance of the Honourable Supreme Court’s decision (supra) the question whether source of investment should be treated as income U/s 69 of the Act has to be considered in the light of the facts of each case. A discretion has been conferred on the ITO U/s 69 of the Act to treat the source of investment as income of the assessee if the explanation offered by the assessee is not found satisfactory. However, the said discretion should be exercised keeping in view the facts and circumstances of a particular case. when it is claimed that the assessee could not possibly have any source of income, the addition on his hand is not justified within the parameters of the Income Tax Act. If at all, the additions could have been made, it could have been done either in the hands of the father or the mother of the assessee, therefore, we arrive at our considered view that the findings of the ld. CIT(A) are hereby reversed and we direct the deletion of entire addition of Rs. 3,21,000/- U/s 69 of the Act from the hands of the assessee. This ground of assessee’s appeal is allowed.

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Category : Income Tax (24906)
Type : Judiciary (9822)
Tags : ITAT Judgments (4391) Section 69 (4)

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