The Assessee Cannot Be Kept in Dark: ITAT Kolkata

In the case of Rashmi Metaliks Ltd vs DCIT, ITAT Kolkata has held that:

It has to be kept in mind that the AO is empowered to collect materials behind the back of the assessee, however if he intends to use it adversely against the assessee, then it is incumbent upon him to furnish a copy of the materials/statements to the assessee and the assessee should be provided an opportunity to rebut/cross examine the provider/maker of the adverse material. The assessee cannot be kept in the dark and the adverse statements or materials cannot be kept away from his eyes, and if the AO was intending to use it against the assessee to draw adverse inference/finding, then the assessee should be provided the adverse material/statements in order to rebut/cross examine the provider/maker of the adverse material, which is a natural right of the assessee and we find that it has not been done in this case, resulting in violation of natural justice. We are therefore of the considered view that the general statements recorded from the alleged entry operators by themselves with the legal infirmities pointed out, supra, did not constitute incriminating material for the purposes of Section 153A of the Act.

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