(i) The assessment was reopened on the basis of the statement of Shri Hiten L. Rawal, the proprietor of M/s Zalak Impex. In this statement recorded u/s 131 of the Act, Shri Rawal confessed to have provided accommodation entries in the form of sales and purchases, to various parties. The assessee was stated to have obtained bills for non-existing parties, amounting to Rs. 4,09,12,718, during the year under consideration. It remains undisputed that the assessee was never provided any opportunity to cross examine Shri Hiten L. Rawal, though he specifically asked for such cross examination. On the other hand, the burden was sought to be shifted on the assessee by the A.O., by asking him to produce Shri Rawal, even though it was the A.O. who had relied on the statement of Shri Rawal, without either confronting this statement to the assessee, or providing opportunity to the assessee to cross examine Shri Rawal. Therefore, the reassessment order is as a result of violation of the natural principle of audi alteram partem. A statement recorded at the back of a party cannot be used against such party without confronting such statement to the party. Hence, on this score alone, the reassessment order is unsustainable in the eye of law and we hereby cancel the same. As a consequence, the order of the ld. CIT(A) is also cancelled in toto.
(ii) Further, even otherwise, before the A.O., the assessee had contended that the assessee being in an export promotion zone, the movement of its goods is controlled and customs approved; that the purchases being approved purchases, there was no question of their being bogus purchases. The assessee enclosed the custom approved invoices in respect of purchases from Zalak Impex. As per these invoices, the goods purchased had been verified and approved by the Customs Authority. This clearly shows that the goods had actually been purchased and received by the assessee. As such, these purchases could not have, by any stretch of imagination, been treated as bogus purchases. It is also noteworthy that the payments made by the assessee to Zalak Impex were through account payee cheques only. Neither of the Taxing Authorities, however, took these invoices into consideration and wrongly held the assessee's purchases from Zalak Impex to be bogus purchases. Nothing has been brought on record to show that these invoices were self made or fabricated. Moreover, the comparative chart of purchases made during the year and the selling price has not been refuted and this also goes to prove the theory of bogus bills and accommodation entries to be wrong. Therefore, the order under appeal is a result of complete misreading and non-reading of cogent documentary evidence brought on record by the assessee. For this reason also, along with the reason that the sales made by the assessee were never questioned, the addition is deleted in toto.
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CA Yashu Goel