WhatsApp Image cannot be sole ground to make additions.


WhatsApp Image cannot be sole ground to make additions.


In a recent case, the Surat Tribunal has made a significant ruling that could potentially change the way digital evidence is treated in tax cases.

The case, Shanker Nebhumal Uttamchandan v. ACIT, revolved around the use of digital images found on an iPhone during a search action under Section 132.

The assessee, a partner in Kuberji Group, Surat, was subjected to the search action, and various digital images were found on his iPhone. The Assessing Officer (AO) made additions to the assessee’s income based on these images, alleging unexplained money.

However, the Tribunal held that the AO made the additions merely on the basis of the digital images found in the assessee’s possession. It was noted that no direct evidence was brought on record that the assessee had lent this amount to any person.

Furthermore, no incriminating paper was found from the digital images to specify whether it was a loan taken or given.

The Tribunal concluded that without incriminating evidence, it cannot be held that the assessee gave the loan out of his unexplained source. This ruling underscores the importance of corroborative evidence in tax cases and raises questions about the validity of digital evidence.

Surat ITAT’s landmark ruling placed emphasis on corroborative evidence by observing that whatsApp Image cannot be sole ground to make additions.

Title: Shanker Nebhumal Uttamchandan v. ACIT

Court: Surat ITAT

Citation: IT APPEAL NO. 321 (SRT) OF 2022

Dated: 28-Feb-2024


The copy of the order is as under:

1709181169-ITA 321 of 22_ACIT Vs Shankarbhai Uttamchandani