Search Results For: interpretation of statutes


ITO vs. Urban Improvement Trust (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 12, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 15, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 10(20) Interpretation of statutes: Law on whether "functional test" as laid down in UOI vs. R.C. Jain, (1981) 2 SCC 308 is still good law explained in the context of whether the statutory functions conducted by a municipal committee enables it to qualify as a 'local authority'

The High Court based its decision on the fact that functions carried out by the assessee are statutory functions and it is carrying on the functions for the benefit of the State Government for urban development. The said reasoning cannot lead to the conclusion that it is a Municipal Committee within the meaning of Section 10(20) Explanation Clause (iii). The High Court has not adverted to the relevant facts and circumstances and without considering the relevant aspects has arrived at erroneous conclusions. Judgments of the High Court are unsustainable

Commissioner of Customs vs. Dilip Kumar (Supreme Court) (Constitution Bench)

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DATE: July 30, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 31, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Entire law on interpretation of statues relating to 'purposive interpretation', 'strict interpretation', 'literal interpretation', etc explained. Difference in interpretation of statutes vs. exemption notifications explained. Q whether there is doubt or ambiguity in interpretation of a statute or notification benefit of doubt should go to the taxpayer or to the revenue explained. Law on Doctrine of substantial compliance and “intended use” also explained

Literally exemption is freedom from liability, tax or duty. Fiscally, it may assume varying shapes, specially, in a growing economy. For instance tax holiday to new units, concessional rate of tax to goods or persons for limited period or with the specific objective etc. That is why its construction, unlike charging provision, has to be tested on different touchstone. In fact, an exemption provision is like an exception and on normal principle of construction or interpretation of statutes it is construed strictly either because of legislative intention or on economic justification of inequitable burden or progressive approach of fiscal provisions intended to augment State revenue. But once exception or exemption becomes applicable no rule or principles requires it to be construed strictly. Truly speaking liberal and strict construction of an exemption provision are to be invoked at different stages of interpreting it. When the question is whether a subject falls in the notification or in the exemption clause then it being in nature of exception is to be construed strictly and against the subject, but once ambiguity or doubt about applicability is lifted and the subject falls in the notification then full play should be given to it and it calls for a wider and liberal construction

New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) vs. CCIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: July 2, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 3, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 10(20): Law on whether an industrial township referred to in proviso to Article 243Q is equivalent to a "municipality" and a "local authority" explained. Law on interpretation of statutes as to the scope of an "Explanation" and "Proviso" explained. There is no concept of "equity" or "presumption" or "intendment" in a taxing statute. Only the language has to be seen

What she argued was that looking to the nature of the functions enjoined upon the appellant committee, it must be deemed to be a municipal committee within the meaning of that expression in clause (iii) of the Explanation. We regret our inability to accept that submission. We say so for two distinct reasons. Firstly because the expression “municipal committee” appears in a taxing statute and must, Therefore, be construed strictly. It is fairly well-settled by a long line of decisions rendered by the Supreme Court that while interpreting a taxing statute, one has simply to look to what is clearly stated therein. There is, in fiscal statutes, no room for any intendment nor is there any equity about the levy sanctioned under the same

Stovekraft India vs. CIT (Himachal Pradesh High Court)

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DATE: November 28, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 7, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2005-06
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S. 80-IC: Entire law on concept of "initial assessment year" and "substantial expansion" explained. Also, law on interpretation of statutes which confer incentives for promoting development explained. Law on interpretation when there is doubt also explained. Law on whether CBDT Circulars are mere external aids in interpretation of a statute or more also explained

“substantial expansion” can be on more than one occasion. Meaning of expression “substantial expansion” is defined in clause [8(ix)] of Section 80-IC and with each such endeavour, if the assessee fulfills the criteria then there cannot be any prohibition with regard thereto. For what is important, in our considered view, is not the number of expansions, but the period within which such expansions can be carried out within the window period [7.1.2003 to 1.4.2012], and it is here we find the words “begun” or “begins” and “undertakes substantial expansion” during the said period, as stipulated under clause (b) sub-section 2 of Section 80- IC, to be of significance. The only rider imposed is by virtue of sub-section (6) of Section 80-IA, which caps the deduction with respect to Assessment Years to which a unit is entitled to

Maharao Bhim Singh of Kota vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: December 5, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 6, 2016 (Date of publication)
AY: 1978-79
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S. 10(19A): Though principles of res judicata do not apply, the Dept should not endlessly pursue matters which have attained finality in earlier years. Principles of interpretation of statutes explained. Interplay between s. 10(19A), s. 23 of the Income-tax Act & s. 5(iii) of the Wealth-tax Act explained

Though principle of res judicata does not apply to income-tax proceedings and each assessment year is an independent year in itself, yet, in our view, in the absence of any valid and convincing reason, there was no justification on the part of the Revenue to have pursued the same issue again to higher Courts. There should be a finality attached to the issue once it stands decided by the higher Courts on merits. This principle, in our view, applies to this case on all force against the Revenue

Amin Merchant vs. Chairman CBEC (Supreme Court)

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DATE: July 22, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 9, 2016 (Date of publication)
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The fact that the Finance Minster announced a concession in Parliament does not entitle the assessee to relief if the same is not set out in the Finance Act

The whole thrust of the appellant is that the proposals of the Finance Minister were duly approved by the Parliament. No doubt, the appellant has placed before this Court the proposals of the Finance Minister which discloses the intention of the Government but there is no material placed before us to demonstrate that the budget proposals are duly accepted by the Parliament. We are unable to agree with the argument advanced by the appellant for the reason that he is unable to make note of the difference between a proposal moved before the Parliament and a statutory provision enacted by the Parliament, because the process of Taxation involves various considerations and criteria

Tata Teleservices vs. UOI (Gujarat High Court)

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DATE: February 5, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 28, 2016 (Date of publication)
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S. 201(3): The amendment to s. 201(3) by FA 2014 to extend the time limit for passing s. 201 orders is prospective and does not apply to cases which are already time-barred. A show-cause notice involving a pure point of law can be challenged in a Writ Petition

An accrued right to plead a time barred which is acquired after the lapse of the statutory period is in every sense a right even though it arises under an Act which is procedural. It is a right which is not to be taken away by conferring on the statute a retrospective operation unless such a construction is unavoidable. while amending section 201 by Finance Act, 2014, it has been specifically mentioned that the same shall be applicable w.e.f. 1/10/2014 and even considering the fact that proceedings for F.Y. 2007-08 and 2008-09 had become time barred and/or for the aforesaid financial years, limitation under section 201(3)(i) of the Act had already expired on 31/3/2011 and 31/3/2012, respectively, much prior to the amendment in section 201 as amended by Finance Act, 2014 and therefore, as such a right has been accrued in favour of the assessee

Crompton Greaves Ltd vs. CIT (ITAT Mumbai)

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DATE: February 1, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 17, 2016 (Date of publication)
AY: 2007-08
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Explanation 2 to s. 263 (which supersedes the law that there is a difference between "lack of inquiry" and "inadequate inquiry") is "declaratory & clarificatory" in nature and is inserted to provide clarity on the issue as to which orders passed by the AO shall constitute erroneous and prejudicial to the interests of Revenue

The amendment to section 263 of the Act by insertion of Explanation 2 to Section 263 of the Act is declaratory & clarificatory in nature and is inserted to provide clarity on the issue as to which orders passed by the AO shall constitute erroneous and prejudicial to the interest of Revenue, it is, inter-alia, provided that if the order is passed without making inquiries or verifications by AO which, should have been made or the order is passed allowing any relief without inquiring into the claim; the order shall be deemed to be erroneous and prejudicial to the interest of Revenue. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Malabar Industrial Company Limited v. CIT (2000) 109 Taxman 66 (SC) held that if the AO has accepted the entry in the statement of account filed by the taxpayer without making enquiry, the said order of the AO shall be deemed to be erroneous in so far as it is prejudicial to the interest of the Revenue. In our considered opinion, the facts of the case of the assessee company are similar to the facts in the case of Malabar Industrial Co. Limited(supra) whereby no enquiry/verification is made by the AO whatsoever with respect to claim of deduction of Rs. 17.72 crores with respect to the provisions for warranty, excise duty , sales tax and liquidated damages. Moreover, now Explanation 2 to Section 263 of the Act is inserted in the statute which is declaratory and claraficatory in nature to declare the law and provide clarity on the issue whereby if the A.O. failed to make any enquiry or necessary verification which should have been made, the order becomes erroneous in so far as it is prejudicial to the interest of revenue

Prakash vs. Phulvati (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 16, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 16, 2016 (Date of publication)
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Law on prospective vs. retrospective operation of legislation explained. The Hindu Succession (Amendment Act), 2005 which came into effect on 09.09.2015 and by which daughters in a joint Hindu family, governed by Mitakshara law, were granted statutory right in the coparcenary property (being property not partitioned or alienated) of their fathers applies only if both the father and the daughter are alive on the date of commencement of the Amendment Act

An amendment of a substantive provision is always prospective unless either expressly or by necessary intendment it is retrospective3. In the present case, there is neither any express provision for giving retrospective effect to the amended provision nor necessary intendment to that effect. Requirement of partition being registered can have no application to statutory notional partition on opening of succession as per unamended provision, having regard to nature of such partition which is by operation of law. The intent and effect of the Amendment will be considered a little later. On this finding, the view of the High Court cannot be sustained. Interpretation of a provision depends on the text and the context (RBI vs. Peerless (1987) 1 SCC 424, para 33). Normal rule is to read the words of a statute in ordinary sense. In case of ambiguity, rational meaning has to be given (Kehar Singh vs. State (1988) 3 SCC 609). In case of apparent conflict, harmonious meaning to advance the object and intention of legislature has to be given (District Mining Officer vs. Tata Iron and Steel Co. (2001) 7 SCC 358)

Spentex Industries Ltd vs. CCE (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 6, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 23, 2015 (Date of publication)
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CBDT & Govt are bound by their own interpretation of a statutory provision. Principle of "contemporanea expositio" explained. The word "or" can be interpreted as "and" if the former leads to unintelligible and absurd results

It is to be borne in mind that it is the Central Government which has framed the Rules as well as issued the notifications. If the Central Government itself is of the opinion that the rebate is to be allowed on both the forms of excise duties the government is bound thereby and the rule in-question has to interpreted in accord with this understanding of the rule maker itself. Law in this respect is well settled and, therefore, it is not necessary to burden this judgment by quoting from various decisions

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