Category: Supreme Court

Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category


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DATE: July 25, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 27, 2019 (Date of publication)
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S. 170/ 292BB: A notice issued in the name of the amalgamating entity after amalgamation is void because the amalgamating entity ceases to exist. Participation in the proceedings by the assessee cannot operate as an estoppel against law. This is a substantive illegality and not a procedural violation of the nature adverted to in s. 292BB. There is a value which the court must abide by in promoting the interest of certainty in tax litigation. Not doing so will only result in uncertainty and displacement of settled expectations. There is a significant value which must attach to observing the requirement of consistency and certainty. Individual affairs are conducted and business decisions are made in the expectation of consistency, uniformity and certainty. To detract from those principles is neither expedient nor desirable.

In the present case, despite the fact that the assessing officer was informed of the amalgamating company having ceased to exist as a result of the approved scheme of amalgamation, the jurisdictional notice was issued only in its name. The basis on which jurisdiction was invoked was fundamentally at odds with the legal principle that the amalgamating entity ceases to exist upon the approved scheme of amalgamation. Participation in the proceedings by the appellant in the circumstances cannot operate as an estoppel against law. This position now holds the field in view of the judgment of a co-ordinate Bench of two learned judges which dismissed the appeal of the Revenue in Spice Enfotainment

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DATE: July 25, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 27, 2019 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
S. 35AC(7) is prospective in nature. A plea of promissory estoppel is not available to an assessee against the exercise of legislative power nor any vested right accrues to an assessee in the matter of grant of any tax concession to him. In a taxing statute, a plea based on equity or/and hardship is not legally sustainable. The constitutional validity of any provision and especially taxing provision cannot be struck down on such reasoning. In tax matters, neither any equity nor hardship has any role to play while deciding the rights of any taxpayer qua the Revenue

As rightly argued by the learned counsel for the respondent (Revenue), a plea of promissory estoppel is not available to an assessee against the exercise of legislative power and nor any vested right accrues to an assessee in the matter of grant of any tax concession to him. In other words, neither the appellant nor the assessee has any right to set up a plea of promissory estoppel against the exercise of legislative power

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DATE: July 9, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 20, 2019 (Date of publication)
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S. 4: The primary liability and onus is on the Dept to prove that a certain receipt is liable to be taxed. Deposits collected by a finance company are capital receipts and not revenue receipts. The fact that the deposits are credited to the profit and loss account is irrelevant. The true nature of the receipts have to be seen and not the entry in the books of account (All imp judgements referred).

It is the true nature and quality of the receipt and not the head under which it is entered in the account books that would prove decisive. If a receipt is a trading receipt, the fact that it is not so shown in the account books of the assessee would not prevent the assessing authority from treating it as trading receipt. It has been held by the Supreme court that the primary liability and onus is on the Department to prove that a certain receipt is liable to be taxed

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DATE: July 8, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 20, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 80IB(10)(a): There shall be stay of judgement in Global Reality 379 ITR 107 (MP) where it was held that issuance of completion certificate, after the cut off date by the Local Authority but, mentioning the date of completion of project before the cut off date, does not fulfill the condition specified in clause (a) of Section 80IB (10) read with Explanation (ii) thereunder

We accordingly hold that issuance of completion certificate, after the cut off date by the Local Authority but, mentioning the date of completion of project before the cut off date, does not fulfill the condition specified in clause (a) of Section 80IB (10) read with Explanation (ii) thereunder. We reject the argument of the assessee that the effect of amended clause (a) of sub-Section 10 of Section 80IB, which has come into force with effect from 1st April, 2005, has retrospective effect or that it is unjust in any manner or incapable of compliance at all

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DATE: April 30, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 24, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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CITATION:
Speculation Loss: Law on when an amendment can be said to be clarificatory/ retrospective explained. The amendment to the Explanation to s. 73 by the Finance (No 2) Act 2014 with effect from 1 April 2015 is not clarificatory or retrospective. Consequently, loss occurred to the assessee as a result of its activity of trading in shares (a loss arising from the business of speculation) is not capable of being set off against the profits which it had earned against the business of futures and options since the latter did not constitute profits and gains of a speculative business

The amendment which was brought by Parliament to the Explanation to Section 73 by the Finance (No 2) Act 2014 was with effect from 1 April 2015. In its legislative wisdom, the Parliament amended Section 43(5) with effect from 1 April 2006 in relation to the business of trading in derivatives, Parliament brought about a specific amendment in the Explanation to Section 73, insofar as trading in shares is concerned, with effect from 1 April 2015. The latter amendment was intended to take effect from the date stipulated by Parliament and we see no reason to hold either that it was clarificatory or that the intent of Parliament was to give it retrospective effect. 31 The consequence is that in A.Y. 2008-2009, the loss which occurred to the assessee as a result of its activity of trading in shares (a loss arising from the business of speculation) was not capable of being set off against the profits which it had earned against the business of futures and options since the latter did not constitute profits and gains of a speculative business

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DATE: February 20, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 22, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Entire law explained on (i) whether a litigant is bound by concessions of fact and law made by his Counsel/ Authorized representative during the hearing, (ii) tests to find out whether contract labourers are direct employees or not, (iii) meaning of "control and supervision", (iv) meaning of "master-servant" relationship & (v) when the findings in a judgement can be said to be "perverse" and such that no reasonable person could possibly arrive at

There can be no doubt that admission of a party is a relevant material. But can the statement made by the learned counsel of a party across the Bar be treated as admission of the party? Having regard to the requirements of Section 18 of the Evidence Act, on the facts of this case, in our view, the aforementioned statement of the counsel for the respondent cannot be accepted as an admission so as to bind the respondent. Equally, where a question is a mixed question of fact and law, a concession made by a lawyer or his authorised representative at the stage of arguments cannot preclude the party for whom such person appears from re-agitating the point in appeal

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DATE: May 9, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 18, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
Benami Transactions: While considering whether a particular transaction is benami, the intention of the person who contributed the purchase money is determinative. The intention has to be decided on the basis of surrounding circumstances; relationship of parties; motives governing their action in bringing about the transaction and subsequent conduct. The payment of part sale consideration & stamp duty cannot be the sole criteria to hold the sale/transaction as benami

It is required to be noted that the benami transaction came to be amended in the year 2016. As per Section 3 of the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act 1988, there was a presumption that the transaction made in the name of the wife and children is for their benefit. By Benami Amendment Act,2016, Section 3 (2) of the Benami Transaction Act, 1988 the statutory presumption, which was rebuttable, has been omitted.It is the case on behalf of the respondents that therefore in view of omission of Section 3(2) of the Benami Transaction Act, the plea of statutory transaction that the purchase made in the name of wife or children is for their benefit would not be available in the present case. Aforesaid cannot be accepted. As held by this Court in the case of Binapani Paul (Supra) the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act would not be applicable retrospectively

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DATE: February 21, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 29, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2001-02
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CITATION:
S. 43B: The conversion of outstanding interest into loan does not amount to "actual payment" of the interest in order to qualify for deduction in view of the retrospective insertion of Explanation 3C to s. 43B (Eicher Motors 315 ITR 312 (MP) & Pennar Profiles (T&AP) approved)

Expln. 3C has now in clear terms provided that such conversion of interest amount into loan shall not be deemed to be regarded as “actually paid” amount within the meaning of Section 43B. In view of clear legislative mandate removing this doubt and making the intention of legislature clear in relation to such transaction, it is not now necessary for this Court to interpret the unamended Section 43B in detail, nor it is necessary for this Court to take note of facts in detail as also the submissions urged in support of various contentions except to place reliance on Expln. 3C to Section 43B and answer the questions against the assessee and in favour of Revenue

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DATE: March 15, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 29, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2006-07
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CITATION:
S. 260A: The High Court cannot hear the appeal bipartite without framing any substantial question of law. It should either dismiss the appeal in limine on the ground that the appeal does not involve any substantial question or hear the parties after framing a question (see also PCIT vs. A. A. Estate Pvt. Ltd (SC)

The High Court did not frame any substantial question of law as is required to be framed under Section 260A of the Act though heard the appeal bipartite. In other words, the High Court did not dismiss the appeal in limine on the ground that the appeal does not involve any substantial question of law; Second, the High Court dismissed the appeal without deciding any issue arising in the case saying that it is not necessary

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DATE: April 16, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 20, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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CITATION:
S. 260A: There is a distinction between questions proposed by the appellant for admission of the appeal (u/s 260­A(2)(c)) and the questions framed by the Court (u/s 260­A(3)). The High Court has to formulate substantial question of law and only thereafter hear the appeal on merits. If the High Court is of the view that the appeal does not involve any substantial question of law, it should record a categorical finding to that effect & dismiss the appeal in limine. However, it cannot, without admitting the appeal and framing any question of law, issue notice to the respondent, hear both parties on the questions urged by the appellant and dismiss it. This is not in conformity with the mandatory procedure prescribed in s. 260­A

It was, however, not done and instead the High Court without admitting the appeal and framing any question of law issued notice of appeal to the respondent­ assessee, heard both the parties on the questions urged by the appellant and dismissed it. In our view, the respondent had a right to argue “at the time of hearing” of the appeal that the questions framed were not involved in the appeal and this the respondent could urge by taking recourse to sub­ section (5) of Section 260­A of the Act. But this stage in this case did not arise because as mentioned above, the High Court neither admitted the appeal nor framed any question as required under sub­section (3) of Section 260­A of the Act. The expression “such question” referred to in sub­ section (5) of Section 260­A of the Act means the questions which are framed by the High Court under sub­section (3) of Section 260­A at the time of admission of the appeal and not the one proposed in Section 260­A (2) (c) of the Act by the appellant