Category: Supreme Court

Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category


Mahaveer Kumar Jain vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 19, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 23, 2018 (Date of publication)
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It is a fundamental rule of law of taxation that, unless otherwise expressly provided, income cannot be taxed twice. A taxing Statute should not be interpreted in such a manner that its effect will be to cast a burden twice over for the payment of tax on the taxpayer unless the language of the Statute is so compelling that the court has no alternative than to accept it. In a case of reasonable doubt, the construction most beneficial to the taxpayer is to be adopted

It is not disputed that there can be double taxation if the legislature has distinctly enacted it. It is only when there are general words of taxation and they have to be interpreted, they cannot be so interpreted as to tax the subject twice over to the same tax….. If any double taxation is involved, the Legislature itself has, in express words, sanctioned it. It is not open to any one thereafter to invoke the general principles that the subject cannot be taxed twice over

Skylight Hospitality LLP vs. ACIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 6, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 10, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 292-B: A s. 148 notice issued in the name of a company which does not exist upon its conversion into a LLP is valid if there is material to show that the issue in the name of the company was a clerical mistake. The object and purpose behind s. 292-B is to ensure that technical pleas on the ground of mistake, defect or omission should not invalidate the assessment proceedings, when no confusion or prejudice is caused due to non-observance of technical formalities

Object and purpose behind Section 292-B is to ensure that technical pleas on the ground of mistake, defect or omission should not invalidate the assessment proceedings, when no confusion or prejudice is caused due to nonobservance of technical formalities. The object and purpose of this Section is to ensure that procedural irregularity(ies) do not vitiate assessments. Notice/summons may be defective or there may be omissions but this would not make the notice/summon a nullity. Validity of a summon/notice has to be examined from the stand point whether in substance or in effect it is in conformity and in accordance with the intent and purpose of the Act. This is the purport of Section 292B

The Director, Prasar Bharati vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 3, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 4, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 194-H/201 TDS Liability: Law on whether relationship is that of "principal and agent" and whether payment is of the nature of "commission" explained. Non-compliance of s. 194H attracts the rigor of s. 201 which provides for consequences of failure to deduct or pay the tax. Jagran Prakashan vs. DCIT 345 ITR 288 (All) distinguished on facts

The Explanation appended to Section 194H defines the expression “commission or brokerage”. It is an inclusive definition and includes therein any payment received or receivable, directly or indirectly by a person acting on behalf of another person for services rendered (not being professional services) or for any services in the course of buying or selling of goods or in relation to any transaction relating to assets, valuable article or thing not being securities. Clause (ii) defines professional services; clause (iii) defines securities; and clause (iv) provides a deeming fiction for treating any income so as to attract the rigor of the Section for ensuring its compliance

Honda Motor Co. Ltd vs. ADIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: March 14, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 24, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 148: The AO is not entitled to issue a reopening notice only on the basis that the foreign company has a permanent establishment (PE) in India if the transactions in respect of which it is alleged that there has been an escapement of income had already been disclosed by the Indian subsidiary and found by the Transfer Pricing Officer (TPO) to be at arm's length

In the judgment of this Court dated 24th October, 2017 in Assistant Director of Income Tax-I, New Delhi v. M/s. E-Funds IT Solution Inc., Civil Appeal NO.6082 of 2015 and connected matters, it has been held that once arm’s length principle has been satisfied, there can be no further profit attributable to a person even if it has a permanent establishment in India. Since the impugned notice for the reassessment is based only on the allegation that the appellant(s) has permanent establishment in India, the notice cannot be sustained once arm’s length price procedure has been followed

Maxopp Investment Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: February 12, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 16, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 14A/ Rule 8D - Applicability to shares held for controlling interest or as stock-in-trade: The argument that S. 14A & Rule 8D will not apply if the "dominant intention" of the assessee was not to earn dividends but to gain control of the company or to hold as stock-in-trade is not acceptable. S. 14A applies irrespective of whether the shares are held to gain control or as stock-in-trade. However, where the shares are held as stock-in-trade, the expenditure incurred for earning business profits will have to be apportioned and allowed as a deduction. Only that expenditure which is "in relation to" earning dividends can be disallowed u/s 14A & Rule 8D. The AO has to record proper satisfaction on why the claim of the assessee as to the quantum of suo moto disallowance is not correct

The first and foremost issue that falls for consideration is as to whether the dominant purpose test, which is pressed into service by the assessees would apply while interpreting Section 14A of the Act or we have to go by the theory of apportionment. We are of the opinion that the dominant purpose for which the investment into shares is made by an assessee may not be relevant. No doubt, the assessee like Maxopp Investment Limited may have made the investment in order to gain control of the investee company. However, that does not appear to be a relevant factor in determining the issue at hand. Fact remains that such dividend income is non-taxable. In this scenario, if expenditure is incurred on earning the dividend income, that much of the expenditure which is attributable to the dividend income has to be disallowed and cannot be treated as business expenditure. Keeping this objective behind Section14A of the Act in mind, the said provision has to be interpreted, particularly, the word ‘in relation to the income’ that does not form part of total income. Considered in this hue, the principle of apportionment of expenses comes into play as that is the principle which is engrained in Section 14A of the Act

ITO vs. Venkatesh Premises Co-op Society Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: March 12, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 14, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Principles of Mutuality: Receipts by housing co­-operative societies such as non­-occupancy charges, transfer charges, common amenity fund charges and certain other charges from their members are exempt from income-tax based on the doctrine of mutuality. The fact that the receipts are in excess of the limits prescribed by the State Government does not mean that the Societies have rendered services for profit attracting an element of commerciality and thus was taxable

Transfer charges are payable by the outgoing member. If for convenience, part of it is paid by the transferee, it would not partake the nature of profit or commerciality as the amount is appropriated only after the transferee is inducted as a member. In the event of non­ admission, the amount is returned. The moment the transferee is inducted as a member the principles of mutuality apply. Likewise, non­occupancy charges are levied by the society and is payable by a member who does not himself occupy the premises but lets it out to a third person. The charges are again utilised only for the common benefit of facilities and amenities to the members. Contribution to the common amenity fund taken from a member disposing property is similarly utilised for meeting sudden and regular heavy repairs to ensure continuous and proper hazard free maintenance of the properties of the society which ultimately enures to the enjoyment, benefit and safety of the members. These charges are levied on the basis of resolutions passed by the society and in consonance with its bye­laws. The receipts in the present cases have indisputably been used for mutual benefit towards maintenance of the premises, repairs, infrastructure and provision of common amenities

Bar Council of India vs. A. K. Balaji & Ors (Supreme Court)

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DATE: March 13, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 14, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Foreign law firms and foreign lawyers cannot practice profession of law in India either in the litigation or in non-litigation side though they can "fly in and fly out" for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding foreign law. The expression “fly in and fly out” will only cover a casual visit not amounting to “practice”. If the Rules of Institutional Arbitration apply or the matter is covered by the provisions of the Arbitration Act, foreign lawyers are not debarred from conducting arbitration proceedings arising out of international commercial arbitration but will be governed by code of conduct applicable to the legal profession in India. B.P.O. Companies providing wide range of customized and integrated services and functions to its customers like word processing, secretarial support, transcription services, proof reading services, travel desk support services, etc. may come within the purview of the Advocates Act, 1961 or the Bar Council of India Rules if in pith and substance the services amount to practice of law

We uphold the view of the Bombay High Court and Madras High Court in para 63 (i) of the judgment to the effect that foreign law firms/companies or foreign lawyers cannot practice profession of law in India either in the litigation or in nonlitigation side. We, however, modify the direction of the Madras High Court in Para 63(ii) that there was no bar for the foreign law firms or foreign lawyers to visit India for a temporary period on a “fly in and fly out” basis for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding foreign law or their own system of law and on diverse international legal issues. We hold that the expression “fly in and fly out” will only cover a casual visit not amounting to “practice”. In case of a dispute whether a foreign lawyer was limiting himself to “fly in and fly out” on casual basis for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding foreign law or their own system of law and on diverse international legal issues or whether in substance he was doing practice which is prohibited can be determined by the Bar Council of India. However, the Bar Council of India or Union of India will be at liberty to make appropriate Rules in this regard including extending Code of Ethics being applicable even to such cases

Danamma @ Suman Surpur vs Amar (Supreme Court)

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DATE: February 1, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 14, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) Law: The very factum of birth in a coparcenary creates the coparcenary. Therefore the sons and daughters of a coparcener become coparceners by virtue of birth. The amendment to s. 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 in 2005 statutorily recognizes the rights of coparceners of daughters as well since birth. Consequently, married daughters can be said to be the coparceners in the HUF and are entitled to the ancestral property even if they were born prior to the amendment to the Hindu Succession Act

Section 6, as amended, stipulates that on and from the commencement of the amended Act, 2005, the daughter of a coparcener shall by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son. It is apparent that the status conferred upon sons under the old section and the old Hindu Law was to treat them as coparceners since birth. The amended provision now statutorily recognizes the rights of coparceners of daughters as well since birth. The section uses the words in the same manner as the son. It should therefore be apparent that both the sons and the daughters of a coparcener have been conferred the right of becoming coparceners by birth. It is the very factum of birth in a coparcenary that creates the coparcenary, therefore the sons and daughters of a coparcener become coparceners by virtue of birth

ITO vs. Dharam Narain (Supreme Court)

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DATE: February 19, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 27, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2005-06
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CITATION:
S. 143(2) service of notice: If the assessee is not available to take service of the s. 143(2) notice, service on the authorized representative is sufficient to draw inference of deemed service of notice on the assessee. The fact that the authorized representative is disowned by the assessee is irrelevant

The non-availability of the respondent – Assessee to receive the notice sent by registered post as many as on two occasions and service of notice on 19th October, 2006 on the authorized representative of the respondent Assessee whom the respondent Assessee now disowns, in our considered view, is sufficient to draw an inference of deemed service of notice on the respondent – Assessee and sufficient compliance of the requirement of Section 143(2) of the Income Tax Act, 1961

Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Gwalior) M.P. Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: February 16, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 17, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 12A: The CIT has no power to cancel/withdraw/recall the registration certificate granted u/s 12A until express power to do so was granted by s. 12AA(3). Though the grant of certificate is a quasi judicial function, s. 21 of the General Clauses Act cannot be applied to support the order of cancellation of the registration certificate

The CIT had no express power of cancellation of the registration certificate once granted by him to the assessee under Section 12A till 01.10.2004. It is for the reasons that, first, there was no express provision in the Act vesting the CIT with the power to cancel the registration certificate granted under Section 12A of the Act. Second, the order passed under Section 12A by the CIT is a quasi judicial order and being quasi judicial in nature, it could be withdrawn/recalled by the CIT only when there was express power vested in him under the Act to do so. In this case there was no such express power

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