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State Bank of Patiala vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

COURT:
CORAM: ,
SECTION(S):
GENRE:
CATCH WORDS: ,
COUNSEL:
DATE: November 18, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 20, 2015 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 2(7) Interest-tax Act: Right to charge overdue interest on discounted Bills of Exchange is not “interest” as it does not arise on account of delay in repayment of any loan or advance. The right arises on account of default in the payment of amounts due under a discounted bill of exchange

Section 2(7) itself makes a distinction between loans and advances made in India and discount on bills of exchange drawn or made in India. It is obvious that if discounted bills of exchange were also to be treated as loans and advances made in India there would be no need to extend the definition of “interest” to include discount on bills of exchange. Indeed, this matter is no longer res integra. The Karnataka High Court’s view is directly contrary to the view of this Court in CIT v. Sahara India Savings & Investment Corpn. Ltd., (2009) 17 SCC 43, and, therefore, cannot be countenanced. “Loans and advances” has been held to be different from “discounts” and the legislature has kept in mind the difference between the two. It is clear therefore that the right to charge for overdue interest by the assessee banks did not arise on account of any delay in repayment of any loan or advance made by the said banks. That right arose on account of default in the payment of amounts due under a discounted bill of exchange.

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