Digest of important case law – June 2012

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Compiled By: Ajay R. Singh, Paras S. Savla, Rahul K. Hakani and Sujeet S. Karkal, Advocates

Digest of important case law – June 2012  
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Journals Referred : BCAJ, CTR, DTR, ITD, ITR, ITR (Trib), Income Tax Review, SOT, Taxman, Taxation, TLR, TTJ, BCAJ, ACAJ, www.itatonline.org

S. 2(22)(e): Definitions- Deemed Dividend – Loan- Subsidiaries-loan received from some subsidiaries, distributed amongst other subsidiaries  in the  course of ordinary business  cannot be treated as deemed dividend.
Assessee company, a holding company of 11 subsidiary companies. The assessee company managed the financial affairs of its subsidiary companies in its ordinary course of its business. The assessee as a part of its role arranged short term and long term funds for its subsidiaries. Thus, it was held that the activity to taking loan from the subsidiaries and advancing it to other subsidiaries in ordinary course of its business cannot be treated as deemed dividend. (A.Y. 2003-04, 2004-05)

Farida Holding P. Ltd v. Dy. CIT (2012) 51 SOT 452 (Chennai) (Trib) 
S. 2(28A): Definitions- Interest- Debenture- Non-resident- DTAA-India –
Mauritius-Sale of investment to holding company  before conversion in to equity, gains arising on sale of debentures  is to be taxed as interest . ( Art.11(4), 13(4) .
The applicant sought an advance ruling on the questions  whether gains arising to the applicant on sale of equity shares and compulsory convertible debentures  held by the applicant in S Ltd were exempt from capital gains tax in India  under article 13(4) of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between India and Mauritius .The Authority for Advance Ruling held that, the term “interest” has been defined in the Income-tax Act , 1961 and in the DTAA to mean  any type of income payable  on a debenture. Sale of  investment to holding company of Indian company before conversion of debentures in to equity , debentures remain debt till discharged.  Convesion  rate determined on basis of period of holding, hence gains arising on sale of debentures to be taxed as interest. The entire gains arising to the applicant on the sale of shares  and compulsory convertible debentures were not exempt from capital gains tax in India under the DTAA with Mauritius. The gains arising on the sale of compulsory convertible debentures being interest within the meaning of section 2(28A) of the Act and article 11 of the DTAA was taxable as such.

Z, In re ( 2012) 345 ITR 11 (AAR)
S.2(42A):Definitions- Long term or short term-Period of holdings-  For computing the date of transfer or sale is treated as a cut-off point, to apply the test of period of holdings. [S.10(38), 54EC, General Clauses Act, 1897 S. 3(35)]
 The issue for consideration was  whether the asset must be held for a period of more than 36 months or 12 months plus one day i.e. the date when transfer is made .The date on which the transfer is made has to be excluded .The contention of revenue was based on the  language  of section 2(42A)  and the words “more than”  used therein along with the expression “immediately preceding the date of transfer”. The court held that  the term “month”  has not been defined in the Act ,therefore  one has to rely upon the words “calendar month” as defined in the General Clauses Act , 1897 . Section 3 (35) of the said Act defines a “month” to month reckoned according to the British calendar .Thus if an assessee acquires an asset on 2nd January in a preceding year , the period of 12 months would be complete on Ist January , next year and not on 2nd January. If it is sold on 2nd January and if the proviso to section 2(42A)  applies , it would be treated as a long term capital gains. Accordingly the appeal of the assessee is allowed. (A.Y. 2006-07) 

Bharti Gupta Ramola v. CIT (2012) 72 DTR 387 (Delhi)(High Court)

S. 2(43): Definitions- Tax- Education cess – Foreign company-DTAA-India-Singapore- “Education cess” is “additional surcharge” & is included in “tax” under DTAA. If DTAA caps the rate of “tax” payable, cess is not payable by foreign assessee. (S. 2(23A), Art, 11, 12 )
 The assessee, a Singapore company, offered interest and royalty income to tax at the rate of 15% & 10% as specified in Articles 11 & 12 of the India-Singapore DTAA respectively. The AO held that the assessee was also liable to pay surcharge and education cess in addition to the tax. The CIT (A) upheld the assessee’s claim that surcharge was not leviable though he rejected the claim with regard to cess. On further appeal by the assessee. Held, allowing the appeal:
 Articles 11 & 12 of the DTAA provide that the “tax” chargeable in India on interest and royalties cannot exceed 15% and 10% respectively. The expression ‘tax’ is defined in Article 2(1) to include ‘income tax’ and includes ‘surcharge’ thereon. Article 2(2) extends the scope of the ‘tax’ by laying down that it shall also cover “any identical or substantially similar taxes which are imposed by either Contracting State after the date of signature of the present Agreement in addition to, or in place of, the taxes referred to in paragraph 1”. “Cess” was introduced by the Finance Act, 2004 and it is described in s. 2(11) of the Finance Act 2004 as “additional surcharge for purposes of the Union, to be called the “Education Cess on income-tax”. Accordingly, the “education cess” is in the nature of an “additional surcharge” and is covered by Article 2. Accordingly, education cess cannot be levied in respect of the assessee’s tax liability.(A.Y .2009-10 )

DIC  Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd v. ADIT (Kol.)(Trib)www.itatonline.org
S.2(47):Definitions-Transfer-Capital gains- Family arrangement- Since partition is not a transfer and what is recorded in family arrangement is nothing but a partition , there is no transfer liable to capital gains. (S. 45 )
The family members of the assessee were holding the family properties and shares in different business concerns. There was disputes and the arbitrator suggested  a settlement , which the assessee and family members agreed. Consequence to family arrangement the assessee resigned from a partnership firm and transferred his share of profit /loss in the firm to  a family member for a consideration of Rs 35,000 being the capital balance of the firm. The assessing  Officer held that there was  a capital gain in the hands of the assessee and was liable to pay capital gain tax. On appeal Commissioner (Appeals) up held the order of the Assessing Officer. Tribunal held  that there was no transfer  and not liable to capital gain tax. On appeal by revenue the Court held that since partition  is not a transfer, there was no liability of assessee to pay capital gain tax.(A.Y.1993-94)

CIT v. R. Nagaraja  Rao  (2012) 207 Taxman 236 (Karn.) (High Court)      


S.9:Income deemed to accrue or arise in India-Supply of equipment, material and spares-Outside India- DTAA-India- Germany-When an indivisible contract and existence of an association of persons , amount payable to applicant would be taxable in India. (S. 2(31), 4, 195, 197)
The applicant filed an application under section 197 of the Income-tax Act  and claimed that no portion of the amount payable was liable to be with held under section 195 of the Act , since what it were received off-shore and hence not chargeable to tax in India. The Income-tax officer did not accept the plea of the applicant and directed OPAL to withhold tax on amounts paid to the applicant in terms of   contract in question. The assessee moved application under section 245Q. The Authority held that in face of an indivisible contract and existence of an association of persons, amount payable to applicant in respect of design and engineering and for supply of equipment, material and spares allegedly outside India would be taxable in India. The Authority for advance ruling held that the assessee is liable to deduct tax  at source.

Linde AG ( 2012) 207 Taxman 299 (AAR

S.9(1)(ii):Income deemed to accrue or arise in India-Leave encashment- Termination of employment- Amount received by previous employer as retirement benefit  has not accrued or deemed to accrue in India.(S.5(1)(c ), 6,17(3 )(ii) )
The assessee was an employee of American company from 1991 till November, 1999 and during this period he was non-resident Indian. On termination of employment , he received certain amount as leave encashment according to the number of years of service. The assessee claimed that  the said amount was exempt under section 5(1)(c) read with  section 9(1)(ii). The Assessing Officer held that the said amount is taxable as perquisite  treating the said amount as profit in lieu of salary .In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) held that the amount received was in respect of past services, rendered  outside India at a time when he was non-resident and thus could not be deemed to have accrued or arisen  in India and would not come under the purview of section 9(1)(ii).  In appeal Tribunal also confirmed the order of CIT(A). On appeal by revenue the court also confirmed the order of Tribunal and held that in terms of section 6 and 9(1)(ii), amount received by assessee had not accrued /deemed to be accrued /paid in India  hence not taxable . (A.Y. 2001-02)

CIT v. Anant Jain ( 2012) 207 Taxman 117 (Delhi) (High Court)      

S.9(1)((ii): Income deemed to accrue or arise in India-Salaries earned in India-Service provider-DTAA-India-Poland-Assessee has been functioning from India hence income is deemed to accrued or arise in India.(S.5(1)(b), 90, Art 17)
 The assessee in the return of income claimed that the salary received from Pharmaceutical Works Polpharma  S.A. Poland  being exempt from tax on the basis of  DTAA between Poland and India. The  Assessing Officer held that during the year the assessee was employed as a “service provider”  providing services  for Polpharma  Indian representative  office at Bangalore, thus the place of employment is Bangalore and not outside India   and therefore any income that arise or accrued ,due to employment ,in India Only, hence taxable in India. On appeal , Commissioner (Appeals) held that  the assessee is entitled to relief under DTAA , and allowed the claim. On  appeal by the revenue, the Tribunal held that, Assessee having been employed as “service provider” by a Polish  company to support establishing and preparing organization of the company’s representative office in India  cannot be said to be holding “top level managerial position” and therefore, he is not entitled to benefit of art 17(2) of the  Indo-Poland DTAA in respect of the salary  received by him from the said company, further such  income is to be deemed to have accrued or arisen in India as the assessee   has been functioning mainly from India, hence the income is deemed to accrue or arise in India.

DCIT v. Mohan Balakrishnam  Pookulanagara (2012) 71 DTR 365 (Ahd.) (Trib.)        
S.9(1)(vii ): Income deemed to accrue or arise in India-Consultancy fees-Fees for technical services-Deduction at source- DTAA-India- Singapore-Consultancy fees, if not taxable as “fees for technical services”, is not taxable as “other income”, not  liable to deduct tax at source.(S. 40(a)(ia),195, Art, 7, 12, 14, 22, 23 )
 The assessee paid consultancy fees to a Singapore company on which tax was not deducted at source. The AO held that the said consultancy fees were assessable as “fees for technical services” u/s.9(1)(vii) and that the failure to deduct TDS meant that the amount had to be disallowed u/s. 40(a)(ia). This was reversed by the CIT (A). On appeal by the department to the Tribunal, Held dismissing the appeal:

(i) While the consultancy fees may constitute “fees for technical services” u/s.9(1)(vii), it does not fall within the ambit of that term in the India-Singapore DTAA because it does not “make available any technical knowledge, experience, skill, know-how or processes, which enables the person acquiring the services to apply the technology contained therein”. The services were simply consultancy services which did not involve any transfer of technology and so were not assessable as “fees for technical services” (DIT v. Guy Carpenter & Co Ltd (2012) 207 Taxman 121 (Delhi )(High Court) & De Beers CIT v. India Minerals Pvt Ltd( 2012) 72 DTR 82  (Kar)(High Court) followed);

(ii) The department’s argument that if the sum is not assessable as “fees for technical services”, it is assessable as “other income”. Article 23 of the DTAA is not acceptable because that Article applies only to “items of income which are not expressly mentioned in the foregoing Articles of this Agreement”.  Article 23 does not apply to items of income which can be classified under Articles 6-22 whether or not taxable under these articles. Therefore, income from consultancy services, which cannot be taxed under articles 7, 12 or 14 because the conditions laid down therein are not satisfied, cannot be taxed under article 23 either.(A.Y.2008-09 )
DCIT v. Andaman Sea Food Pvt Ltd  (Kol)(Trib)www.itatonline.org

S. 9(1)(vii): Income deemed to accrue or arise in India – Income earned in respect of Project Management Contract – nature of service being mixture of managing, technical and consultancy services, assessee squarely fell within purview of ‘fees for technical services’-income liable to be computed only under section 44D
The assessee is an engineering company incorporated in and tax resident of Japan. It was engaged in executing certain Project Management Contracts (PMC) with Indian Companies. In respect of the said revenue assessee followed taxation on net basis. The actual execution of the contract was carried out in India by local contractors who were appointed by Indian entities. It was also apparent that assessee’s services were in nature of managing or supervising, construction, erection of units and not directly entering into this activity. Thus, it was held that the nature of assessee’s activity was a mixture of managing, technical and consultancy services and therefore, amount received by assessee squarely fell within purview of ‘fees for technical services’ as  Explanation 2 to section 9(1)(vii) and thus, income liable to be computed only under section 44D. (A.Y. 1999-2000)

Dy. DIT (IT) v. Toyo Engineering Corpn. (2012) 136 ITD 268 (Mum) (Trib)

S. 9(I)(vii): Income deemed to accrue or arise in India –Commission-Deduction of tax at source- DTAA-India- UK-  Non technical services provided by commission agent  is not taxable in India as no PE of the non-resident and no managerial or technical services rendered hence not liable to deduct tax at source (S. 40(a)(i), 195 , Art 7) 
The assessee is a firm engaged in the business of manufacturing and exporting of hand embroidery and handicraft items. The assessee used commission agent to procure export orders. It was held that the income earned was not taxable in India i.e. it did not accrue or arise in India as it was acting merely as a commission agent and did not provide any managerial/ technical services. The agreement was merely of providing non-technical services. As also that there was no PE of the said non-resident in India there was no need to deduct tax at source . (A.Y. 2007-08)
(Note: Referred to: Circular No. 23 dated 23/7/1969 ,(C& P Vol 10 P.no 142-5  p Circular No. 786, dated 7/2/2000( 2000) 241 ITR 132 (st) and Circular No. 7, dated 22/10/2009)

 Armayesh Global v. ACIT (2012) 51 SOT 564 (Mum) (Trib)
 S.9(1)(vii):Income deemed to accrue or arise in India-Fees for technical services-DTAA- India-USA-Receipts  as per the contract for overhauling services would be taxable as fees for technical services .(S. 90, 195, Art.12 )
The applicant is a  Company located in San Diego and incorporated under the America. It has a branch office in Singapore. The applicant is a manufacture of industrial gas turbines. In addition to supply and installation, the applicant has entered in to a  contract with ONGC for carrying out trouble shooting repair and maintenance  of the turbines. It had also entered in to another contract for repair and over haul services of turbines. The applicant approached the authority for a ruling on  the question whether the amount received by it for fulfilling its obligations under the contract for overhauling and repair is chargeable to tax in India. The authority held that part of the amount received by the applicant a US company, for overhauling the gas turbines supplied and installed by it at the ONGC’s facility in Mumbai  which is attributable to the services rendered in modifications and replacement of parts and make available intellectual property  rights in engineering, designs, data and specifications to ONGC in terms of the contract is taxable as included services in India under Article 12 of the  DTAA, and on that part of the apportioned payment, tax has  to be with held under section 195.

Solar Turbines International Company ( 2012) 250 CTR 337/72 DTR 145 (AAR)      

S. 10A: Newly established undertakings-Free trade zone-Manufacture-Law on what is “manufacture”, “production” & “processing” explained. (S.10B )
The Special Bench had to consider whether the assessees engaged in the business of blending & processing of tea and export thereof can be said to be “manufacturer/producer” of the tea for the purpose of s. 10A/10B of the Act. Held by the Special Bench, after a comprehensive review of the entire law on the subject, and deciding in favour of the assessee:
 The assessee was exclusively engaged in blending and packing of tea for export and was not manufacturing or producing any other article or thing. It was recognised as a 100% EOU division and the Department had no case that the assessee’s unit engaged in export of tea bags and tea packets was not a 100% EOU. If exemption was denied on the ground that products exported were not produced or manufactured in the industrial unit of the assessee’s 100% EOU, it would defeat the very object of s. 10B of the Act. When the products for which the assessee’s unit is recognized as a 100% EOU are tea bags, tea in packets and tea in bulk packs and the assessee is exclusively engaged in blending and packing of tea for export may not be manufacturer or producer of any other article or thing in common parlance. However, for purposes of S. 10A, 10AA & 10B, the definition of the word “manufacture” as defined in s. 2(r) of SEZ Act, Exim Policy, Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, etc have to be considered. The definition of ‘manufacture’ as per s. 2(r) of SEZ Act, 2005 is incorporated in s. 10AA of the I. T. Act w.e.f. 10.02.2006. This amendment is clarificatory in nature. The definition of ‘manufacture’ under the SEZ Act etc is much wider than what is the meaning of the term ‘manufacture’ under the Income-tax Act. (A.Y.)

Madhu Jayanti International Ltd v. DCIT  (SB)( Ko.l)(Trib)www.itatonline.org

S.11: Charitable or religious purposes-Sports club- Denial of exemption held to be not valid (S. 2(15), 12A )
The assessee sports club was registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950  and under section 12A. The main object of the assessee was to promote sports and athletic  activities. The Assessing Officer treated the assessee as a mutual concern and denied exemption under section 11. In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) and Tribunal held that the assessee had acquired land from the State Government which  utilized for facilities such as providing an Olympic size swimming pool which was open to the general public on annual membership basis  without restriction as to caste , creed ,religion or profession hence eligible for registration. On appeal by revenue, the Court affirmed the view of Tribunal and dismissed the appeal of revenue. (A.Y.2003-04)
DIT (Exemption) v. Goregaon Sports Club ( 2012) 207 Taxman 240 (Bom) (High Court)  

S. 12: Trust or institution-Contributions-Amount utilized towards object of trust, held to be corpus fund, exempt.
The assessee is a trust engaged in the field of education. It collected amounts from students at the time of admission towards building fund, education research fund, education infrastructure fund, etc. The AO held that the said funds were not donation but payment for admissions and that receipts could not be treated as donation / corpus donation. It was held that the contribution was made with the clear understanding that it was towards corpus funds and that trust deed also stipulated that the voluntary contribution given by parents for furtherance of objects of Trust were exclusive property of trust which was to be utilized towards the object of trust. Thus, the contribution was held to be in the nature of corpus fund and exempt u/s 12. (A.Y. 2008-09)
DIT (Exemption) v. ShriN.H. Kapadia Education Trust (2012) 136 ITD 111 (Ahm) (Trib) 
S. 12A: Charitable /Religious Trust – Significant or material change in object clause of MOA by voluntary act of the assessee – Changes to be vetted by revenue authorities before granting the benefit u/s 11 and 13 of the Act
The assessee is a society registered under section 12A of the Act whose main object is to promote the game of cricket. There was a significant or material change in the object clause of MOA of the assessee’s society made by the assessee voluntarily. It was held that in case of such significant change in the object clause, the revenue authorities have a right to examine the question as to whether these changes in the memorandum, rules and regulations are in consonance with the provisions of the Act so as to enable assessee to avail benefit as charitable institution u/s 11, 12 and 13.
Board of Control Cricket in India v. ITO (2012) 136 ITD 301 (Mum) (Trib)

 S.12AA: Trust or institution-Registration-Charitable purposes-Education rendered on commercial lines, charity must subserve the essential requirements of the needy and the destitute hence cancellation of   registration held to be justified (S. 2(15),11, 80G)
In the instant case, assessee is running coaching  centres recognized by Universities to cater their distance education programme. The assessee collects fees from the students and same is shared between the assessee and the Universities on commercial lines. It was held that the education per se will not be considered charitable unless carried out as charitable endeavour. The litmus of charitable institution is that the activity must be conducted with charitable dedication i.e. it should subserve the essential requirements of the needy and the desitude. Thus held that rendering of education to millionaire is not charity.

Professional Education & Research Foundation (2012) 51 SOT 351 (Chennai) (Trib)

S. 12AA: Trust or institution-Registration-Charitable purposes-Object of trust was charitable ,no income of the trust was applied for benefit of lineal descendant  as  both the  conditions are  satisfied  the trust is  eligible for registration. [S. 2(15)]
Where the dominant purpose of the trust are charitable in nature then mere fact that the poor relatives of settlor would have preference over general public in such charitable objects, would not make trust as non-charitable. Further, Trust deed provided that after death of the settlor, income from the trust property was to be used for charitable purpose, which were covered u/s 2(15). It was held that as no amount was applied for the benefit of any lineal descendant, since the objects of the trust, after death of settler were fully charitable and whole income of the trust was utilized for charitable purposes set out in trust deed both conditions u/s 12AA for registration of trust were fully satisfied.

Manockjee Cowasjee Petit Charities  v. DIT (Exemption) (2012) 136 ITD 355(TM ) (Mum) ( Trib.)
S.14A: Business expenditure-Disallowance-Exempt Income-Tax free investments-Disallowance   under  section 14A  cannot be made if  tax-free investments capable of taxable income.
The assessee, an investment company, issued optionally convertible premium notes which entitled the holder thereof to a premium on redemption. The proceeds of the issue was invested by the assessee in acquiring the shares of Reliance Utilities and Power Ltd (“RUPL”), the income whereof was exempt u/s 10(23G). The assessee claimed a deduction of the premium paid to the holders of the notes which was rejected by the AO & CIT(A) on the ground the expenditure was incurred in respect of tax-free income and so deduction could not be allowed u/s 14A. Before the Tribunal, the assessee argued that s. 14A could not apply because (a) though the dividends and LTCG on the shares of RUPL were exempt u/s 10(23G), the STCG & stock-lending income were not exempt and (b) the assessee had in fact not received any tax-free income on the shares. Held upholding the assessee’s plea:

(i) Though the proceeds of the premium notes on which the redemption premium was paid had been invested in the shares/debentures of RUPL and although the dividend income and LTCG from the said investment was exempt u/s 10(23G), the premium cannot be regarded as expenditure incurred exclusively in relation to earning of exempt income so as to invoke s. 14A because the said investment had the potential of generating taxable income in the form of STCG etc;

(ii) Further, as no taxable income was actually earned by the assessee, disallowance u/s 14A was not sustainable. (Delite Enterprises followed). The fact that in Delite Enterprises, the appeal was dismissed on the ground that no Q of law arises does not mean that it is not a decision on merits. Even a dismissal of an appeal on the ground that no Q of law arises results in a merger (Nirma Industries Ltd v. DCIT( 2006) 283 ITR 402 (Guj)(High Court followed) (A.Ys. 2003-04 & 2004-05 )

Avshesh Mercantile P. Ltd.  v.. DCIT ( Mum.)(Trib)www.itatonline.org
S.17 (2):Salary-Perquisite-Residential accommodation-Notional interest on deposit paid by employer to land lord cannot be taken in to consideration while computing perquisite-Income tax –Rules, 1962 –rule 3.
The employer provided with rent free accommodation and monthly rent paid by the employer was  Rs.10,000 per month. The  employer had given an interest free deposit of Rs 30  lakhs to the land lord. While computing the perquisite the Assessing officer  taken in to consideration notional interest at 12% on interest free deposit of Rs 30 lakhs, which was  confirmed in appeal. On appeal to the Tribunal the Tribunal held that as per the amended rule 3  of the Income –tax   Rules, 1962, with retrospective effect from 1-4-2001 ,the perquisite value of the accommodation computed  by the assessee was  to be accepted. On appeal by revenue  the Court held that in view of rule 3 of 1962 Rules, perquisite value  of residential accommodation  provided by employer to its employee is to be computed on basis of actual  amount of lease rental paid or payable by employer and not on notional basis , hence notional  interest on deposits paid by employer to land lord cannot be taken in to consideration. Accordingly the appeal of revenue was dismissed. (A.Y. 2001-02)

CIT v. Shankar Krishnan ( 2012) 207 Taxman 233 (Bom) (High Court)

S. 32: Depreciation- Non-compete rights- Intangible assets-Non-Compete rights are an “intangible asset” eligible for depreciation.
 The assessee paid Rs.4.55 crores to obtain a non-compete covenant from another company for a period of 10 years and claimed that the expenditure had resulted in an “intangible asset” u/s 32(1)(ii) on which depreciation was allowable. The AO rejected the claim though the CIT (A) allowed it. Before the Tribunal, the department relied on Srivatsan Surveyors (P) Ltd. vs. ITO 125 TTJ 286 (Chennai) where it was held that a non-compete right is a ‘right in persona’ and not a ‘right in rem’ and so depreciation was not allowable. Held by the Tribunal dismissing the appeal:

The AO’s objection that a non-compete right is not an “intangible asset” u/s.32(1)(ii) on the ground that (a) it is not “any other business or commercial right of a similar nature” and (b) it is not capable of transfer like other intangible assets is not acceptable because (i) the right of absence of competition or the ‘non-compete right’ is an asset which is capable of being transferred and is of a similar nature as the other items referred to. This is shown by the fact that the right was transferred by the assessee at the time of its amalgamation and (ii) the expenditure resulted in the acquisition of an unrivaled and non-competed business territory for 10 years which brought advantages in the capital field. Though in Srivatsan Surveyors v.ITO(2009) 125 TTJ 286 (Chennai), it was held that a restrictive covenant is a “right in persona” and not a “right in rem”, a contrary view was taken in ITO v. Medicorp Technologies India Ltd (2009) 30 SOT 506 (Chennai). When two views are possible, the view favourable to the assessee should be followed held in CIT v. Vegetable Products Ltd. (1973) 88 ITR 192 (SC) (A.Y. 2003-04).

ACIT v. GE Plastics India Ltd ( Ahd.)(Trib)www.itatonline.org
S.32: Depreciation-Website-Intangible asset-Entitled depreciation at 25% as intangible and not 60% as applicable to software.
The  Tribunal held that website development  cost represents business asset entitled to depreciation. Depreciation is allowable at 25% by treating the same as intangible asset and not 60% as applicable to soft ware. (A.Y. 2004-05)

Makemytrip (India) (P) Ltd v.Dy.CIT (2012) 72 DTR 466 (Delhi)(Trib)

S. 32: Depreciation – Financial leased asset – assessee offered the principal portion of the lease rental also for taxation, depreciation allowed
The issue in the instant case is regarding the claim of depreciation on Financial leased asset. The assessee claimed depreciation in light of Circular of No. 2 of 2001 issued by CBDT in the matter of capitalization of leased asset. While claiming the depreciation allowance, the assessee offered the principal portion of the lease rental also for taxation. Thus, it was held that depreciation claim was rightly allowed.  (A.Y. 2004-05 to 2007-08)

ACIT v. GMAC Financial Services India Ltd. (2012) 16 ITR 422( Chennai)(Trib) 
S.35D: Amortisation of preliminary expenses-Reimbursement of expenses of promoters-Project  development-Reimbursement of project development expenses are eligible for deduction under section 35D.
The assessee is a public Limited company. In the return of income the assessee claimed deduction under section 35D  in respect of a sum of Rs.2,12, 665 ,which represented expenditure incurred by the promoters for project development. The amount was reimbursed by the company after its formation to the promoters. The Assessing Officer held that as the expenditure was incurred only after 31st March, 1970 it would not qualify for a deduction under section 35D.The view of Assessing Officer was confirmed by the Commissioner (Appeals) and Tribunal. On reference the Court held that  the assessee was liable  in respect of the expenditure  incurred only after acceptance of that liability. That event took place after the date 31st  March 1970. The fact that that promoters had incurred the expenditure prior to 31st March , 1970 ,would  not detract from the position that same represented expenditure incurred by the assessee  only after the acceptance of the liability which took place  after the acceptance of the liability which took place after the specified date, hence the expenditure incurred by promoters before 31st  March , 1970, reimbursed by the company thereafter is entitled to deduction under section 35D. (A.Y.1975-76)

Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd  v.CIT (2012) 72 DTR 12 (Bom.) (High Court)           

S. 28(i): Business loss-Government securities-Investment- Securities were not treated as stock –in- trade, but investment hence  loss on sale of securities not to be treated as business loss.
The assessee was a cooperative bank. The assessee incurred certain loss on sale of government securities. It was held that where the assessee had been consistently treating the said government securities as its investments and not as the stock-in-trade, the loss could not be considered as business loss. (A.Y.2007-08)

DCIT v. Cooperative Bank of Mehsana Ltd. (2012) 136 ITD 334 (Ahm) (Trib)

S. 28(i): Business Income –Rent- Leased property- As  the property was  let out as a reason of commercial viability of project, lease rent is held as business income .(S.22 )
Assessee firm constructed a market complex and leased it out to various commercial organisations. Assessee showed lease rent received as business income. The issue was as to whether the rent from the lease be considered as income from house property or business income. It was held by the Tribunal that the said income be considered as business income as the assessee received the loan because of the commercial viability of the project. As also, apart from letting out building assessee also provided other incidental services like electrician, plumber, sweeper, water and ward, etc. (A.Y. 2005-06)

Narayan Market Complex v. ITO (2012) 51 SOT 387 (Cuttack)(Trib)
S. 32: Depreciation-Regularization fee-Hospital- Regularization fees paid for construction of hospital  is an asset used in carrying business and profession and it was not unlawful, it should be capitalized to form a part of cost of construction and depreciation could be claimed on it.
The assessee had constructed a hospital building. While constructing the hospital building, assessee made certain deviation which was in violation of relevant metropolitan regulation. The assessee paid regularization fees as step taken by the state government to regularize such deviation and exonerate defaulters. It was held that since the payment was made directly in connection with construction of hospital building which was an asset used in carrying business and profession and it was not unlawful, it should be capitalized to form a part of cost of construction and depreciation could be claimed on it.  (A.Ys. 2004-05 to 2006-07)

K. Senthilnathan(Dr) v. ACIT (2012) 13 6 ITD 233/ 147 TTJ 297(TM ) (Chennai)  (Trib)

S. 32: Depreciation-Intangible-Franchisee-Consideration paid for enhancing network by acquiring rights over infrastructure and other advantages  is  held to be intangible asset, depreciation allowed.
The assessee-company was engaged in the business of dealing in foreign exchange, money transfer and wind power generation. The assessee acquired a franchisee for consideration and claimed depreciation on the same. It was held that since the assessee paid consideration for purpose of enhancing network in the field of money transfer business by acquiring rights over infrastructure and other advantages attached to marketing network, same fell under the category of intangible asset, eligible for depreciation. (A.Y. 2007-08)

DCIT v. Weizmann Forex Ltd. (2012) 51 SOT 525 (Mum.) (Trib)

S. 32: Depreciation – Block of assets –User- After the first year existence of individual asset in block of asset itself amounts to use for purpose of business.
The requirement of words ‘used for the purpose of business’ as provided in section 32(1) for the concept of depreciation on block of assets can be summarized, that use of individual asset for the purpose of business can be examined only in the first year the asset is purchased and, in subsequent years when use of block of asset is examined, existence of individual asset in block of asset itself amounts to use for purpose of business. ( A.Ys. 2001-02 to 2004-05)

DCIT v. Coromandal Bio Tech Industries (I) Ltd (2012) 51 SOT 333 (Hyd)(Trib) 
S. 36(1)(iii): Business expenditure- Interest on borrowed capital – Interest expenditure incurred on acquiring land on lease for setting up hotel business held to be disallowed
The assessee took loan from its holding company for acquiring a plot of land on lease. The assessee claimed deduction u/s.36(1)(iii) on interest paid to holding company on the loan taken. The Tribunal upheld the disallowance on the ground that since interest expenditure was incurred prior to the setting of the business, in view of proviso to section 36(1)(iii), same was not allowable. (A.Y. 2007-08)

Breeze Construction P. Ltd. v. ITO (2012) 51 SOT 546 (Delhi) (Trib)
S. 36(1)(vii) : Business Expenditure-Bad debts-Individual debtors account-Amount debited to profit and loss account it is not necessary that individual debtors account also be closed.
It was held that after insertion of Explanation to Section 36(1)(vii), taxpayer is required not only to debit profit and loss account but simultaneously also reduce loans and advance/debtors account to extent of corresponding amount so that, at the end of year, amount on loans and advances/debtors account is shown as net provisions for bad debt. Therefore, in order to claim deduction on account of bad debt, it is not necessary that individual debtors account has to be closed by crediting said account to extent of provision for bad and doubtful debt is sufficient.  (A.Y. 2006-07)

Arrow Coated Products Ltd. v. ACIT (2012) 136  ITD 315 (Mum) (Trib) 
S.37(1):Business expenditure- ESOP-Market price-Option price-Difference between market price & option price of ESOP shares deductible.
The assessee allotted shares to its employees under an ESOP scheme. In accordance with the Employees Staff Option Plan and Employee Staff Purchase Scheme Guidelines, 1999 issued by SEBI, the difference between the market value of the shares and the value at which they were allotted to the employees was debited to the P&L A/c. This was claimed as a deduction under the head “staff welfare expenditure”. The AO allowed the claim though the CIT revised the assessment u/s 263 and held that the expenditure was notional and contingent in nature and not allowable as a deduction. On appeal, the Tribunal {(2004) S.S.I Ltd. vs. DCIT (2004) 85 TTJ 1049 (Chennai)(Trib.) held that as the SEBI regulations required the difference between the market price of the shares and the price at which the option is exercised by the employees to be debited to the P&L A/c as expenditure, it was an ascertained expenditure and not contingent in nature. On appeal by the department to the High Court, held dismissing the appeal:
As far as the Employees Stock Option Plan is concerned, as rightly pointed out by the Tribunal, the assessee had to follow SEBI direction and by following such directions, the assessee claimed the ascertained amount as liability for deduction. There is no error in the order of the Tribunal. (A.Y. 2001-2002)

CIT  v. PVP Ventures Limited (Mad.)(High Court), www.itatonline.org

S.37(1): Business expenditure- Lease premium- Capital expenditure-Lease Premium is capital expenditure & not allowable as “advance rent”.
 The assessee entered into a lease agreement with NOIDA pursuant to which it acquired land on a 90 year lease. The assessee paid Rs. 2.53 crores as premium and agreed to pay annual lease rent of 2.5% of the premium. The assessee was not entitled to transfer the land before erection of the building without NOIDA’s permission NOIDA. There were other restrictions on the assessee’s right to transfer, assign or alienate the land. It was entitled to mortgage the land. Non-fulfillment or violation of terms and conditions of the lease agreement could result in cancellation of the lease. The assessee amortized the premium over the period of the lease and claimed the proportionate part as a revenue deduction. The AO accepted the assessee’s claim for 15 years. Thereafter, the AO, CIT(A) & Tribunal rejected the claim on the ground that the lease conferred an enduring advantage and the premium was capital expenditure as held in JCIT v Mukund Limited (2007) 291 ITR (AT)(SB) 249 (Trib). On appeal by the assessee, held dismissing the appeal:

(i) S. 105 of the Transfer of Property Act brings out the distinction between a price paid for a transfer of a right to enjoy the property and the rent to be paid periodically to the lessor. When the interest of the lessor is parted with for a price, the price paid is premium or salami. But the periodical payments made for the continuous enjoyment of the benefits under the lease are in the nature of rent. The former is capital in nature and the latter is revenue in nature. There may be circumstances where the parties may camouflage the real nature of the transaction by using clever phraseology. In some cases, the so-called premium is in fact advance rent and in others rent is deferred price. It is not the form but the substance of the transaction that matters. The nomenclature used may not be decisive or conclusive but it helps, having regard to the other circumstances, to ascertain the intention of the parties;

(ii) On facts, the premium paid is capital in nature and cannot be treated as “advance rent” because (a) it was a precondition for securing possession and was a one-time consideration; (b) annual lease rent was payable separately; (c) there is no material to support the contention that the annual rent was depressed and does not reflect the market rent; (d) there is no material to support the argument that the amount of Rs. 2.53 crore paid over 23 years ago did not constitute the true and real consideration for creating an interest in the property; (e) the registration and stamp duty and charges were borne by the lessee; (f) the restrictions imposed on the lessee regarding transfer and user of the land were consistent with the nature of interest created, i.e. lease hold rights; (g) the tenure of the lease was quite substantial and virtually created ownership rights in favour of the lessee & (h) exclusive possession was handed over to the assessee at the time of creation of the lease (CIT v. Panbari Tea Co. Ltd. (1965)  57 ITR 422 (SC) & Durga Das Khanna v CIT (1969) 72 ITR 796 (SC) followed; Madras Industrial Investment Corp.Ltd. v CIT (1997) 225 ITR 802 (SC) distinguished);

(iii) The fact that the AO accepted the assessee’s claim for 15 years does not mean that he cannot change his stand because there is no “res judicata” in income-tax law and erroneous or mistaken views cannot fetter the authorities into repeating them, by application of a rule such as estoppel, for the reason that being an equitable principle, it has to yield to the mandate of law. A blind adherence to the rule of consistency would lead to anomalous results & engender the unequal application of laws and direct the tax authorities to adopt varied interpretations, to suit individual assesses, subjective to their convenience, – a result at once debilitating and destructive of the rule of law ( Radhasaomi Satsang v. CIT (1992) 193 ITR 321 (SC) distinguished / explained). (A.Y. 2004-05)

Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd. v. ACIT (Delhi)(High Court), www.itatonline.org
S. 37(1): Business loss- Advance for purchase of property-Real estate business-Bad debt-Amount advanced for purchase of property, property not transferred and  amount not repaid, loss is allowable as business loss (S. 36(1) (vii )), 36(2) ).

The assess is in the business of real estate. The assessee advanced the amount for purchase  of property. In spite of reminders neither the  physical possession was  given  not the amount was returned. The Assesee claimed the said amount as bad debt which was disallowed by the Assessing Officer which was confirmed by the Commissioner (Appeals). On appeal to the tribunal the tribunal allowed the loss under section 37 of the income-tax Act. On  appeal by the revenue, the court dismissed the appeal of revenue and held  that, merely because the assessee also had rental income did not establish that the properties , which  were being purchased from Gulmohar Estate were tobe treated as investment and not for stock in trade. Accordingly the loss was deductible, order of Tribunal confirmed. (A. Y. 2004-05)

CIT  v. New Delhi Hotels Ltd ( 2012) 345 ITR 1 (Delhi) (High Court)

S.37(1): Business expenditure-Allotment of sweet equity shares-The value of shares allotted free of cost to employees is deductible revenue: expenditure.
The assessee allotted 3,94,692 Sweat Equity shares (ESOP) to its employees free of cost for rewarding them for past services or providing know how for making available rights in the IPR as per S.79A of the Companies Act, 1956. Though the shares were allotted for no consideration, the assessee accounted for the shares at Rs.106.26 each (face value Rs.10) at its arms length price and claimed Rs.4.19 crores as a deduction towards “employees benefit expenses”. The shares were not allotted as at 31.3.2006. The AO disallowed the claim on the ground that it was not an ascertained liability but was a contingent liability though the CIT(A) allowed the claim. In appeal before the Tribunal, the department relied on Ranbaxy Laboratories v ACIT (2009) 124 TTJ 771 (Del) & VIP Industries (ITAT Mum). Held dismissing the appeal:

Though the allotment of the ESOP shares was not done as of 31.3.2006, the number of shares to be allotted to the employees as on 31.3.2006 was specified and immediately thereafter the said shares were so allotted. Consequently, the mere non-allotment of the shares pending completion of certain formalities does not merit the disallowance of said expenditure as being a contingent liability. The fact that the scheme provided for a lock in period of five years under which in case the employee left employment before the expiry of five years, the shares so allotted to him would revert to the assessee, did not make the liability contingent because where the shares were forfeited, the value thereof would be offered to tax in that year (S.S.I. Ltd. vs. DCIT (2004) 85 TTJ 1049 (Chennai) followed; Ranbaxy Laboratories v ACIT (2009)  124 TTJ 771 (Delhi)(Trib) & VIP Industries (ITAT Mum) distinguished) (A.Y. 2006-07)

ACIT v. Spray Engineering Devices Ltd (Chandigarh)(Trib) www.itatonline.org
S.37(1):Business expenditure- Website development-Depreciation- Assessee treated the said expenses  as intangible hence not allowable as business expenditure.
The Tribunal held that since the assessee itself has claimed the website development as part of block of assets  on which depreciation eligible to intangible assets has been claimed and allowed, the same cannot be treated as revenue expenditure. (A.Y. 2004-05)

Makemytrip (India) (P) Ltd v.Dy.CIT (2012) 72 DTR 466 (Delhi)(Trib)
S.41(1): Profits chargeable to Tax-Remission or cessation of trading liability-Brokerage- Brokerage liability outstanding written  back in to profit and loss account no remission or cessation of liability in relevant assessment year.
The assessee is engaged in the business of share broking and also in shares. The assessee  in  the Assessment   Year 2004-05  written back   in to the profit and  loss  account outstanding brokerage  and taxes were paid on it. The  Assessing Officer for the Assessment year  2002-03  sought confirmation of outstanding  brokerage, the assessee stated that the said brokerage was offered  for taxation in the assessment year 2004-05.However the  Assessing Officer  assessed the  income  for the  assessment year 2002-03. In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) and Tribunal held that as there was no remission or cessation of  liability under section 41 (1) for the assessment year 2002-03 addition was not justified. In appeal  High Court  confirmed the order of Tribunal.(A.Y.2002-03).

CIT v. Enam  Securities  P. Ltd ( 2012) 345  ITR 64 (Bom.) (High Court)      

S.43(5): Definitions-Speculative transaction- Derivatives – loss on account of derivative trading  transaction carried out electronically on screen based system and through recognized stock exchange is  not disallowable as speculative.
The assessee filed a return claiming business loss emanating from derivative trading in futures and options and setting it off against the business profit. The AO disallowed the claim. It was held that the assessee complied with the conditions with the provisions of section 43(5)(d) of the Act, by carrying out derivative transactions electronically on screen based system and through recognized stock exchange. The assessee had maintained each and every record of the documentation provided by the sub-broker like trade conformation report, bills etc. Thus, relying on the intention of Section 43(5)(d) and Memorandum explaining provisions of finance bill, 2005 the claim of assessee could not be disallowed.  (A.Y.2008-09)

 Vibha Goel(Smt) v. JCIT (2012) 16 ITR 418 (Chandigarh) (Trib)
S. 43B: Deductions on actual payment-Business expenditure-Constitutional validity-Section 43B(f),which allows deduction for leave encashment only on payment basis is ultra vires. In any event, it does not cover premium paid to insurer. (S.37 (1),Constitution of India Art 226 )
 The assessee claimed deduction u/s.37(1) for liability to pay, payment of, premium to LIC under the Group Leave Encashment Scheme policy. The AO allowed the claim though the CIT revised the assessment u/s.263 on the ground that u/s.43B(f), leave encashment was allowable as a deduction only on payment basis. The Tribunal reversed the CIT on the ground that S.43B(f) had been held to be unconstitutional in Exide Industries Ltd and another v. UOI (2007) 292 ITR 470 (Cal.) and that the assessment order was not erroneous. On appeal by the department to the High Court, Held dismissing the appeal:

(i) S. 43B was inserted by the FA 1983 to prevent assessees from claiming a deduction for a provision for statutory liabilities without actually paying the same. Leave encashment is not a statutory liability as held in Bharat Earth Movers v.CIT (2000) 245 ITR 428 (SC) and a deduction is allowable in respect of the accrued liability. To overcome the said decision, clause (f) was inserted in the year 2001 to allow deduction for leave encashment only on payment basis. In Exide Industries Ltd .and another v. UOI (2007) 292 ITR 470 (Cal), clause (f) of S. 43B was held to be inconsistent with the object with which S.43B was inserted and thereby was held to be unconstitutional. As the department has accepted the judgement of the Calcutta High Court and not filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, it is not open to the Revenue to challenge its correctness in the case of another assessee as held in Berger Paints India Ltd v.CIT(2004) 266 ITR 99 (SC).

(ii) Even assuming clause (f) of S. 43B is valid, what is intended by it is to deny deduction for liabilities not actually incurred and to exclude provisions made against future liabilities from being granted a deduction. In the instant case it was not a provision for future liability which was claimed as a deduction. The assessee had insured itself against the liabilities that may arise on account of the claims made by the employees towards leave encashment. The assessee being covered by a valid insurance policy and premium being regularly paid, incurs no liability towards leave encashment. The liability; being covered by a valid insurance policy, is solely that of the insurer. Even if 43B(f) stands, in the case of the assessee, where the liability is borne by the insurer, there can be no situation wherein assessee could make a valid claim for deduction u/s.43B(f) since the actual liability is not incurred in any of the years. The premium paid towards the renewal and continued validity of the insurance policy necessarily becomes business expenditure wholly and exclusively incurred for the business purpose and allowable as a deduction u/s 37. (A.Y.2005-06)

CIT v. Hindustan Latex Ltd (Ker.) ( High Court)www.itatonline.org
S. 45: Capital gains- Investment in shares- Business income-Despite speculation activity and short period of holding, shares gain is STCG & not business profits. (S.28(i)
The assesseee, a textile consultant, offered LTCG of Rs. 19.97 crores and STCG of Rs. 1.71 crores. The AO held that the LTCG and STCG had to be assessed as business profits on the grounds that (i) the assessee had engaged in speculation activities, (ii) the volume of shares was high, (iii) the frequency of purchase and sale was extremely high, (iv) the holding period for most of the scrips ranged from a few days to few months and in certain cases and (v) the dividend was meager. This was reversed by the CIT (A) & Tribunal on the basis that (a) the assessee had not only invested in shares but also maintained fixed deposits & PPF. Investments in shares were 75% of the total investments & the sales of shares was to balance the portfolio, (b) the LTCG shares were held for several years, (c) the STCG shares consisted of 7 scrips which gave rise to 93% of the STCG profits, (d) the shares were shown as investment in the balance sheet in the earlier years, (e) the assessee had not borrowed funds & (f) STT was paid. On appeal by the department to the High Court, Held dismissing the appeal:

The appellate authorities have come to a finding of fact after examining the relevant material that the assessee is an investor in shares and not a trader. This finding of fact is not perverse. As held in CIT v. Gopal Purohit(2010) 228 CTR 582/(2011) 336 ITR 287 (Bom.) (High Court) there is no bar for an assessee to maintain two separate portfolios, one relating to investment in shares and another relating to business activities involving dealing in shares.(A.Y.2006-07)

CIT v. Suresh R. Shah (Bom.)( High Court)www.itatonline.org

S.45: Capital gains-Merger of company-Scheme of arrangement-Tax planning-Tax planning is legitimate if it is within the framework of the law. (S. 391 TO 394  of Companies Act )
 A scheme of arrangement u/s. 391 to 394 of the Companies Act was entered into which provided that five private limited companies would be merged with Unichem Laboratories. Pursuant to the Scheme, (a) the entire undertaking of the transferor companies would stand vested with the transferee, (b) The shares held by the transferor companies in the transferee company would be cancelled & (c) shares of the transferee company would be issued to the shareholders of the transferor companies. The scheme was challenged by a shareholder on the ground that it was propounded to avoid capital gains tax that would have arisen if the transferor companies would have directly transferred their shares to the promoters and that it was a “colourable device to evade tax”. Reliance was placed on (1985) McDowell and Co. Ltd. v. CIT  (1985 )  154 ITR 148 (SC), (1976) Wood Polymer ( 1974 ) 47 CC 597 (Guj) & Groupe Industrial Marcel Dassault (AAR). Held  by the High Court rejecting the objection:

In UOI v Azadi Bachao Andolan (2003) 263 ITR 706 (SC), it was held that McDowell cannot be read as laying down that every attempt at tax planning is illegitimate and must be ignored, or that every transaction or arrangement which is perfectly permissible under law, which has the effect of reducing the tax burden of the assessee, must be looked upon with disfavor. A citizen is free to act in a manner according to his requirements, his wishes in the manner of doing any trade, activity or planning his affairs with circumspection, within the framework of law, unless the same fall in the category of colourable device which may properly be called a device or a dubious method or a subterfuge clothed with apparent dignity. This was considered again in Vodafone International Holding B.V. v UOI  (2012) 341 ITR 1 (SC) and it was held that there is no conflict between McDowell and Azadi Bachao Andolan and reiterated that tax planning may be legitimate provided it is within the framework of law. On facts, the object of the scheme is to enable the Promoter to hold shares directly in the transferee company rather than indirectly and not to avoid any tax. There is nothing illegal or unlawful or dubious or colourful in the Scheme and the same is a perfectly legitimate scheme and permissible by law. Therefore, the objection that the scheme is a tax avoidance device stands rejected.

In Re AVM Capital Services Private Limited (Bom)(High Court), www.itatonline.org

S.45: Capital gains-Business income-Sale of land-Sale of land by administrator is assessable as capital gains and not as business income. (S.28(i))
A large tract of  land of nearly 2500 acres of land was acquired in  r about in the year  1923 by late F.F. Dinshaw  who  was  solicitor. Upon  the  death of  Mr. F.F, Dinshaw in the year 1936, there was no transaction involved  for about sixty five years .There was no improvements in the said land. There was encroachment on the land. The part of land was sold to protect the corpus and the resulting expenditure due to litigation. The Assessing Officer assessed the sale consideration as business income. In appeal the Tribunal held that the sale consideration is assessable as capital gains. On  reference  by the revenue the Court affirmed the finding of Tribunal and held  that sale of land by Administrator of estate, which land had devolved on the assessee by testamentary   succession, lying for almost sixty five years and sold for to protect the corpus and the resulting expenditure due to litigation, gave  rise to capital gains and not business profits. Order of Tribunal in ACIT v. Administrator of the  Estate of Late E.F.Dinshaw (1993) 47 ITD 232 (Bom)(Trib.), affirmed. (A.Ys.  1987-88 to 1989-90)          

CIT v. Administrator of the Estate of Late E.F.Dinshaw ( 2012) 72 DTR 49 (Bom.) (High Court)   

S. 45: Capital gains-Capital loss- Genuineness  of  loss on sale of distressed assets – As the transactions held to be sham the loss was held to be not allowable.
The assessee had given security of shares as guarantee for a loan taken by one  Mr Subhash  Chopra from Cholamandalam Finance & Investment Co Ltd . Since Mr Chopra  defaulted the  assessee had paid  a sum  of Rs 50,40,000 and got released the shares pledged .After getting released the shares the assessee entered in to an agreement with a company to sell this loan as distress asset only for a sum of  Rs 4,50,000. Despite the summons issued the parties never appeared before the Assessing Officer. The Assessing Officer held that the entire exercise was to reduce the short term capital gains hence the loss cannot be allowed as loss on sale of distressed  asset. The  Tribunal also conformed that loss on account of guarantee for loan could not be allowed as the surrounding  circumstances  clearly prove that the entire exercise is a sham and fictitious exercise just to reduce the tax liability (A.Y. 2005-06)   

Sudhakar Ram v. ACIT (2012) 72  DTR 187 (Mum.)(Trib)

S. 45: Capital gains-Accrual-Joint venture-On facts  transfer of property is complete on the date of entering in to joint venture agreement ie. 12 th July , 2005 ( S. 2 (47)(v), 48)
The assessee entered in to a joint venture development agreement with a builder dated 12th July, 2005 in which the consideration was fixed at Rs 2,50,00,000. The document was  registered later by way of confirmation deed dated 2nd July 2007 in which the sale consideration was increased to Rs.4,90,00,000. The assessee had ¼ share. According to the  assessee as the joint  venture agreement was registered in the assessment year 2007-08 capital gains tax is leviable in the assessment year 2007-08. The assessing Officer took the stand that the same is taxable in the year 2006-07 in which the transfer took place. The Assessing Officer also taxed the enhanced consideration in the Assessment year 2006-07. In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) also confirmed the order of  Assessing Officer.
On appeal to Tribunal the Tribunal held that, as the builder has taken possession of property as per the joint venture agreement dated 12th July, 2005  the agreement fulfills the requirement of section 2(47)(v) and therefore “Transfer” in terms of section 2(47)(v ) took place during the assessment year 2006-07. Hence the capital gain was rightly taxed in the assessment year 2006-07. For the purpose of computation of capital gains the enhanced consideration to be taken in to consideration  as per section 48 in the year of transfer i.e. 2006-07. (A.Y. 2006-07)

Mahesh Nemichandra Ganeshwade & Ors v.ITO ( 2012) 73 DTR 1 (Pune) (Trib.)
S.47(v): Capital gains- Transfer to subsidiary-Subsidiary must be wholly owned, matter set aside to Tribunal to decide a fresh (S. 45, Companies Act ,1956, S.49, 187C)
During the course of block assessment proceedings the Assessing Officer found that the assessee was not a wholly owned subsidiary of Sunair Hotes Ltd. and it was a wrong claim, hence the entire consideration received by the assessee  was liable  to tax and benefit of section 47(v) was not available. In  appeal Commissioner (Appeals) allowed the claim of assessee, which was confirmed by Tribunal. On appeal by revenue the Court held that for benefit under section 47(v) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, the subsidiary must be wholly owned subsidiary. Being subsidiary is not sufficient, even if one of the share holders was not a nominee of the holding company, the benefit under section 47(v) has to be denied. The Court also held that the normal presumption in law is that the registered share holder holds the share  in his own right  and in his individual  personal capacity. He does not hold shares as a nominee. The onus is, therefore, on the party who claims to the contrary. The Court held that the finding of Tribunal was  perverse, because  the payments were not by Cheque, no paper was produced & the party has not been examined. The court set-aside the order of Tribunal and remanded the matter to the Tribunal with a direction to examine the matter  thereunder.

CIT v. Sunafero Ltd (2012) 345 ITR 163 (Delhi) (High Court)        

S.48: Capital gains-Computation-Non-Cumulative redeemable  preference shares-Non-Cumulative redeemable preference shares could not be equated with debentures or Bond   assessee is entitled to benefit of indexation.(S. 2(47) ).
The assessee had subscribed to the purchase of 4 lakh preference  shares  each of Rs 100 of an aggregate value of Rs 4 crores, in the year 1992. During the assessment year 2001-02  the assessee  redeemed  three lakhs shares  at par and claimed a long  term capital loss of  Rs 2.73 crores after availing the  benefit of indexation. The Assessing Officer disallowed the  claim of set off of long term capital gain on sale other shares on  the ground that (i) both the assessee and the company in which the assessee held that preference shares, were managed by the same group  of persons, and (ii) there was no transfer and that the assessee was not entitled indexation on the redemption of non-cumulative redeemable preference shares. In appeal Commissioner (Appeals) and Tribunal allowed the claim  of assessee following the ratio of judgment in Anarkali  Sarabhai v. CIT (1997) 224 ITR 422 (SC). On  appeal by revenue the Court held that set off loss against the gain on shares  is rightly allowed by the Tribunal .Genuineness and creditability of transaction was not disputed in past years hence cannot be questioned in the year of set off. Non-cumulative redeemable   preference shares could not be equated   with debentures or bond   hence the assessee is entitled to benefit of indexation. (A.Y.2002-03)     

CIT v. Enam  Securities  P. Ltd ( 2012) 345  ITR 64 (Bom.) (High Court)

S.48: Capital gains-Computation-Cost of acquisition-Indexation-Valuation accepted for the  purpose of wealth tax has to be considered as reliable base for arriving at the cost of acquisition of the jewellary as on 1st April, 1974 by the process of reverse indexation for the purpose of computing the capital gains (S.45, 49, 55(2)(b)(i))
The assessee is the mother of erstwhile ruler of Baroda. The  assesse sold the certain jewellary /valuable articles made of gold and pearls which she  inherited  from her son. The assessee following the method of reverse indexation worked out the fair market value of the said jewellary  as on 1 st April 1974 and computed the capital gains. The  assessing Officer valued the indexation based on the actual sale price in December 1991 as  the basis, whereas as per the assessee  contended that the basis should be valuation done by registered valuer as on 31 March 1989 for the purpose of wealth tax. The Court held that revenue having accepted the valuation of the self same jewellary given by the assessee as on 31st March, 1989, as correct valuation for the purpose of wealth tax Act , the same valuation and not the actual sale price in December 1991 has to be a reliable base for arriving at the cost of acquisition of the jewellary as on 1st April , 1974 , by the process of reverse indexation for the purpose of computing the capital gain. Accordingly the appeal of assessee was allowed. (A.Y. 1992-93)

Shantadevi Gaekwad(Deceased) v.DCIT (2012) 250 CTR 421/72 DTR 241 (Guj) (High Court)  

S.49: Capital gains-Previous owner -Cost of acquisition-Property inherited indexed cost to be determined as on 1-4-1981. (S. 2(42A), 48)
The assessee  has declared  long term capital gain, claiming the indexation cost as on  1st April, 1981. The Assessing Officer held that the father of the assessee had expired on 6th April 1990  hence indexation will be available only with the reference to financial year  1990-91. In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) allowed the claim  of indexation  from 1-4-1981. On appeal by revenue the Tribunal held that  as the property was acquired by assesee’s  father in 1965 and inherited by assessee on death of his father in 1990, indexed cost of acquisition of property shall have to be determined as on 1st April 1981, for purpose of computation of capital gains. (A.Y. 2007-08)

ACIT v. Suresh Verma ( 2012) 72 DTR 82 (Delhi)(Trib) 
S. 50C: Capital Gains – Full value of consideration –Stamp valuation-Reference to DVO – AO to adopt the value ascertained by DVO for purposes of computing long term capital gains. (S. 45)
DVO on reference made by CIT(A), having ascertained the fair market value of the property transferred for amount which is less than value adopted by stamp duty authorities. In view of the provisions of sub-section (2) of S. 50C, the AO has to adopt the value ascertained by DVO for purposes of computing long term capital gains.  (A.Y.2005-06)

ITO v. Gita Roy (2012) 146 TTJ 762 (Kol) (Trib)

S.54: Capital gains-Property used for residence-Exemption-House purchased in joint name, the assessee is entitled for exemption. (S.22 to 26, 27(i), 64(i)(iv)) 
The assessee  invested whole consideration for purchase of a residential house jointly with  wife  and claimed the exemption under section 54. The Assessing  Officer allowed exemption  only to the extent of 50% on the ground that as the property was jointly held with  his wife. In appeal Commissioner (Appeals) allowed the exemption on entire amount of investment .On appeal by the revenue  the Tribunal considered the provisions of sections  22 to 26,  27 and 64(1)(iv) and held that assessee having invested the entire amount of long term capital gains in purchase of new residential house in the joint names of himself and his wife, is entitled to exemption under section 54 in respect of entire amount.(A.Y. 2007-08)

ACIT v. Suresh Verma ( 2012) 72 DTR 82 (Delhi)(Trib) 

S. 54: Capital gains-Property used for residence-Exemption-Exchange of old flat for new one under a development agreement, amounts to construction for claiming deduction u/s 54.(S.45 )
Acquisition of new flat under a development agreement in exchange of old flat amounts to construction of new flat for purpose of claiming deduction u/s 54. (A.Y.2006-07)

Jatinder Kumar Madan v. ITO (2012) 51 SOT 583 (Mum) (Trib)
S.54B: Capital gains- Exemption-Purchase of agricultural land-Exemption cannot be denied only on the presumption that the assessee may not use the land for agricultural purposes.(S.45 )
 The assessee purchased the  agricultural land and claimed  exemption under section 54B .The Assessing Officer disallowed the claim on the ground that the assessee being in the business of  the land may not use the said land for agricultural purposes. On appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) allowed the claim. On appeal to Tribunal the Tribunal  held that in the absence of any assertion by the Assessing Officer that the new land purchased  by assessee for agricultural purpose is being actually put to use for any other purpose, claim for exemption under section 54B cannot be disallowed  only on the ground that he has started  a real estate business. (A.Y.2006-07) 

ITO v. Mahesh Nemichandra Ganeshwade & Ors (2012) 73 DTR 1(Pune)(Trib.)

S.54EC: Capital gains-Investment in bonds-Exemption-Investments were made within six months of  receipt of consideration hence entitled to exemption.(S.45 )
The  Assessing Officer has denied the exemption under section 54EC on the ground that the investments were not made within  six months of the transfer. On appeal Commissioner (Appeals) also confirmed the order of Assessing Officer. On appeal to Tribunal the Tribunal held that  the sale proceeds were received after the date of transfer and the investments  have been made within six months from the respective dates of receipt of such transaction, therefore in view of the interpretation given by the CBDT Circular no.791 dt 2 -6-2000( 2000) 243 ITR 155(st), the assessee is entitled to exemption under section 54EC amounting to Rs 50 Lakhs. (A.Y. 2006-07)

 Mahesh Nemichandra Ganeshwade & Ors v.ITO ( 2012) 73 DTR 1 (Pune) (Trib.)   

S.54F: Capital gains- Investment in residential house-Exemption-Though the construction was not completed as the full consideration was paid to builder, the assessee is entitled for exemption-Exemption was allowed only in respect of one house.
The assessee paid the entire consideration when the building was under consideration and claimed the exemption under section 54F. The assessing Officer  rejected the claim  on the ground that the flat was not ready within two years of transfer. The Tribunal held that as the assessee having paid full consideration before the  statutory period of two years  from the date of sale of shares and has acquired  the right in the  flats constructed by the builder  the benefit of exemption under section 54F  cannot be denied. The Tribunal  allowed the exemption in respect of one flat  because the purchase was by two separate agreements  though the both the flats were an the same floor and the certificate by architect being a self serving document  and nothing has been  produced from the builder to show that the flats were used as one unit. (A.Y. 2005-06)

ACIT v. Sudhakar Ram ( 2012) 72 DTR 187 (Mum.)(Trib)
Sudhakar Ram v. ACIT (2012) 72  DTR 187 (Mum.)(Trib). 

S.68: Cash credits- Credit in capital account  of partner- Addition cannot be made in the hands of firm.
The Tribunal treated the credit in capital account of partners at the time of formation of partnership as cash credits in the hands of firm. On appeal by the assessee, the Court held that credit in capital account of partner, being at the time of formation of partnership firm, the firm could not have any income at the time of formation and therefore  no addition under section 68 could be made in the hands of firm . (A.Y. 1991-92)

Abhyudaya  Pharmaceuticals v. CIT ( 2012) 72  DTR 58 (All.) (High Court)

S.80HHC: Deduction-Export business-Premium on sale of export quota-Business income- Premium on sale of export quota is not covered by clauses 28(iiia) to 28(iiic) hence not  to be considered  for deduction. Revision of order under section is held to be valid. (S. 28(iiia), 28(iiib), 28(iiic), 263)
The assessee earned export quota premium  of Rs.27,68,991/- in the assessment year 2003-04. 10 percent of the amount was taken in to consideration  under Explanation (baa) to section 80HHC. However, the export quota premium was not taken in to consideration while applying the proviso to section 80HHC on the ground that it did not fall within the section 28(iiia), (iiib) and (iiic). On appeal Commissioner(Appeals) held that export quota premium should be given the same treatment as the  DEPB  for the assessment year 2003-04. The Tribunal held that the assessee is entitled to the benefit of increase to the profit as provided in the proviso to section 80HHC(3) for the assessment year 2003-04). The  assessment of the assessee was completed under section 143(3) for the assessment years 2001-02 and 2000- 01 accepting the computation of assessee . Commissioner under section 263 has held that Assessing officer had wrongly included premium on sale of quota rights as covered  for deduction under section 80HHC. The Tribunal held that the revision was not justified in view of circular issued by the Board. On appeal the Court held that the premium on sale of export quota is not covered  by clauses 28(iiia) to 28(iiic) and therefore  cannot be taken  in to consideration.  The Court also held that the Tribunal was wrong in holding that the order passed by Commissioner under section 263 was bad in law and contrary to the provisions of the Act. Accordingly the matter was decided in favour of revenue. (A.Ys. 2000-01 , 2001-02, 2003-04)

CIT v. Nagesh Knitwers P.Ltd and others ( 2002) 345 ITR 135 (Delhi) (HighCourt)   

S.80HHC: Deduction-Export business-DEPB-Proviso-Constitutional validity-Retrospective effect given to 3rd & 4th Provisos to S. 80HHC is ultra vires. (Constitution of India Article  14, 19(1)(g), 226)
 The Third & Fourth Provisos to S. 80HHC were inserted by the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2005 with retrospective effect from 1.4.1998 to provide that the deduction in respect of exporters having a turnover of more than Rs.10 Crore would be available only if he has evidence to prove that he had an option to choose either duty drawback or DEPB and that he chose DEPB, even when he was entitled to higher benefit under the duty drawback scheme. The assessee claimed that this was an absurd condition because no sensible person would ever exercise the option to choose a scheme under which he would get lesser benefit. The retrospectively of the amendment was challenged on the basis that it was arbitrary and discriminatory under Articles 14 & 19 of the Constitution. Held upholding the challenge:

(i) The assessee’s contention that the classification based on turnover is arbitrary cannot be accepted because this is a recognized way of classification throughout the world. Progressive levy is based on income classification in terms of both, the basis of taxation and the rate of tax is not arbitrary;

(ii) The assessee’s contention that the amendment should be declared ultra vires being violative of the principles of promissory estoppel and legitimate expectation is also not acceptable because there is no estoppel against legislation. The legislature is not bound by the doctrine of promissory estoppel;

(iii) However, the amendment is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India because two assessees of the same class are placed on different footing. While some assessees whose export turnover is more than Rs.10 Crore and who have claimed deduction u/s. 80 HHC on DEPB / DFRC in their ROI and the assessments have become final are given the benefit of deduction without compliance of the conditions imposed by the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2005, assessees whose turnover is more than Rs.10 Crore, and who have claimed deduction u/s. 80 HHC on DEPB/DFRC and whose assessments are pending either before the AO or the appellate authority would be required to comply with those two conditions retrospectively. Two assessees of similar description having export turnover of more than Rs.10 Crore are discriminated inasmuch as the assessees whose assessments have become final is not required to comply with the two conditions and would avail deduction u/s. 80 HHC as against the assessees whose assessments are pending and who would be required to comply with the two conditions. A benefit based on pendency of proceedings of assessment and discrimination based thereon definitely violates Article 14 of the Constitution. In the matter of completion of assessment, the assessees have little role to pay. After the assessees have submitted their returns within the time fixed by law, if for any reason the AO delays in making the assessment, taking advantage of their own delay, the Revenue cannot deprive a class of the assessees of the benefit whereas other assessees of the same class whose assessment have already been completed would get the benefit;

(iv) Although in taxing statute laxity is permissible and a benefit given to the assessee can be curtailed, the same must be effective from a future date and not from an earlier point of time. If after inducing a citizen to arrange his business in a manner with a clear stipulation that if the existing statutory conditions are satisfied, in that event, he would get the benefit of taxation and thereafter, the Revenue withdraws such benefit and imposes a new condition which the citizen at that stage is incapable of complying whereas if such promise was not there, the citizen could arrange his affairs in a different way to get similar or at least some benefit, such amendment must be held to be arbitrary and if not, an ingenious artifice opposed to law. Consequently, the amendment is quashed to the extent it is retrospective. (A.Ys. 1988-89 to 2004-05)

Avani Exports and others  v. CIT (Guj)( High Court)www.itatonline.org

S.80HHC: Deduction-Export business-Depreciation-Supporting  manufacture – Loss in business –  Depreciation  is to be allowed even if not claimed by assessee in the return-If there is loss the same has to be adjusted from the composite business.
While computing the total income , the assessee did not claim depreciation in respect of assets used for the purpose of assessee’s business. Depreciation was also not claimed  while computing the deduction under section 80HHC. Following the full bench decision in Plastiblends India  Ltd v. Addl. CIT (2009) 318 ITR 352 (FB)(Bom.)(High Court), the court held that depreciation has to be allowed to the assessee while working out deduction under section 80HHC and also while working out income under then head “Business” even if  not  claimed by the assessee in the return.  In calculating the profits under section 80HHC(3)(c)(i), the profits determined under section 80HHC(3)(c)(ii) has to be reduced from the composite profits and if there is loss, same has to be adjusted, same analogy, if the assessee has issued certificate to supporting manufacturer. (A.Ys. 1994-95 to 1996-97)

CIT v. V. M. Salgaonkar & Brothers Ltd ( 2012) 72 DTR 369 (Bom.) (High Court).      
 S.80-IA: Deductions-Industrial undertakings-Infrastructure development-In land port-Inland container depots- Inland container depots are inland ports and entitled to exemption as per section 80IA(4) as  infrastructure facility.
The assessee is a public sector undertaking engaged in the business of handling and transportation  of containerized cargo to and from industrial centers used to face bottlenecks at the sea ports due to logistical and handling issues and issues relating customs. From  the assessment year 1999-2000  that inland ports started enjoying deduction under section 80IA  as infrastructure  facility. Assessee claimed deduction  in respect of income from Inland container depots. Tribunal has  disallowed  the claim. On appeal to High Court by the assessee, it was held that having regard to the provisions the  Customs Act, the  communications issued by the CEBC as well as the Ministry of Commerce  and industry , the object of including “inland port” as an infrastructure facility and also having regard to the fact that customs clearance also takes place  in the Inland container depot , the assessee’ claim  the Inland container depots  are in land ports  under  explanation (d) to section 80IA (4) .(A.ys 2003-04 & 2005-06)

Container Corporation of India Ltd  v. ACIT ( 2012) 72  DTR 297 (Delhi) (High Court).      

S.80-IB: Deduction- Industrial undertakings-Workers-Casual or contractual-Casual or contractual workers are workers  for the purpose of section 80IB(2)(iv) hence the assessee is entitled deduction.
The Assessing Officer denied the deduction on the ground that the assessee had not employed ten or more workers as required under section 80IB(2)(iv). The Assessing Officer has not considered the casual or the contractual employees and not treated them as workmen. In appeal the Appellate authorities  treated the casual and  contractual employees as workmen and allowed the claim of assessee. On appeal by revenue the Court up held the view of Tribunal and held that casual or contractual workers are workers and assessee is entitled to deduction under section 80IB. (A.Y.2006-07)

CIT v. Nanda Mint  and Pine Chemicals Ltd ( 2012) 345 ITR 60 (Delhi) (High Court)

S.80IB(10): Deduction-Undertaking-Developing and building-Housing project-Approval having been granted on 28th March 2005, assessee entitled to deduction  for the  Asst years  2005-06 , 2006-07 and 2007-08.
The  assessee company  undertook  a project with regard to construction of residential flats . The approval was granted on 28th March, 2005, however the sanction plan  came in to effect from 4th April 2005, and will be in force till 3rd April 2007. The  Assessee  claimed the  deduction under section 80IB(10), from the Asst years 2005-06  on words. The Assessing Officer denied the exemption. Commissioner (Appeals),  allowed the exemption, which  was confirmed by the Tribunal. On further appeal to   High Court , the Court held that approval having been granted  on 28th March 2005, the assessee was entitled to deduction under section 80IB(10)  from the Assessment year 2005-06  notwithstanding  the fact that the sanction letter was communicated to the assessee on 4th April, 2005 mentioning  that the time for completing the construction starts from 4th April 2005 and it ends on 3rd April, 2007. (A.Y. 2005-06 to 2007-08)  

CIT v. Akshy Eminence Developers (P) Ltd ( 2012) 72 DTR 406 (Kar.)(High Court)      
S.92C: Avoidance of tax – Transfer pricing-Arms’ length price-Royalty allowable even in respect of unpaid sales.
 The assessee entered into a Software Distribution Agreement with CA Management Inc (“CAMI”) pursuant to which it was appointed as a distributor of CAMI’s products in India. The assessee was required to pay an annual royalty of 30% on sales. The TPO accepted that the rate of royalty was at arms’ length price but held that royalty ought not to have been paid on sales where there was complaints on quality or which had turned into bad debts. The CIT(A) upheld the TPO’s stand though the Tribunal reversed it. On appeal by the department to the High Court, Held dismissing the appeal:
S. 92C provides the basis for determining the ALP in relation to international transactions. It does not either expressly or impliedly consider failure of the assessee’s customers to pay for the products sold to them by the assessee to be a relevant factor in determining the ALP. In the absence of any statutory provision or the transactions being colourable bad debts on account of purchasers refusing to pay for the goods purchased by them from the assessee can never be a relevant factor while determining the ALP of the transaction between the assessee and its principal. Once it is accepted that the ALP of the royalty is justified, there can be no reduction in the value thereof on account of the assessee’s customers failing to pay the assessee for the product purchased by them from the assessee.  Absent a contract to the contrary, the vendor or licensor is not concerned with whether its purchaser/licensee recovers its price from its clients to which it has in turn sold /licensed such products. The two are distinct & unconnected transactions. The purchaser’s / licensee’s obligation to pay the consideration under its transaction with its vendor / licensor is not dependent upon its recovering the price of the products from its clients.

CIT v. CA Computer Associates India Pvt. Ltd (Bom)(High Court),www.itatonline.org

S.92C: Avoidance of tax- Transfer pricing-Arms’ length price- Computation- -Necessary or expedient-Approval of commissioner-CBDT instruction no 3 of 2003 dt.20-5-2003-TPOs order binding on Assessing Officer-Burden of proof-Various methods-High Court  affirmed the view of   5 Member Special Bench  of Tribunal on Transfer Pricing verdict  without examining merits.(S.92CA)
In Aztec Software and Technology Services Ltd. v. ACIT (2007) 294 ITR 32(AT) / 107 ITD 141 (SB)(Bang)(Trib.) a 5 member Special Bench judgement of the Tribunal answered several questions such as (a) Whether it is a legal requirement under the provisions contained in Chapter X of the Income-tax Act, 1961 that the Assessing Officer should prima facie demonstrate that there is tax avoidance before invoking the relevant provisions?, (b) Whether it is a legal requirement under the provisions contained in Chapter X of the Income-tax Act, 1961 that the Assessing Officer should prima facie demonstrate that any one or more of the circumstances set out in clauses (a), (b), (c) and/or (d) of sub-section (3) of section 92C of the said Act are satisfied in the case of any assessee, before his case is referred to the Transfer Pricing Officer under sub-section (1) of section 92CA for computation of the arm’s length price?, (c) Whether the Assessing Officer is required to record his opinion/reason before seeking the previous approval of the Commissioner under section 92CA(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961?, (d) Whether before making a reference to the Transfer Pricing Officer under section 92CA(1) read with section 92C(3) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, is it is a condition precedent that the Assessing Officer shall provide to the assessee an opportunity of being heard?, (e) Is the approval granted by the Commissioner under section 92CA(1) justiciable ? If so, can it be called in question in appeal on the ground that it was accorded without due diligence or proper application of mind?, (f) What is the legal effect of Instruction No. 3 of 2003 dated 20-5-2003 issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes on Transfer Pricing matters?, (g) What is the role of the Assessing Officer after receipt by him of the order passed by the Transfer Pricing Officer under section 92CA(3) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 etc. After laying down the principles of law, the matter was remanded to the AO. On appeal by the assessee against the principles of law laid down by the Special Bench, Held by the High Court dismissing the appeal:

We notice that in this appeal, the assessee has raised as many as 30 substantial questions of law. In our considered opinion, it is not really necessary to consider any of these questions, as in the first instance, the order of the Tribunal is not at all adverse to the interest of the appellant but is one to set aside the order passed by the Lower Appellate Authority and remanding the matter. We notice that all questions are left open, for redetermination by the Lower Appellate Authority.

In a matter which is remanded for a reexamination, no question of law arises for examination by the High Court in an appeal under Section 260-A of the Act, unless any part of the remand order suffers from a patent illegality or is an order perverse in nature, and is left to the Lower Appellate Authority to redetermine.

In this view of the matter, we do not propose to examine this appeal on merits any further but dismiss the appeal without expressing any opinion on any of the aspects and leaving it open to the assessee to urge all such contentions as are available to the assessee before the authority to which the matter is remanded.(A.Y.2002-03)
Aztec Software & Technology Services Ltd v. ACIT (Karn.)( High Court)www.itatonline.org
S. 92C: Avoidance of tax- Transfer pricing – Arm’s length price –Comparables -Operating margin being within the range of 5% of the arithmetic mean of the operating margin of such comparable companies, same has to be accepted as ALP.
Assessee provides investment advisory related support services. It was held that while some of the comparables chosen by the TPO are not engaged in rendering investment advisory services and there is no segmental data relating to investment advisory services provided by the other companies, the aforesaid comparables cannot be treated as functionally comparable with the assessee; TPO having given no reason whatsoever for rejecting the comparables chosen by the assessee and the assessee’s operating margin being within the range of 5% of the arithmetic mean of the operating margin of such comparable companies, same has to be accepted as ALP. (AY 2007 – 08)
Caryle India Advisors (P) Ltd. v. ACIT (2012) 146 TTJ 521 (Mum) (Trib)

S. 92C: Avoidance of tax- Transfer pricing – Arm’s length price- –Comparables –If comparison is not valid the adjustment is liable to be deleted-Remaining margin less than 5%  hence adjustment is deleted. 
The assessee is engaged in the business of breeding, development and marketing hybrid seeds and is providing  research and product development  services to Associate Enterprises abroad. The assessee adopted the 15% margin. The  DRP  rejected the comparable made by the assessee and  confirmed the addition. On appeal to  the Tribunal it was found that  the  Engineering  India Ltd., a PSU  dealing in Engineering  consultancy, is not at all engaged in low risk contract research  work and it cannot be a valid  comparable for this purpose, once Engineering India Ltd is excluded from the list of  comparables , the  arithmetic mean of remaining  comparables will be within 5%  range of ALP margin adopted by assessee, therefore the impugned ALP adjustment was deleted. (A.Y. 2007-08)

Bayer Bio Science (P) Ltd v. Add.CIT( 2012) 72  DTR 371 (Mum.)(Trib.)

S. 92C: Avoidance of tax – Transfer Pricing – Arm’s Length Price – comparable selected were in different geographical regions – geographical difference is not material so far as it applies to logistics industry
The assessee company is engaged in the business of International Freight forward as agent of air lines and sea lines. It entered into an international transaction with its AEs and profits were shared equally. Assessee employed CUP method in determining the ALP. Assessee selected six public companies as comparables whose average PLI tallied with that of assessee. The TPO rejected it on the ground that all the companies were operating in different geographical regions. It was held by the Tribunal that geographical difference is not material so far as it applies to logistics industry and in view of splitting of gross profit equally at 50:50 in geographical region, CUP method adopted was upheld. (A.Ys. 2004-05 to 2006-07)

ACIT v. Agility Logistics P. Ltd. (2012) 136 ITD 46 (Mum) (Trib)

S. 115 WB (2)(D): Fringe Benefit Tax – gifts to the customers with condition attached – said gifts not given voluntarily or free of consideration – held the expenses on gifts to be included in sales promotion expenses for assessment of FBT
In the instant case, the assessee gave gifts like vouchers, televisions, etc to members who took timeshare units with a condition that the value of the said gifts would be deducted in case of termination of membership. What would fall under Section 115WB(2)(O) was pure gifts would any conditions attached. It was held that there was no element of quid pro quo in the gifts given by assessee to its customers and that there was a condition inbuilt. In such a situation, the gift would fall within what was normally considered as sales promotion and would fall u/s 115WB(2)(D) and thus, AO was to consider the amount as sales promotion for assessment of fringe benefit tax. (AY 2007-08)

Mahindra Holidays and Resort India Ltd v. ACIT ( 2012) 16 ITR 412 (Chennai) (Trib)

S.139: Assessment-Return- Carry forward and set off –Return filed within extended  time   loss is allowed to  be  set off.
For the assessment year 1986-87, the  assessee claimed to carry forward the  share of loss from the association  of persons  determined in the previous  year to be  set off for the future years. The Assessing Officer held that in view of fact that association of persons  did not file the return of income for the assessment year under section 139(1) of the Act  or with in such time  as granted by the department  is not entitled to carry forward the loss. In appeal Commissioner (Appeals) held  that the assessee had filed the return of income  within the extended time granted by the Assessing Officer  is entitled to  be  set off. The view of Commissioner (Appeals) was confirmed by Tribunal. On appeal by revenue the Court held that as the return of  income was filed within extended time, the assessee is allowed to be carry forward and set off of loss.(A.Y. 1986-87)

CIT v. Arunajyothi  Balasubramanian ( 2012) 345 ITR 81 (Mad.) (High Court)

S. 143: Assessment – Natural Justice – Tribunal cannot issue any direction to the AO to disclose to the assessee the material relied upon by him for making the addition in a particular manner
Majority view expressed by three members constituting the earlier Special Bench on the question whether the Tribunal should give direction to the AO for disclosing complete material in respect of 31 items being in favour of Revenue, the Tribunal cannot issue any direction to the AO to disclose to the assessee the material relied upon by him for making the addition in a particular manner or to a particular extent. (AY 1984-85 to 1986-87)

Golden Tobacco Ltd. v. ACIT (2012) 147 TTJ 1/ 72 DTR 123(SB) (Mum) (Trib) 

S. 143: Assessment Order – demand notice and order served 130 days of completion of assessment order – held communication is condition precedent to order of assessment becoming effective, order is held to be  time barred.
It was held that communication is condition precedent to an order of assessment becoming effective. In the instant case, though the assessment order was made on 31st December 2009 but the demand notice and assessment order was served on same days on 10th May 2010 i.e. after 130 days late. It was held that the order was barred by limitation. (A.Y. 2007-08)

ACIT v. Tulsi Prasad Mohapatra (Dr) and Anr. (2012) 16 ITR 449 (Cuttack)(Trib) 
S.143(2): Assessment- Notice- Mandatory- Notice deemed to be valid in certain circumstances- Very foundation of the jurisdiction  of Assessing Officer was on the issue of the notice under section 143(2), as the notice was not issued the assessment was held to be bad in law . (S. 292BB).
The Tribunal  held that  as the  mandatory notice under section 143(2) was not issued the order is bad in law. Revenue filed an appeal before the High Court and contended that the assessee not objected or raised the issue of notice under section  143(2) before  the Assessing Officer . On behalf of revenue it was contended that the Supreme Court in Asst.CIT v. Hotel Blue Moon (2010) 321 ITR 362 (SC), did not have  an occasion to consider section 292BB  as the said section was inserted by the Finance Act, 2008.  The court held that section 292BB is a rule of evidence, which validates the notice in certain circumstances , however, it cannot validate the non issue of notice which is mandatory  and very foundation of the Jurisdiction of Assessing Officer, hence non  consideration of section 292BB , will not have any effect on the Judgment in Hotel Blue Moon. Hence, the High Court dismissed the appeal  of revenue. 

CIT v. Mukesh Kumar Agarwal (2012) 345 ITR 29 (All.)(High Court)
S.143(2):  Assessment-Notice- Correct address- Notice was not served on the correct address mentioned in the return , assessment held to be not valid.
The Assessing Officer issued a notice under section 143 (2) of the Income-tax Act , 1961  to the assessee. The notice could not be served and was received back with the postal remark of the postal authority that no such person existed at the above mentioned address. An inspector was deputed to serve the notice personally  but he also reported that the company was not available at the address. The Assessing Officer  thereafter served the notice by affixture. The assessment was made ex-parte. On appeal the Commissioner (Appeals)  and Tribunal held that the service by affixture was not valid on the ground that the assessee had mentioned a different address in the return of income-tax for the assessment year 2006-07. On appeal  by the  revenue, the Court held that  no attempt  was made to serve the assessee on the correct address which was available  with the department and in fact stated in the return of the income  for the assessment year 2006-07 . Subsequent attempt to serve another notice long after the expiry of the limitation period prescribed by the proviso  could not help the assessee. ( A.Y. 2006-07)

CIT v. Mascomptel India Ltd ( 2012) 345 ITR 58 (Delhi ) (High Court)   
S.147: Reassessment-Full and true disclosure- Notice after expiry of four years-Assessee having not disclosed  to the Assessing Officer  the fact that it has filed  an allegation against its secretary and some other misappropriation of funds during the period , reopening of assessment beyond four years  held to be valid.
The assessment was completed under section 143(3) on 22nd  December , 2006. The reassessment notice was issued  on 29th March , 2011. In the reasons recorded it has been stated that during the course of scrutiny assessment for assessment year 2008-09, the Assessing Officer came to know of the fact that the assessee had lodged a first information report(FIR) on  16th March 2006 against, then secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and others ,inter alia for misappropriation of funds. During the assessment proceedings for the assessment year 2004-05 the assessee had not furnished any intimation to the Assessing Officer for alleged misappropriation of funds .As there was failure on the part of assessee to disclose all material facts necessary for assessment. The assessee  challenged the notice  by way of writ petition. The court  held that assessee having not disclosed to the Assessing  Officer the fact that it has filed an FIR against its secretary and some others for misappropriation  of funds during the period which covered the financial year relatable to the relevant assessment year , there was a failure on the part of the assessee to disclose fully and truly material facts  necessary for assessment and the charge –sheet which has been filed by economic Offences Wing of the CID pursuant to the investigation carried out by it constituted tangible material for the Assessing Officer to form the belief that reopening of the assessment has escaped beyond the period of four years from the end of relevant  assessment year was valid. (A.Y.2004-05)

Board of Control for Cricket in India v. ACIT ( 2012) 71 DTR 376 (Bom) (High Court)      

S.147: Reassessment-Material- Reopening in the absence of “fresh tangible material” is invalid.
For A.Y.2002-03, the assessee filed a ROI declaring income of Rs.14.99 crores. A revised ROI was then filed claiming 30% adhoc expenses (Rs. 6.31 crores) and offering income of Rs.8.11 crores. When the AO asked the assessee to substantiate the expenses, he withdrew the claim. The AO passed S. 143(3) assessment determining the income at Rs.56.41 crores. The AO then issued a S. 148 notice (within 4 years) to reopen the assessment on the ground that the claim for expenses (which was withdrawn) had to be assessed as “unexplained expenditure” u/s 69. The CIT (A) & Tribunal struck down the reassessment order on the ground that the material on the basis of which the assessment was sought to be reopened was always available at the time of the original proceeding and there was no new material. On appeal by the department to the High Court, held dismissing the appeal:

The assessee had made a claim for 30% adhoc expenditure. This was withdrawn by the assessee when asked by the AO to substantiate. The reopening on the basis that the said adhoc expenditure constituted “unexplained expenditure” u/s 69 was based on the same material. There was no fresh tangible material before the AO to reach a reasonable belief that the income liable to tax has escaped assessment. It is a settled position of law that review under the garb of reassessment is not permissible. (A.Y. 2002-03)

CIT v.  Amitabh Bachchan (Bom.)(High Court), www.itatonline.org
S. 147: Reassessment-Reason to believe – Existence of material and rational belief- Prima facie belief regarding escapement of income of the assessee is relevant .(S.148)
The assessee filed the return of income for the assessment year 2002-03 in the status of non –resident and declared property income and interest. The  return was accepted under section 143 (1).The notice under section 148 was issued thereafter . The assessee filed the return under protest and objected for  reopening of assessment. As per the reasons recorded by the Assessing Officer, it was found that it was  mainly based on the information received from the Enforcement  Directorate  and the Investigation Wing about transfer of commission monies from the company  to certain  beneficiaries for  services rendered in connection with the finding of a buyer for the “Oil  food programme”. The  jurisdiction to reopening was challenged before the Court. The court held that, on the basis of information and documents received from the Enforcement Directorate and investigation Wing, Assessing Officer could have formed the prima facie belief regarding escapement of income of the assessee; finer questions as to business connection in India vis-à-vis commission said to be received by the assessee were not required to be examined at this stage, which could be examined  during the reassessment proceedings. Accordingly, the jurisdiction of the   Assessing Officer to issue notice under section 148 on 17th Feb, 2009  reopening of  the assessment of the assessee on the ground that income chargeable to tax had escaped assessment is up held and petition was dismissed.  (A.Y. 2002-03)

Aditya Khanna v. ACIT (2012) 72 DTR 1 (Delhi )(High Court)  

S.147: Reassessment- Change of opinion-Same materials on record- Reassessment on the  basis of same material facts held to be not valid.
The assessee is engaged in manufacturing of irrigation projects. For the relevant assessment year the assessee claimed deduction under section 80IA .The assessment was completed under section 143(3)  after considering the explanation furnished  by assessee. Thereafter the Assessing Officer issued notice under section 147  on the ground that the assessee was a contractor or supplier of irrigation products and could not be called a developer of any new industrial facility and thus the assessee has not fulfilled the condition of section 80IA(4). The assessee objected for reassessment , which was rejected by the assessing Officer. On writ the court quashed the notice issued under section 148 on the ground that in the absence of  “any tangible material” to come to the conclusion that there was escapement of income from assessment ,the Assessing Officer  exceeded his authority to reopen the assessment merely on the basis of a “change of opinion” and accordingly the reassessment notice was quashed.(A.Y.2006-07)

Parixit Industries (P) Ltd v.ACIT ( 2012) 207 Taxman 140 (Guj.) (High Court)
S.147: Reassessment- Full and true disclosure-Change of opinion-Reasons recorded do not disclose that there was failure or omission to disclose fully and truly all material facts, reassessment held to be in valid . 
In the course of original assessment proceedings the Assessing Officer has considered and allowed the non –compete fee payment as revenue expenditure. The  audit objection was raised that the Assessing Officer had wrongly allowed /treated non-compete fee as revenue expenditure and that the same should have treated as capital expenditure. The Assessing Officer has reopened the assessment. The assessee challenged the reassessment proceedings. The Court held that in the original assessment proceedings, the Assessing Officer had considered and examined whether or not the non –compete fee payment was of capital or revenue nature, further assessee had  disclosed fully and truly  all material facts relevant assessment and there was no failure or mission to disclose fully and truly all material facts reopening was not therefore not sustainbale.(A.Y.2003-04)

BLB LTD v. ACIT (2012) 72 DTR 194(Delhi)(High Court)  

S.147: Reassessment- Full and true disclosure- Notice after expiry of four years-Failure of Assessing Officer to draw correct legal inferences at the time of original  assessment from the said primary facts is not an error or omission on the part of assessee hence neither explanation 1nor explanation 2 is applicable.
The Assessing Officer in the original assessment proceedings had examined the deduction under section 80HHC, 80IB and allowed the claim. The Assessing Officer reopened the assessment on the ground that the deduction under section 80HHC was allowed without reducing the deduction  claimed and allowed under section 80IB as required by section 80IA(9), which is also applicable to section 80IB. The Tribunal examined and went in to the question whether there was failure or omission on the part of  the assessee in making full and true disclosure of material facts. The Tribunal held that there was no failure on the part of assessee to discloses full and true disclosure, accordingly quashed the reassessment proceedings .On appeal by the revenue the court up held the order and held that there being no failure on the part of the assessee in furnishing material  or primary facts , which were available on record , reopening after four years was not sustainable .(A.Y. 2000-01)

CIT v. Purolator India Ltd ( 2012) 72 DTR 189 (Delhi) (High Court)     

S.147: Reassessment- Full and true disclosure-Notice after expiry of four years- Reopening on the ground that the agreement was not filed is not justified .
The assessment was completed under section 143(3). In the original assessment proceedings the Assessing  Officer assessed the  income from  Department of Science and Technology  as business income. The assessment was reopened on the ground that  income should have  been taxed as  fees for technical services . For the assessment year 1995-96 for the first time after examining the legal provisions  held that the payment received from the department of Science and Technology Government of India were  fees for technical services and not as business income. The  reassessment proceedings initiated by the Assessing Officer was quashed on the ground that there was no failure or omission on the part of the assessee to disclose material facts. On appeal by the revenue, the Court held that  Assessing Officer being aware of the nature and character of income, which was received by the assessee, reopening on the ground that the assessee had not filed a copy of agreement dated 5th May, 1988, entered between the assessee  and the department of Science and technology, Government of  India  was not sustainable  more so when its letter the assessee had referred to the agreement between the assessee and the Government of India and the nature and character of the obligation performed for which consideration was paid. ( A.Ys 1990-01 to 1992-93)

CIT v. Cray Research India Ltd  (2012) 72 DTR 200 (Delhi) (High Court)       

S.147: Reassessment-Reason to  believe-Finding in subsequent year-On the basis of finding in subsequent year that three parties are  fictitious was sustainable.
In the present case the original assessment was completed under section 143(3), notice was issued  before expiry of four years, on the basis of assessment order of subsequent year. The Court held that reopening  on the basis of findings in subsequent year  i.e. A.Y. 2008-09, that the identity of the three parties from whom cash has been received is doubtful as they do not exist at the address given by the assessee and the TINs  mentioned in respect of the parties are fictitious was sustainable. (A.Y. 2006-07)

Dewas Soya Ltd  v. CIT (2012) 72  DTR 393(MP)(High Court)   

S. 147: Reassessment- Non supply of recorded reasons- Order bad in law-Non-supply of recorded reasons before passing reassessment order renders the reopening void. Subsequent supply does not validate reassessment order.(S.143(3)
After completing the s. 143(3) assessment, the AO received information from the Volcker Committee report that the assessee had paid “illegal” commission for supply of goods to Iraq under the “Oil for Food Programme” of the UN. The AO issued a S. 148 notice to disallow the commission and supplied the assessee with only the “gist” of the recorded reasons. The complete recorded reasons were furnished only after the passing of the reassessment order. In the reassessment order, the AO disallowed the commission. The CIT (A) upheld the reassessment. On appeal by the assessee to the Tribunal, Held allowing the appeal:

As per GKN Driveshafts (India) Ltd v.ITO(2003  )259 ITR 19 (SC) and the rules of natural justice, the AO was bound to furnish reasons within a reasonable time so that the assessee could file objections against the same. The adherence to this procedure is a necessity because at the preliminary stage itself, the AO may be satisfied with the explanation of the assessee. A reassessment completed without furnishing the reasons actually recorded by the AO for reopening of assessment is not sustainable in law. The subsequent supply of the reasons would not make good of the illegality suffered at the stage of reopening of the assessment. On facts, though the assessee asked for the recorded reasons, the same was supplied to him only after the passing of the reassessment order. This failure on the part of the AO renders the reassessment order invalid (CIT v.Fomento Resorts & Hotesl Ltd ITA no 71 of 2006 dt 27-11-2006 and CIT v. Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd  (2012)340 ITR 66 (Bom) (SLP dismissed) followed (included in file)).(A.Y.2001-02, 2002-03 )
Tata International Ltd v. DCIT Trib)( Mum.)www.itatonline.org
S. 147: Reassessment – Issue of notice –Mandatory-Assessee submitted return before AO in response to notice under section 148 hence the notice under section 143(2) to be issued before passing assessment order.(S.143(2), 148 )
The Third member bench held that where there was a return before AO in response to notice under section 148 and he had proceeded from figures of such return to complete assessment, in such a case, he should have issued notice under section 143(2) before assessing order under section 143(3) read with section 147. (AY 2000-01)
V.R. Sreekumar v. ITO (2012) 136 ITD 257 (Cochin) (Trib)
S. 147: Reassessment – objection by audit party – Original assessment order framed in consonance with view in preceding and succeeding years, held action of AO not justified as reassessment merely on basis of change of opinion as no independent application of mind by A.O.
The assessee filed return of income declaring LTCG and business income. The AO completed the assessment u/s 143(3). Subsequently, the AO reopened the assessment on the basis of objection of Audit party within period of four years. It was held that the action of reopening the assessment was not justified as the AO nowhere in the reasons recorded mentioned that the income escaped assessment and that the same was done merely on the objection of audit party without independent application of mind by the AO. Further, in the view by the AO in the original assessment order was taken in consonance of view taken in preceding and succeeding years and that the action of AO of reassessment was merely on the basis of mere change of opinion. (AY 2003-04)

GMR Holding P. Ltd v. DCIT  (2012) 16 ITR 457 (Bang) (Trib)

S.148: Reassessment-Failure to disclose all material facts-Notice after four years-Reassessment notice held  was quashed on the ground that  as failure to  disclose all material facts  was not set out in reasons.
The assessment of the assessee  was completed, under section 143 (3) on December  10, 2008. The Assessing Officer allowed deduction under section 10A treating the business activity of the assessee is manufacturing of  Jewellery in a  special economic zone. The Assessing Officer, reopened assessment on the basis of assessment order for the assessment year 2007-08. In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals)  has allowed the claim under section 10A of the Income-tax Act after proposing to sought the  reassessment for the assessment  year  2005. The Court held that  in the recorded reasons it has not been stated that  there was  failure to disclose all material facts. Accordingly the court  quashed the notice issued under section 148. (A.Y. 2005-06)
Sitara Diamond  Pvt Ltd v.DCIT( 2012) 345 ITR 91 (Bom.) (High Court)

S.153A: Assessment-Search or requisitionNo addition if no incriminating documents- Container Freight Station” is  an “Inland Port/ Infrastructure facility” –Additions cannot be made under section  153A assessment  if no incriminating documents were found in the course of search. Container freight station  is an inland pot / infrastructure facility is entitled deduction under section  80IA(4). (S. 80IA(4)
The Special bench had to consider two issues (i) whether an assessment u/s.153A encompassed additions not based on any incriminating material found during the search and (ii) whether a “Container Freight Station” was an “Inland Port/ Infrastructure facility” for purposes of deduction u/s.80IA(4). Held  by the Special Bench:

(i) In assessments that are abated, the AO retains the original jurisdiction as well as the jurisdiction conferred on him by s. 153A for which assessments shall be made for each of the 6 assessment years separately;

(ii) In other cases, in addition to the income that has already been assessed, the assessment u/s 153A will be made on the basis of incriminating material i.e. (a) the books of accounts and other documents found in the course of the search but not produced in the course of original assessment and (b) undisclosed income or property disclosed in the course of search;

(iii) A Container Freight Station, like an Inland Container Depot, is an “Inland Port” having regard to the fact that it is referred to as such in the statutory provisions and in the understanding of the CBEC, which administers the Customs Act. It has also been treated as part of the customs port for purpose of customs formalities and clearances. Accordingly, it is an “infrastructure facility” for purposes of s. 80IA(4) (A.Ys. 2003-04 , 2004-05 to 2009-10)

All Cargo Global Logistics Ltd v. DCIT(SB) (Mum.)(Trib)www.itatonline.org
S.153C: Assessment- Income of any other person-Search and seizure-Satisfaction-There is no requirement that the Assessing Officer should also be satisfied that  such valuable articles or books of account or documents belong to any other person must  conclusively  reflect or disclose any undisclosed income (S. 132 ,153A, 158BD)
There was a search and seizure under section 132 against Puri group of Companies .The documents relating to assessee were found in the premises of Puri group of companies , accordingly the Assessing Officer recorded the satisfaction in accordance with section 153C(1) and  handed over to the Assessing Officer of assessee along with other documents. The  Assessing Officer issued the notice  under section 153A of the  Act  to furnish the return for in respect of six assessment years. The assessee filed the return. After the Assessment orders for the assessment years 2003-04 to 2008-09  , the assessee has filed a writ petition . The main contention of the assessee is that the Assessing Officer has illegally assumed jurisdiction under section 153C read with section 153A  of the Act  there  was no undisclosed income to be assessed in the hands of assessee. The assessee contended that the seizure of documents, the satisfaction recorded by the Assessing officer under section 153 C (1) and assessment orders passed by the Assessing officer for the assessment years 2003-04 to 2008-09 have all to be struck down. The Court held that in view of provision of section 153C, satisfaction that is required to be reached by Assessing Officer having jurisdiction over  searched person is that valuable article or books of account or documents  seized during search  belong to a person other than searched person, however there is no requirement in section 153C(1) that Assessing Officer should  also be satisfied that such valuable articles or books of account or documents belong to other person must conclusively reflect or disclose any undisclosed income . Accordingly the writ petition was dismissed.

SSP  Aviation Ltd  v. DCIT ( 2012) 207  Taxman 260 (Delhi) (High Court)  

S.158BB: Block assessment- Computation-Undisclosed income-Search and seizure-Assets in the name of wife of assessee  addition cannot be made.(S.132)
There was search and seizure action  in the premises of  assessee and seized the assets. The Assessing Officer treated the income and assets of wife also as income of assessee. In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) and Tribunal also confirmed the addition. On appeal by the assessee  relying on the ratio of  Apex court in DSP v. K.Inbasagaran ( 2006) 282 ITR 435 (SC), Dhirajlal Girdharilal v. CIT (1954) 26 ITR 736 (SC), Lalchand Bhagt  Ambica Ram v. CIT (1959) 37 ITR 288 (SC),the High Court set a side the order  and held that addition of income from assets belonging to wife of assessee  is not justified . The Court also held that the finding of fact not based on evidence can be set aside. ( A.Y. 1985-86)

S.K.Bahadur  v.UOI ( 2012) 345 ITR 95 (Delhi ) (High Court)     

S.158BB: Block assessment- Computation-Undisclosed income-Income which has accrued to the assessee prior to the date of the commencement of the block  period would not constitute undisclosed income. Assessing Officer has no jurisdiction to include that income   which is disclosed  in the regular return. (S.69,158BC)
The assessing Officer has treated the opening capital shown by the assessee as on 1st April 1985  is the undisclosed income for the block period ,though the block period is for the period from 1st   April 1985 to 12th December 1985. The addition was deleted by the Tribunal. In appeal before the Court the revenue contended that the assessee  was not able to show source of  said income therefore provision of section 69 is  attracted therefore deemed to be income of the assessee of such financial year and constituted unexplained investment. The Court held that opening capital accrued to the assessee at a point of time anterior to the commencement of block period hence cannot be, treated as undisclosed income. The court also held that the assessing officer has no jurisdiction to include that income which is disclosed in the regular returns.    

CIT v. Annapoornamma  Chnadrashekar(Smt) (2012) 250 CTR 387(Karn.)(High Court)   

S.158BD: Block assessment- Undisclosed income of any other person-Notice-Notice issued under section 158BC , in respect of assessment under section 158BD is held to be valid, entire proceedings cannot  be held to be void.(S.158BC)
The proceedings under section 158BD were  initiated against the assessee, however the notice was issued under section 158BC. On appeal the Tribunal held that the notice issued under section 158BC is void  ab initio and consequently the assessment order  passed in a proceedings which commenced by issue of such notice is also illegal and therefore set aside the assessment order. On appeal by revenue the court held that in the absence of any prescription of a notice in a prescribed  manner under section 158BD, the only notice that requires to be issued both under section 158BC and 158BD is the notice which is prescribed under section 158BC. The Court held that the Tribunal was not justified in holding that a notice  issued under section 158BC is void ab initio. The  Court also held that in order to clarify the position by Finance Act ,2002, the words “under section 158BC”  is expressly provided , said amendment is  clarificatory in nature .

CIT v. Annapoornamma  Chnadrashekar(Smt) (2012) 250 CTR 387(Karn.)(High Court)      

S. 158BD: Block Assessment – Recording of satisfaction –In the case of person searched – Recording of satisfaction has to be done before completion of proceedings under section 158BC (S. 158BC )
According to the provisions of section 158BD the satisfaction has to be recorded between the initiation of the proceedings under section 158BC and before completion of block assessment under section 158BC in the case of person searched. It could not be after the conclusion of the block assessment as there was no occasion for an AO to examine the seized material or document of the person searched when block proceedings had concluded and no other proceedings were pending before him. (Block period 1/4/1996 to 31/12/2002)

Gopal S  Agrawal v. DCIT (2012) 136 ITD 199 (Mum.) (Trib) 
S.163: Representative assessee- Agent-Non-resident-Shipping business-Assessment as representative assessee cannot be made when the foreign shipping companies have discharged their liabilities under section 172 (S. 172 )
The assessee is carrying on the business of transporting coal by time chartering of vessels. On going through the records the Assessing Officer observed that the assessee had engaged two FSCs in the previous year relevant to the assessment year , as the FSCs have not filed the return for income accruing and arising in India, the  Assessing Officer issued notice under section 148  and thereafter  completed the assessment under section 163 treating the assessee company as “representative assessee”. On appeal the Commissioner (Appeals), confirmed the order of Assessing Officer. On appeal to the Tribunal, the Tribunal held that when the foreign shipping companies themselves have already discharged their liabilities towards tax by complying  with the provisions of section 172, there is no question of any further  liability in their hands and therefore, there is no justification in making the assessment  again in the hands of the assessee company in the status of representative assessee. (A.Y. 2007-08)
Sical Logistics Ltd  v. ADIT(I)( 2012) 72 DTR 29 (Chennai) (Trib) 

S.201: Deduction at source-Failure to deduct or pay-Assessee in default- Once certificate is issued under section 197(1) , assessee cannot be held to be assessee in default.(S.195, 197(1), 201(IA) )
The assessee is a private Limited company having business of project and construction  management. The assessee made application under section 197  in respect of not deducting the tax in respect of payment to  be made to non-resident in terms of section 195. The Assessing officer issued the certificate under section 197, the payments were made only after receipt of certificate from the Assessing Officer. The Assessing Officer thereafter treated the assessee in default  and levied the tax and interest. In appeal order of  Assessing Officer was confirmed .On appeal to the Tribunal the Tribunal held that the assessee  cannot be held to be assessee in default hence levy of interest under section 201(IA) was held to be  not justified, however the Tribunal confirmed the finding of lower authorities and held that the payments which were made by the assessee not being reimbursement the assessee ought to have deducted the tax at source. Revenue has filed an appeal against the order of Tribunal and the assessee has filed the cross objection on merit sating that the payment made was reimbursement and not in the nature of a fee for managerial services .The Court held that once a certificate is issued under section 197 there is no obligation on the part of the payer to deduct tax at source ; even if tax is payable under the  Act, the payer cannot be treated as an assessee in default. As the Court has decided the issue on section 197, it has  not decided the issue on merit .(A.Ys  2003-04 to 2005-06)

CIT v.Bovis Lend Lease (India (P) Ltd ( 2012) 73 DTR 31/ 208 Taxman 168 (Karn.)(High Court)
Bovis  Lend Lease (India) (P) Ltd v.CIT (2012) 73 DTR 31/208 Taxman 168 (Karn.)(High Court)          

S. 234B:  Interest-Advance tax- Specific direction-Without specific order interest cannot be levied.
If the assessment order or computation sheet does not provide for interest , no interest can be levied, even if any provision of law is mandatory and provides for charging of tax or interest , such charge  by the Assessing Officer should be specific and clear and assessee must be made to know that Assessing Officer has applied his mind .

CIT v. Deep Awadh Hotels (P) Ltd ( 2012) 72 DTR 317 (All.)(High Court) 

S.234C: Interest- Deferment of advance tax- Waiver of interest-Failure to pay advance tax due to not releasing of FDRs, hence the assessee is  entitled to waiver of interest . (S.119)
There was search and seizure action against the assessee on 10-12-1998  and FDRs of Rs 29 crores were seized. The assessee had not paid the advance tax .The assessing officer levied the interest under section 234C. The assessee moved application to Commissioner to waiver of interest. Commissioner rejected the application for waiver . The assessee filed a writ petition against the said order . The court held that  the assessee requested for release of FRDs to make the payment of advance tax , however  the same was released latter .The assessee has paid the tax after release of FDRs, therefore the assessee would be entitled to waiver of interest under section 234C in view of Board notification dated 23-5-1996, para 2(b). The matter was decided in favour of assessee. (A,Y,1999-2000 and2000-01)

Super Cassettes Industries Ltd v.Chief CIT (2012) 207 Taxman 153 (Delhi)(High Court) 

S.249: Appeal- Commissioner (Appeals)- Form of appeal and limitation-Appeal can be filed by the director of erstwhile company, whose name was struck–off the register by the Registrar of company.(S. 140,246 ,Companies Act 1956 , S. 560)
The assessee filed an appeal against the levy of penalty order. The Commissioner (Appeal) noticed that the company was wound up and the name of the company was struck off from the register of ROC. He opined that “in the absence of existing company ,there cannot be any director who can sign the verification for the filing of appeal. There cannot be any appeal by a company which is not in existence .In view of this ,the appeal is treated as invalid and accordingly dismissed.” Being aggrieved by the said order the assessee filed  an appeal before the Tribunal. The Tribunal held that a company whose name has been struck-off the register by the ROC can file an appeal under  section 246 and in that situation the director of the erstwhile company is authorized to sign the requisite forms.  Accordingly, it was held that the appeal is maintainable. (A.Y. 2006-07)

Ajay Ispat (P) Ltd v. ITO ( 2012) 73 ITD 16/147 TTJ 367 (Ahd.)(Trib.) 

S.251: Appeal-Commissioner (Appeals)-Powers-New claim before Commissioner (Appeals)-  Assessee entitled to raise claims not made in ROI before appellate authorities. ( S.139 )
The assessee filed a ROI in which it omitted to make a claim for payment of SEBI fees. The claim was made by a letter during the assessment proceedings. The AO rejected the claim on the ground that he had no authority to allow any deduction which had not been claimed in the ROI. The assessee raised the claim before the CIT (A) who allowed and this was confirmed by the Tribunal. The department filed an appeal to the High Court claiming that as per Goetze (India) Ltd v. CIT (2006) 284 ITR 323 (SC), the assessee was not entitled to make an additional claim for deduction other than by filing a revised return. Held by the High Court dismissing the appeal:

It is well settled that an assessee is entitled to raise not merely additional legal submissions before the appellate authorities, but is also entitled to raise additional claims before them. The appellate authorities have the discretion whether or not to permit such additional claims to be raised. It cannot, however, be said that they have no jurisdiction to consider the same. That they may choose not to exercise their jurisdiction in a given case is another matter. The exercise of discretion is entirely different from the existence of jurisdiction.  Goetze was confined to a case where the claim was made only before the AO and not before the appellate authorities. The Court did not lay down that a claim not made before the AO cannot be made before the appellate authorities. The jurisdiction of the appellate authorities to entertain such a claim has not been negated by the Supreme Court in this judgment. On facts, there was nothing to show that the claim entertained by the CIT (A)/ ITAT was improper CIT v. Jai Parabolic Springs LTD (2008 ) 306 ITR 42 (Delhi) (High Court) referred). (A.Y .2004-05)

CIT v. Pruthvi Brokers & Shareholders Pvt. Ltd (Bom.)( HighCourt)wwwitatonline.org

 S. 253(2): Appellate Tribunal- Maintainability-Small tax effect- Instruction no  5 of 2007 dt  16-7-2007.
Appeal can be filed  where the tax effect is small provided the department places material before the appellate Tribunal, and falls within the expected category. The tax effect in the present case was less than 2 lakhs.

CIT v.  Unitara Finance Ltd ( 2012) 72 DTR 401(MP)(High Court)    

S. 254(1): Appellate Tribunal-Orders- Additional evidence- Block assessment- Search and seizure-The Tribunal ought to have  remitted the matter to Assessing Officer. (S. 132, Income–tax (Appellate Tribunal ) Rules, 1963- Rules, 18(4), 29 )
A search and seizure  action under section 132 was conducted on assessee. On the  basis of statement  under section 132(4) undisclosed income was arrived . However in response to notice under section 158BC , the assessee filed  nil  return. The  Assessing Officer determined the income at Rs.5,40,07,340. On appeal, the Tribunal confirmed five additions under different heads and deleted all other items included by the Assessing Officer.   On appeal by the revenue, the High Court, held that .the Tribunal had accepted almost all the documents without any detailed consideration. Rule 29 mandates the Tribunal to satisfy itself as to whether those documents can be entertained, and if entertained, shall, apply its mind  to the veracity of those documents. This being a power vested in the Tribunal with certain element of discretion attached to it, such power shall be exercised with great care and caution  and not arbitrarily. Merely because the opposite party did not seriously object to those documents, the obligation of the Tribunal under rule 29 could not be ignored. On the facts the Tribunal ought to have remitted the matter to the Assessing Officer for consideration.

CIT v. Ku. PA. Krishnan ( 2012) 345 ITR 38 (Mad)(High Court)

S. 254(1): Appellate Tribunal-Orders- Reasoned order- Tribunal has to pass a reasoned  order.
The High Court held that the Tribunal order should contain points for determination and its finding. Order of Tribunal, not containing any reason, is no order in the eyes of law, and cannot be allowed to stand .(A.Y. 1991-92)
Abhyudaya  Pharmaceuticals v. CIT ( 2012) 72  DTR 58 (All.)(High Court)

S. 254(1): Appellate Tribunal-Orders- Reasoned order-Tribunal has to pass a reasoned  order.
In an appeal by revenue the Court held that the Tribunal did not discuss, nor dealt with nor recorded any finding or any of the issue much less on the issue on which the substantial question law was framed .The Court held that mere using the expression “Supreme Court held and various High Courts in the similar circumstances  have  held”  without mentioning much less giving the reference to any citation as what was held in which case and how and what way a particular case has application to the facts of this case , was uncalled for. High Court accordingly remanded the matter to the Tribunal for its fresh consideration  for passing a reasoned order.(A.Y. 1991-92)
DCIT v. Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation ( 2012) 73 DTR 22 (Raj.)(High Court)

 254(1): Appellate Tribunal- Order- Cost  to Assessing Officer-Assessing Officer is awarded cost for not following the direction of Tribunal and for passing the order without following the principle of natural justice.
In search u/s 132, the assessee’s statement was recorded u/s 132(4) in which he offered Rs. 1.50 crores as undisclosed income. This was modified/ retracted subsequently by stating that the admission was only to the extent of the evidence found during the course of search operation. Despite the retraction, the AO passed a s. 158BC assessment order in which he determined the total undisclosed income at Rs. 1.50 crores. In the first round of appeal, the Tribunal remanded the matter to the AO to make a fresh assessment on the basis of the evidence found in the search and not only on the basis of the retracted/ modified statement. The AO passed a fresh assessment order in which he again determined the total undisclosed income at Rs. 1.50 crores on the basis of the s. 132(4) statement. In the second round, the Tribunal again remanded the matter back to the AO for framing a fresh assessment after imposing costs of Rs. 5000 upon the AO. The AO once again repeated the conclusions drawn in the earlier orders and determined the income at the same figure of Rs. 1.50 crores on the basis of the s. 132(4) statement. HELD by the Tribunal in the third round:

(i) It is very sad that the AO without following the principles of natural justice and inspite of clear findings of the ITAT in the order dated 18.06.2010 has repeated the same orders as was done originally way back in 1998. Inspite of levying cost of Rs. 5000 on AO there is no change in the attitude of the Revenue with reference to the assessee. By taking up the assessment at the fag end of the time barring period and by denying natural justice and not considering the evidence on record, the assessee was forced to file appeals before the ITAT unnecessarily by incurring heavy cost of not only appeal fees but also engaging Counsels to defend the case. There should be an end to this sorry state of affairs;

(ii) The matter is again remanded to the AO to complete the assessment only on the basis of incriminating material, if any, and not only on the basis of the s. 132(4) statement. If the AO repeats the same order without examining the material on record, the order will be quashed without any further consideration. The AO should pay costs of Rs. 35,000 (20,000 + 15,000) to the assessee for making him come again in appellate proceedings. The Revenue shall decide whether these amounts should be recovered from the officer(s) concerned. As the orders are being approved by a senior officer in the rank of CIT, it is sincerely hoped that the CIT also monitors these assessments and applies his mind while granting the approvals.

Sushila Suresh Malge v. ACIT ( Mum.)(Trib).wwwitatonlineorg.

S. 254(2): Appellate Tribunal- Orders- Rectification of mistake apparent from the record-Supreme court decision-Subsequent Supreme Court decision overruling earlier decision held to be mistake apparent  from the record and order recalling the order is justified.
The Tribunal disposed the appeal following the decision of Supreme Court in Virtual Soft Systems Ltd  v. CIT (2007) 289  ITR 83 (SC), holding that if there is no tax payable as assessment was made at loss figure , penalty under section 271(1)(c ) cannot be levied. Larger Bench of Supreme court in CIT v.Gold Coin Health Food (P) Ltd ( 2008) 304 ITR 308(SC),  overruled the earlier  decision and had taken a contrary view. Revenue moved an application under section 254(2) dt 21-10-2008 to seeking the recall of order dated 31st March, 2008 . The application  was filed within four years. The Tribunal recalled the order following the decision of CIT v. Gold Coin Health Food (P) Ltd(supra). Assessee  has filed  Writ petition against the said order of  Tribunal. The Court held that where a decision of the Supreme Court overrules an earlier decision, the view expressed in the later decision would have to be regarded as having always been the law. A judicial decision acts retrospectively .Judges not make the law they only discover or find the law.  Thus, where  a decision of the Supreme court  overrules an earlier decision, the view expressed in the later decision would have to be regarded as having always been the law. The overruling is therefore retrospective, therefore it has to be regarded as the law as it existed when the order was passed by Tribunal ,there is a clear mistake  apparent from the record hence order  of Tribunal recalling the order held to be justified.(A.Ys 1993-94, 1996-97 & 1997-98)

Lakshmi Sugar Mills Co Ltd v. CIT (2012) 73 DTR 25 (Delhi)(High Court)         
S.254 (2A):Appellate Tribunal –Orders-Power-Stay-Tribunal has no power to extend stay beyond 365 days even if assessee not at fault.
The Tribunal allowed the assessee’s stay applications for a period beyond 365 days (presumably following Tata Communications (ITAT Bom. SB)). The department filed an appeal claiming that the grant of stay beyond 365 days was in contravention of the third proviso to s. 254(2A) inserted by the FA 2008 w.e.f. 1.10.2008. Held by the High Court allowing the appeal:

The third proviso to s. 254(2A) as amended by the FA 2008 w.e.f. 1.10.2008 provides that if the appeal is not decided within the period of 365 days, the order of stay shall stand vacated after the expiry of such period even if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee. The Tribunal which is a creature of the statute has to abide by these statutory provisions in letter and spirit. The third proviso to the Finance Act 2008 makes it abundantly clear that the purpose of putting the outer limits is only for curtailing the period an order of stay can operate and to ensure that it has no effect after the period of 365 days from the date of initial order. An interpretation to enable or confer power on the Tribunal to extend a stay order beyond 365 days would be contrary to such statutory provision. While the argument that hardship & injustice will be caused to the assessee by being deprived of the stay even when he is not at fault is appreciated, one cannot ignore the language of the provision ( CIT v Ronuk Industries (2011) 333 ITR 99 (Bom)(High Court) dissented from).(A.Y.2006-07)

CIT v. Ecom Gill Coffee Trading Pvt. Ltd (Kar)( High Court), www.itatonline.org
S.260A: Appeal-High Court- Appellate Tribunal-Finding of fact-Additions confirmed by Income-tax Appellate Tribunal contrary to  the evidence is liable to set aside.
There was search and seizure action  in the premises of  assessee and seized the assets . The Assessing Officer treated the income and assets of wife also as income of assessee. In appeal the Commissioner (Appeals) and Tribunal also confirmed the addition. On appeal by the assessee  relying on the ratio of  Apex court in DSP v. K.Inbasagaran ( 2006) 282 ITR 435 (SC), Dhirajlal Girdharilal v. CIT (1954) 26 ITR 736 (SC), Lalchand Bhagt  Ambica Ram v. CIT (1959) 37 ITR 288 (SC),the High Court set aside the order  and held that addition of income from assets belonging to wife of assessee  is not justified . The Court also held that the finding of fact not based on evidence can be set aside. (A.Y. 1985-86)

 S.K.Bahadur  v.UOI ( 2012) 345 ITR 95 (Delhi ) (High Court)     

S. 271(1)(c): Penalty –Concealment- Bonafide mistake- If a  wrong claim caused by “bona fide mistake”, penalty  is not leviable.
The AO levied s. 271(1)(c) penalty in respect of two issues: (i) claim of depreciation in respect of properties that were assessed under the head “house property” and (ii) claim of deduction in respect of provision for income-tax. The CIT (A) & Tribunal deleted the penalty on the ground that the claim for deduction in respect of income-tax was a “human bonafide clerical mistake” as the assessee was a firm not having expert chartered accountants on its payroll. In appeal before the High Court, the department relied on CIT v. Zoom Communication P. Ltd (2010) 327 ITR 510(Delhi)(High Court) and CIT v. Escorts Finance Ltd., (2010) 328 ITR 44(Delhi)(High Court) where it was held that as under no circumstances could an assessee have claimed provision for tax as a deduction, penalty was imposable. Held by the High Court dismissing the appeal:

As regards depreciation, the property was let out for the first time in the latter part of the A.Y. As such, the benefit of inadvertence or mechanical or repetitive claim being made can be given to the assessee. As regards the provision for taxation, the assessee made a claim for deduction of the provision for the first time in the year under appeal. There was no history of furnishing such accurate particulars by the assessee for the previous years. Accordingly, S. 271(1)(c) penalty is not leviable.( A.Y. 1997-98)
CIT v. Societex (Delhi) ( High Court)www.itatonline.org

S. 271(1)(c):Penalty- Concealment- Satisfaction- Penalty not valid if “satisfaction” not recorded in the assessment order.
The AO passed an order u/s 143(3) in which he took the view that the assessee had wrongly claimed deduction for a provision made towards non-saleable goods. This was upheld by the CIT(A) & the Tribunal. The AO also imposed penalty u/s 271(1)(c) for concealment / furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income. The CIT(A) upheld it. Before the Tribunal, the assessee argued that penalty was not imposable because (a) in the assessment order, the AO had not recorded a finding that there was concealment/furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income and so there was no “satisfaction” and (b) there was no finding in the quantum order that the assessee’s claim was not bona fide and so penalty was not imposable. Held  upholding the assessee’s plea:

(i) Despite the insertion of sub-section (1B) to s. 271, the necessity for “prima facie satisfaction” for initiation of penalty proceedings continues to be a jurisdictional fact. The AO has to record the finding that there was concealment of income. In the s. 143(3) assessment order, the AO has not mentioned a word that there was furnishing of inaccurate particulars or concealment of income. He made the addition merely on the ground that the assessee was not able to produce any evidence for writing off of the amount in the books of account. As the satisfaction that the assessee had concealed income or furnished inaccurate particulars of such income is not discernible from the assessment order, the penalty order suffers from lack of jurisdiction to impose penalty (Madhu Shree Gupta v UOI (2009) 317 ITR 107 (Del)(High Court)  followed);

(ii) It is settled law that assessment proceedings and penalty proceedings are separate proceedings and findings arrived at in quantum appeal may have persuasive value but are not conclusive for levying penalty. In the quantum appeal there was no finding of the Tribunal that the assessee’s claim was not bona fide or that there was any fraud or gross or willful neglect on its part;

(iii) Penalty should ordinarily not be imposed unless the party obliged either acted deliberately in defiance of law or was guilty of conduct contumacious or dishonest, or acted in conscious disregard of its obligation. Penalty should not be imposed merely because it is lawful to do so. Even if a minimum penalty is prescribed, the authority competent to impose the penalty will be justified in refusing to impose penalty, when there is a technical or venial breach of the provisions of the Act or where the breach flows from a bona fide belief that the offender is not liable to act in the manner prescribed by the statute. On facts, the assessee’s act of writing off un-saleable goods cannot be said to be not bona fide and it cannot be said to be furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income.(A.Y. 2001-02)

Global Green Company Limited vs. DCIT (Delhi)(Trib), www.itatonline.org

 S. 271(1)(c ): Penalty – Concealment –Disallowance – Deduction under Section 10A and Section 80HHE in relation to unrealized exports –When all relevant particulars were  disclosed , mere disallowance cannot be considered as concealment.
Disallowance of claim for deduction under Section 10A and Section 80HHE in relation to unrealized exports cannot be considered as concealment of income or furnishing inaccurate particulars thereof, especially when all the relevant particulars were disclosed before the AO and, therefore, penalty under section 271(1)(c) was not leviable pursuant to disallowance made by the AO. (A.Y. 2003-04 & 2004-05)

ACIT v. DSL Software Ltd. (2012) 147 TTJ 67/ 72 DTR 34 (Delhi) (Trib)

S. 271(1)(c): Penalty- Concealment- Opinion- Professional’s opinion in support of claim does not per se make it bona fide. Third Member cannot sit in judgment over dissenting Members’ views (S.255 (4) )
The assessee filed a ROI claiming deduction for the entire VRS liability despite s. 35DDA providing that VRS payments would be allowed in 5 installments. The AO allowed the claim in s. 143(1) and then issued a S.148 notice (on some other issue; the s. 148 notice did not refer to the VRS claim). In the ROI filed pursuant to the s. 148 notice, the assessee itself disallowed the VRS payment and claimed only 1/5th thereof as was allowable u/s.35DDA. The AO accepted the ROI but imposed S. 271(1)(c) penalty on the ground that there was suppression of income in the original ROI and the S. 148 ROI was not “voluntary”. The CIT (A) confirmed the penalty. Before the Tribunal, the assessee argued that S.271(1)(c) penalty was not leviable because (a) under Explanation 3 to S.271(1)(c), income declared in a S.148 ROI cannot be subjected to penalty if a S.139(1) ROI had been filed, (b) at the stage of filing the original ROI, the assessee was advised by his CA that in view of CIT v. Bhor Industries Ltd. (2003) 264 ITR 180 (Bom.), VRS was revenue expenditure & allowable in the year it was incurred, (c) after receipt of the s. 148 notice, the assessee was advised by its CA that in view of S. 35DDA, VRS was allowable only in installments and it surrendered the claim and (d) the S.148 notice did not refer to the VRS claim and the assessee had voluntarily disallowed it. The JM accepted the assessee’s plea that it had acted in a “bona fide manner” based on a mistaken belief of the law and penalty was not leviable. However, the AM took a converse view. On reference to the Third Member, Held:

(i) Under Explanation 1 to s. 271(1)(c), the onus is on the assessee to prove that the explanation given by him (for not offering the correct income to tax) is bona fide. The explanation must be an “acceptable explanation”. While, the assessee is not required to prove what he asserts to the hilt positively, he must bring material on record to show that what he says is reasonably valid. On facts, the assessee’s conduct cannot be regarded as “bona fide”. Though the assessee claimed to have relied on the CA’s opinion, the opinion lacked credibility because while he referred to Bhor Industries, he did not deal with s. 35DDA which was in effect as of 1.4.2001. Further, in the immediately preceding year, the assessee itself applied s. 35DDA and so it cannot claim ignorance of that provision and there was no reason for it to deviate from the tax treatment given to the VRS payments in the earlier assessment years. Just because a claim is supported by a CA’s opinion, this fact per se cannot absolve the assessee from penalty u/s 271(1)(c). The assessee’s claim was contrary to s. 35DDA and such that no two opinions were possible thereon;

(ii) The assessee’s claim, relying on Tapan Bhattacharya  v. ITO, ITA no 1024 tO 1026/Kol./2010 dated 18-11-2010 if the s. 148 reopening reasons do not refer to an issue and the assessee voluntarily surrenders it, s. 271(1)(c) penalty is not leviable is not acceptable. The claim that the AM was a party to that judgement and so could not have taken a contrary view in the assessee’s claim is also not acceptable. U/s 255(4), a Third Member has to merely expressly an opinion on the difference and he does not hear an appeal against the orders passed by the dissenting members. He cannot decide which dissenting member is right and which one is wrong. The practice usually followed in Third Member proceedings of advancing arguments in support of or against the views adopted by the dissenting Members, proceeds on the fallacious assumption that the job of the Third Member is to approve or disapprove the views of the dissenting embers. While it is very tempting to sit in judgment over the what one’s colleagues decide, and take a magnified view of one’s powers as a third member, yielding to such temptation, irrespective of how senior or how junior these colleagues could be to the Third Member, is not only wholly improper but also plainly contrary to the scheme of s. 255(4). It is improper because all the Members in the Tribunal are at the same level of judicial hierarchy with the same judicial powers, and it is contrary to the scheme of s. 255(4) because all that this section provides for is an additional judicial opinion so as to form majority and not an appeal against the orders passed by the Members in the original coram of the bench. (A.Y.2003-04) )

Darwabshaw B Cursetjee Sons Ltd v. ITO (TM )( Kol.)(Trib)www.itatonline.org

S. 271(1)(c): Penalty-Concealment-Stamp valuation-Capital gains-Penalty not leviable for breach of s. 50C, as per deeming provision of valuation of on the basis of stamp valuation for the purpose of  capital gains.(S (S.50C )
The assessee sold land of which he was the owner for Rs.36 lakhs and offered capital gains on that basis. The AO reopened the assessment u/s 147 on the ground that the assessee ought to have taken the consideration at the market value of the land as per s. 50C. The assessee accepted and offered capital gains as per s. 50C. The AO levied penalty u/s 271(1)(c) which was confirmed by the CIT (A) on the ground that the assessee’s action of offering capital gains u/s 50C was after the s. 148 notice and not voluntary. On appeal by the assessee to the tribunal, Held allowing the appeal:

The AO had not disputed the consideration received by the assessee & the addition had been made solely on the basis of the deeming provisions of s. 50C. The assessee had furnished all the facts of the sale which had not been doubted by the AO. The fact that the assessee agreed to the additions because of the deeming provisions of s. 50C does not mean that he filed inaccurate particulars of his income. The assessee’s acceptance of the addition on the basis of the valuation made by the stamp valuation authority is not conclusive proof that the sale consideration as per the sale agreement was incorrect and wrong and so s. 271(1)(c) penalty cannot be levied (Renu Hingorani v. ACIT (ITA no 2210/Mum/2010 (ITAT Mumbai) followed) (A.Y.2006-07 )

Chimanlal Manilal Patel v. ACIT ( Ahd)(Trib)www.itatonline.org
S. 271(1)(c): Penalty – Concealment- Search and seizure-Penalty leviable where assessee did not disclose the concealed income even during the course of search(S. 153A) 
The provisions of section 153A clearly shows that rule of abatement applies to an assessment and reassessment which is pending on the date of initiation of the search. This means all returns filed earlier will not abate but only in case where assessments are pending would abate. The said principle is applicable to the instant case as certain bundles of bills were found which pertained to undisclosed sales which were not recorded in books of account and this fact was admitted during the search and, therefore, offence of concealment was complete and therefore penalty under Section 271(1)( c) was leviable. (AY 2002-03 to 2006-07)

Shreeji Traders v. Dy.CIT (2012) 136 ITD 249 (Mum) (Trib)

S. 271(1)(c): Penalty – Concealment-Speculation loss-Penalty cannot be  levied  merely on disallowance of speculative loss.
It was held that since all particulars were furnished by the assessee and AO did not disturb any of computations made by the assessee, therefore there was no furnishing of any inaccurate particulars. Also mere disallowance of speculative loss by the AO did not constitute concealment of income. Thus, penalty could not be levied under section 271(1)(c). (AY 1992-93)
Hongkong & Shanghai Bank Corpn Ltd. v. Dy. DIT (2012) 136 ITD 357 (Mum)  (Trib) 
S.271D: Penalty- Accept loans or deposits- Matter remitted to Tribunal to decide  a fresh.
The  Assessing Officer levied the penalty under section 271D  on account of cash received from two individuals . In appeal Commissioner (Appeals) confirmed the levy of penalty. The Tribunal deleted the penalty  without examining issue on merits. Revenue filed an appeal before the High Court, high court setaside the matter to the Tribunal to decide the appeal  afresh after recording factual finding and thereafter apply the decision. (A.Y. 2006-07)

CIT v. Numero Uno Financial Services P.Ltd ( 2012) 345 ITR 84 (Delhi) (High Court)

Wealth-tax Act ,1957.
S. 2(m): Wealth –tax- Debt owed-Mortgage of property-Money borrowed for securing release of mortgage with bank is deductible.
Money borrowed  from the directors for  securing release of mortgage which bank had over the assessee’s  property be treated as a debt incurred to the property , and is deductible as debt owned in the determination of net wealth .The debt incurred “in relation to the asset” in the definition of “net wealth” should enjoy a wide meaning  to cover all debts incurred for acquiring , securing and retaining the property free of charge.(A.ys  1995-96 to 2001-02)

CWT  v. Associated Industries (P) Ltd (2012) 250 CTR 398 (Ker.)(High Court).   

 S.7: Wealth -tax- Valuation- Urban Land (Ceiling &Regulation )Act 1976- Property subject to ULCA restrictions cannot be valued at market value
The assessee had a plot of open land which was declared to be surplus under the Urban Land [Ceiling & Regulation] Act, 1976. The assessee claimed that as the land was under ULCA and not marketable, its value for wealth-tax purposes had to be taken at the rate of compensation that it was entitled to be awarded under the ULCA. However, the AO, CIT (A) and Tribunal held that as s. 7 of the W.T. Act required the land to be valued on the basis of “if sold in open market”, property had to be valued on that basis and there was no question of reducing the value of the land on the ground of restrictions and prohibitions. On a reference to the High Court, the issue was referred to the Full Bench. Held  by the Full Bench reversing the lower authorities:

The words ‘if sold in open market’ in s. 7 assumes that there is an open market and the property can be sold in such a market. However, if there is a restriction on transfer of the property, the value of the property has to be reduced. On facts, as the land in question was declared surplus land under the ULCA, that had a depressing effect on the value of the asset and the valuation had to be made on the basis of assumption that the purchaser would be able to enjoy the property as the holder, but with restrictions and prohibitions contained in the ULCA. It is not open to the Revenue to assess the property on the basis of the market value, which normally could have fetched without any restriction or prohibition, but it ought to value the land on the basis of the restrictions and prohibitions contained in the ULCA. (A.Y. 1984-85)

AIMS Oxygen Pvt. Ltd v. WTO(2012) 73 DTR 313(F.B) (Guj)( High Court)

Finance  Act , 2012(Act no 23 of 2012) ( 2012) 345 ITR (st)1.
(President assent on 28th May, 2012)

Circular no 3 of 2012 dt 12th June, 2012- Supplementary memorandum  explaining the official amendments moved in the Finance Bull, 2012 as reflected in the Finance Act, 2012 ( 2012) 345 ITR (st )103. 


 Notification  No.S.O.1189(E) , dated 24 th May 2012 – (2012) 345 ITR (st) 91-Convention between the Government of  Republic of India and the Government of Japan for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention  of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes  on income: Amendment  


S.9: Royalty – Is Samsung (Karnataka High Court) judgment applicable to business of software trading –An over view by H. Padamcahnd  Khincha and P. Shivanand Nayak  (2012) 207 Taxman 141(Mag) (Article)

S.11: Charitable Trusts- Exemption for charitable Trusts-by T.C.A.Ramnuam ( 2012) 250 CTR (Articles)73.

S.48(1)(iii): In respect of assets obtained on partition of HUF , Indexation benefit must be  with reference to the date of acquisition by the  HUF by , V.K.Subramani ( 2012) 207 ITR 32 (Mag)

S.54F: No section 54F exemption if original sale proceeds are not invested to acquire new House . by D.C. Agarwal, ( 2012) 207 Taxman 27 (Mag).

S.80HHC: Export-Meaning of export out of  India in section 80HHC -By .M.S.Prasad (2012) 250 CTR (Articles) 76

S.115JB: Company- Are non-Schedule VI companies exempt from Minimum alternative tax provisions till assessment year , 2012-13 by R. Raghunathan ( 2012) 250 CTR (Articles) 36 
S.115JEE: MAT-Alternative Minimum tax  by T.C.A.Ramanujam an d T.C.A. Sangeetha ( 2012) 345 ITR (Journal) 1.

S.115-O: Dividend distribution tax: Aejoinder to 339 ITR (J)  by Tarun  jain  (2012) 339 ITR (Journal) 42.

S.143(2): Assessment- Non-service of notice under section 143(2) whether curable defect under section 292BB by R. Raghunathan (2012) 250 CTR (Articles) 65

S.147: Reassessment – A field for hide –N- Seek  by Minu ABY ngrwal ( 2012) 250 CTR (Articles) 32

S.194C: Tax deduction at source from payment for advertising  by T.N.Pandey ( 2012) 250 CTR (Articles) 42

S. 220(2): Interest under section 220(2) of the Income-tax Act , 1961 by R.B.Shukla ( 2012) 345 ITR (Journal ) 7

S. 245R: AAR allows application of Mfn  clause for exempting the interest income by Amit Agrwal  ( 2012) 207 Taxman 35 (Mag) (Article)

S.251: Commissioner (Appeals) are bound to decide applications for stay of demands during pendency of appeals- by T.N.Pandey  (2012) 250 CTR (Articles) 58

S.292BB:Section 292BB stumpted  by  Minu Agrwal ( 2012) 250 CTR (Article )55
Land  Mark cases –By S.Rajaratnam  (2012) 2012 ITR (Journal) 52
Non-Resident/ Income-Retrospective Levy of tax on non-residents by R.Santhanm ( 2012) 250 CTR (Articles) 25

Permanent establishment –An analysis into the tax jurisprudence by Dr R. Kanthakrishnan and M.S.Vasan (2012) 207 Taxman 85 (Mag)(Article)

Lease: Accounting  treatment not sacrosanct for Categorization of a lease (2012) 207 Taxman 96 (Mag) (Article)
Taxation of mergers and  Acquisitions Transactions in India  by Prateek Shanker Srivastava  (2012) 171 Company Cases  41 (Journal)

The advent of General Anti –Avoidance Rules in the Aftermath of  Vodafone  Judgment and its Preemptive Implications  by Abhyuday Bhotika ( 2012) 171 Company cases 51 (Journal)

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