For s. 47(v), share capital of the subsidiary need not be “held” in the name of the holding company
S. 47 (v) provides that a transfer of a capital asset by a subsidiary company to its holding company shall not be regarded as a “transfer” if the whole of the share capital of the subsidiary company is held by the holding company. The assessee transferred shares to its holding co and claimed exemption from capital gains u/s 47 (v). The AO denied exemption on the ground that as two shares of the said subsidiary were held by a director of the assessee and not by the assessee itself, the shares were not “wholly held” by the holding company and s. 47 (v) did not apply. The Tribunal upheld the plea of the assessee. On appeal by the Revenue, the High Court upheld the order of the Tribunal and upheld the following findings:
(a) Though s. 47 (v) refers to shares being “wholly held”, a strict or mechanical interpretation should not be adopted. A construction must be adopted which makes the statute effective rather than redundant. It must be construed having regard to the object and purpose which the legislature had in view in enacting the provision. K.P. Varghese 131 ITR 597 (SC) and Teja Singh 35 ITR 408 (SC) followed.
(b) Under the Companies Act it is not possible for a company to have less than two shareholders. The requirement of s. 47(v) that the whole of the share capital of the subsidiary company should be held by the holding company is certainly not the same thing as the whole of the share capital being held in the name of the holding company. If one proceeds on the basis that the entire share capital of the subsidiary company should be held in the name of the holding company, there cannot be any situation in which s. 47(v) can apply. That interpretation makes the statutory provision redundant. If the holding company has a beneficial ownership over the entire share capital, s. 47 (v) applies.