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SRD Nutrients Private Limited vs. CCE (Supreme Court)

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DATE: November 10, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 15, 2017 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
It is trite that when two views are possible, one which favours the assessees has to be adopted. Circulars are binding on the Department. The Government itself has taken the position that where whole of excise duty or service tax is exempted, even the Education Cess as well as Secondary and Higher Education Cess would not be payable. This is the rational view

One aspect that clearly emerges from the reading of these two circulars is that the Government itself has taken the position that where whole of excise duty or service tax is exempted, even the Education Cess as well as Secondary and Higher Education Cess would not be payable. These circulars are binding on the Department. It is also trite that when two views are possible, one which favours the assessees has to be adopted

Sedco Forex International Inc vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 30, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 1, 2017 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
S. 44BB: Amounts received as “mobilisation fee” on account of provision of services and facilities in connection with the extraction etc. of mineral oil in India attracts s. 44BB and have to be assessed as business profits. S. 44BB has to be read in conjunction with ss. 5 and 9 of the Act. Ss. 5 and 9 cannot be read in isolation. The argument that the mobilisation fee is “reimbursement of expenses” and so not assessable as income is not acceptable because it is a fixed amount paid which may be less or more than the expenses incurred. Incurring of expenses, therefore, would be immaterial. Also, the contract was indivisible

Section 44BB starts with non-obstante clause, and the formula contained therein for computation of income is to be applied irrespective of the provisions of Sections 28 to 41 and Sections 43 and 43A of the Act. It is not in dispute that assessees were assessed under the said provision which is applicable in the instant case. For assessment under this provision, a sum equal to 10% of the aggregate of the amounts specified in sub-section (2) shall be deemed to be the profits and gains of such business chargeable to tax under the head ‘profits and gains of the business or profession’. Sub-section (2) mentions two kinds of amounts which shall be deemed as profits and gains of the business chargeable to tax in India. Sub-clause (a) thereof relates to amount paid or payable to the assessee or any person on his behalf on account of provision of services and facilities in connection with, or supply of plant and machinery on hire used, or to be used in the prospecting for, or extraction or production of, mineral oils in India. Thus, all amounts pertaining to the aforesaid activity which are received on account of provisions of services and facilities in connection with the said facility are treated as profits and gains of the business.

Bimal Kishore Paliwal vs. CWT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 13, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 20, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75
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CITATION:
Entire law on the valuation of immovable properties under the 'rent capitalisation' method versus the 'land and building' method explained in the context of s. 7(2) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957. Also, law on taking the view in favour of the assessee if two reasonable constructions of a statute are possible explained

It is true that subsection (2) of Section 7 begins with non obstante clause which enables the Wealth Tax Officer to determine the net value of the assets of the business as a whole instead of determining separately the value of each asset held by the assessee in such business. The language of subsection (2) which provides overriding power to the Wealth Tax Officer to adopt and determining the net value of the business having regard to the balance sheet of such business. The enabling power has been given to Wealth Tax Officer to override the normal rule of valuation of the properties that is the value which it may fetch in open market, Wealth Tax Officer can adopt in a case where he may think it fit to adopt such methodology. The appellants’ submission is that the provision of Section 7(2)(a) is a stand alone provision and is to be applied in all cases where assessee is carrying on a business. We do not agree with the above submission

Plastiblends India Limited vs. ACIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 9, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 14, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 1997-98 to 2000-01
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CITATION:
S. 80-IA contains substantive and procedural provisions for computation of special deduction. Any device adopted to reduce or inflate the profits of eligible business has to be rejected. The claim for 100% deduction, without taking into consideration depreciation, is anathema to the scheme u/s 80-IA of the Act which is linked to profits. If the contention of the assessees is accepted, it would allow them to inflate the profits linked incentives provided u/s 80-IA of the Act which cannot be permitted

It may be stated at the cost of the repetition that judgment in Mahendra Mills was rendered while construing the provisions of Section 32 of the Act, as it existed at the relevant time, whereas we are concerned with the provisions of Chapter VI-A of the Act. Marked distinction between the two Chapters, as already held by this Court in the judgments noted above, is that not only Section 80-IA is a code by itself, it contains the provision for special deduction which is linked to profits. In contrast, Chapter IV of the Act, which allows depreciation under Section 32 of the Act is linked to investment. This Court has also made it clear that Section 80-IA of the Act not only contains substantive but procedural provisions for computation of special deduction. Thus, any device adopted to reduce or inflate the profits of eligible business has to be rejected. The assessees/appellants want 100% deduction, without taking into consideration depreciation which they want to utilise in the subsequent years. This would be anathema to the scheme under Section 80-IA of the Act which is linked to profits and if the contention of the assessees is accepted, it would allow them to inflate the profits linked incentives provided under Section 80-IA of the Act which cannot be permitted

UOI vs. Tata Tea Co. Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: September 20, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 23, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 115-O Dividend Distribution Tax: Entire law on the constitutional validity of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) under Article 246 of the Constitution read with Entry 82 of List I and Entry 46 of List II in the Seventh Schedule and whether tea companies are liable for the tax on only 40% of the dividend income explained

This Court, however, while considering the nature of dividend in the above case held that although when the initial source which has produced the revenue is land used for agricultural purposes but to give to the words ‘revenue derived from land’, apart from its direct association or relation with the land, an unrestricted meaning shall be unwarranted. Again as noted above Nalin Behari Lal Singha (supra) observation was made that shares of its profits declared as distributable among the shareholders is not impressed with the character of the profit from which it reaches the hands of the shareholder. We, thus, find substances in the submission of the learned counsel for the Union of India that when the dividend is declared to be distributed and paid to company’s shareholder it is not impressed with character of source of its income

CIT vs. S. V. Gopala Rao (Supreme Court)

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DATE: July 13, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 8, 2017 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
S. 119: The CBDT has no jurisdiction to issue a Circular to amend the legislative provisions set out in the Act. Such action is ultra vires and liable to be quashed

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a Circular under Section 119 of the Income Tax Act,1961. In fact, it amended the provisions contained in Rule 68B of the IInd Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961, which otherwise have statutory force. Such legislative provisions cannot be amended by CBDT in exercise of its power under Section 119 of the Act. The High Court has, therefore, rightly held the circular ultra virus and quashed the same.

CIT vs. Sinhgad Technical Education Society (Supreme Court)

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DATE: August 29, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 1, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2002-03, 2003-04
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CITATION:
S. 153A/ 153C: The seized incriminating material have to pertain to the AY in question and have co-relation, document-wise, with the AY. This requirement u/s 153C is essential and becomes a jurisdictional fact. It is an essential condition precedent that any money, bullion or jewellery or other valuable articles or thing or books of accounts or documents seized or requisitioned should belong to a person other than the person referred to in S. 153A. Kamleshbhai Dharamshibhai Patel 31 TM.com 50 (Guj) approved. SSP Aviation 20 TM.com 214 (Del) distinguished

Insofar as the judgment of the Gujarat High Court in Kamleshbhai Dharamshibhai Patel v. Commissioner of Income Tax-III, (2013) 31 taxmann.com 50 (Gujarat) relied upon by the learned Solicitor General is concerned, we find that the High Court in that case has categorically held that it is an essential condition precedent that any money, bullion or jewellery or other valuable articles or thing or books of accounts or documents seized or requisitioned should belong to a person other than the person referred to in Section 153A of the Act. This proposition of law laid down by the High Court is correct, which is stated by the Bombay High Court in the impugned judgment as well

K Raveendranathan Nair vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: August 10, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 17, 2017 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
S. 260A: Right of appeal is not a matter of procedure. It is a substantive right. This right gets vested in the litigants at the commencement of the lis and such a vested right cannot be taken away or cannot be impaired or imperilled or made more stringent or onerous by any subsequent legislation unless the subsequent legislation said so either expressly or by necessary intendment. An intention to interfere with or impair or imperil a vested right cannot be presumed unless such intention be clearly manifested by express words or by necessary implication.

We may mention at the outset that after referring to the judgments noted above even the High Court in the impugned judgment has accepted that right of appeal is not a matter of procedure and that it is a substantive right. It is also recognised that this right gets vested in the litigants at the commencement of the lis and, therefore, such a vested right cannot be taken away or cannot be impaired or imperilled or made more stringent or onerous by any subsequent legislation unless the subsequent legislation said so either expressly or by necessary intendment. An intention to interfere with or impair or imperil a vested right cannot be presumed unless such intention be clearly manifested by express words or by necessary implication. However, the High Court has still dismissed the writ petition as it was of the opinion that the vested right of appeal conferred under Section 260A of the IT Act, insofar as payment of court fee is concerned, is taken away by necessary implication. In other words, the provisions of Section 52A of the 1959 Act inserted by the Amendment Act of 2003, in that sense, have retrospective operation thereby effecting the earlier assessment also. This proposition is advanced with the logic that before prior to introduction of Section 260A in the IT Act with effect from October 01, 1998, there was no right of appeal

The Citizens Cooperative Society Ltd vs. ACIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: August 8, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 16, 2017 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
S. 80P Test of Mutuality: An assessee cannot be treated as a co-operative society meant only for its members and providing credit facilities to its members if it has carved out a category called ‘nominal members’. These are those members who are making deposits with the assessee for the purpose of obtaining loans, etc. and, in fact, they are not members in the real sense. Most of the business of the assessee was with this category of persons who have been giving deposits which are kept in Fixed Deposits with a motive to earn maximum returns. A portion of these deposits is utilised to advance gold loans, etc. to the members of the first category. It is found that the depositors and borrowers are quite distinct. In reality, such activity of the appellant is that of finance business and cannot be termed as co-operative society

It is pointed out by the Assessing Officer that the assessee is catering to two distinct categories of people. The first category is that of resident members or ordinary members. There may not be any difficulty as far as this category is concerned. However, the assessee had carved out another category of ‘nominal members’. These are those members who are making deposits with the assessee for the purpose of obtaining loans, etc. and, in fact, they are not members in real sense. Most of the business of the appellant was with this second category of persons who have been giving deposits which are kept in Fixed Deposits with a motive to earn maximum returns. A portion of these deposits is utilised to advance gold loans, etc. to the members of the first category. It is found, as a matter of fact, that the depositors and borrowers are quiet distinct. In reality, such activity of the appellant is that of finance business and cannot be termed as co-operative society. It is also found that the appellant is engaged in the activity of granting loans to general public as well. All this is done without any approval from the Registrar of the Societies. With indulgence in such kind of activity by the appellant, it is remarked by the Assessing Officer that the activity of the appellant is in violation of the Co-operative Societies Act

CIT vs. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: August 3, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 4, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 80-IA: Difference between 'manufacturing' and 'production' explained. The word ‘production’ has a wider connotation in comparison to ‘manufacture’. Any activity which brings a commercially new product into existence constitutes production. The process of bottling of LPG renders it capable of being marketed as a domestic kitchen fuel and, thereby, makes it a viable commercial product

At the outset, it needs to be emphasised that the aforesaid provisions of the Act use both the expressions, namely, ‘manufacture’ as well as ‘production’. It also becomes clear after reading these provisions that an assessee whose process amounts to either ‘manufacture’ or ‘production’ (i.e. one of these two and not both) would become entitled to the benefits enshrined therein. It is held by this Court in Arihant Tiles and Marbles P. Ltd. (2010) 320 ITR 79 (SC) that the word ‘production’ is wider than the word ‘manufacture’. The two expressions, thus, have different connotation. Significantly, Arihant Tiles judgment decides that cutting of marble blocks into marble slabs does not amount to manufacture. At the same time, it clarifies that it would be relevant for the purpose of the Central Excise Act. When it comes to interpreting Section 80-IA of the Act (which was involved in the said case), the Court was categorical in pointing out that the aforesaid interpretation of ‘manufacture’ in the context of Central Excise Act would not apply while interpreting Section 80-IA of the Act as this provision not only covers those assessees which are involved in the process of manufacture but also those who are undertaking ‘production’ of the goods

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