Search Results For: Ravish Sood (JM)


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DATE: November 15, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 30, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2018-19
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Static vs. Ambulatory interpretation of DTAAs: Entire law on whether the retrospective amendments to the definition of "royalty" in s. 9(1)(vi) of the Act can have bearing on the interpretation of the same term in the DTAAs explained with reference to the doctrine of "treaty override" and the Vienna Convention (Siemens AG 310 ITR 320 (Bom) explained)

That is a classic case of a subtle unilateral treaty override. While, in India, the expression ‘treaty override’ is often loosely used for the situations where the provisions of tax treaty prevails over any inconsistent provisions of domestic law, this approach seems to be at variance with the international practices wherein connotations of ‘treaty override’ refer to a situation in which domestic legislation of a treaty partner jurisdiction overrules the provisions of a single treaty or all treaties hitherto having had effect in that jurisdiction. That will be the end result of a domestic law amendment of an undefined treaty term, in departure from the current position, and import such amended meaning of that term, under article 3(2), in the treaty situations as well. Such an approach, on the first principles, is unsound inasmuch as it is well settled in law that the treaty partners ought to observe their treaties, including their tax treaties, in good faith. Article 26 of Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties provides that, “Pacta sunt servanda: Every treaty in force is binding on the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith”. What it implies is that whatever be the provisions of the treaties, these provisions are to be given effect in good faith. Therefore, no matter how desirable or expedient it may be from the perspective of the tax administration, when a tax jurisdiction is allowed to amend the settled position with respect to a treaty provision, by an amendment in the domestic law and admittedly to nullify the judicial rulings, it cannot be treated as performance of treaties in good faith. That is, in effect, a unilateral treaty over-ride which is contrary to the scheme of Article 26 of Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties

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DATE: June 11, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 21, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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S. 68 Bogus Share Capital: As the share applicant companies were controlled by an infamous accommodation entry provider, it was incumbent on the part of the authorities to have carried out an in-depth verification of the genuineness of the transaction of receipt of share application money by the assessee from the said parties. However, the authorities have not done even the bare minimum for verifying the genuineness of the transaction. Such a casual approach cannot be subscribed on our part (NRA Iron & Steel 412 ITR 161 (SC) followed)

As held by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of NRA Iron Traders 412 ITR 161 (SC), the A.O is duty bound to investigate the credit-worthiness of the creditor/subscriber, verify the identity of the subscribers, and also ascertain whether the transaction is genuine or was backed by merely bogus entries of name-lenders. In the totality of the facts of the case before us, we are of the considered view, that neither the assessee had discharged the obligation that was cast upon it to substantiate the identity of the subscribers, their credit-worthiness, and also the genuineness of the transaction of receipt of share application money from the aforesaid six share applicants, as per the mandate of law, nor the lower authorities had in discharge of their statutory obligation carried out the necessary verifications

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DATE: August 20, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 6, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2003-04
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S. 254(2): (i) Delay of 420 days in filing appeal due to subsequent decision of the Supreme Court is a valid ground for condonation of delay (ii) An order can be said to suffer from a "mistake apparent from the record" if it contrary to a subsequent judgement of the Supreme Court. Courts do not make any new law; they only clarify the legal position which was earlier not correctly understood. Such legal position clarified by Courts has retrospective effect as the law was always the same

It is also well – settled that a judicial decision acts retrospectively. According to Blackstonian theory, it is not the function of the Court to pronounce a ‘new rule’ but to maintain and expound the ‘old one’. In other words, the Judges do not make law; they only discover or find the correct law.The law has always been the same. If a subsequent decision alters the earlier one, it (the later decision) does not make a new law. It only discovers the correct principle of law which has to be applied retrospectively. To put it differently, even where an earlier decision of the Court operated for quite sometime, the decision rendered later on would have retrospective effect, clarifying the legal position which was earlier not correctly understood

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DATE: April 10, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 6, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2007-08
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Bogus purchases in s. 153D search assessment: There is serious suspicion about the conduct of the assessee in taking additional ground challenging the issue of approval u/s 153D for the first time before the Tribunal. The assessee is making an attempt is derail the issue on merits and to escape on technical ground. The affidavits filed by the AOs coupled with circumstantial evidences available in the assessment folders clearly establish the fact of obtaining necessary approval u/s 153D though copy of approval letter is not available in the assessment record. Argument that only profit can be assessed is not correct. 100% addition u/s 69C towards bogus purchases confirmed (NK Proteins 292 CTR 354 (SC) followed)

When assessee goes to question the administrative procedure, rather contending its case on merits, that too, after a lapse of 4 to 5 years, then obviously, a doubt arises about intend of the assessee in taking this ground and such an attempt is derail the issue on merits and to escape on technical ground. Therefore, we are of the considered view that there is no merit in the additional ground taken by the assessee challenging validity of assessment order passed by the AO u/s 143(3) r.w.s. 153A of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

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DATE: May 10, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 8, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2016-17
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S. 9(1)(vi) Royalty: Payment for 'bandwith services' is not assessable as 'royalty' if the assessee only has access to services and not to any equipment. The assessee also did not have any access to any process which helped in providing of such bandwith services. All infrastructure & process required for provision of bandwith services was always used and under the control of the service provider and was never given either to the assessee or to any other person availing the said services

The assessee pursuant to the terms of the “agreement‟ had only received standard facilities i.e bandwith services from RJIPL. In fact, as observed by the CIT(A), the assessee only had an access to services and did not have any access to any equipment deployed by RJIPL for providing the bandwith services. Apart there from, the assessee also did not have any access to any process which helped in providing of such bandwith services by RJIPL. As a matter of fact, all infrastructure and process required for provision of bandwith services was always used and under the control of RJIPL, and the same was never given either to the assessee or to any other person availing the said services

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DATE: November 16, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 3, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2011-12
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S. 47(xiiib) r.w.s 47A(4): The conversion of a company into a LLP constitutes a "transfer". If the conditions of s. 47(xiiib) are not satisfied, the transaction is chargeable to 'capital gains‘ u/s 45 (Texspin Engg 263 ITR 345 (Bom) distinguished). If the assets and liabilities of the company are vested in the LLP at 'book values‘ (cost), there is in fact no capital gain. The argument that u/s 58(4) of the LLP Act, the LLP is entitled to carry forward the accumulated losses & unabsorbed depreciation of the company, notwithstanding non-compliance with s. 47(xiiib) is not acceptable

We find from a perusal of the ‘memorandum‘ explaining the purpose and intent behind the enactment of sub-section (xiiiib) to Sec. 47, that prior to its insertion, the ‘transfer‘ of assets on conversion of a company into a LLP attracted levy of “capital gains” tax. The legislature in all its wisdom had vide the Finance Act, 2010 made Sec. 47(xiiib) available on the statute, with the purpose that the transfer of assets on conversion of a company into a LLP in accordance with the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008, subject to fulfilment of the conditions contemplated therein, shall not be regarded as a ‘transfer‘ for the purposes of Sec. 45 of the Act. In so far, the reliance placed by the ld. A.R on the judgment of the Hon‘ble High Court of Bombay in the case of CIT Vs. Texspin Engg. & Mfg. Works (2003) 263 ITR 345 (Bom) is concerned, the same in our considered view is distinguishable on facts.

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DATE: October 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 31, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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S. 68 Bogus share premium: The AO cannot assess the share premium as income on the ground that it is "excessive". The share premium worked out in the Valuation Certificate is the minimum amount that can be collected by the assessee under RBI regulations. There is no bar on collecting higher amount as share premium. There are several factors that are taken into consideration while issuing the equity shares to shareholders/investors, such as Venture capital funds and Private Equity funds. The premium is determined between the parties on the basis of commercial considerations and cannot be questioned by the tax authorities. The AO is not entitled to sit on the arm chair of a businessman and regulate the manner of conducting business (All judgements considered)

Once the AO was satisfied with the identity and credit worthiness of the investor and genuineness of transactions, the assessee can be said to have proved the “nature and source” of the cash credits. The amounts received as Share premium are in the nature of capital receipts as per the decision rendered by Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the case of Vodafone India Services P Ltd (supra) and the assessee has also discharged the onus placed upon it u/s 68 of the Act. In fact, the AO himself accepted the share premium to the extent of Rs.672/- per share as Capital receipt. Hence the “nature” of alleged excess share premium amount cannot be considered as receipt of income nature

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DATE: June 1, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 9, 2018 (Date of publication)
AY: 2003-04
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S. 68 HSBC Black Money: The suspicion of the AO that the deposits in the foreign bank account have Indian origin is not unfounded because the assessee used his Indian passport to open the a/c. The intent of the assessee is not above board. Matter requires investigation because the narrations in the bank accounts do not give any clue that these amounts originate from India

At the time of opening of the bank account in Geneva, the assessee was a US citizen and resident and he was holding a US passport. Still the assessee chose to open the account in HSBC bank account in Geneva by using the address and proof thereof by way of his Indian passport which was no longer valid when he has accepted the US nationality by surrendering Indian citizenship. Here the assessee instead of surrendering his invalid Indian passport has used it to open a bank account in HSBC bank, Geneva. Further, the assessee is not responding that this bank account has been disclosed to the US tax authorities. In such circumstances, the suspicion that the deposits in this bank account have Indian origin is not unfounded

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DATE: September 1, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 28, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2005-06, 2006-07
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CITATION:
S. 271(1)(c)/ 292BB: "concealment of particulars of income" and "furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income" referred to in s. 271(1)(c) denote two different connotations. It is imperative for the AO to make the assessee aware in the notice issued u/s 274 r.w.s. 271(1)(c) as to which of the two limbs are being put-up against him. The failure to do so is fatal to the penalty proceedings. The argument that the assessee was made aware of the specific charge during the proceedings is of no avail. S. 292BB does not save the penalty proceedings from being declared void

Notably, Sec. 292BB of the Act has been inserted w.e.f. 01.04.2008 and is understood basically as a rule of evidence. The implication of Sec. 292BB of the Act is that once the assessee appears in any proceedings or has co-operated in any inquiry relating to assessment or reassessment, it shall be deemed that any notice under any provisions of the Act that is required to be served has been duly served upon him in accordance with the provisions of the Act and under these circumstances, assessee would be precluded from objecting that a notice that was required to be served under the Act was either not served upon him or was not served in time or was served in an improper manner. In our considered opinion, the provisions of Sec. 292BB of the Act have no relevance in the context of the impugned examination of the efficacy of the notice issued by the Assessing Officer u/s 274 r.w.s. 271(1)(c) of the Act. Notably, the issue before us is not about the service of notice but as to whether the contents of the notice issued meets with the requirements of law. Therefore, the said argument of the ld. CIT-DR is also rejected

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DATE: May 22, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 2, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: 2006-07
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Bogus penny stocks capital gain: The s. 131 statement implicating the assessee is not sufficient to draw an adverse inference against the assessee when the documentary evidence in the form of contract notes, bank statements, STT payments etc prove genuine purchase and sale of the penny stock. Failure to provide cross-examination is a fatal error

The A.O had chosen to merely rely on the stand alone statement of Sh. Mukesh Choksi (supra) and taking the same as gospel truth, had therein drawn adverse inferences in the hands of the assessee by merely referring to the said statement of Sh. Mukesh Choksi (supra). We though do not approve of the reliance placed by the A.O on the stand alone statement of Sh. Mukesh Choksi (supra) for drawing of adverse inferences in respect of the share transactions carried out by the assessee during the year under consideration, but rather find that even no cross examination of Sh. Mukesh Choksi (supra), whose statement was so heavily being relied upon by the A.O, was ever provided to the assessee. We find that the failure on the part of the A.O to provide cross examination of the person, relying on whose statement adverse inferences are drawn in the hands of the assessee goes to the very root of the validity of such adverse inferences drawn in the hands of the assessee, had been looked into by the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay in the case of CIT-13 Vs. M/s Ashish International (ITA No 4299 of 2009; dated. 22.02.2011), wherein the order of the Tribunal was affirmed by the Hon’ble High Court. We thus in the backdrop of our aforesaid observations, are neither able to persuade ourselves to subscribe to the adverse inferences drawn by the lower authorities in respect of the share transactions of the assessee by referring to the stand alone statement of Sh. Mukesh Choksi, as the same as observed by us hereinabove, suffer from serious infirmities, and as such cannot be summarily accepted, nor are able to dislodge the genuineness of the purchase and sale of shares of the aforesaid 10,200 shares of M/s Talent Infoways Ltd., which we find had been duly substantiated by the assessee on the basis of material made available on record, which we find had not been dislodged by the lower authorities