S. 50B: Transfer of assets via amalgamation without monetary consideration is not a “slump sale”
S. 2(42C) defines a ‘slump sale’ to mean the transfer of one or more undertakings as a result of the sale for a lump sum consideration without values being assigned to the individual assets and liabilities in such sales. A plain reading of s. 2(42C) makes it clear that to qualify as a slump sale, two conditions have to be satisfied viz., (i) there must be transfer of one or more undertakings as a result of sale and (ii) the sale should be for a lump sum consideration without values being assigned to the individual assets and liabilities. The presence of money consideration is an essential element to a transaction of sale. If the consideration is not money but some other valuable consideration it may be an exchange or barter but not a sale. In the present case, as no monetary consideration was received by the assessee for transfer of the assets and liabilities of the manufacturing division to Novapan Industries Ltd, the transaction is not a “slump sale” and does not attract s. 50B (Motors and General Stores 66 ITR 692 (SC), R.R. Ramakrishna Pillai 66 ITR 725 & Avaya Global Connect 26 SOT 397 (Mum) followed)
Occupancy rights in flat conferred by Articles of Association confer ownership rights in flat. Restriction in Articles on transferability is void
The right, title & interest over a flat conveyed is a species of property, whether that right has accrued under the provisions of the Articles of Association of a Company or through the bye-laws of a Cooperative Society. Flat owners’ right to dispose of its flat is also well recognized, and one can sell, donate, leave by will or let out or hypothecate his right. By purchasing the flat, the purchaser, over and above his species of right over the flat, will also have undivided interest in the common areas and facilities, in the percentage as prescribed. Flat owners will also have the right to use the common areas and facilities in accordance with the purpose for which they are intended. It is too late in the day to contend that flat owners cannot sell, let, hypothecate or mortgage their flat for availing of loan without permission of the builder, Society or the Company. Neither the Companies Act nor any other statute make any provision prohibiting the transfer of species of interest to third parties or to avail of loan for the flat owners’ benefit. A legal bar on the saleability or transferability of such a species of interest will create chaos and confusion. The right or interest to occupy any such flat is a species of property and hence has a stamp of transferability. The Articles of Association of a Company have no force of a Statute and the right of the shareholder to mortgage could not have been restricted by the Articles of Association (Ramesh Himatlal Shah Vs. Harsukh Jadhavji Joshi (1975) 2 SCC 105 followed).
S. 147/ 151: Merely writing “approved” in the sanction form without recording satisfaction renders the reopening void
S. 147 and 148 are a charter to the Revenue to reopen earlier assessments and are, therefore protected by safeguards against unnecessary harassment of the assessee. They are sword for the Revenue and shield for the assessee. S. 151 guards that the sword of S. 147 may not be used unless a superior officer is satisfied that the AO has good and adequate reasons to invoke the provisions of S. 147. The superior authority has to examine the reasons, material or grounds and to judge whether they are sufficient and adequate to the formation of the necessary belief on the part of the assessing officer. If, after applying his mind and also recording his reasons, howsoever briefly, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the AO’s belief is well reasoned and bona fide, he is to accord his sanction to the issue of notice u/s 148 of the Act. In the instant case, we find from the perusal of the order sheet which is on record, the Commissioner has simply put “approved” and signed the report thereby giving sanction to the AO. Nowhere the Commissioner has recorded a satisfaction note not even in brief. Therefore, it cannot be said that the Commissioner has accorded sanction after applying his mind and after recording his satisfaction (Chhugamal Rajpal 79 ITR 603 (SC) & United Electrical Co 258 ITR 317 (Del) followed)
S. 92CA(2A), though substantive, applies to all proceedings pending on 1.6.2011 & TPO can examine un-referred transactions. S. 92CA(2B) applies even to cases where Form 3CEB is filed but the transaction is not reported. DRP has power to hold that TPO had no jurisdiction & to quash his order. Writ cannot be entertained where there is alternate remedy
In AY 2008-09, the assessee entered into two transactions: (i) it sold its call center business to Hutchison Whampoa and (ii) it assigned its call options to Vodafone International Holdings B.V. The said two transactions were not reported in Form 3CBEB. The AO made a reference on 25.01.2010 u/s 92CA(1) to the TPO to determine the ALP of certain other transactions entered into by the assessee with the AEs. The said two transactions were not a part of the reference. The TPO took suo motu cognizance of the said two transactions and held that though the sale of the center business was between two domestic companies, it was pursuant to the share sale agreement with Vodafone International and so was hit by s. 92-B(2). He also held that the assignment of the call options was the transfer of a capital asset giving rise to capital gains. He made an adjustment of Rs. 8,590 crore. The assessee did not raise any objection on the jurisdiction of the TPO to consider the said two un-referred transactions though it filed objections on the merits before the DRP. During the pendency of the DRP proceedings, the assessee filed a Writ Petition contending that (a) under the law laid down in Amadeus 203 TM 602 (Del) the TPO has no jurisdiction to go beyond the reference made by the AO, (b) s. 92CA(2A) which was inserted on 1.6.2011 to provide that the TPO can suo motu take cognizance of an un-referred international transaction is a substantive provision and cannot apply retrospectively to a reference made on 25.01.2010, (c) the rewriting of the call options was not an international transaction in view of the law laid down in Vodafone International Holdings B.V. 341 ITR 1. It was urged that as there was inherent lack of jurisdiction in the TPO and as the DRP did not have jurisdiction u/s 144C(8) to quash the TPO’s order, the Writ Petition was maintainable. HELD by the High Court dismissing the Petition
S. 153A: In case of completed assessments, addition can be made only if incriminating document found during search
There are three possible circumstances that emerge on the date of initiation of search u/s 132 (1): (a) proceedings are pending; (b) proceedings are not pending but some incriminating material found in the course of search indicating undisclosed income and/or assets and (c) proceedings are not pending and no incriminating material has been found. In circumstance (a), since the proceedings are pending, they are abated and the AO gets a free hand to make the assessment. In circumstance (b), there is no question of abatement as the proceedings are not pending and the AO has to pass an assessment order u/s 153A to assess the undisclosed income. In circumstance (c), the AO has to pass an assessment order though as there is no incriminating material no income can be assessed. On facts, as the assessments were completed and there was no incriminating material found during the search, the AO was not entitled to make any addition (All Cargo Global Logistics 137 ITD 287 (Mum)(SB), Anil Kumar Bhatia 80 DTR 169 (Del), Pratibha Industries & Gurinder Singh Bawa followed)
S. 50-C: Extent to which reliance can be placed by AO on stamp duty valuation explained
S. 50-C is a rule of evidence in assessing the valuation of property for calculating capital gains and is rebuttable. It is well known that an immovable property may have various attributes, charges, encumbrances, limitations and conditions. The Stamp Valuation Authority does not take into consideration the attributes of the property for determining the fair market value and determines the value in accordance with the circle rates fixed by the Collector. The object of valuation by the Stamp Valuation Authority is to secure revenue on such sale and not to determine the true, correct and fair market value for which it may be purchased by a willing purchaser subject to and taking into consideration its situation, condition and other attributes such as it occupation by tenant, any charge or legal encumbrances
S. 32: Sale & lease transactions by banks are genuine and eligible for depreciation
S. 32 allows depreciation if the asset is “owned, wholly or partly, by the assessee and used for the purposes of the business“. There is no requirement that the asset must be used by the assessee himself. It is sufficient if the asset is utilized for the purpose of business of the assessee. The argument, relying on McDowell 154 ITR 148 (SC), that Sale & Lease Back transactions are a devise for lowering the tax effect cannot be accepted. Sale & Lease Back transactions are genuine and cannot be considered to be sham. By virtue of the judgement in Cosmo Films Ltd 338 ITR 266 (Del), the contrary judgements in MidEast 87 ITD 537 (Mum) (SB) and Induslnd Bank 135 ITD 165 (Mum) (SB) are impliedly reversed (ICDS Ltd 350 ITR 527 (SC) & Development Credit Bank Ltd (ITAT Mum) followed)
Govt. directed to take steps for filling vacancies of Members, providing accommodation to them and to consider increasing their retirement age limit
Even when retired District Judges are appointed as Members of the Sales Tax Tribunal they do not wish to continue on account of not being provided with residential accommodation. Very recently one Member (originally belonging to Judicial service) has tendered resignation only due to absence of residential accommodation in Mumbai. On account of the above difficulty of accommodation not being provided to the retired Judges who are appointed as Members, the High Court on the administrative side also finds it difficult to obtain willingness of retired Judges for appointment as Members of the Sales Tax Tribunal. It would be desirable for the State Government to provide residential accommodation to all the Members of the Tribunal so as to ensure proper functioning of the Tribunal
The real object of the entering into the sale and lease back transaction so far as Konkan Railway is concerned is to raise funds. The transaction of sale of the asset to the assessee bank and its lease back to Konkan Railway cannot be separated. It was not possible for Konkan Railway to sell out the railway system. Thus, the sale transaction was merely on paper and to facilitate the financial arrangement by the assessee to Konkan Railway without involving any real intention of transfer of the assets. The terms of the lease agreement are only to secure the interest of the bank till the recovery of the full amount along with the interest. The assessee cannot exercise the real and actual ownership over the asset keeping in view the facts and circumstances and nature of the asset in question. Further, under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 read with RBI circular dated 19.2.1994, banking companies can undertake the activities of equipment leasing but these are required to be treated on par with loans and advances. Therefore, the activity of equipment leasing permitted by the RBI is only in the nature of finance lease. The terms and conditions specified by the RBI for income recognition of lease transactions are also on par with the manner in which a loan transaction is treated. In view of the said circular, there is no scope for treating the instant lease agreement as that of an operating lease (IndusInd Bank 135 ITD 165 (Mum) (SB) followed; ICDS 350 ITR 527 (SC) distinguished on the basis that the lease there was not by a Bank but by a NBFC).
There is a distinction between a case where the software is supplied along with hardware as part of the equipment and there is no separate sale of the software and a case where the software is sold separately. Where the software is an integral part of the supply of equipment, the consideration for that is not assessable as “royalty”. However, in a case where the software is sold separately, the consideration for it is assessable as “royalty”. On facts, the assessee had received a license to use the copyright belonging to the non-resident. The non-resident supplier continued to be the owner of the copyright and all other intellectual property rights. As there was a transfer of the right to use the copyright, the payment made by Reliance to Lucent was “for the use of or the right to use copyright” and constituted “royalty” under s. 9(1)(vi) and Article 12(3) of the India-USA DTAA.