|COURT:||Madras High Court|
|CORAM:||T. S. Sivagnanam J, V. Bhavani Subbaroyan J|
|SECTION(S):||160(1)(iv), 2(24)(iia), 56(2)(vii)|
|CATCH WORDS:||Cross-Objection, deemed income, donation, scope of appeal|
|COUNSEL:||R. Hemalatha, R. Sivaraman|
|DATE:||December 8, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||January 23, 2021 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to view full post with file download link|
S. 2(24)(iia)/ 56(2)(vii)/160(1)(iv): (i) A private discretionary Trust has to be assessed in the status of an "individual" as the beneficiaries are individuals. It cannot be assessed as an "AOP" even though there are multiple trustees & beneficiaries. Even a non-human juristic entity can be assessed as an "individual". The fact that in the return filed in Form ITR-5, the status is that of a "trust" is irrelevant. Consequently, the contribution received by the assessee is assessable as "income" us 56.
(ii) U/s 260A, it is only the appellant who is entitled to raise a question of law. The respondent has no right to challenge a point which is decided against him by the Tribunal. The appellant cannot be worse of in its appeal at the instance of the respondent who has not filed an appeal over such finding of the Tribunal.
The authority on examining the factual position found that the assessee has adopted a ingenious method for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of the Act by accepting the gift on behalf of the individuals thereby acting as a conduit. Unfortunately, the Tribunal did not examine this aspect of the matter but proceeded on a different footing which we decline to approve. The Tribunal placed reliance on the decision of the Delhi Tribunal in Mridu Hari Dalmia Parivar Trust. We find that the said decision could not have been applied to the facts of the instant case, more particularly, when the Assessing Officer in the said case held that the assessee is an AoP. Furthermore, the finding rendered by the Tribunal with regard to the effect of insertion of clause (x) in Section 56(2) with effect from 01.04.2007 could not have been rendered in isolation without reference to the factual details where the beneficiaries were identified and therefore, the Tribunal erred in reversing the finding of the CIT(A) that the assessee has to be assessed as an “individual”. Therefore, we hold that the assessee Trust is a representative assessee as it represents the beneficiaries who are identified individuals and therefore to be assessed as an “individual” only. Consequently, the contribution of Rs.25 Crores is to be assessed as income under Section 56(1) under the head ‘income from other sources’.