Category: High Court

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DATE: January 29, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 3, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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S. 69C Bogus Purchases: (i) The onus is on the revenue to prove that the income really belongs to the assessee (ii) The assessee has filed copies of purchase/ sale invoices, challan cum tax invoices, stock ledger showing entry/exit of materials purchased, bank statements to show payment for purchases were made through banking channels, etc., to establish genuineness of purchases (iii) The AO has not brought on record any material evidence to show that the purchases were bogus (iv) Mere reliance by the AO on information obtained from Sales Tax Department or statements of persons made before the Sales Tax Department is not sufficient to treat the purchases as bogus (v) If the AO doubts the genuineness of the purchases, he has to do further enquiries and give an opportunity to the assessee to examine/cross-examine the parties vis-a-vis the statements made by them before the Sales Tax Department. Without causing such further enquiries in respect of the purchases, it is not open to the AO to make addition u/s 69C

The AO did not doubt the sales and stock records maintained by the assessee. By submitting confirmation letters, copies of invoices, bank statement, payment order, payment by account payee cheques etc., assessee had proved that sale and purchases had taken place. By highlighting the fact that all the payments against the purchases were made through banking channel by way of account payee cheques, the source of expenditure was fully established by the assessee beyond any doubt. During appellate proceedings the assessee had furnished complete quantitative details of the items of goods purchased during the year under consideration and their corresponding sales.

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DATE: March 5, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 26, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1984-85
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S. 28(iv): The Dept's argument that the waiver of a loan constitutes an operational subsidy which is taxable is not correct. There is a fundamental difference between “loan” and “subsidy” & the two concepts cannot be equated. While “loan” is a borrowing of money required to be repaid back with interest; “subsidy” is not required to be repaid back being a grant. Such grant is given as part of a public policy by the state in furtherance of public interest. Therefore, even if a “loan” is written off or waived, which can be for various reasons, it cannot partake the character of a “subsidy”. The waiver of a loan cannot be brought to tax u/s 28(iv) of the Act

Conceptually, “loan” and “subsidy” are two different concepts. As per the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Indian Edition, the term “loan” has been explained as a thing that is borrowed, especially a sum of money that is expected to be paid back with interest; the action of lending. Black’s Law Dictionary, Eight Edition, describes “loan” as an act of lending; a grant of something for temporary use; a thing lent for the borrower’s temporary use, especially a sum of money lent at interest; to lend, especially money. In Supreme Court on Words and Phrases, it is stated that “loan” necessarily supposes a return of the money loaned; in order to be a loan, the advance must be recoverable; “loan” is an advance in cash which includes any transaction which in substance amounts to such advance

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DATE: February 11, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 23, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2001-02, 2003-04
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CITATION:
S. 36(1)(vii)/ 36(2): Write-off of inter corporate deposits and advances given for purchase of vehicles or plant and machinery is allowable as a bad debt. There is no requirement under the Act that the bad debt has to accrue out of income under the same head i.e 'income from business or profession' to be eligible for deduction. All that is required is that the debt in question must be written off by the assessee in its books of accounts as irrecoverable

It is a settled position in law that after 1.4.1989, it is not necessary for the assessee to establish or prove that the debt has in fact become irrecoverable but it would be sufficient if the bad debt is written off as irrecoverable in the accounts of the assessee. This is because, as held by this Court, decision to treat a debt as a bad debt is a commercial or business decision of the assessee. Recording of a debt as a bad debt in his books of accounts by the assessee prima facie establishes that it is a bad debt. If the Assessing Officer disputes that the onus would be on him to prove otherwise

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DATE: June 12, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 22, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96
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S. 45/ 147: Capital gains are chargeable to tax when individual flats are sold and not when the land is transferred to the co-operative society formed by the flat purchasers. The flat purchasers, by purchasing the flats, had certainly acquired a right or interest in the proportionate share of the land but its realisation is deferred till formation of the co-operative society by the owners of the flats and eventual transfer of the entire property to the co-operative society

According to the Assessing Officer, assessee had erred in offering to tax ‘capital gains’ in the year when the individual flats were sold whereas such ‘capital gains’ could be assessed to tax only when the land is trasferred to the co-operative society formed by the flat purchasers. If the assessee had offered to tax as ‘capital gains’ in the assessment years under consideration which should have been offered to tax in the subsequent years, it is beyond comprehension as to how a belief can be formed that income chargeable to tax for the assessment year under consideration had escaped assessment. That apart, the flat purchasers by purchasing the flats had certainly acquired a right or interest in the proportionate share of the land but its realisation is deferred till formation of the co-operative society by the owners of the flats and eventual transfer of the entire property to the co-operative society

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DATE: June 18, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 20, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2006-07
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S. 54F: In determining whether the assessee owns more than one residential property, the usage of the property has to be considered. If an apartment is sanctioned for residential purposes but is in fact being used for commercial purposes as a serviced apartment, it has to be treated as commercial property. Alternatively, several independent residential units in the same building have to be treated as one residential unit and there is no impediment to allowance of exemption u/s 54F(1)

The usage of the property has to be considered for determining whether the property in question is a residential property or a commercial property. It is not in dispute that the aforesaid two apartments are being put to commercial use and therefore, the aforesaid apartments cannot be treated as residential apartments. The contention of the revenue that the apartments cannot be taxed on the basis of the usage does not deserve acceptance in view of decisions of Kerala, Delhi, Allahabad, Calcutta and Hyderabad High Courts with which we respectfully concur. 11. Alternatively, we hold that assessee even otherwise is entitled to the benefit of exemption under Section 54F(1) of the Act as the assessee owns two apartments of 500 square feet in same building and 17 therefore, it has to be treated as one residential unit. The aforesaid fact cannot be permitted to act as impediment to allowance of exemption under Section 54F(1) of the Act

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DATE: June 12, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 13, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2003-04
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CITATION:
S. 260A/ 271(1)(c): (i) An appeal u/s 260-A can be entertained by the High Court on the issue of jurisdiction even if the same was not raised before the Tribunal (ii) the question relating to non-striking off of the inapplicable portion in the s. 271(1)(c) show-cause notice goes to the root of the lis & is a jurisdictional issue (iii) it would be too technical and pedantic to take the view that because in the printed notice the inapplicable portion was not struck off, the order of penalty should be set aside even though in the assessment order it was clearly mentioned that penalty proceedings u/s 271(1)(c) had been initiated separately for furnishing inaccurate particulars of income, (iv) Penalty cannot be imposed for alleged breach of one limb of s. 271(1)(c) of the Act while proceedings were initiated for breach of the other limb of s. 271(1)(c). This vitiates the order of penalty, (v) Threat of penalty cannot become a gag and / or haunt an assessee for making a claim which may be erroneous or wrong (All judgements referred)

Concealment of particulars of income was not the charge against the appellant, the charge being furnishing inaccurate particulars of income. As discussed above, it is trite that penalty cannot be imposed for alleged breach of one limb of Section 271(1)(c) of the Act while penalty proceedings were initiated for breach of the other limb of Section 271(1)(c). This has certainly vitiated the order of penalty.

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DATE: June 12, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 13, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2003-04
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S. 68 Bogus Cash Credits: In the case of an assessee engaged in providing 'accommodation entries', the entire deposits cannot be assessed as unexplained cash credits. Only the commission (0.15%) earned in providing the accommodation entries can be assessed as income (PCIT vs. NRA Iron and Steel (2019) 103 Taxmann.com 48 (SC) distinguished)

In so far the decision of the Supreme Court in NRA Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. (supra) is concerned, the same is not attracted in the present case in as much as facts of the present case are clearly distinguishable. Unlike the present case, the assessee in NRA Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. (supra) claimed the cash credits as its income. However, it was found that the creditors had meagre or nil income which did not justify investment of such huge sums of money in the assessee. The field enquiry conducted by the Assessing Officer revealed that in several cases the investor companies were non-existent. Thus, it was held that the assessee had failed to discharge the onus which lay on it to establish the identity of the investor companies and the credit worthiness of the investor companies. In such circumstances, the entire transaction was found to be bogus. But as already discussed in the preceding paragraphs, assessee never claimed the cash credits as its income. It admitted its business was to provide accommodation entries. In return for the cash credits it used to issue cheques to the customers / beneficiaries for slightly lesser amounts, the balance being its commission. Moreover, the cash credits had been accounted for in the respective assessment of the beneficiaries.

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DATE: February 18, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 7, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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S. 147/ 148: A mere bald assertion by the AO that the assessee has not disclosed fully and truly all the material facts is not sufficient. The AO has to give details as to which fact or the material was not disclosed by the assessee, leading to its income escaping assessment. Otherwise, the reopening is not valid (Imp judgements referred)

The decision in Calcutta Discount Co. Ltd in fact, assists the case of the Petitioner rather than the Respondents. In this decision, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that it is the duty of the assessee to disclose fully and truly all primary relevant facts and once all primary facts are before the assessing authority, he requires no further assistance by way of disclosure and it is for him to decide what inference of facts can be reasonably drawn and what legal inferences have ultimately to be drawn. However, if there are some reasonable grounds for thinking that there had been underassessment as regards any primary facts which could have a material bearing on question of under-assessment, that would be sufficient to give jurisdiction to the ITO to issue notice for reassessment.

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DATE: March 26, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 28, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Corona Virus Lockdown Crisis: All interim orders operating till today and are not already continued by some other courts / authority including this court shall remain in force till 30.04.2020 subject to liberty to parties to move for vacation of interim orders only in extreme urgent cases. Thus, all interim orders passed by this High Court at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji as also all courts/ Tribunal and authorities subordinate over which it has power of superintendence expiring before 30.04.2020, shall continue to operate till then. It is clarifed that such interim orders which are not granted for limited duration and therefore, are to operate till further orders, shall remain unaffected by this order (Similar orders are passed by the Delhi & Karnataka High Courts)

we fnd it appropriate to continue all interim orders which are operating till today and are not already continued by some other courts / authority including this court and the same shall remain in force till 30.04.2020, subject to liberty to parties to move for vacation of interim orders only in extreme urgent cases. Thus, all interim orders passed by this High Court at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji as also all courts/ Tribunal and authorities subordinate over which it has power of superintendence expiring before 30.04.2020, shall continue to operate till then. It is clarifed that such interim orders which are not granted for limited duration and therefore, are to operate till further orders, shall remain unaffected by this order

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DATE: March 13, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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CITATION:
S. 44DA prevails over s. 44BB after the amendment w.e.f. 01.04.2011. Income from provision of services through high end customized software does not constitute "Fees For Technical Services" u/s 9(1)(vii) as the definition excludes income from "mining or like project". The Q whether income from composite software and maintenance services constitutes "royalty" for purposes of s. 44DA would have to be decided from the nature of services. The assessee is eligible to take benefit of the definition of 'royalty' as per the DTAA for the purpose of applicability of s. 44DA

If the nature of services rendered have a proximate nexus with the extraction of production of mineral oils, it would be outside the ambit of the definition of FTS. In the instant case, since the nature of services rendered by the Petitioner gets excluded from the definition of “FTS”, in light of what is discussed above, the next logical question that arises for consideration is whether the Petitioner can claim the benefit of Section 44BB. The answer to this question is contingent on factual determination, as the legal position has changed from April 01, 2011. It is now required to be considered whether the receipts in the hands of the assessee qualify to be “royalty” or not? If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, then in that event, the relevant provision would now be 44DA(1).