CIT vs. C. Jaichander (Madras High Court)

DATE: September 15, 2014 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 7, 2014 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
FILE: Click here to download the file in pdf format
S. 54EC: Assessee is eligible for deduction of Rs.1 Crore in respect of investment of Rs.50 Lakhs made in two different financial years. Proviso to s. 54EC seeking to curb this has effect from AY 2015-16

(i) On a plain reading of Section 54EC(1) of the Act it is clear that it restricts the time limit for the period of investment after the property has been sold to six months. There is no cap on the investment to be made in bonds. The first proviso to Section 54EC(1) of the Act specifies the quantum of investment and it states that the investment so made on or after 1.4.2007 in the long-term specified asset by an assessee during any financial year does not exceed fifty lakh rupees. In other words, as per the mandate of Section 54EC(1) of the Act, the time limit for investment is six months and the benefit that flows from the first proviso is that if the assessee makes the investment of Rs.50,00,000/- in any financial year, it would have the benefit of Section 54EC(1) of the Act.

(ii) The legislature has chosen to remove the ambiguity in the proviso to Section 54EC(1) of the Act by inserting a second proviso with effect from 1.4.2015. The memorandum explaining the provisions in the Finance (No.2) Bill, 2014 also states that the same will be applicable from 1.4.2015 in relation to assessment year 2015-16 and the subsequent years. The intention of the legislature probably appears to be that this amendment should be for the assessment year 2015-2016 to avoid unwanted litigation of the previous years.

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