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DATE: April 27, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 30, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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The concept of "constructive delivery" of goods as expounded in Arjan Dass Gupta 45 STC 52 (Del) is not proper to interpret the provisions of s. 3 of the CST Act. A legal fiction is created s. 3 that the movement of goods, from one State to another shall terminate, where the good have been delivered to a carrier for transmission, at the time of when delivery is taken from such carrier. There is no concept of constructive delivery either express or implied in the said provision. On a plain reading of the statute, the movement of the goods would terminate only when delivery is taken. There is no scope of incorporating any further word to qualify the nature and scope of the expression “delivery” within the said section. If the authorities felt any assessee or dealer was taking unintended benefit under the aforesaid provisions of the 1956 Act, then the proper course would be legislative amendment. The Tax Administration Authorities cannot give their own interpretation to legislative provisions on the basis of their own perception of trade practice. This administrative exercise, in effect, would result in supplying words to legislative provisions, as if to cure omissions of the legislature

In the case of Arjan Dass Gupta (supra) principle akin to constructive delivery was expounded and we have quoted the relevant passage from that decision earlier in this judgment. In our opinion, however, such construction would not be proper to interpret the provisions of Section 3 of the 1956 Act. A legal fiction is created in first explanation to that Section. That fiction is that the movement of goods, from one State to another shall terminate, where the good have been delivered to a carrier for transmission, at the time of when delivery is taken from such carrier. There is no concept of constructive delivery either express or implied in the said provision. On a plain reading of the statute, the movement of the goods, for the purposes of clause (b) of Section 3 of the 1956 Act would terminate only when delivery is taken, having regard to first explanation to that Section. There is no scope of incorporating any further word to qualify the nature and scope of the expression “delivery” within the said section. The legislature has eschewed from giving the said word an expansive meaning. The High Court under the judgment which is assailed in Civil Appeal No.2217 of 2011 rightly held that there is no place for any intendment in taxing statutes. We are of the view that the interpretation of the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court given in the case of Arjan Dass Gupta does not lays down correct position of law. In the event, the authorities felt any assessee or dealer was taking unintended benefit under the aforesaid provisions of the 1956 Act, then the proper course would be legislative amendment. The Tax Administration Authorities cannot give their own interpretation to legislative provisions on the basis of their own perception of trade practise. This administrative exercise, in effect, would result in supplying words to legislative provisions, as if to cure omissions of the legislature

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
Disallowance u/s 43B(f) to provision for leave encashment: Argument (inter alia) that s. 43B(f) is unconstitutional because it supersedes the judgement of the Supreme Court in Bharat Earth Movers vs. CIT 245 ITR 428 is wrong. S. 43B does not place any embargo upon the autonomy of the assessee in adopting a particular method of accounting, nor deprives the assessee of any lawful deduction. It merely imposes an additional condition of actual payment for the availment of deduction qua the specified head (entire law on how to determine constitutional validity of statutory provisions explained)

The leave encashment scheme envisages the payment of a certain amount to the employees in lieu of their unused paid leaves in a year. The nature of this payment is beneficial and proemployee. However, it is not in the form of a bounty and forms a part of the conditions of service of the employee. An employer seeking deduction from tax liability in advance, in the name of discharging the liability of leave encashment, without actually extending such payment to the employee as and when the time for payment arises may lead to abhorrent consequences. When time for such payment arises upon retirement (or otherwise) of the employee, an employer may simply refuse to pay. Consequently, the innocent employee will be entangled in litigation in the evening of his/her life for claiming a hardearned right without any fault on his part. Concomitantly, it would entail in double benefit to the employer – advance deduction from tax liability without any burden of actual payment and refusal to pay as and when occasion arises. It is this mischief clause (f) seeks to subjugate

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Taxability of Liaison Offices under DTAAs: The activities carried on by the liaison office of the non-resident in India as permitted by the RBI, demonstrate that the liaison office must steer away from engaging in any primary business activity and in establishing business connection as such. It can carry on activities of preparatory or auxiliary nature only. A liaison office which is only carrying on such activity of a "preparatory or auxiliary" character is not a PE in terms of Article 5 of the DTAA. The deeming provisions in Sections 5 and 9 of the 1961 Act can have no bearing whatsoever (all imp judgements referred)

The meaning of expressions “business connection” and “business activity” has been articulated. However, even if the stated activity(ies) of the liaison office of the respondent in India is regarded as business activity, as noted earlier, the same being “of preparatory or auxiliary character”; by virtue of Article 5(3)(e) of the DTAA, the fixed place of business (liaison office) of the respondent in India otherwise a PE, is deemed to be expressly excluded from being so. And since by a legal fiction it is deemed not to be a PE of the respondent in India, it is not amenable to tax liability in terms of Article 7 of the DTAA.

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2001-02
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CITATION:
Entire law on principles of mutuality reiterated. The doctrine of mutuality bestows a special status to qualify for exemption from tax liability. It is a settled proposition of law that exemptions are to be put to strict interpretation. If the assessee fails to fulfil the stipulations and to prove the existence of mutuality, the question of extending exemption from tax liability to the assessee, that too at the cost of public exchequer, does not arise. Taking any other view would entail in stretching the limits of construction.

On cogitating over the rival submissions, we reckon that the following questions of law would arise for our consideration in the present case: (i) Whether the assessee company would qualify as a mutual concern in the eyes of law, thereby exempting subject transactions from tax liability? (ii) Whether the excess of income over expenditure in the hands of the assessee company is not taxable?

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 1998-99
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CITATION:
S. 68 Bogus Purchases: Though the assessee failed to prove the genuineness of the purchases during the assessment proceedings, he filed affidavits and statements of the dealers in penalty proceedings. That evidence fully supports the claim of the assessee. The CIT (A) accepted the explanation of the assessee and recorded a clear finding of fact that there was no concealment of income or furnishing of any inaccurate particulars of income by the assessee. Consequently, the quantum addition will also have to be deleted

Indeed, at the time of assessment, the appellant/assessee had failed to produce any explanation or evidence in support of the entries regarding purchases made from unregistered dealers. In the penalty proceedings, however, the appellant/assessee produced affidavits of 13 unregistered dealers out of whom 12 were examined by the Officer. The Officer recorded their statements and did not find any infirmity therein including about their credentials. The dealers stood by the assertion made by the appellant/assessee about the purchases on credit from them; and which explanation has been accepted by the appellate authority in paragraphs 17 and 19 of the order dated 13.1.2011. 15. To put it differently, the factual basis on which the Officer formed his opinion in the assessment order dated 30.11.2000 (for assessment year 19981999), in regard to addition of Rs.2,26,000/( Rupees two lakhs twenty six thousand only), stands dispelled by the affidavits and statements of the concerned unregistered dealers in penalty proceedings. That evidence fully supports the claim of the appellant/assessee.

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DATE: April 6, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 8, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Article 142 Directions: All measures shall be taken to reduce the need for physical presence of all stakeholders within the court premises and to secure the functioning of courts in consonance with social distancing guidelines. The Supreme Court and all High Courts are authorized to adopt measures required to ensure the robust functioning of the judicial system through the use of video conferencing technologies. Every High Court is authorised to determine the modalities which are suitable to the temporary transition to the use of video conferencing technologies

Every individual and institution is expected to cooperate in the implementation of measures designed to reduce the transmission of the virus. The scaling down conventional operations within the precincts of courts is a measure in that direction. Access to justice is fundamental to preserve the rule of law in the democracy envisaged by the Constitution of India. The challenges occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 have to be addressed while preserving the constitutional commitment to ensuring the delivery of and access to justice to those who seek it. It is necessary to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines issued from time to time by various health authorities, Government of India and States. Court hearings in congregation must necessarily become an exception during this period

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DATE: April 3, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 3, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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CITATION:
S. 147/ 148 Reopening: (i) Merely because the original assessment is a detailed one, the powers of the AO to reopen u/s 147 is not affected, (ii) Information which comes to the notice of the AO during proceedings for subsequent AYs can definitely form tangible material to reopen the assessment, (iii) As regards "full & true disclosure of material facts", the assessee has the duty to disclose the "primary facts". It is not required to disclose the "secondary facts". The assessee is also not required to give any assistance to the AO by disclosure of other facts. It is for the AO to decide what inference should be drawn from the facts, (iv) If the AO intends to rely upon the second Proviso to s. 148 for the extended period of 16 years limitation, the same should be stated either in the notice or in the reasons in support of the notice. It cannot be done in the order rejecting the objections or at a later stage (All imp judgements considered)

In our view the assessee disclosed all the primary facts necessary for assessment of its case to the assessing officer. What the revenue urges is that the assessee did not make a full and true disclosure of certain other facts. We are of the view that the assessee had disclosed all primary facts before the assessing officer and it was not required to give any further assistance to the assessing officer by disclosure of other facts. It was for the assessing officer at this stage to decide what inference should be drawn from the facts of the case. In the present case the assessing officer on the basis of the facts disclosed to him did not doubt the genuiness of the transaction set up by the assessee. This the assessing officer could have done even at that stage on the basis of the facts which he already knew. The other facts relied upon by the revenue are the proceedings before the DRP and facts subsequent to the assessment order, and we have already dealt with the same while deciding Issue No.1. However, that cannot lead to the conclusion that there is nondisclosure of true and material facts by the assessee

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DATE: March 19, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 143(1-A): The object of s. 143(1- A) is the prevention of evasion of tax. As it has the deterrent effect of preventing tax evasion, it should be made to apply only to tax evaders. It can only be invoked where it is found on facts that the lesser amount stated in the return filed by the assessee is a result of an attempt to evade tax lawfully payable by the assessee. The burden of proving that the assessee has so attempted to evade tax is on the Revenue which may be discharged by establishing facts and circumstances from which a reasonable inference can be drawn that the assessee has, in fact, attempted to evade tax lawfully payable by it

Taking a cue from Varghese case, we therefore, hold that Section 143(1-A) can only be invoked where it is found on facts that the lesser amount stated in the return filed by the assessee is a result of an attempt to evade tax lawfully payable by the assessee. The burden of proving that the assessee has so attempted to evade tax is on the Revenue which may be discharged by the Revenue by establishing facts and circumstances from which a reasonable inference can be drawn that the assessee has, in fact, attempted to evade tax lawfully payable by it

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DATE: March 23, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 23, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Extension of limitation period: To obviate difficulties caused by CoronaVirus in filing petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/ all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State) , it is ordered that the period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws, whether condonable or not, shall stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by this Court in present proceedings

This Court has taken Suo Motu cognizance of the situation arising out of the challenge faced by the country on account of Covid-19 Virus and resultant difficulties that may be faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State)

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DATE: March 20, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 21, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Coercive Recovery of taxes etc during Corona Virus crisis: The orders of the Allahabad & Kerala High Courts directing the authorities to defer coercive recovery of taxes is stayed in view of the stand of the Government that the Government is fully conscious of the prevailing situation and would itself evolve a proper mechanism to assuage concerns and hardships of every one

There shall be ex-parte ad-interim stay of the impugned judgment and order(s) passed in the aforesaid writ petitions and of further proceedings before the High Court(s), in view of the stand taken by the Government of India through learned Solicitor General, before us, that the Government is fully conscious of the prevailing situation and would itself evolve a proper mechanism to assuage concerns and hardships of every one