Case Law: Soman Sun Citi vs. JCIT (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 69C Bogus Purchases (100% disallowance confirmed): The right of cross-examination is not absolute. No prejudice is caused to the assessee by non granting of cross examination if the assessee has not discharged the primary onus. The fact that purchase bills are produced and payment is made through banking channels is not sufficient if the other evidence is lacking

No prejudice is caused to the assessee by non granting of opportunity of cross examination by the authorities below as right of cross examination is not absolute as in the instant case even primary onus that fell on the assessee did not stood discharged. Had assessee discharged its primary onus, but still the authorities proceed to prejudice assessee based solely on the incriminating statements/affidavits of third parties recorded at the back of the assessee, the right of the assessee to cross examine these third parties will become absolute. It is not a case that the authorities below have merely/solely relied on the statement/affidavit of third parties namely hawala dealers recorded at the back of the assessee to cause prejudice to the assessee rather primary onus that lay on the assessee was not discharged by the assessee Read the rest of this entry »

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Case Law: Pratik Syntex Private Ltd vs. ITO (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 68 Bogus share capital: The assessee has to justify the allottment of shares to outsiders at exorbitant premium with cogent material and not bald statements. The fact that s. 56(2)(viib) r.w.s. 2(24)(xvi) comes into effect from AY 2013-14 does not mean that for earlier years the assessee is not required to justify the identity, genuineness and creditworthiness of the transaction. The burden is very high for closely held companies. Mere submission of name & address, Balance Sheet & bank statement of the subscribers is not sufficient to discharge the onus (all judgements on the point considered)

The assessee did not rely on its own financial statements, business model and financial indicators as are existing in its audited financial statements to justify charging of huge share premium of Rs. 490 per share as against face value of Rs. 10 per share from these new shareholders. The problem got further aggravated when the assessee does not bring on record project report or any other cogent material justifying issue of shares at huge premium which could reflects viability, higher profitability and bright future prospects of the assessee company by implementing project for which funds were raised at huge share premium to justify chargeability of such a huge share premium. The assessee’s claim in statement of fact/written submissions as to justification of share premium / valuation etc are not substantiated through any cogent evidences on record and are merely bald statements which cannot be relied upon in the absence of cogent material/evidences brought on record by the assessee. The assessee raised funds to the tune of Rs. 300 lacs from these new shareholders and it was for the assessee to have brought on record cogent material to substantiate its contentions and if the evidences are withheld by the assessee then it is at assessee’s own peril as presumption will be drawn against the assessee. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Cromption Greaves Limited vs. CIT (ITAT Mumbai)

S. 254(2) r.w Rule 34(5): Excessive delay by the Tribunal in passing judgement shakes the confidence of the litigants. Under Rule 34(5) of the Tribunal Rules read with Shivsagar Veg. Restaurant 317 ITR 433 (Bom) & Otters Club (Bom), orders have to be passed invariably within three months of the completion of hearing of the case. The delay is incurable. Even administrative clearance cannot cure the delay. Such decisions rendered after 3 months reflect a mistake apparant from the record and have to be recalled and the appeals heard afresh

Nevertheless, we think that an unreasonable delay between hearing of arguments and delivery of a judgment, unless explained by exceptional or extraordinary circumstances, is highly undesirable even when written arguments are submitted. It is not unlikely that some points which the litigant considers important may have escaped notice. But, what is more important is that litigants must have complete confidence in the results of litigation. This confidence tends to be shaken if there is excessive delay between hearing of arguments and delivery of judgments. Justice, as we have often observed, must not only be done but must manifestly appear to be done. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: All India Federation of Tax Practitioners vs. ITO (ITAT Mumbai)

Rule 45 of the Income Tax Rules which mandates compulsory e-filing of appeals before the CIT(A) w.e.f. 01.04.2016 is a procedural and technical requirement. It cannot defeat the statutory right of an assessee to file an appeal. An assessee who has filed the appeal in paper format should be permitted to make good the default and to file an appeal electronically

From the facts of the present case, we gathered that the assessee had already filed the appeal in paper form, however only the e-filing of appeal has not been done by the assessee and according to us, the same is only a technical consideration. The Supreme Court has reiterated that if in a given circumstances, the technical consideration and substantial Justice are pitted against each other, then in that eventuality the cause of substantial Justice deserves to be preferred and cannot be overshadowed or negatived by such technical considerations Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Mangammal @ Thulasi vs. T.B. Raju (Supreme Court)

Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (HUF Law): U/s 29-A of the TN Amendment, only daughters of a coparcener who were not married at the time of commencement of the amendment of 1989 are is entitled to claim partition in the Hindu Joint Family Property. Married daughters are not coparceners are are not entitled to institute suit for partition and separate possession (Danamma @ Suman Surpur Vs. Amar 2018 (1) Scale 657 distinguished)

Any property inherited upto four generations of male lineage from the father, father’s father or father’s father’s father i.e. father, grand father etc., is termed as ancestral property. In other words, property inherited from mother, grandmother, uncle and even brother is not ancestral property. In ancestral property, the right of property accrues to the coparcener on birth. The concept of ancestral property is in existence since time immemorial. In the State of Tamil Nadu, in order to give equal position to the females in ancestral property, in the year 1989, the State Government enacted the Hindu Succession (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 1989 effective from March 25, 1989 which brought an amendment in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (for brevity “the Act”) by adding Section 29-A vide Chapter II-A under the heading of Succession by Survivorship Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Pr CIT vs. Grasim Industries Ltd (Bombay High Court)

The CBDT should reconsider the practice of appointing retired revenue officers as panel counsel. While the retired officials have domain expertise and do render assistance, they lack the skill and conduct required to appear as an Advocate. They also lack the objectivity expected from officers of the court. The CBDT could consider holding of a training programme, where leading Advocates could address the domain expert on the ethics, obligation and standard expected of Advocates before they start representing the State. The CBDT should lay down a standard procedure in respect of manner in which the Departmental Officer/ Assessing Officer assist the Counsel for the Revenue while promoting/ protecting Revenue’s cause so that the Revenue’s Counsel are not left to fend for themselves

We have for a long time, taken into account that many of these are fresh entrants to the bar and in due course, would learn the standard expected of an Advocate. However, to our disappointment, many of them are refusing to learn. Therefore, the CBDT could consider holding of a training programme, where leading Advocates could address the domainexpert on the ethics, obligation and standard expected of Advocates before they start representing the State. This is only a suggestion and it is entirely for the CBDT to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Revenue is properly represented to serve the greater cause of justice and fair play. In any case, we would expect the CBDT to lay down a standard procedure in respect of manner in which the Departmental Officer/ Assessing Officer assist the Counsel for the Revenue while promoting/ protecting Revenue’s cause. We find in most cases, atleast during the final hearing, Revenue’s Counsel are left to fend for themselves and that even papers at times are borrowed from the other side or taken from the Court Records. If the mind set of the Revenue Officer changes and they attend to the case diligently till it is disposed of, only then would it be ensured that the State is properly represented Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Maxopp Investment Ltd vs. CIT (Supreme Court)

S. 14A/ Rule 8D – Applicability to shares held for controlling interest or as stock-in-trade: The argument that S. 14A & Rule 8D will not apply if the “dominant intention” of the assessee was not to earn dividends but to gain control of the company or to hold as stock-in-trade is not acceptable. S. 14A applies irrespective of whether the shares are held to gain control or as stock-in-trade. However, where the shares are held as stock-in-trade, the expenditure incurred for earning business profits will have to be apportioned and allowed as a deduction. Only that expenditure which is “in relation to” earning dividends can be disallowed u/s 14A & Rule 8D. The AO has to record proper satisfaction on why the claim of the assessee as to the quantum of suo moto disallowance is not correct

The first and foremost issue that falls for consideration is as to whether the dominant purpose test, which is pressed into service by the assessees would apply while interpreting Section 14A of the Act or we have to go by the theory of apportionment. We are of the opinion that the dominant purpose for which the investment into shares is made by an assessee may not be relevant. No doubt, the assessee like Maxopp Investment Limited may have made the investment in order to gain control of the investee company. However, that does not appear to be a relevant factor in determining the issue at hand. Fact remains that such dividend income is non-taxable. In this scenario, if expenditure is incurred on earning the dividend income, that much of the expenditure which is attributable to the dividend income has to be disallowed and cannot be treated as business expenditure. Keeping this objective behind Section14A of the Act in mind, the said provision has to be interpreted, particularly, the word ‘in relation to the income’ that does not form part of total income. Considered in this hue, the principle of apportionment of expenses comes into play as that is the principle which is engrained in Section 14A of the Act Read the rest of this entry »