Five Important Judgements On Controversial Issues

The following are the important judgements on Controversial Issues:

S. 147: Even s. 143(1) Intimation cannot be reopened in the absence of new information
The reassessment is not on the basis of new information or facts that have come to the fore now, but rather, a re-appreciation or review of the facts that were provided along with the original return filed by the assesse. The record does not show any tangible material that created the reason to believe that income had escaped. Rather, the reassessment proceedings amount to a review or change of opinion carried out in the earlier A.Y. 2005-06, which amounts to an abuse of power and is impermissible. In response, it is argued that since the return was processed under Section 143(1) for the A.Y. 2005-06, which involves a mere intimation, rather than an application of mind or true assessment of the return, a less stringent threshold must be taken in terms of ‘reasons to believe’ that income has escaped assessment or not. This precise argument, however, has been considered and rejected by this Court in CIT v. Orient Craft [2013] 354 ITR 536 (Delhi).

CIT vs. Motorola India Electronics (P) Ltd (Karnataka High Court)

S. 10A/ 10B: Interest income out of surplus funds in Banks and sister concerns & EEFC account is eligible for exemption
Though s. 10(B) speaks about deduction of such profits and gains as derived from 100% EOU from the export of articles or things or computer software, sub-section (4) explains what is the profit derived from export of articles as mentioned in Subsection (1). Therefore, profits and gains derived from export of articles is different from the income derived from the profits of the business of the undertaking. The profits of the business of the undertaking includes the profits and gains from export of the articles as well as all other incidental incomes derived from the business of the undertaking. It is clear that what is exempted is not merely the profits and gains from the export of articles but also the income from the business of the undertaking.

Emco Ltd vs. UOI (Bombay High Court)

Undue delay in passing order causes prejudice & results in loss of confidence in the judicial body. Such a delayed order has to be set aside
In view of the above, it is very clear that the authorities under the Act are obliged to dispose of proceedings before them as expeditiously as possible after the conclusion of the hearing. This alone would ensure that all the submissions made by a party are considered in the order passed and ensure that the litigant also has a satisfaction of noting that all his submissions have been considered and an appropriate order has been passed. It is most important that the litigant must have complete confidence in the process of litigation and that this confidence would be shaken if there is excessive delay between the conclusion of the hearing and delivery of judgment.

In Re Booz & Company (Australia) Pvt. Ltd (AAR)

Entire law on what constitutes a “Permanent Establishment” and “Business Connection” explained
As regards a “permanent establishment”, various factors have to be taken into account to decide a Fixed place PE which inter alia includes a right of disposal over the premises. No strait jacket formula applicable to all cases can be laid down. Generally the establishment must belong to the Employer and involve an element of ownership, management and authority over the establishment. In other words the taxpayer must have the element of ownership, management and authority over the establishment. As regards a “business connection”, the essential features may be summed up as follows: (a) a real and intimate relation must exist between the trading activities carried on outside India by a non-resident and the activities within India; (b) such relation shall contribute, directly or indirectly, to the earning of income by the non-resident in his business; (c) a course of dealing or continuity of relationship and not a mere isolated or stray nexus between the business of the non-resident outside India and the activity in India, would furnish a strong indication of ‘business connection’ in India. Apart from the fact that requirements of Expln. 2, referred to above, are satisfied, the facts of the instant case would also fulfill the aforementioned essential features of business connection.

CIT vs. Commercial Motors Finance Ltd (Allahabad High Court)

Distinction between “hire purchase transactions” and “loan transactions” explained
The vehicles were registered in the name of the respective customers. However, in the registration certificate a remark in terms of agreement was to be recorded to the effect that vehicle is held by the registered owner under a hire purchase agreement with the assessee. A “Sale Letter” was executed, reciting that the customer had on the date of the application for loan sold to the financier the motor vehicles. The sale of vehicles have not been shown by the assessee in its profit and loss account and no sales tax return has been filed by it. In its audited account, filed with the income tax returns, the assessee has shown the finance charges as revenue receipts. The auditor has certified that the assessee is not a trading company. The auditor has also certified that the assessee has followed the norms issued by the Reserve Bank of India for non-banking financial companies (NBFC). This shows that the assessee is a finance company engaged in financing of vehicles. There is no evidence that assessee is a trader dealing in purchase and sale of vehicles. Thus the hirer is the real purchaser of vehicles from the dealer. He selects the vehicle for purchase and also the dealer from whom it was to be purchased. At this stage the assessee does not come into picture. After the hirer identified the vehicle and the dealer i.e. the seller then he approached the assessee for finance due to his inability to purchase out of his own funds. At this stage the assessee extended the facility of finance to hirer on willingness of the hirer to pay a price for this facility. The total amount of hire that hirer pays to the assessee exceeds the price at which the vehicle was purchased from the dealer. This is more than that part of the purchase consideration which was paid by the assessee to the dealer as finance to the hirer. The excess amount so paid by the hirer to the assessee is nothing but interest on loan. The amount so invested by the assessee in the purchase of vehicles is the amount of loan advanced by it to the hirer. When tested on the principles of law laid down by Supreme Court in Sundaram Finance Ltd the only conclusion that can be reached is that the transactions entered by the assessee with the customer/hirer is a loan transaction and the finance charges were nothing but interest.

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