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2015 (4) TMI 1064 - KARNATAKA HIGH COURT
Eligibility of deduction u/s 35(2AB) - validity of Certificate issued by the prescribed authority - Held that:- If any question arises as to what extent, any activity constitutes or constituted or an asset is or was being used for scientific research, then the Assessing Officer would be required to refer such question to the Board for being referred to the prescribed authority. The decision of the prescribed authority in this regard would be final, inasmuch as, the certification of such expenditure is being examined by an expert body and undisputedly, such exercise has been outsourced by the Revenue under the Act itself, since the prescribed authority being possessed of requisite expertise, it would be in a better position to certify as to whether such expenditure claimed by the assessee under Section 35(2AB) would fall within the said provision or outside. This exercise of examining the correctness of the Certificate issued by the prescribed authority is not available to the Assessing Officer as could be seen from scheme of Section 35 of the Act.
As sub-section (4) of Section 43 will have to be considered, which defines as to what activities would constitute "scientific research" as indicated under the said Section namely, Section 43(4). As to whether any expenditure incurred in the acquisition of rights in or arising out of scientific research as indicated in clause (ii) of sub-section (4) of Section 43 is an issue which requires to be examined by the prescribed authority itself and it would not be in the domain of the assessing authority to undertake such an exercise. When Section 35(2AB), Section 35(3) and Section 43(4) of the Act are read harmoniously, the irresistible conclusion that has be drawn would be that assessing officer cannot sit in judgment over the report submitted by the prescribed authority in Form No. 3CL. This view is also supported by the judgment of the High Court of Gujarat in Mastek Ltd.'s case (2012 (9) TMI 264 - GUJARAT HIGH COURT ). - Decided in favour of assessee