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Sri Guru Har Rai Ji Religious and Charitable Trust Versus The CIT (Exemptions) , Chandigarh

2016 (5) TMI 817 - ITAT CHANDIGARH

Registration under section 12AA rejected - CIT(A) is of the view that the trust is not engaged in any form of charitable activities as is envisaged in section 2(15) of the Act and this view was formed considering the specific religious purposes of the objects mentioned in the trust deed of the assessee - Held that:- On going through the said objects of the trust, we see that these relate to imparting free Gurmat Sangeet, holding Kirtan Darbar, organizing Gurmat camps and to construct buildings, .....

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unity and cannot be said to be for the propagation of a particular religious tenet. After observing such, we also emphasize that for granting registration under section 12AA of the Act, there is no bar on any trust which as per the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) cannot be given registration because of its being religious in nature. The only condition at the time of granting registration by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) is to see whether the objects are of charitable in nat .....

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bar under section 12A not to give registration to a religious trust. Even a religious trust having charitable objects can be given registration under section 12AA of the Act. As regards the activities being for furtherance of the cause for a particular community, proper care has been taken by the Income Tax Act in its provisions of sections 11 and 13 of the Income Tax Act. However, at a time of giving registration under section 12AA of the Act, these are not the relevant things to be seen. These .....

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ee that at the time of granting of registration, the only two factors, which are to be taken into consideration by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) are charitable character of the objects of the trust and genuineness of the activities. Nowhere in his whole order, the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) has brought on record any evidence or material to show that the objects of the assessee trust are not charitable or the activities of the assessee trust are not genuine. In view of .....

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Chandigarh dated 27.2.2015, passed under section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (in short 'the Act'). 2. Briefly, the facts of the case are that an application under section 12A of the Act was filed before the Commissioner of Income Tax-II, Chandigarh on 19.8.2014. The Commissioner of Income Tax rejected the application of the assessee for registration under section 12AA vide his order dated 27.2.2015, stating that he was of the view that the trust is not engaged in any form of charit .....

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ious circles and are famous Ragis. The assessee trust is holding mass marriages on the last Saturday of October every year for the poor persons and eye camp was held in February, 2014 and also on many earlier occasions. The trust on application from the poor and needy provide them with monetary aid for ailing, marriages, school fees for the poor and deserving students, etc. Free ration is also provided to the poor who have no earning member in the family and are below poverty line. It was argued .....

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s purpose is to propagate religious teachings, is also wrong. Further, it was stated that at the time of granting registration under section 12AA of the Act, the only issue to be seen by the Commissioner of Income Tax is whether the objects are of charitable in nature and the activities are genuine. No other factor can be looked at this stage. Reliance was placed on the judgment of the Hon'ble Jurisdictional Punjab & Haryana High Court in the case of CIT Vs. B.K.K.Memorial Trust (2013) 2 .....

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. 5. We have heard the learned representatives of both the parties, perused the findings of the authorities below and considered the material available on record. On perusal of the order of the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions), we see that the Commissioner of Income Tax started with reproducing the objects of the trust in his order at page 1 para 3. The first objection raised by him for denial of registration is that the trust is formed mainly for the propagation of religious teachings an .....

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hat basis, he further concluded that the trust is formed mainly for the religious purpose. On going through the above said objects of the trust, we see that these relate to imparting free Gurmat Sangeet, holding Kirtan Darbar, organizing Gurmat camps and to construct buildings, etc. The purpose of the trust is to run institution to spread teachings of Holy Guru Granth Sahib. At first, we observe that these objects nowhere point to the propagation of religious teachings and singing. Even if singi .....

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ommissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) cannot be given registration because of its being religious in nature. The only condition at the time of granting registration by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) is to see whether the objects are of charitable in nature and the activities are genuine in nature. By holding that some of the objects of the trust are religious in nature, it cannot be inferred that these are not charitable in nature. 7. The second issue raised by the Commissioner of .....

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cable. However, the Founder reserves the right to dissolve the Trust in case the Trustees do not follow/ promote the aims and objects of the Trust. In such an event the assets remaining on the dissolution shall be transferred to another Society or Institution whose objects are similar to those of this Trust and that in no event shall the assets so remaining be disturbed amongst the Trustees." 8. On perusal of the same, we do not find anything wrong with this clause. It has been very categor .....

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n at the time of dissolution, no benefit to a particular person will be given and the assets will be given to a similar trust only. Therefore, this clause does not hamper in any way the objects of the trust being charitable in nature. 9. Another objection raised by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) while denying registration under section 12AA of the Act is that the assessee had not received any donation for corpus funds and whatever donations have been received by it, were used for pu .....

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r the objects of the trust being charitable. 10. After stating all these objections, the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) concluded that these objects tend to point out that it is a closely held private trust whose purpose is to propagate religious tenets of Gurbani through music or singing. This is not a right reason for denying registration under section 12AA of the Act. There is no bar under section 12A not to give registration to a religious trust. Even a religious trust having charit .....

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