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Shri Guru Ram Dass Ji Educational Trust Versus Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Amritsar

2016 (10) TMI 171 - PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT

Application for grant of exemption made under Section 10 (23C) rejected - time limit of filling application - Held that:- It is the unrebutted case of the petitioner that the quoted columns were the same even prior to the said amendment made in the year 2009. At that time, applications for seeking exemption could be made only prior to 31st March of the relevant Financial Year, for which the exemption was being sought. The information supplied by the applicant against these columns at that time w .....

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for the year ending 31.03.2014, when asked for, were duly provided by the petitioner much before the passing of the order impugned before us. - Note 1(a) to Form No. 56-D provides that an application can be filed before the specified date and Note 3 clearly provides that after filing of the application, an applicant shall furnish any other documents or information as required by the Chief Commissioner or any other Authority authorised by the Chief Commissioner, as the case may be. These Not .....

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e And Deepak Sibal, JJ. Mr. Sandeep Goyal, Advocate for the appellant Mr. Denesh Goyal, Advocate for the respondent ORDER Deepak Sibal, J. Through the present petition, the petitioner seeks quashing of order dated 03.03.2015 passed by the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Amritsar (for short - the Chief Commissioner), through which, its application for grant of exemption made under Section 10 (23C) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (for short - the Act) has been rejected. The petitioner Trust is state .....

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rm No. 56-D, prescribed under Rule 2CA of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 (for short - the Rules), was also filed. In pursuance to the said application, through letter dated 16.04.2014, the respondent-Department sought from the petitioner certain information including its accounts for the year ending 31.03.2014, objects of the petitioner and returns of income filed earlier. The required information along with Audit Reports including the Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Accounts, Student Activity Fund, .....

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the expiry of Financial Year 2013-14 and before 30.09.2014. The petitioner filed a written response to the same explaining therein that as soon as the receipts of the petitioner exceeded ₹ 1 crore, the application was filed and that, as per the 14th Proviso to Section 10(23C), such application could be filed anytime before 30th September of the Assessment Year, in relation to which the exemption was sought. The petitioner's plea did not receive a favourable response as the same was re .....

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10(23C)(vi) along with its 1st and 14th proviso, which are relevant for adjudicating upon the present petition, are reproduced below for reference :- Section 10(23C) - any income received by any person on behalf of - xx xx xx xx (iiiab) any university or other educational institution existing solely for educational purposes and not for purposes of profit, and which is wholly or substantially financed by the Government ; or xx xx xx xx (iiiad) any university or other educational institution exis .....

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ided that the fund or trust or institution [or any university or other educational institution or any hospital or other medical institution] referred to in sub-clause (iv) or sub-clause (v) [or sub-clause (vi) or sub-clause (via) shall make an application in the prescribed form and manner to the prescribed authority for the purpose of grant of the exemption, or continuance thereof, under sub-clause (iv) or sub-clause (v) [or sub-clause (vi) or sub-clause (via)] : xx xx xx xx Provided also that i .....

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st proviso to Section 10(23C), an institution, which is not wholly or substantially funded by the Government, solely set up for the purpose of education and not for the purpose of profit, whose receipts exceed ₹ 1 crore, to claim exemption under Section 10(23C), is required to make an application in the prescribed manner to the prescribed Authority. Thus, as soon as the receipts of such institution exceed ₹ 1 crore, an application for grant of exemption can be made. A plain reading o .....

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ent Year, for which the exemption is sought. The plain and simple meaning, as made out on reading the proviso, is unambiguous. No external aid is necessary. If the stand of the respondent is to be accepted, then we would have to necessarily add to the 14th proviso a condition that the application shall be made after 1st April and before 30th September of the relevant Assessment Year, from which the exemption is sought. We find no necessity to do so. The view that we have taken causes the respond .....

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of the Assessment Year, from which the exemption is sought, during the pendency of such application, if any relevant information is required, the Authorities are well within their rights to ask for the same before taking a final decision on the application. In fact, in the case in hand, the accounts for the year ending 31.03.2014 were asked for by the Authorities and the same, along with the audit report, were duly supplied by the petitioner. Prior to the year 2009, applications under the 14th .....

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re intended to fix a date, only after which such an application could be made, it would have specified the same. To reject the application of the petitioner, the Chief Commissioner also relied upon Clauses 11 to 19 of Form No. 56-D. According to him, the information sought for under these clauses would not be available by the end of Financial Year, for which the exemption is sought. Clauses 11 to 19 of Form No.56-D, along with the attached Notes, read as under :- FORM NO. 56D [See Rule 2CA] xx x .....

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or other educational institution or hospital or other medical institution referred to in serial number 1 are invested or deposited showing the nature, value and income from the investment. (ii) Details of funds not invested in the modes specified in section 11 (5) : Sl. No. Name and address of the concern In the case of a company, number and class of shares held Nominated value of the investment Income from the investment 1 2 3 4 5 14. (i) Is the university or other educational institution or ho .....

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serial number 1 from any interested person as specified in sub-section (2) of section 13. 17. Whether any part of the income or any property of the university or other educational institution or hospital or other medical institution referred to in serial number 1 was used or applied, in a manner which results directly or indirectly in conferring any benefit, amenity or perquisite (whether converted into money or not), on any interested person as specified in sub-section (3) of section 13 ? If s .....

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d before the specified date, should be sent to the Chief Commissioner or Director General whom the Central Board of Direct Taxes may authorize to act as prescribed authority, for the purposes of sub-clause (vi) or subclause (via) of clause (23C)of section 10, through the Commissioner of Income-tax or Director of Incometax (Exemptions) having jurisdiction over the university or other educational institution or hospital or other medical institution referred to in serial number 1 of this Form ; (b) .....

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status of the enterprise; (ii) a list of major office bearers including settlor/members of the Governing body; (iii) a photocopy of the latest certificate under section 80G issued by the Commissioner of Income-tax, if any; (iv) true copies of the assessment orders passed for the last three years, if any; (v) photocopy of communication from the Commissioner of Income-tax with reference to the application of the trust/institution for a registration under section 12A, if any. 3. The applicant shal .....

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