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2018 (2) TMI 866

of banking and only negligible percentage of loans disbursed by the assessee was for agricultural purposes - Held that:- An identical issue was considered by this Tribunal in the case of Edanad-Kannur Service Co-operative Bank Ltd [2018 (1) TMI 848 - ITAT COCHIN] wherein held that the Reserve Bank of India, which is the competent authority as per the Banking Regulation Act, treats assessee society and similar societies as only “Primary Agricultural Credit Society” not falling within the ambit of Banking Regulation Act. The Reserve Bank of India has given letters to the societies similar to assessee stating that they are Primary Agricultural Credit Societies and therefore in terms of section 3 of the Banking Regulation Act are not entitled for banking license. - That being the case, the assessing officer was not competent and did not possess the jurisdiction to resolve / decide the issue as to whether the assessee was a 'Primary Agricultural Credit Society' or a 'Co-operative bank', within the meaning assigned to it under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act and to take a contrary view especially in view of the Explanation provided after the clause (ccvi) of section 5 r. .....

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ive agricultural and rural development bank and depending upon the transactions, the Assessing Officer has to extend the benefits available and not merely looking at the registration certificate by the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act or the nomenclature . 5. In view of the above, the reliance placed by the CIT(A) in the decision of the Hon ble High Court of Kerala in the case of M/s. Chirakkal Service Co-operative Bank and others in ITA No. 212 of 2013 is not correct, especially when a contrary view was taken by another division bench of eh High Court of Kerala in the case of M/s. Perinthalmanna Service Cooperative Bank in ITA No. 4 of 2014. 6. The decision of the Hon ble High Court of Kerala in the case of M/s. Chirakkal Service Co-operative Bank and others in ITA No. 212 of 2013, relied on by the Commissioner of Income Tax(Appeals) has not become conclusive as the deduction was not accepted by the department and SLP is being filed in the Supreme Court. 7. For these and other grounds that may be urged at the time of hearing, it is requested that the order of the CIT(A) may be set aside and that of the Assessing Officer restored. 3.1 The Revenue has also filed additional ground w .....

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Reported in Part 4 of 394 ITR (ST.) 4. Briefly stated the facts of the case are as follows: The assessee is a primary agricultural credit society registered under the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act, 1969. For the assessment years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12, the assessments were completed by denying the benefit of deduction u/s. 80P(2) of the I.T. Act. The Assessing Officer had denied the claim of deduction u/s. 80P(2) of the Act for the reason that the assessee cannot be considered as primary agricultural credit society as it was engaged in the business of banking and only negligible percentage of loans disbursed by the assessee was for agricultural purposes. 5. Aggrieved by the denial of deduction u/s. 80P(2) of the Act, the assessee preferred appeals to the first appellate authority. The CIT(A) decided the issue in favour of the assessee by following the judgment of the Hon ble Jurisdictional High Court in the case of Chirakkal Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. vs.CIT reported in 384 ITR 490. 6. Aggrieved by the consolidated order of the CIT(A), the Revenue has filed the present appeals before the Tribunal. The Ld. DR, apart from relying on the grounds and the additional ground .....

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danad-Kannur Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. and others in I.T.A. Nos. 431 to 433/Coch/2017 & others dated 10/01/2018. The Tribunal followed the judgment of the Hon ble High Court of Kerala in the case of Chirakkal Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. (supra). The Tribunal held that the judgment of the Hon ble Apex Court in the case of The Citizens Co-Operative Society Limited vs Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, reported in 397 ITR 1 (SC) is not applicable to the facts of the case. The relevant finding of the Tribunal dated 10/01/2018 is reproduced below: 8. I have heard the rival submission and perused the material on record. The undisputed facts are that the assessees in these cases are all primary agricultural credit society and they are registered as such under the Kerala Cooperative Societies Act. The Hon'ble jurisdictional High Court in the case of Chirakkal Service Co-operative Bank Limited &, Ors. (supra) had categorically held in para 17 page 14 of the judgment that when a primary agricultural credit Society is registered as such under the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act, 1969, such society is entitled to the benefit of deduction u/s 80P(2) of the Income-tax Ac .....

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cultural credit societies in terms of clause (cciv) of section 5 of the BR Act having regard to the primary object or principal business of each of the appellants. It is also clear from the materials on record that the bye-laws of each of the appellants do not permit admission of any other co-operative society as member, except may be, in accordance with the proviso to sub-clause 2 of section 5(cciv) of the BR Act. The different orders of the Tribunal which are impeached in these appeals do not contain any finding of fact to the effect that the bye- laws of any of the appellant or its classification by the competent authority under the KCS Act is anything different from what we have stated herein above. For this reason, it cannot but be held that the appellants are entitled to exemption from the provisions of section 8OP of the IT Act by virtue of subsection 4 of that sect; on. In this view of the matter, the appeals succeed. 17. In the light of the aforesaid, we answer substantial question: A in favour of the appellants and hold that the Tribunal erred in law in deciding the issue regarding the entitlement of exemption under section 8OP against the appellants. We hold that the pri .....

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ction 80 P of the Act. 9.1 The assessee society in the case considered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court was established on 31-5-1997 and was registered under section 5 of the Andhra Pradesh Mutually Aided Co-operative Societies Act, 1995. Thereafter as the operations of the assessee had increased manifold and spread over states of Erstwhile, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, the assessee-society got itself registered on 26.07.2005 under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002 (MACSA) 9.2 The Hon ble Apex Court in the aforementioned case specifically took note of the factual findings of the assessing officer (which was stated in para 15 of the judgment) referring to the bye laws and the provisions of Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies Act, 1995. The assessing officer was of the view that the assessee therein cannot admit 'nominal members' and most of the deposits were taken from such category of person (as they were not members as per the provisions referred). The Apex Court in para 25 of the Judgment has pointed out that the main reason for disentitling the assessee from getting the deduction provided under section 80 P of the Act is not sub-section (4) .....

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mbers as provided in law and deposits from such nominal members cannot be considered or treated as from the non-members or from public as was noted by the Apex Court judgment cited supra. 9.6 In this context, it is relevant to mention that the Hon ble Supreme Court in the case of U.P. Co-operative Cane Union v. Commissioner of Income-tax (1999) 237 ITR 574 (SC)-para 8 of the judgment has observed as under:- 8. The expression members is not defined in the Act. Since a cooperative society has to be established under the provisions of the law made by the State Legislature in that regard, the expression members in section 80P(2)(a)(i) must, therefore, be construed in the context of the provisions of the law enacted by the State Legislature under which the cooperative society claiming exemption, has been formed. It is, therefore, necessary to construe the expression members in Section 80P(2)(a)(i) of the Act in the light of the definition of that expression as contained in Section 2(n) of the Co-operative Societies Act. 9.7 The Bombay High Court in Jalgaon District Central v. UOI (2004) 265 ITR 423 (Bom) in the light of the above Supreme Court judgment had held that nominal member is al .....

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the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The explanation provided after clause (ccvi) of section 5 r.w.s 56 of the Banking Regulation Act specifically provides that if any dispute arises as to the primary object or principal business of any co-operative society referred to in clauses (cciv), (ccv) and (ccvi), a determination thereof by the Reserve Bank shall be final. The Reserve Bank of India, which is the competent authority as per the Banking Regulation Act, treats assessee society and similar societies as only Primary Agricultural Credit Society not falling within the ambit of Banking Regulation Act. The Reserve Bank of India has given letters to the societies similar to assessee stating that they are Primary Agricultural Credit Societies and therefore in terms of section 3 of the Banking Regulation Act are not entitled for banking license; (Copies of such letter from RBI are placed on record). 9.9 That being the case, the assessing officer was not competent and did not possess the jurisdiction to resolve / decide the issue as to whether the assessee was a 'Primary Agricultural Credit Society' or a 'Co-operative bank', within the meaning assigned to it under the provis .....

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ioner u/s 263 of the Act. In the said judgment, the Hon ble High Court upheld the order of the ITAT, after directing the Assessing Officer to pass a fresh assessment order untrammeled by any of the views expressed by the revisionary authority. Whereas the judgment of the Hon ble Jurisdictional High Court in the case of Chirakkal Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. (supra) was in respect of the assessment order passed by the Assessing Officer denying the deduction u/s. 80P and is identical to the facts of the present case. 7.4 Further the Reserve Bank of India, which is the authority under the Banking Regulations Act to decide as to whether a Co-operative Society is a Primary Agricultural Credit Society or not, has vide letter UBD(T) No. 438/12-01- 008/2013-14 dated 25/10/2013 informed The Secretary, The Madai Co-operative Rural Bank Ltd. No. F.1233, Head Office, Payangadi Kannur-670303 and vide letter No. UBD(T) No.440/12-01-008/2013-14 dated 25/10/2013, The Kadirur Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. No.F 1262 HO - Kadirur, Kannur-670 642 that an institution registered as a Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) is not entitled to obtaining a Banking License, which implies that an entit .....

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