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1946 (4) TMI 23

..... dian Income-tax Act on an application by the assessee Rani Subhadra Devi Sahiba of Khairgarh Raj, District Kheri. Rani Subhadra Devi has died and Raja Pratap Bikram Shah has been brought on the record as her legal representative. The Income-tax Officer had included certain items of revenue in computing the total income of the assessee for the year 1941-42 to which the assessee objected as being revenue derived from land which was used for agricultural purposes and which is assessed to land revenue within the meaning of Section 2(1) of the Income-tax Act and was, therefore, exempt from assessment to income-tax under Section 4(3)(viii) . The items in dispute were : (i) Sale of catechu. ₹ 5,095. (ii) Kahcharai (dues paid for grazing wild .....

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..... an agency), even if such land is assessed to land revenue, is agricultural income, within the meaning of Section 2(1) of the Income-tax Act and as such exempt from income-tax under Section 4(3)(viii) of the Act". The Appellate Tribunal in deciding the appeal has relied upon principles laid down in a number of decisions of various High Courts for the proposition that the items in dispute, being of wild and spontaneous growth, did not come within the meaning of Section 2(1) of the Income-tax Act, and were consequently assessable to income-tax and we are of the opinion that the conclusions at which the Tribunal has arrived are correct. It is now settled law that the income from sale of forest trees or fruit from trees which are of spontan .....

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..... scribe that as agriculture appears to me inappropriate. To my mind, it seems to be different from the cultivation of a field or of an open space." The next case referred to by the Appellate Tribunal is Commissioner of Income-tax,Madras v. T. Manavedan Tirumalpad [1930] ILR 54 Mad. 21, wherein a Special Bench held that: "The amounts received by the owner of unassessed forest lands, by the sale of timber trees thereon, are income liable as such to income-tax." In Province of Bihar v. Maharaja Pratap Udai Nath Sahi Deo of Ratugrh [1941] 9 ITR 313 , which was a decision by a Special Bench of the Patna High Court, Harries, C.J., made the following observations : "It appears that this head of income was derived from virgin jun .....

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..... iples laid down in the above authorities relating to forest trees of spontaneous growth are applicable with equal force. In Kesho Prasad Singh v. Sheo Pragash Ojhja [1922] ILR 44 All. 19, a Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court held that the land used for the purpose of a grove was not land held for agricultural purpose. This decision was approved by their Lord-8hips of the Judicial Committee in Kesho Prasad Singh v. Sheo Pragash Ojha [1924] ILR 46 All. 831. If, therefore, a grove in which mango, imli and Kathal fruit trees usually grow, is not land held for agricultural purposes, it follows that income from the fruits of such trees in a grove is not agricultural income and a fortiori income from the fruits of trees of spontaneous growth c .....

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..... (Civil Reference under Income-tax Act No. 5 of 1943) Since reported at page 787 supra on a question : "Whether income from the sale of forest trees and wild grass of spontaneous growth growing on land, which is assessed to land revenue, naturally and without the intervention of human agency, is 'agricultural income' within the meaning of Section 2(1) of the Income-tax Act, and as such exempt from income-tax under Section 4(3) (viii) of the Act" a Bench of this Court, to which one of us was a party, held that the income from sale of such grass did not come within the exemption provided by Section 4(3)(viii) of the Income-tax Act. As already observed, we see no difference between the revenue derived by the sale of grass or b .....

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