CIT (Appeals) has inferred of the hotel/s, where the assessee’s employees stayed, as also serving as their work place. The communications between them and the head office, which is again a part of their work, has again admittedly been carried out in India and, as stated, from a place in the vicinity of the place of the stay. Two, though to no effect, so that whether the communication has taken place from the hotel room through the medium of internet using laptops – a tangible asset/s, by the personnel, or similar facilities provided by the hotel or by a retail outlet providing such services is of little moment. Rather, the assessee’s personnel are only working together in conjunction with the GPI task force, assigned whole time on the project in-as-much as the working of the task force in isolation or removed from the assessee’s employees, except perhaps sparingly, makes little sense in the fitness and the scheme of things.
This is as the two have to work in tandem, complimenting each other. In fact, even working separately (as it in practice well be a combination of the two forms of work organization or guided by work imperatives), again only implies availability of a separate place/s at its disposal to the assessee’s team. Secondly, as is apparent from the modus operandi to be adopted, the regular interviews, interactions, meetings, training sessions and seminars, etc., both by the consultants and the principal consultants, forming Tier I and Tier II of the assessee’s teams deputed on the project, and which are admittedly and principally at the GPI’s premises, is as much a part of the work undertaken by the assessee-company as is the independent collection, collation, analysis and review, etc. of the data/information being sought from the organization during any phase of the project management. That thus some place is at the disposal of the assessee or its employees during the entire period of the stay in India is, thus, manifest and eminent and follows unmistakably from the work nature/profile and the modus operandi followed. Therefore, it is clear that the assessee clearly has a PE in India during the relevant years.
Compiled by – CA Sandeep Kanoi