Case Law Details

Case Name : Commissioner Of Income-Tax Vs D.K. Kondke (Bombay High Court)
Appeal Number : Equivalent citations: 1991 192 ITR 128 Bom, 1991 (1) MhLj 572
Date of Judgement/Order : 12/03/1991
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (3629) Bombay High Court (654)

If the production of cinematograph film amounts to “manufacture of an article or goods” within the meaning of section 104(4)(a) as it then stood, it follows that the said activity must be treated as an “industrial undertaking” within the purview of section 80J of the Income-tax Act, 1961. Apart from the circular, we are satisfied that, even on a common sense view, “film production” will have to be considered as a manufacturing activity and the undertaking will have to be considered as an industrial undertaking. It is so considered under excise law and other allied laws also. Whether the assessee satisfies all other conditions of the said section or not will have to be examined by the authorities below to whom the directions have already been issued by the Income-tax Tribunal.

Bombay High Court

Commissioner Of Income-Tax

vs

D.K. Kondke

Date of Order / Pronouncement- 12 March, 1991

Equivalent citations: 1991 192 ITR 128 Bom, 1991 (1) MhLj 572

Author: D Dhanuka

Bench: B Srikrishna, T Sugla

JUDGMENT

D.R. Dhanuka, J.

1. The Income-tax Appellate Tribunal has referred the following question to this court for its decision under section 256(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, at the instance of the Commissioner of Income-tax, Bombay. This question reads as under :

“Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the activity of the assessee of producing cinematograph films is an ‘industrial undertaking’ for the purpose of deduction under section 80J of the Income-tax Act, 1961, for the assessment years 1972-73, 1973-74 and 1974-75 ?”

2. During the previous year pertaining to the assessment year 1972-73, the assessee started production of motion pictures in the Marathi language. The assessee claimed the benefit of deduction under section 80J of the Income-tax Act, 1961, on the ground that the said business was an “industrial undertaking” within the meaning of the said expression used in section 80J. The Income-tax Officer refused to grant the said benefit to the assessee, as the Income-tax Officer was not satisfied that the film industry was within the purview of the said section. Being aggrieved by the said order, the assessee filed an appeal before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. During the course of the hearing of the said appeal, the assessee relied, inter alia, on Circular No. 24, dated July 23, 1969 (See [1969] 73 ITR (St.)). 23, issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. By the said Board’s circular, it was notified by the Board that the production of cinematograph films amounted to manufacture of processing of goods within the meaning of section 104(4)(a) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. It was also stated in the said circular that, in the opinion of the Board, a cinematograph film suitable for exhibition was entirely different from the raw unexposed film which was loaded into the camera in a studio. Relying upon the said circular and the judgment of the Gujarat High Court in CIT v. Ajay Printer Private Ltd. [1965] 58 ITR 811, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner accepted the claim made by the assessee. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner held that the activity of the assessee by way of production of motion pictures was liable to be treated as an “industrial undertaking” within the meaning of section 80J of the Income-tax Act, 1961, and the assessee was entitled to the necessary relief under the said section for the accounting period relevant to the assessment year 1972-73 and all subsequent years, subject to the assessee satisfying the other conditions also. Being aggrieved by the said order, the Department filed a second appeal before the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal examined the matter in further depth. The expression “industrial undertaking” has not been defined in the Income-tax Act, 1961. The Tribunal applied the normal commercial meaning of the words “industrial underrating” in support of its view that the aforesaid activity amounted to “industrial undertaking” and also referred to the definition of the word “industrial” from the Concise Oxford Dictionary and the Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary. The Tribunal relied upon various judgment of the of the Hon’ble Supreme Court delivered under the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, and particularly the judgments in Union of India v. Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co. Ltd. , and in South Bihar Sugar Mills Ltd. v. Union of India, , and held that “manufacture”, in its ordinary connotation, meant production of articles which was commercially different from the basis component by which the item manufactured. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the Tribunal. We do not think it necessary to refer to various judgment or discuss the matter in any greater detail.

3. Dr. Balasubramaniam, learned counsel for the Revenue, has fairly admitted that the above-referred circular is still operative and is being given effect to for the purpose of applying section 104(4)(a) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. Section 104(4)(a) reads as under : “104. (4) Without prejudice to the provisions of section 108, nothing contained in this section shall apply to –

(a) an Indian company whose business consists mainly in the construction of ships or in the manufacture or processing of goods or in mining or in the generation or distribution of electricity or any other form of power;”

4. If the production of cinematograph film amounts to “manufacture of an article or goods” within the meaning of section 104(4)(a) as it then stood, it follows that the said activity must be treated as an “industrial undertaking” within the purview of section 80J of the Income-tax Act, 1961. Apart from the circular, we are satisfied that, even on a common sense view, “film production” will have to be considered as a manufacturing activity and the undertaking will have to be considered as an industrial undertaking. It is so considered under excise law and other allied laws also. Whether the assessee satisfies all other conditions of the said section or not will have to be examined by the authorities below to whom the directions have already been issued by the Income-tax Tribunal.

5. Accordingly, we answer the question referred to us in the affirmative and in favour of the assessee. There shall be no order as to costs.

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