HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
Guru Gobind Singh Educational Society
Commissioner of Income-tax
W.P. No. 2315 of 2001
FEBRUARY 5, 2013
1. This petition is directed against an order dated 19.3.2001 passed by the Commissioner, Income Tax, Jabalpur refusing renewal of the petitioner institution under Section 80 (G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. It will be pertinent to mention here that it is a second round of litigation. Earlier also a writ petition was filed by the petitioner before this Court which was registered as W.P. 4272/2000 and by an order dated 29.11.2000, the matter was remitted back to the Commissioner, Income Tax with certain directions. In compliance of the earlier directions, the matter was taken up by the Commissioner, Income Tax, Jabalpur and on 13.12.2000, the Commissioner, Income Tax directed the petitioner to furnish certain details. It appears that for furnishing details, the case was adjourned for 5.1.2001, 15.1.2001, 12.2.2001, 26.2.2001 and finally for 8.3.2001. When the information was not furnished in spite of praying for adjournments, the right was closed and the order was passed by which the petitioner was declined renewal of the exemption.
2. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner at the outset submitted that the petitioner institution was granted exemption under Section 80 G of the Income Tax Act which the petitioner was availing since long but because of non-furnishing of the documents, as directed by the Commissioner Income Tax, the aforesaid renewal has been refused. It is submitted that the petitioner is ready to submit all the information as was required by the Commissioner on 13.12.2000 and any other information as may be directed by the Commissioner, Income Tax.
So far as the earlier lapse is concerned, it is submitted that the entire staff of the petitioner institution was busy in the examination work so on 8.3.2001 when the examinations were going on, such information could not be furnished, resulting an order jeopardizing the interest of the petitioner. It is submitted that one more opportunity be allowed to the petitioner in this regard.
3. Shri Lal, learned counsel appearing for the respondents opposed the prayer and submitted that in spite of getting 5 adjournments, the information was not furnished so no such benevolence be shown to the petitioner in this regard. The Commissioner, Income Tax rightly considered the matter and passed the impugned order in which there is no error warranting interference of this Court.
4. From the perusal of the record, we find that on 13.12.2000, the Commissioner, Income Tax sought following details from the petitioner :-
“(a) Balance sheet shows that loans from the banks and also loans given to various persons. The books containing these details including the loans given to Guru Govind Singh Sabha for the F.Y. 1991-92 on wards may kindly be shown. Applications filed before the bank for loans may also be shown.
(b) The registers containing donations received and given may also be shown particularly donations given to Guru Govind Singh Sabha for the F.Y. 1991-92 on wards.
(c) The receipt side shows, fees and other receipts. The books containing receipt issued may kindly be shown for the period for which exemption is sought including FY 1995-96 may also be shown.
(e) Society has been assessed for cantonment tax. The copy of the order may kindly be shown.
(f) The details of the amount spent for Gurudwara maintenance may kindly be shown along with the vouchers, if any.”
5. For furnishing aforesaid information, the petitioner had sought 5 adjournments, as finds place in the impugned order but such information was not furnished. On 8.3.2001, again an adjournment was sought by the petitioner on the ground that the staff was busy in the examination work so time be allowed for furnishing the information. From the perusal of the aforesaid, it appears that such information was required to be furnished by the petitioner, as the staff of the petitioner was busy in the examination work, petitioner institution had sought such time, but it was denied. Though on earlier occasions, five opportunities were allowed to the petitioner and petitioner was under an obligation to furnish such information but looking to the fact that before the impugned order, the petitioner institution was enjoying the benefit of Section 80(G) of the Income Tax but because of the lapse on the part of the some employees of the petitioner institution, aforesaid exemption has been refused, in the interest of justice we allow one more opportunity to the petitioner with certain conditions:-
1. Petitioner is permitted to furnish aforesaid all the information within a period of 30 days from today as agreed by the parties.
2. If all such information supported by necessary documents are furnished to respondent No. 1, the respondent No. 1 shall re-examine the matter in accordance with law.
3. The respondent No. 1 shall be at liberty to seek further explanation, information and documents from the petitioner to satisfy himself that the petitioner institution is entitled to claim renewal of the exemption under Section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act and in this regard if any directions are issued, the petitioner shall furnish such information, documents etc. within a reasonable period as may be granted by the respondent No.1 in this regard.
4. Respondent No.1 shall then pass a fresh order in accordance with law within a period of 30 days from the date fixed by him in this regard.
5. In case no such information or documents are furnished, as directed herein above, within 30 days, then earlier order dated 19.3.2001 shall be revived.
However, petitioner shall be entitled to move a fresh application for grant of exemption of Section 80(G) of Income Tax Act, which shall be considered by the respondent No.1, in accordance with law.
6. So far as the consideration of the Book ‘Sikh Ethos’ in the impugned order is concerned, petitioner may explain its status that it is a charitable institution, notwithstanding the fact that some opinion has been expressed by the author of the book. If such an information is furnished in respect of the status of the petitioner institution, that it is a charitable institution, the Commissioner, Income Tax shall examine the aforesaid aspect without being influenced with any opinion referred in the said book.
7. With the aforesaid directions, this petition is finally disposed of with no order as to costs.