Case Law Details

Case Name : Commissioner of Income Tax Vs RFCL Ltd. (Himachal Pradesh High Court)
Appeal Number : IT Appeal No.- 4 & 13 of 2014
Date of Judgement/Order : 31/12/2014
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (4158) Himachal Pradesh HC (36)

Brief of the case:

The Hon’ble Himachal Pradesh High Court in the case of RFCL Limited vs. Commissioner of Income Tax held that the important business information acquired by assessee in the course of business purchase are intangible assets as the same are in the nature of ‘’business or commercial rights of similar nature’’ on which the assessee is eligible to claim depreciation.
Facts of the case:

  • The assessee company purchased Animal Health Care and Diagnostics Business divisions of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. Along with acquisition of other assets , it also acquired list of Stockist Agreements, Distribution Agreements, Lease Agreements and also Distribution and Marketing Agreements, along with list of licenses and permissions and list of various products, the name license and also the manufacturing know-how etc., along with list of employees are assets
  • AO did not agree with the treatment adopted by the assessee and disallowed the assessee’s claim of depreciation on these assets as it was the view of AO that the same are not intangible assets.
  • ITAT relying on the judgment of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Areva T and D India Ltd. decided the case in favour of assessee.
  • Aggrieved by the order of ITAT , revenue is in appeal before Hon’ble Himachal Pradesh

Contention of Assessee:

Assessee relied on the findings of the tribunal who placed reliance on the judgment of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Areva T and D India Ltd. vs. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, [2012] 345 ITR 421 (Delhi) and also on the judgment of Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Techno Shares and Stock Ltd. vs. Commissioner of Income Tax, [2010] 327 ITR 323 (SC).

Issue before the High Court:

Whether the assessee is entitled to the claim on various list of agreements, know how , name license acquired in the course of business purchase?

Held by Hon’ble High Court:

  • High court relied on the decision of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Areva T and D India Ltd. vs. DCIT wherein the court held that expression “business or commercial rights of similar nature” referred to in sec 32(1)(ii) of the Act did not intend to provide for depreciation only in  respect of specified intangible assets but also to other categories of intangible assets which are not possible to be to exhaustively enumerated.
  • Business claims; business information; business records; contracts; employees list; and know-how, were held to be assets which are invaluable and result in carrying on the business of the assessee, without any interruption and are comparable to a license which is one of the items falling in section 32(1)(ii) of the Act.
  • Applying the ratio of the above judgment to the facts of present case , the acquisition of list of Stockist Agreements, Distribution Agreements, Lease Agreements and also Distribution and Marketing Agreements, along with List of Licenses and Permissions and list of various products, the name license and also the manufacturing know-how etc., along with List of employees is an acquisition of bundle of rights just like a license acquired by the assessee which are invaluable and instrumental in carrying on the business of Animal Health Care and Diagnostics Business divisions acquired by the assessee from M/s Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.
  • Therefore, the above assets acquired by the assessee were the ‘business or commercial rights or license acquired’ in order to carry on new business acquired by the assessee and thus, these assets are intangible on which depreciation is allowable.
  • In result the appeal filed by revenue was dismissed.
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Category : Income Tax (27501)
Type : Judiciary (11697)

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