Case Law Details

Case Name : CIT Vs R. Nagaraja Rao (Karnataka High Court)
Appeal Number : Case Number: ITA 3048/2005
Date of Judgement/Order : 19/03/2012
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (3802) Karnataka High Court (196)

Transfer of shares or other interests pursuant to a family arrangement is not a transfer and hence not liable to capital gains tax.

Karnataka High Court

CIT vs. R. Nagaraja Rao

Case Number: ITA 3048/2005

Date of Judgment: 19-Mar-2012

The assessee, Shri R. Nagaraja Rao, was party to a family arrangement. Each of the parties to the arrangement held personal properties as well as family properties and shares in different business concerns. A dispute arose between the parties, which was re­ferred to arbitration. As per the terms of the settlement suggested by the arbitra­tor, the assessee had to resign from a partnership firm and transfer his inter­est to another family member. Accord­ingly, the assessee transferred the share for a consideration of Rs. 35000, being capital balance of the firm. In turn, the other family member also transferred shares held by him in favour of the assessee.

The Assessing officer (AO) treated the above arrangement as a transfer, and held that the assessee was liable to pay capital gains tax. The CIT(A) con­firmed the order of the AO. However, ITAT ruled in favour of assessee and held that the arrangement could not be treated as transfer for capital gain pur­poses because it was a family arrangement. For this purpose, IT AT relied on SC ruling in Ram Charan Das vs. Girija Nandini Devi (AIR 1966 SC 323) and Gauhati HC ruling in Ziauddin Ahmed vs. Commissioner of Gift Tax (1O2 ITR 253). Revenue appealed before Karna­taka HC against IT AT’s order.

HC referred to its own decision in Com­missioner of Gift Tax vs. K.N. Mad­husudan, dated Sept 6, 2010. In that case, it was held that the word ‘transfer’ does not include partition or family set­tlement. HC observed that “it is well settled that a partition is not a transfer. What is recorded in a family settlement is nothing but a partition. Every mem­ber has an anterior title to the property which is the subject matter of a transac­tion, that is, partition or a family ar­rangement. So there is adjustment of shares, crystallization of the respective rights in family properties and therefore it cannot be construed as a transfer in the eyes of law.”

HC further observed that IT AT, on a proper consideration of the material on record, had categorically held that the transaction in question was a family arrangement. Thus, HC concluded that there was no ‘transfer’ in the present case and hence, no liability to pay capi­tal gains tax arose.

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