Case Law Details

Case Name : Commissioner of Income-tax Vs Rajasthan Jain Charitable Trust (Karnataka High Court)
Appeal Number : IT Appeal No. 5002 OF 2012
Date of Judgement/Order : 08/01/2013
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (4158) Karnataka High Court (208)

HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA

Commissioner of Income-tax

versus

Rajasthan Jain Charitable Trust

IT Appeal No. 5002 OF 2012

JANUARY  8, 2013

JUDGMENT

H.N. Nagamohan Das, J.

The Income Tax Department is before this Court in this appeal filed under Section 260A of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (for short the Act). Though this Court vide order dated 20.03.2012 framed four questions of law for consideration and decision we are of the opinion that the following two questions of law raised in the memorandum of appeal requires reconsideration in this appeal. The said two questions of law are as under:

1.

Whether on facts and in law, the Hon’ble ITAT is right in holding that the sale of blood amounts to medical relief within the purview of section 2(15) of the Income-tax Act, 1961?

2.

Whether on facts and in law, the Hon’ble ITAT is right in holding that the CIT cannot withdraw recognition under section 80G(5) on the basis of wrong application submitted by the assessee for renewal of recognition when the facts stated in the order itself prove that the assess is not eligible for recognition under section 85G(5) of the Income-tax Act, 1961?

2. The facts in this case are as under:

The respondent is a registered trust engaged in charitable purpose. Respondent Trust obtained exemption certificate under section 80G of the Income Tax Act for the period up to 30.03.2010. The respondent Trust under a bona fide impression that the exemption certificate requires renewal made an application to the Commissioner of Income Tax for renewal of exemption certificate. The Commissioner noticed the fact that section 80G came to be amended to the effect that exemption granted prior to 01.10.2009 need not require renewal. Accordingly, the Commissioner issued a notice to the respondent and under the impugned order, rejected the application of the respondents for renewal. Insofar as this portion of the order passed by the Commissioner there is no grievance to both the parties.

3. The Commissioner while rejecting the application of the respondent for renewal of exemption under section 80G proceeded to hold that the activity i.e. carried on by respondent do not come under section 2(15) of the Act and further held that there is violation of conditions specified in section 80(G) of the Act and consequently under the impugned order, the Commissioner had withdrawn the exemption granted to the respondent under section 80G. Aggrieved by this order of the Commissioner as per Annexure-B, the respondent filed an appeal in ITA No.79/2011 before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Panaji Bench, Goa. Under the impugned order Annexure-A, the Tribunal set aside the order of Commissioner. Therefore, the revenue is before this Court.

4. We heard arguments on both the side and perused the entire appeal papers.

5. It is necessary at this stage to extract section 2(15) of the Act and the same reads as under:

“Charitable purpose” includes relief of the poor, education, medical relief, [preservation of environment (including watersheds, forests and wildlife) and preservation of monuments or places or objects of artistic or historic interest] and the advancement of any other object of general public utility.

Provided that the advancement of any other object of general public utility shall not be a charitable purpose, if it involves in carrying on of any activity of rendering any service in relation to any trade, commerce or business, for a cess or fee or any other consideration, irrespective of the nature of use or application, or retention, of the income from such activity

[Provided further that the first proviso shall not apply if the aggregate value of the receipts from the activities referred to therein is [twenty-five lakh rupees] or less in the previous year;]

6. The Tribunal noticed that memorandum of association of respondent-Trust specifying the object of the trust and the same is as under:

(a)

To establish, run and manage a Blood Bank at Belgaum.

(b)

To construct establish, equip, maintain and/or manage laboratories workshops and to undertake scientific research.

(c)

Give grant of subscriptions and donations to Hospitals, Dispensaries, Convalescent Homes, Asylums, Nursing Homes, Orphanages etc.,

(d)

Grant of medical help to the poor.

(e)

Establishment and maintenance of Hospitals, Dispensaries etc.,

(f)

Assistance in promoting the help of deserving students such as travelling expenses, Health Care expenses etc.,

(g)

To distribute healthy drinking water free of cost.

(h)

Establishment of schools, colleges, support of professorship, lectureship etc., Maintenance of Hostels, Boarding Houses etc.,

(i)

Distribute free food and clothing to sink wells to construct and distribute free houses etc.,

(j)

In promotion on physical efficiency and sports etc.,

(k)

To first a friendly relation and goodwill among general public.

(l)

To establish cultural centre etc.,

(m)

To collect and disseminate knowledge etc.,

7. Further, the respondents have filed audited accounts for the year 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and the same reads as under:

Asst. Year

Amount received from providing blood

Expenses incurred

2007-08

797488

890653

2008-09

752230

1085878

2009-10

1135890

1576246

8. A combined reading of the memorandum of association and the audited accounts for the above assessment years manifestly makes it clear that the activity carried on by the respondent-trust is a charitable purpose. Further, the second proviso of section 2(15) of the Act specifies that the aggregated value of the receipts from the activities referred to there is Rs. 25,00,000/- or less in the previous assessment years then the first proviso is not applicable. In the instant case, the audited accounts of the previous year i.e. 2009-10 specifies a receipt of Rs. 11,35,890/-. Further, it specifies that the expenses incurred during the relevant assessment year is Rs. 15,76,246/-. Firstly, the receipts are less than the amount specified in the second proviso to section 2(15) of the Act. Secondly, the receipts are less than the expenditure incurred during the relevant assessment year. From any angle, it cannot be said that the respondent trust is not covered under section 2(15) of the Act. Therefore, we hold the first question of law. against the revenue and in favour of the assessee.

9. A perusal of the impugned order passed by the Commissioner specifies that what was pending consideration before him was the application filed by the respondent for renewal of exemption certificate issued under section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act. The order passed by the Commissioner further specifies that a notice was issued to the respondent as to why the renewal application cannot be rejected. No notice was issued by the Commissioner to the respondent calling upon them to show cause with regard to violation committed by them to cancel the exemption certificate granted under section 80(G). In the absence of any such notice, the Commissioner committed an illegality in cancelling the exemption certificate granted in favour of the respondent. Further, as already pointed out that the audited balance sheets of respondent-trust for the assessment years 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 specify the receipts and also the expenditure. Firstly, the receipts specified therein for the relevant assessment years are less than the amount specified in Second proviso section 2(15) of the Act. On the other hand, the expenditure incurred by the respondent during the assessment years was in excess of the receipts. As such no profit was made by the respondent during the relevant assessment years. Therefore, it cannot be said that the activity of the respondent-trust is not charitable purpose and on the other hand it was commercial. The Tribunal by examining these aspects of the matter rightly set aside the finding of the Commissioner.

10. In the circumstances, we hold the second question of law against the revenue and in favour of the assessee. Accordingly the appeal is disposed of.

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