CA Sandeep Kanoi
A plain reading of the Section 269SS indicates that (the import of the above provision is limited) it applies to a transaction where a deposit or a loan is accepted by an assessee, otherwise than by an account payee cheque or an account payee draft. The ambit of the Section is clearly restricted to transaction involving acceptance of money and not intended to affect cases where a debt or a liability arises on account of book entries. The object of the Section is to prevent transactions in currency. This is also clearly explicit from clause (iii) of the explanation to Section 269SS of the Act which defines loan or deposit to mean “loan or deposit of money”. The liability recorded in the books of accounts by way of journal entries, i.e. crediting the account of a party to whom monies are payable or debiting the account of a party from whom monies are receivable in the books of accounts, is clearly outside the ambit of the provision of Section 269SS of the Act, because passing such entries does not involve acceptance of any loan or deposit of money.
In the present case, admittedly no money was transacted other than through banking channels. M/s PACL India Ltd. made certain payments through banking channels to land owners. This payment made on behalf of the assessee was recorded by the assessee in its books by crediting the account of M/s PACL India Ltd. In view of this admitted position, no infringement of Section 269SS of the Act is made out. This Court, in the case of Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd. (supra), considered a similar case where a company had paid money to the Government of Delhi for acquisition of a land on behalf of the assessee therein. The Assessing Officer levied a penalty under Section 271D of the Act for alleged violation of the provisions of Section 269SS of the Act since the books of the assessee reflected the liability on account of the lands acquired on its behalf. On appeal, the CIT (Appeals) affirmed the penalty. The order of the CIT was successfully impugned by the assessee before the ITAT. On appeal, this Court held as under:-
“While holding that the provisions of Section 269SS of the Act were not attracted, the Tribunal has noticed that: (i) in the instant case, the transaction was by an account payee cheque, (ii) no payment on account was made in cash either by the assessed or on its behalf, (iii) no loan was accepted by the assessee in cash, and (iv) the payment of Rs. 4.85 crores made by the assessee through IL & FS, which holds more than 30 per cent. of the paid-up capital of the assessee, by journal entry in the books of account of the assessed by crediting the account of IL & FS.
Having regard to the aforenoted findings, which are essentially findings of fact, we are in complete agreement with the Tribunal that the provisions of section 269SS were not attracted on the facts of the case. Admittedly, neither the assessee nor IL & FS had made any payment in cash. The order of the Tribunal does not give rise to any question of law, much less a substantial question of law.
We accordingly decline to entertain the appeal. Dismissed.”
In our view, the present appeal is bereft of any merit and is, accordingly, dismissed.