Case Law Details

Case Name : Alexandra School Vs CIT, Amritsar (Punjab & Haryana High Court)
Appeal Number : ITA 190 of 2014
Date of Judgement/Order : 30/07/2015
Related Assessment Year :

Brief of the case:

Punjab & Haryana High Court held in Alexandera School Vs CIT, Amritsar that if an educational institute had been run by a particular section of community then registration u/s 12AA could not be denied provided it was running to benefit all sections of society. Registration could not be denied just on the basis that an educational institute has been run by a Christian community because the education had been imparted to all sections of society just in a Christian atmosphere so that children become responsible citizen of India. That did not mean that education had been imparted only to the Christian community. If there was no discrimination between caste, sex and religion then registration should be granted.

Facts of the case:

Assessee had applied for registration u/s 12AA of an educational Institute named Alexandera which was denied by Commissioner of Income Tax on the reason that the above educational institute had been run by Christian community for the benefit Christian community only. So as per sec 12AA registration was to be granted only to that educational institution which work for all sections of society. Assessee went into appeal.

 Contention of the assesse:

Assessee was of the view that Alexandera School had been run by a Christian community which imparts education to all sections of society in a Christian atmosphere. Assessee had provided the memorandum and objectives in which it was written that the education would be imparted to all sections of society in a Christian way which did not mean that the institute was only for the benefit of Christian society. Institute was affiliated to ICSI board which imparts education to students of every religion and not only to Christian students. It was clarified that though the school was run by members of Christian society yet it was totally secular and no special emphasis was being given to students of Christian families or Christian staff employed. The percentage of students belonging to the said religion were also very small.

Contention of revenue:

Revenue was of the view that the institution was for the benefit of particular section of society i.e Christianity. It was not for the benefit of children of all sections of society. As per sec 12AA, registration was to be granted only to that educational institutions which work for the benefit of larger section of society. So registration should not be granted.

Held by High Court:

High Court held that the contention of the revenue was unjustified because it was clear from the memorandum that the objective of imparting education of institution was to all sections of society not only to Christian. No doubt they impart education in a Christian atmosphere but that was not a valid reason to deny for registration u/s 12AA. The object also further provided that each child was to discover and develop his/her potential as an individual by encouraging enquiry and creativity and to provide a well rounded education and high academic standard and to develop responsible

Citizenship in the students and to encourage appreciation of national and cultural heritage.

They relied on the judgment of Apex Court in Ahmedabad Rana Caste Association Vs. CIT [1971]

82 ITR 704 (SC) and decided that the contention of revenue was not correct and registration u/s 12AA should be granted.

Appeal of the assesse was allowed.

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