Brief of the case:
ITAT Bangalore held in Sri Maramma Temple Seva Trust Vs CIT that even if the objective of an organization was both religious and charitable then also registration u/s 12AA could not be denied on the basis that registration could only be granted either to wholly religious or wholly charitable organization because after considering lot of judicial decisions in which it was decided that there was no line of demarcation between the religious and charitable objectives. Charitable objective includes religious objectives also. Moreover as the assesse organization was for the general public benefit so even though it was partly religious and partly charitable registration u/s 12AA should be granted.
Facts of the case:
Assessee organization objective was mixed i.e its partly object was religious and partly was charitable so CIT denied the registration of assesse trust u/s 12AA because CIT was of the view that Act did not contemplate grant of registration to a trust having mixed objects, some of which are charitable and some of which are religious. So assesse went into appeal with ITAT.
Contention of the assesse:
Assessee was of the view that its purpose was to serve the general public and it was for the benefit of public at large. It was neither for the private purpose nor for the people of some particular religion. So the registration should be granted.
Contention of the revenue:
Revenue was of the view that Act did not contemplate grant of registration to a trust having mixed objects, some of which are charitable and some of which are religious. So assesse went into appeal with ITAT. Even though the above trust was for general public but still registration could not be granted to the trust with mixed objectives. So registration should not be granted to the assesse.
Held by ITAT:
ITAT relied on Hon’ble Gujarat High Court in the case of CIT v. Barkate Saifiyah Society [(1995) 213 ITR0492] and held that charitable purpose gave a very wide meaning, it includes education, religion etc and also held that if trust had been created for the benefit of people of all communities then whether the trust was for the partly religious and partly charitable then registration u/s 12AA should be granted.
ITAT was also of the view that there was no line of demarcation between the charitable and religious trust because charitable trust would include religious trust, charitable purpose includes religious purpose.
Moreover as the assesse trust was for the benefit of general public as a whole so registration should not be denied because registration should only be denied when the trust was not for the benefit of benefit of general public or for the benefit of public of some particular community. If the trust was doing the work charitable or religious work or both then registration should not be denied.
So appeal of the assesse was allowed.