SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

PNB Finance Ltd. v. CIT

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3721 of 2002

November 6, 2008

RELEVANT EXTRACTS:

16. In the case of Artex Manufacturing Co. (supra) this Court found, that a valuer was appointed, that valuer submitted his valuation report in which itemized valuation was carried out and on that basis the consideration was fixed at Rs. 11,50,400.00. Therefore, the sale consideration had been arrived at after taking into account the value of plant, machinery and dead stock as computed by the valuer and, consequently, it was held that the surplus arising on the sale was taxable under Section 41(2) of the Act and not as capital gains. In the circumstances, the judgment of this Court in the case of Artex Manufacturing Co. (supra) was not applicable to the present case. Further, this Court in the case of CIT v. Electric Control Gear Manufacturing Co. (1997) 227 ITR 278 has held that whether the business of the assessee stood transferred as a going concern for slump sale price, in the absence of evidence on record as to how the slump price stood arrived at, Section 41(2) had no application. It is interesting to note that the judgment in the case of Electric Control Gear Manufacturing Co. (supra) is given by the same Bench which decided the case of Artex Manufacturing Co. In fact, both the judgments are reported one after other in 227 ITR at pp. 260 and 278 respectively. In the present case, as can be seen from the impugned judgment of the Delhi High Court, the judgment of this Court in Electric Control Gear Manufacturing Co. (supra) is missed out. That judgment has not been considered by the High Court. As stated above, this Court has clarified its judgment in Artex Manufacturing Co. (supra) in its judgment in the case of Electric Control Gear Manufacturing Co.. Therefore, Section 41(2) has no application to the facts of the present case.

17. As regards applicability of Section 45 is concerned, three tests are required to be applied. In this case, Section 45 applies. There is no dispute on that point. The first test is that the charging section and the computation provisions are inextricably linked. The charging section and the computation provisions together constituted an integrated Code. Therefore, where the computation provisions cannot apply, it is evident that such a case was not intended to fall within the charging section, which, in the present case, is Section 45. That section contemplates that any surplus accruing on transfer of capital assets is chargeable to tax in the previous year in which transfer took place. In this case, transfer took place on 18.7.1969. The second test which needs to be applied is the test of allocation/attribution. This test is spelt out in the judgment of this Court in Mugneeram Bangur & Co. (supra). This test applies to a slump transaction. The object behind this test is to find out whether the slump price was capable of being attributable to individual assets, which is also known as item-wise earmarking. The third test is that there is a conceptual difference between an undertaking and its components. Plant, machinery and dead stock are individual items of an Undertaking. Business Undertaking can consists of not only tangible items but also intangible items like, goodwill, man power, tenancy rights and value of banking licence. However, the cost of such items (intangibles) is not determinable. In the case of CIT v. B.C. Srinivasa Setty reported in (1981) 128 ITR 294, this Court held that Section 45 charges the profits or gains arising from the transfer of a capital asset to income-tax. In other words, it charges surplus which arises on the transfer of a capital asset in terms of appreciation of capital value of that asset. In the said judgment, this Court held that the “asset” must be one which falls within the contemplation of Section 45. It is further held that, the charging section and the computation provisions together constitute an integrated Code and when in a case the computation provisions cannot apply, such a case would not fall within Section 45. In the present case, the Banking Undertaking, inter alia, included intangible assets like, goodwill, tenancy rights, man power and value of banking licence. On facts, we find that item-wise earmarking was not possible. On facts, we find that the compensation (sale consideration) of Rs. 10.20 cr. was not allocable item- wise as was the case in Artex Manufacturing Co. (supra).
18. For the aforestated reasons, we hold that on the facts and circumstances of this case, which concerns assessment year 1970-71, it was not possible to compute capital gains and, therefore, the said amount of Rs. 10.20 cr. was not taxable under Section 45 of the 1961 Act. Accordingly, the impugned judgment is set aside.
Note: See Avaya Global Connect vs. ACIT (ITAT Mumbai) where despite s. 50B, it was held that the gains are NOT chargeable.

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