Skip to content


Hukumchand JaIn Vs. Assistant Controller of Estate - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtIncome Tax Appellate Tribunal ITAT Jabalpur
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1983)3ITD16Jab
AppellantHukumchand Jain
RespondentAssistant Controller of Estate
Excerpt:
.....of the estate of the deceased. however, in appeal before the assistant controller (appeals), the accountable person for the first time claimed that the above amount of rs. 16,000 should be deducted from the value of the estate. the controller observed as under : now, to perform the marriages of unmarried daughters is a liability of the joint family and it is but fair that some provision should be made for this. again looking to the principal value of the estate and assets of the family the sum of rs. 16,000 for the marriage of two daughters is also quite reasonable. the sum of rs. 16,000 will therefore be deducted from the huf's properties. since the share of the deceased was only 1/4th in the value of the properties, the reduction from the dutiable estate will be of rs. 4,000 only.4......
Judgment:
1. Since the above appeals relate to the same accountable person and the deceased and also involve common contention, they are disposed of by this consolidated order for the sake of convenience.

2. The deceased had left a will which he had made on 1-5-1965. As per this will, he had desired his sons Hukumchand and Niralchand, to whom he had left the residuary estate, to spend Rs. 8,000 each on his three unmarried daughters. The expenditure was to be made out of his estate.

One of his daughters was married during his lifetime. It may be observed here that the deceased had died on 3-10-1971. However, two of his daughters remained unmarried.

3. There was no claim before the Assistant Controller regarding the deduction of any of the above amounts in the computation of the value of the estate of the deceased. However, in appeal before the Assistant Controller (Appeals), the accountable person for the first time claimed that the above amount of Rs. 16,000 should be deducted from the value of the estate. The Controller observed as under : Now, to perform the marriages of unmarried daughters is a liability of the joint family and it is but fair that some provision should be made for this. Again looking to the principal value of the estate and assets of the family the sum of Rs. 16,000 for the marriage of two daughters is also quite reasonable. The sum of Rs. 16,000 will therefore be deducted from the HUF's properties. Since the share of the deceased was only 1/4th in the value of the properties, the reduction from the dutiable estate will be of Rs. 4,000 only.

4. Being dissatisfied with the extent of the claim admitted by the Controller, the accountable person has preferred this appeal before us.

On the other hand, the department is also in appeal, contending that he had erred in allowing a reduction as no such claim was either made in the return or before the Assistant Controller at the time of the assessment proceedings.

5. The learned departmental representative in support of the department's case relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Addl. CIT v. Gurjargravures (P.) Ltd. [1978] 111 ITR 1. He submitted that if the claim was not made before the Assistant Controller, it could not be made for the first time before the Controller in appeal. The learned counsel for the accountable person, on the other hand, submitted that there was material on record out of which the claim could be raised. The material, according to him, was in the form of the will of the deceased which was produced before the Assistant Controller also. To support his submission, he relied on the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the case of CIT v.Gangappa Cables Ltd. [1979] 116 ITR 778.

6. After considering the facts of the case, we are of the opinion that there is no merit in the departmental appeal. The Supreme Court in the case of Gurjargravures (supra) has itself observed that they were not called upon to consider a case where the assessee had failed to make a claim though there was evidence on record to support it, or a case where a claim was made but no evidence or insufficient evidence was adduced in support. The Andhra Pradesh High Court in the above referred case has held that the Tribunal, disposing of an appeal under the Income-tax Act, has got the power to allow the assessee to put forward a new claim, notwithstanding the fact that such a claim was not raised by him before the ITO or the AAC, provided there is sufficient material on record to allow such a claim. This principle equally applies to the Controller. We, therefore, agree with the contention of the learned counsel that the accountable person was entitled to raise a claim regarding the deduction of marriage expenses of Rs. 16,000, even before the Controller as the material for such a claim was available on record in the form of the will of the deceased.

7. On behalf of the accountable person, the learned counsel further submitted that the Controller (Appeals) was not correct in allowing the claim only for Rs. 4,000. He contended that the balance of Rs. 12,000 was allowable from other estate of the deceased. He was, however, unable to point out any provision in the Estate Duty Act, 1953 ('the Act'), for such a claim.

8. We have carefully considered the submissions placed before us. We agree with the finding of the Controller that the claim for the marriages of the daughters can be admitted only against the deceased's share in the HUF property. The claim is admissible under Section 39 of the Act. This section states that the value of the benefit accruing or arising from the cessor of a coparcenary interest in any joint family property governed by the Mitakshra school of Hindu law, which ceases on the death of a member thereof, shall be the principal value of the share in the joint family property which would have been allotted to the deceased had there been a partition immediately before his death.

This section, therefore, pre-sup-poses a notional partition of the joint family property. Under the Hindu law, provision has to be made for the marriages of the daughters out of the HUF property on its partition. Therefore, the value of the share of the deceased in the joint family property has to be determined after such a provision has been made. The share of the deceased in the present case was also, therefore, determined by the Controller after making provision for the marriage of the daughters. Since his share in the property was only to the extent of one-fourth, the Controller was correct in making provision to the extent of Rs. 4,000 being one-fourth of Rs. 16,000 intended to be spent in the marriages of the two daughters of the deceased. We do not find any provision in the Act for allowing any further deduction for the marriages of the daughters from the estate of the deceased. We do not agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the accountable person that the above expenditure was a charge on the estate of the deceased as per his will and, therefore, it can be allowed. There is again no provision in the Act for making any such deduction. In our opinion, therefore, the finding of the Controller is correct and does not require any interference. This contention in the appeal by the accountable person, therefore, fails.

10. In the result, while the appeal by the department is dismissed, that by the accountable person is partly allowed.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //