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Ahmedabad Military and Rifle Vs. Income-tax Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtIncome Tax Appellate Tribunal ITAT Ahmedabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1983)4ITD286(Ahd.)
AppellantAhmedabad Military and Rifle
Respondentincome-tax Officer
Excerpt:
.....the case of sole trustee, loka shikshana trust v. cit [1975] 101 itr 234: the sense in which the word 'education' has been used in section 2(75) in the systematic instruction, schooling or training given to the young is preparation for the work of life. it also connotes the whole course of scholastic instruction which a person has received. the word 'education' has not been used in that wide and extended sense, according to which every acquisition of further knowledge constitutes education. according to this wide and extended sense, travelling is education, because as a result of travelling you acquire fresh knowledge. likewise, if you read newspapers and magazines, see pictures, visit art gallaries, museums and zoos, you thereby add to your knowledge. again, when you grow up and have.....
Judgment:
1. Both the above appeals give rise to the same question. They are, therefore, dealt with by this common order. The assessee has claimed exemption of its income from the income-tax under Section 10(22) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 ('the Act') and in the alternative the depreciation in respect of its assets. Clause (22) of Section 10 is as follows: (22) Any income of a university or other educational institution, existing solely for educational purposes and not for purposes of profit ; 2. The short question for our consideration is whether the assessee can be called an educational institution. The objects of the assessee are as follows: (i) To impart knowledge of physical culture and sports to build up healthy bodies.

(iv) To popularise the use of arms in a proper (regulated and disciplined) manner for the purpose of self-defence.

(v) To disseminate the knowledge of correct arming particularly among agriculturists, to enable them to protect their cattle and crops from wild animals for training the eye and hands.

(vi) To establish or co-operate in the establishment of rifle training in different parts of Gujarat.

(viii) To publish and encourage literature in Gujarati on physical education in general and rifle training in particular.

3. The ITO held that the said objects are not educational in the strict sense but they are meant for general education covering wide range of things in the name of training. He, therefore, rejected the assessee's claim. The AAC held that the objects showed that the assessee could not be termed as an educational institution and confirmed the ITO's order.

Regarding the depreciation also rejection of the assessee's claim by the ITO has been confirmed by the AAC.4. Before us Shri J.P. Shah, the learned counsel for the assessee, has argued that the education is not necessarily something which is formally imparted in a university and it does not necessarily mean connection with the letters. He has referred to the following passage in the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Sole Trustee, Loka Shikshana Trust v. CIT [1975] 101 ITR 234: The sense in which the word 'education' has been used in Section 2(75) in the systematic instruction, schooling or training given to the young is preparation for the work of life. It also connotes the whole course of scholastic instruction which a person has received.

The word 'education' has not been used in that wide and extended sense, according to which every acquisition of further knowledge constitutes education. According to this wide and extended sense, travelling is education, because as a result of travelling you acquire fresh knowledge. Likewise, if you read newspapers and magazines, see pictures, visit art gallaries, museums and zoos, you thereby add to your knowledge. Again, when you grow up and have dealings with other people, some of whom are not straight, you learn by experience and thus add to your knowledge of the ways of the world. If you are not careful, your wallet is liable to be stolen or you are liable to be cheated by some unscrupulous person. The thief who removes your wallet and the swindler who cheats you teach you a lesson and in the process make you wiser though poorer. If you visit a night club, you get acquainted with and add to your knowledge about some of the not much revealed realities and mysteries of life.

All this in a way is education in the great school of life. But that is not the sense in which the word 'education' is used in Clause (15) of Section 2. What education connotes in that clause is the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of students by normal schooling.(p. 241) 5. On the basis of this above quotation he has argued that the distinction is between what is systematic and what is not systematic and if it is systematic training, it is education and if it is not systematic, it is not education.

6. He has further referred to the following passage from the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the case of Governing Body of Rangaraya Medical College v. ITO [1979] 117 ITR 284: We may now consider the meaning of the expression 'educational institution'. In England the 'educational institutions' are exempt from taxation if it is shown that the objects of the institution are charitable. It has been held that promotion of education by establishing and maintaining schools and colleges is charitable. It has been further held: Analogous to colleges and schools are institutions, the object of which is the diffusion of knowledge of a particular type, as the Zoological Society, the Geographical Society, the Royal Literary Society, the Royal Society and the Royal Choral Society.... (p. 288) From this he has argued that if a Choral Society could be regarded as an educational institution why not Ahmedabad Military & Rifle Association.

7. He has also referred to the decision of the Madras High Court in the case of Addl. CIT v. Aditahar Educational Institution [1979] 118 ITR 235, in support of his contention that any educational institution would fall within the scope of Section 10(22) even though it may or may not have anything to do with the university.

8. On the other hand, the learned departmental representative has argued that the rifle shooting is a sport and would fall within Clause (23). He has invited our attention to Kanga and Palkhivala's The Law and Practice of Income-tax, 1976 Edition, Vol. II, page 831, wherein it has been mentioned that rifle shooting has been specified by the Central Government by a Notification SO 1101, dated 1-3-1967 in exercise of the powers under Section 10(23). He has also invited our attention to pages 832 and 833 of that book, where various bodies have been approved by the Central Government in exercise of its powers under the said section, and the National Rifle Association is also mentioned therein. He has contended that Clauses (22) and (23) are mutually exclusive and the inclusion of the assessee in Clause (23) would exclude it from the scope of Clause (22). He has further argued that from the above quotations in the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Loka Shikshana Trust (supra), it is clear that the word 'education' is not to have a wide sense. He has emphasised the following sentence in the quotations: "The word 'education' has not been used in that wide and extended sense, according to which every acquisition of further knowledge constitutes education." He has further argued that nowhere in the objects clause of the assessee is there any mention of education.

9. Shri J.P. Shah has replied that Clauses (22) and (23) are not mutually exclusive and has urged that the revenue's argument is not tenable because according to that activity does not (sic) fall within Clause (22) because it falls within Clause (23) and so if it falls within Clause (22) it does not fall within Clause (23). But the real question is to which particular clause does the activity actually belong. He has relied upon the decision of the Gujarat High Court in the case of CWT v. Mrs. Arundhati Bal-krishna [1968] 70 1TR 203, in support of his contention that when there are two entries; which are to be considered, it would not be a proper manner of construction that if an item falls within one entry it is excluded from the other.

In the alternative he has urged that the assessee would in any case be entitled to depreciation in respect of its assets.

10. The quotations from the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Loka Shikshana Trust (supra) brings out two points: (a) That the word 'education' is not to be taken in a wide and extended sense. All kinds of acquisition of knowledge cannot be termed 'education'. The last word 'normal schooling' in the quotations brings this out very clearly.

(b) Systematic instruction is clearly implied. We are of the view that although there might be systematic instruction in this case the assessee would not satisfy the requirements of the first point (a) above.

11. With regard to Shri Shah's contention that if a Choral Society can be termed 'educational institution' why not the assessee, we are of the view that the aforesaid quotations from the Supreme Court, that the word 'education' has not to be taken in a wide and extended sense, should govern our decision in this case. Moreover it also appears from the above quotations in the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Ranga-raya Medical College (supra) that the Court was more concerned with the question whether the institutions were of a charitable nature or not i.e., not promoting interest of individuals. Of course, we agree with Shri J.P. Shah that the education is not something which is necessarily imparted in a university but that does not mean that we can give a wide and extended meaning of that term. That brings us to the last and most important consideration which has weighed with us. The Central Government has notified rifle shooting as a specified sport and approved the National Rifle Association in exercise of the powers under Clause (23). The Supreme Court in the case of K. P. Varghese v. ITO [1981] 131 ITR 597 at page 612 has regarded the CBDT circular as contemporanea expositio and considered that as an administrative construction and relied upon it. In the present case this is a statutory notification under Clause (23) and it has greater value as contemporanea expositio which regards rifle shooting as a sport.

Chambers Dictionary, 1979 Edition, has mentioned shooting explaining the word 'sport'. Therefore, we hold that the assessee's case would be covered by Clause (23).

12. In the case of Arundhati Balkrishna (supra), the Court was concerned with two Clauses (viii) and (xv) of Section 5 of the Wealth-tax Act and it drew a distinction between them by pointing out that under Clause (viii) personal use was necessary whereas under Clause (xv), the test was of ownership only. It was held that if jewellery was intended for personal use it would be exempt under Clause (viii) but if it was not for personal use it would be exempt only up to Rs. 25,000 under Clause (xv). The decision there is that although an item can fall under two entries, the entry appropriate to the item would be applicable. Therefore, the inclusion of the item under an appropriate entry would exclude it from the other entry and in that sense the two entries are mutually exclusive. The case, therefore, is not an authority for the proposition that with regard to any particular item the entries are not mutually exclusive. In simple terms, the rule is that we have to choose the most appropriate entry and apply it.

There is nothing extraordinary in this. This is well established principle with regard to all cases where the entries have to be ascertained to cover items. In this case, rifle shooting is a sport and would most appropriately be considered under Clause (23) and not under Clause (22). Therefore, the aforesaid decision in the case of Arundhati Balkrishna (supra), although cited by the assessee's counsel, is actually in favour of the revenue.

13. For the aforesaid reasons, we are of the view that the assessee would not be entitled to exemption under Clause (22).

However, the assessee is entitled to his claim for depreciation. His case is covered by this Tribunal's decision in the case of ITO v. Shri Ajitnath Bhagwan Jain Deharasar [IT Appeal Nos. 961 & 962 (Ahd.) of 1980 dated 20-6-1981].


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