Skip to content


Anil Kumar Raha Vs. Wealth-tax Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtIncome Tax Appellate Tribunal ITAT Kolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1984)9ITD539(Kol.)
AppellantAnil Kumar Raha
RespondentWealth-tax Officer
Excerpt:
.....be disputed but it will follow from this proposition itself that the interest of a partner in the firm's assets is not nil. the value can still be computed. for the purpose of treating this value to be nil, reliance was placed upon the judgment of the calcutta high court in cwt v. u.c. mahatab [1970] 78 itr 214.however, this case has no application to the facts of the present case.in this case the compensation was payable only to the intermediary, whose right was acquired by the government after the compensation roll was prepared and finally published under section 21 of the west bengal estates acquisition act, 1953, and no compensation roll had been prepared or published on the relevant valuation date, so that the assessee had no right on the valuation date, to receive any compensation.....
Judgment:
1. These two appeals have been filed against the common order dated 23-2-1982 of the AAC and are, therefore, disposed of by this single order.

2. The main dispute in these appeals relates to the value of the assessee's interest in partnership firm Godhur Colliery Co. on the respective valuation dates. The assessee was a partner in that firm whose management was taken over by the Government on 17-10-1971 and the business itself was nationalised with effect from 1-5-1972.

3. The WTO noticed that the assessee had received a sum of Rs. 14,59,876.79 from the Commissioner of Payments, Dhanbad, being his share of compensation money, interest and other payments receivable by him as partner of the said firm. However, the assessee had shown the value of his interest in the said firm at Rs. 4,14,691 only. The assessee's contention in this behalf was that it was only this amount which represented the aggregate value of the share of income of the assessee from the said firm for the assessment years 1973-74 and 1974-75 and nothing more than could be added to that as being the net value of the assessee's share in the assets of the said firm. The WTO, however, was of the opinion that this amount was only the income receivable out of the compensation amount assessed in the hands of the firm but the compensation and other moneys awarded by the Government on account of the nationalisation of the firm had not been included in this amount. Therefore, the basis of computation adopted by the assessee was not correct. He deducted the interest assessed or assessable in the hands of the assessee in relation to the assessment years 1975-76 to 1979-80 and treated the balance of Rs. 10,44,719 as the value of the assessee's share in the said firm in the first year.

For the later year, he added a sum of Rs. 66,079 equivalent to the share of profit accruing to the assessee in the said firm in the assessment year 1975-76, thus, raising it to Rs. 1,11,079. Both these figures have been confirmed by the AAC on appeals. The assessee has, consequently, come up in second appeal before us.

4. We have heard the representatives of the parties at length in these appeals. The main contention urged on behalf of the assessee was that in the assessment year 1973-74 the basis suggested by the assessee for computation of the value of his share in the said firm had been accepted by the WTO and, therefore, no departure should have been made in the later years. As to the basis adopted by him the assessee produced before us an extract relating to the computation of the total income of the firm in the assessment year 1973-74 out of which the assessee's share came to Rs. 4,04,354. This was the amount payable to the firm on account of compensation for pre-takeover period profit, i.e., from 1-7-1971 to 16-10-1971, the profit accruing from 17-7-1971 to 30-4-1972 and management commission for this period less loss on account of nationalisation of the assets of the firm as on 1-5-1972.

The assessee's contention in this behalf was that this was the only amount that had been held to be payable to the assessee in this year.

The balance amount actually paid to the assessee was somewhere in the year 1978 and at the relevant time nothing more than this amount was payable to the assessee and could not form part of his net wealth. We are afraid, we are wholly disinclined to agree with this contention. A perusal of the items shown in this computation would show that this amount was payable to the firm on account of profits which would have been earned by it from 1-7-1971 onwards till 30-6-1972. None of these items includes the real compensation for the acquisition of the assets owned by the firm before nationalisation of the collieries. The income-tax assessment for the earlier year has, therefore, absolutely nothing to do with the computation of wealth of the assessee since wealth includes something more than what was payable in cash, i.e., the right to receive the balance amount of compensation. The representative of the assessee contended that the right to receive the balance compensation was contingent, uncertain and vague because until and unless the amount of liabilities incurred by the firm were determined, the Commissioner of Payments would not pay a single penny over and above the amount shown by the assessee to be payable and these liabilities were neither ascertained nor very clearly determined on the relevant accounting dates. Reliance was placed in this behalf on the well known proposition of law laid down in the case of Addanki Narayanappa v. Bhaskara Krishnappa AIR 1966 SC 1300, that a partner has no interest in any specific asset of the firm till the firm is dissolved and the assets are distributed. Reference was also made to the judgment of the Allahabad High Court in Juggilal Kamlapat Bankers v. WTO [1979] 116 ITR 646 wherein this proposition was held to be applicable to wealth-tax matters also. The legal proposition laid down in these authorities cannot be disputed but it will follow from this proposition itself that the interest of a partner in the firm's assets is not nil. The value can still be computed. For the purpose of treating this value to be nil, reliance was placed upon the judgment of the Calcutta High Court in CWT v. U.C. Mahatab [1970] 78 ITR 214.

However, this case has no application to the facts of the present case.

In this case the compensation was payable only to the intermediary, whose right was acquired by the Government after the compensation roll was prepared and finally published under Section 21 of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953, and no compensation roll had been prepared or published on the relevant valuation date, so that the assessee had no right on the valuation date, to receive any compensation for the acquisition of his asset. The Tribunal had further held that the assessee had no actionable claim which could be deemed to have a hypothetical market value. In the present case the amount of compensation payable in respect of the assets of the firm acquired was determined before the relevant valuation dates and it was specifically mentioned in the Godhur Coal Mines Nationalisation Act that the amount of Rs. 33,77,000 was payable as compensation to Godhur Colliery Co. and out of that the only deduction was to be on account of liabilities of the firm. The WTO has already considered this aspect of the matter and has treated the net amount of compensation paid to the assessee as the wealth of the assessee.

5. It was next contended that the amount of compensation paid to the assessee also included the amount of interest falling due to the firm for the subsequent years, i.e., 1976-77 to 1979-80, which could not be the asset of the assessee in this year. There is again little force in this contention. Interest assessed or assessable in the subsequent years has been specifically considered by the WTO and the assessee's share therein has been deducted while computing his net wealth during the relevant accounting years. So this argument has also no force.

6. Lastly, it was contended that in any case the amount was not paid to the assessee on the relevant valuation dates and what the assessee owned at that time was the right to receive compensation in respect of the colliery but the actual amount not having been paid, the whole of it could not be considered to be the assessee's asset. Support was sought to be drawn to this proposition from the judgment of the Supreme Court of India in Pandit Lakshmi Kant Jha v. CWT [1973] 90 ITR 97, which case in fact was relied upon by the departmental representative for the proposition that the right to receive compensation is property, though the date of payment may differ, and constitutes an asset. In this case itself the right to receive the compensation under the Bihar Land Reform Act, 1950, was determined by the Tribunal at 65 per cent of the compensation determined by the compensation officer. While we are of the opinion that there is not much scope for reducing the net value of the assets from the amount of compensation actually in the present case because here the amount was nearly certain except for the liabilities which the assessee had to point out, we are of the opinion that some concession may be shown to the assessee in view of the fact that the compensation was not immediately available to him. Keeping in view the all over facts and circumstances of the case, we hold that 90 per cent of the balance actually received by the assessee in 1978 over and above the amount that had been shown to be his wealth by the assessee on the relevant valuation dates in relation to the compensation may be treated to be the value of his interest in the assets of the firm. In other words, the assessee shall get a relief of 10 per cent in respect of the balance amount which he is disputing in toto.

7. to 10. [These paras are not reproduced here as they involve minor issues.]


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