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M.N. Bhat Vs. Thirteenth Gift-tax Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtIncome Tax Appellate Tribunal ITAT Mumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1986)15ITD543(Mum.)
AppellantM.N. Bhat
RespondentThirteenth Gift-tax Officer
Excerpt:
.....no gift tax was payable. the gto, however, did not accept this claim on the ground firstly that no gift deed had been prepared by the assessee and secondly the donee was a married daughter. on appeal, the aac held that after her marriage on 25-12-1980, the daughter was already married and, therefore, no more dependent on the assessee and, therefore, the gift on 26-12-1980 was not gift to a relative dependent on the assessee for support and maintenance. he, therefore, upheld the order of the gto. the assessee is aggrieved and has, therefore, come up in the present appeal before us.3. the assessee's learned counsel, shri jain, submitted to us that it was a common custom that the gift of jewellery is always given on the day following the date of marriage because this is supposed to be the.....
Judgment:
1. This is an appeal filed by the assessee against the order of the AAC, O-Range, Bombay 2. The assessee is an individual and the appeal relates to the assessment year 1981-82. The assessee's daughter was married on 25-12-1980 and on the next day, i.e., 26-12-1980, the assessee gifted ornaments weighing 88 grams of the total value of Rs. 14,872 to her. It was claimed before the GTO that this gift was exempt to the extent of Rs. 10,000 under Section 5(1)(vii) of the Gift-tax Act, 1958 ('the Act') and since the remaining amount of Rs. 4,872 was below the taxable limit, i.e., basic exemption, no gift tax was payable. The GTO, however, did not accept this claim on the ground firstly that no gift deed had been prepared by the assessee and secondly the donee was a married daughter. On appeal, the AAC held that after her marriage on 25-12-1980, the daughter was already married and, therefore, no more dependent on the assessee and, therefore, the gift on 26-12-1980 was not gift to a relative dependent on the assessee for support and maintenance. He, therefore, upheld the order of the GTO. The assessee is aggrieved and has, therefore, come up in the present appeal before us.

3. The assessee's learned counsel, Shri Jain, submitted to us that it was a common custom that the gift of jewellery is always given on the day following the date of marriage because this is supposed to be the most auspicious occasion for gifts to the bride. Proceeding further, he submitted that till the bride leaves her parents' home and goes to the house of her husband or father-in-law, she is dependent on her parents for maintenance and support and, therefore, to say that the next day after the marriage even though she had not left her home she had already become independent of her parents, was not correct. He, therefore, submitted that the assessee's claim of exemption under Section 5(1)(vii) was admissible and was wrongly not allowed by the revenue authorities.

4. On the other hand, the learned departmental representative, Shri Raju, referred to the ruling of the Hon'ble Patna High Court in the case of CGT v. M.S. Rao [1976] 102 ITR 308 where their Lordships laid down that the oral gift of land at the time of marriage of which the possession was handed over subsequently followed by the execution of a gift deed long after the marriage could not be said to be a gift made on the occasion of the marriage of the assessee's daughter, which would be exempt from gift-tax under Section 5(1)(vii). He also relied on the order of the AAC in support of the department's case.

5. We have carefully considered the rival submissions. At the outset it will be necessary to point out that there is a distinction between gift of immovable property, which cannot be made except by a duly executed and registered conveyance deed and the gift of movable property, which can be made by mere delivery. The words 'on the occasion of marriage' mean not only the ceremonies of the marriage proper but also the ceremonies subsequent to the marriage before the bride and the bridegroom leave the bride's home. It is true that no gift deed has been executed in the present case but it is not the custom in Hindu society to execute a gift deed for gifts of jewellery or other presents on the occasion of daughter's marriage or such other auspicious occasions, particularly where the subject of the gift is movable property, which can be gifted by mere delivery of possession. It would be too much to say that immediately after the marriage ceremonies proper, the girl ceases to be dependent on her parents even while the subsequent ceremonies are still going on and she has not left along with her husband, her parents' house. Considering all these and, looking to the totality of the facts and circumstances, we have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that on the gift made by the assessee of gold ornaments to his daughter on the day following the marriage of the value of Rs. 14,872, the exemption of Rs. 10,000 as laid down under Section 5(1)(vii) was available. Since after this exemption the value of the gift is less than the basic exemption of Rs. 5,000, the gift-tax assessment has to be cancelled.


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