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State of Tamil Nadu Vs. P. Subbiah thevar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case Nos. 190 to 193 of 1972 (Revision Nos. 169 to 172 of 1972)
Judge
Reported in[1977]109ITR445(Mad)
ActsTamil Nadu Agricultural Income Tax Act, 1955 - Sections 2 and 3(1); Tamil Nadu Encroachment Act, 1905
AppellantState of Tamil Nadu
RespondentP. Subbiah thevar
Appellant AdvocateAdditional Government Pleader
Respondent AdvocateNone
Excerpt:
.....does he possess or enjoy the land as a tenant or mortgagee in possession or as maintenance holder, because, admittedly, he is a trespasser on the poramboke land to whom b memos have been issued under the provisions of the tamil nadu encroachment act, 1905. consequently, the respondent herein cannot be said to be a 'person' coming within the scope of section 3(1) of the tamil nadu agricultural income-tax act as defined in section 2(q) of the act and, therefore, the income derived by the respondent by his unauthorised occupation of the poramboke land cannot be subjected to tax under the provisions of the tamil nadu agricultural income-tax act, 1955. therefore, the conclusion of the tribunal does not call for any interference and the tax revision cases which relate to different years..........question raised in these tax revision cases, preferred by the state against the order of the tamil nadu agricultural income-tax appellate tribunal is whether the income derived by a person by unauthorised occupation of poramboke land belonging to the government can be taxed under the provisions of the tamil nadu agricultural income-tax act, 1955. the charging section is section 3(1) which says that agricultural income-tax at the rate or rates specified in part i of the schedule to this act shall be charged for each financial year commencing from the 1st april, 1955, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this act, on the total agricultural income of the previous year of every person. the expression 'agricultural income' as well as the expression 'person' have been denned in.....
Judgment:

Ismail, J.

1. The question raised in these tax revision cases, preferred by the State against the order of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Income-tax Appellate Tribunal is whether the income derived by a person by unauthorised occupation of poramboke land belonging to the Government can be taxed under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1955. The charging section is Section 3(1) which says that agricultural income-tax at the rate or rates specified in Part I of the Schedule to this Act shall be charged for each financial year commencing from the 1st April, 1955, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this Act, on the total agricultural income of the previous year of every person. The expression 'agricultural income' as well as the expression 'person' have been denned in the Act. The expression ' agricultural income ' has been defined in Section 2(a) of the Act as meaning, 'any rent or revenue derived from land or any income derived from such land in the State by agriculture.........'

2. 'Land' itself has been defined in Section 2(nnn) as follows :

''land' means agricultural land, that is to say, land which is used for agricultural purposes or purposes subservient thereto and is either assessed to land revenue in the State or is subject to a local rate assessed and collected by officers of the Government as such and includes horticultural land, forest land, garden land and plantations but does not include house site, or land used exclusively for pasture.'

3. The expression 'person' has been defined in Section 2(q) of the Act as :

''person' means any individual or association of individuals, owning or holding property for himself, or for any other, or partly for his own benefit and partly for another, either as owner, trustee, receiver, common manager, administrator or executor or in any capacity recognised by law, and includes an undivided Hindu Mitakshara family, an Aliyasanthana family or branch, a Marumakkathayam tarwad or a tavazhi possessing separate properties, or a Nambudiri or other family to which the rule of impartiality applies, a firm or a company, an association of individuals, whether incorporated or not, and any institution capable of holding property,'

4. Admittedly, the respondent in these cases does not own the land and consequently we have to find out whether he 'held the land' or not. The expression 'to hold' has been defined in Section 2(nn) of the Act, which is as follows:

''to hold' with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions means to possess and enjoy either as owner or tenant 'or mortgagee in possession or as a maintenance holder or in one or more of those capacities.'

5. Thus, it will be clear that a person is said 'to hold the land' only when he possesses or enjoys the same as owner or tenant or mortgagee in possession or as a maintenance holder or in one or more of those capacities. As we pointed out already, the land in question being poramboke land certainly the respondent does not own the land. Nor does he possess or enjoy the land as a tenant or mortgagee in possession or as maintenance holder, because, admittedly, he is a trespasser on the poramboke land to whom B memos have been issued under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Encroachment Act, 1905. Consequently, the respondent herein cannot be said to be a 'person' coming within the scope of Section 3(1) of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Income-tax Act as defined in Section 2(q) of the Act and, therefore, the income derived by the respondent by his unauthorised occupation of the poramboke land cannot be subjected to tax under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1955. Therefore, the conclusion of the Tribunal does not call for any interference and the tax revision cases which relate to different years giving rise to the same question are dismissed. Since the respondent is not represented before the court, there will be no order as to costs.


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