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Commissioner of Income-tax, Tamil Nadu-iii Vs. Wheels India Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case Nos. 1075 to 1078 of 1977 (Reference Nos. 740 to 743 of 1977)
Judge
Reported in[1983]141ITR745(Mad)
ActsIncome Tax Act 1961 - Sections 80E and 80-I
AppellantCommissioner of Income-tax, Tamil Nadu-iii
RespondentWheels India Ltd.
Appellant AdvocateJ. Jayaraman, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.V. Subramaniam, Adv.
Excerpt:
- .....decision was based on the requirement of the section that relief is restricted to 'any profits and gains attributable to any priority industry' occurring in s. 80-i. according to the department, the profits and gains from service charges and sale of scraps do not answer the description of profits and gains 'attributable to the priority industry'. 6. the tribunal in their order recorded a finding that although the receipts were in consideration of the services rendered by the company to its customers, those receipts related to the priority industry. 7. the question really is covered by a decision of the supreme court in cambay electric supply industrial co ltd. v. cit : [1978]113itr84(sc) . in that case, the supreme court had to deal with the construction of the expression 'profits and.....
Judgment:

Balasubrahmanyan, J.

1. Two questions of law have been referred to us by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal in this reference under the I.T. Act 1961. The first question of law is as follows :

'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Appellate Tribunal was right in holding that the entire technical aid fees paid to the foreign collaborator, M/s. Dunlop Rim and Wheel Company Ltd., should be allowed as a revenue expenditure and no portion of it should be disallowed as capital expenditure ?'

2. The answer to this question is covered by a previous decision of this court dated October 13, 1981, in CIT v. Wheels India Ltd., T.C. Nos. 1438 to 1448 of 1977 [1983] 141 ITR 748 (infra) and by T.C. Nos. 539 to 546 of 1977 (CIT v. Sundaram Clayton Ltd. : [1982]136ITR315(Mad) ). Following those decisions, we answer the question of law against the Department.

3. The second question of law for our decision is as follows :

'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Appellate Tribunal was right in holding that the assessee is entitled to relief under section 80-I in respect of the : sum of Rs. 1,59,861, being the service charges and sale of scraps for the assessment year 1971-72 ?'

4. The point for consideration is whether, when computing the income which is the subject-matter of tax relief under s. 80-I, the assessee's receipts from service charges and sale of scraps, can be included.

5. There is no dispute that the industry carried on by the assessee is a priority industry, since it is engaged in the manufacture of automobile parts, to wit, automobile wheels. The Department has granted relief with reference to the profits derived from that manufacture. The assessee, however, had receipts from sale of scraps which was a bye-product of this industry. The assessee also obtained money from the customers in consideration of the services rendered by the company in respect of their supplies. The Department did not take note of the receipts from service charges and from sale of scraps as part of the income to which relief under s. 80-I applies. Their decision was based on the requirement of the section that relief is restricted to 'any profits and gains attributable to any priority industry' occurring in s. 80-I. According to the Department, the profits and gains from service charges and sale of scraps do not answer the description of profits and gains 'attributable to the priority industry'.

6. The tribunal in their order recorded a finding that although the receipts were in consideration of the services rendered by the company to its customers, those receipts related to the priority industry.

7. The question really is covered by a decision of the Supreme Court in Cambay Electric Supply Industrial Co Ltd. v. CIT : [1978]113ITR84(SC) . In that case, the Supreme Court had to deal with the construction of the expression 'profits and gains attributable to priority industry', which occurs in s. 80E of the I.T. Act, 1961. It may be observed that s. 80E was later substituted by s. 80-I, which is the provision under discussion in the present case. In the case before the Supreme Court, the claim for relief under s. 80E was made by an electricity supply company. It was admitted by the Department in that case that profits and gains from the generation and distribution of electricity would fall within the ambit of the expression 'profits and gains attributable to a priority industry'. The assessee in that case claimed that the amounts which were included in their total income by way of re-capture of depreciation allowance (which had been granted in respect of plant and machinery which were subsequently sold) would also come in for relief under s. 80E, because the amount of balancing charge must also be dealt with as profits and gains attributable to a priority industry. The Supreme Court accepted this contention. They rejected the submission made on behalf of the Revenue that the balancing charge under which depreciation already granted is re-captured on sale of the plant and machinery cannot be regarded as the profits of the business as such but was merely an adjustment made for the purpose of assessment to income-tax. The Supreme Court considered the expression 'attributable to' as having a meaning winder than any other expression which might be thought of in connection with the emergence of profits from any business. The following passage may be quoted from the judgment to set down the Supreme Court's construction of the crucial words of the section (p. 93) :

'As regards the aspect emerging from the expression 'attributable to' occurring in the phrase 'profits and gains attributable to the business of' the specified industry (here generation and distribution of electricity) on which the learned Solicitor-General relied, it will be pertinent to observe that the legislature has deliberately used the expression 'attributable to' and not the expression 'derived from'. It cannot be disputed that the expression 'attributable to' is certainly wider in import than the expression 'derived from'. Had the expression 'derived from' been used, it could have with some force been contended that a balancing charge arising from the sale of old machinery and building cannot be regarded as profits and gains derived from the conduct of the business of generation and distribution of electricity'.

8. What the Supreme Court has decided on the construction of s. 80E, applies to the interpretation of the identical expression in s. 80-I of the Act. Following the ruling of the Supreme Court, we will have to decide the question in the present case also in the affirmative and against the Department. We do so accordingly.

9. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to coasts.


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