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Commissioner of Wealth-tax Vs. Smt. Chandrakala Lal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMatter No. 254 of 1970
Judge
Reported in[1978]111ITR185(Cal)
ActsWealth Tax Act, 1957 - Section 7(1)
AppellantCommissioner of Wealth-tax
RespondentSmt. Chandrakala Lal
Appellant AdvocateB.L. Pal and ;B.K. Bagchi, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateNone
Excerpt:
- .....(p.)ltd. messrs. lal holdings (p.) ltd. held certain shares in messrs. s. lal &co.; (p.) ltd. the shares held by the assessee in these two companies werevalued by the wealth-tax officer by adopting the break-up method ofvaluation of assets and not on the basis of book value of those shares. theappellate authorities had set aside the said valuation by holding thatthough the break-up method of valuation was permissible in the case ofthese two companies, it was not applicable in the case of an assessee-shareholder and the shares held by messrs. s. lal & co. (p.) ltd. inmessrs. lal holdings (p.) ltd. should be valued on the basis of their bookvalue as shown in the balance-sheet of the former company without anysuch adjustment and dismissed the appeals filed by the department. '3. mr. b. l......
Judgment:

Deb, J.

1. The following question is involved in this reference under Section 27(1) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 ;

'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the conclusion of the Tribunal that the break-up value of the shares of Messrs. Lal Holdings (P.) Ltd. should be determined on the basis of its balance-sheet figures was in accordance with law ?'

2. The reference relates to the wealth-tax assessment years 1963-64 and1964-65, for which the respective valuation dates are March 31, 1963, andMarch 31, 1964. The assessee held certain shares in two private limitedcompanies, namely, M/s. S. Lal & Co. (P.) Ltd. and M/s. Lal Holdings (P.)Ltd. Messrs. Lal Holdings (P.) Ltd. held certain shares in Messrs. S. Lal &Co.; (P.) Ltd. The shares held by the assessee in these two companies werevalued by the Wealth-tax Officer by adopting the break-up method ofvaluation of assets and not on the basis of book value of those shares. Theappellate authorities had set aside the said valuation by holding thatthough the break-up method of valuation was permissible in the case ofthese two companies, it was not applicable in the case of an assessee-shareholder and the shares held by Messrs. S. Lal & Co. (P.) Ltd. inMessrs. Lal Holdings (P.) Ltd. should be valued on the basis of their bookvalue as shown in the balance-sheet of the former company without anysuch adjustment and dismissed the appeals filed by the department. '

3. Mr. B. L. Pal, learned counsel for the revenue, has questioned the validity of the above reasonings and has urged that the break-up method of valuation of assets has been accepted by the Tribunal and, therefore, if it is held that this method is not applicable in the case of the assessee, it would lead to an anomalous position.

4. It has been held by the Supreme Court in the case of Commissioner of Wealth-tax v. Mahadeo Jalan : [1972]86ITR621(SC) , that the shares can be valued in the hands of a shareholder-assessee by adopting the recognised methods of valuation of shares and their application will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. In the case of Commissioner of Wealth-tax v. Mohanlal Nopany : [1970]78ITR435(Cal) , a Division Bench of this court has held that under Section 7(1) of the Wealth-tax Act when the wealth-tax authorities are considering the market value of the shares by following the break-up method of the assets of the company it is not possible to lay down the precise factor which would operate in the minds of the prospective buyers in the imaginary market. All that one can do is to consider what are the factors which reasonably a prospective buyer might consider and then decide how these factors affect the value of the shares. This decision has been noted by the Supreme Court in the case of Commissioner of Wealth-tax v. Hindustan Motors Ltd. [1976] 104 ITR 530 .

5. In our opinion, the market value of the shares cannot vary from personto person or from assessee to assessee. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case, it must be held that the market value of these sharesdetermined by the Wealth-tax Officer under Section 7(1) of the Act is correctand, accordingly, we return our answer in the negative and in favour of therevenue.

6. There will be no order as to costs.

Sankar Prasad Mitra, C.J.

7. I agree.


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