Vedavyasa Vidyapeeta,, Hyderabad v. DIT (Exemptions),, Hyderabad

ITA 1104/HYD/2013 | misc
Pronouncement Date: 31-10-2013 | Result: Allowed

Appeal Details

RSA Number 110422514 RSA 2013
Assessee PAN AABTV5755A
Bench Hyderabad
Appeal Number ITA 1104/HYD/2013
Duration Of Justice 3 month(s) 4 day(s)
Appellant Vedavyasa Vidyapeeta,, Hyderabad
Respondent DIT (Exemptions),, Hyderabad
Appeal Type Income Tax Appeal
Pronouncement Date 31-10-2013
Appeal Filed By Assessee
Order Result Allowed
Bench Allotted A
Tribunal Order Date 31-10-2013
Assessment Year misc
Appeal Filed On 26-07-2013
Judgment Text
1 ITA.NO.1104/HYD/2013 VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL HYDERABAD BENCHES A : HYDERABAD BEFORE SHRI B. RAMAKOTAIAH ACCOUNTANT MEMBER AND SMT. ASHA VIJAYARAGHAVAN JUDICIAL MEMBER ITA.NO.1104/HYD/2013 VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD PAN AABTV5755A VS. DIRECTOR OF INCOM E TAX (EXEMPTIONS) HYDERABAD. (APPELLANT) (RESPONDENT) FOR APPELLANT : SHRI RAVINDRA CHENJI FOR RESPONDENT : SHRI P. SOMSEKHAR REDDY DATE OF HEARING : 24.10.2013 DATE OF PRONOUNCEMENT : 31.10.2013 ORDER PER SMT. ASHA VIJAYARAGHAVAN J.M. THIS APPEAL FILED BY THE ASSESSEE-TRUST AG AINST THE ORDER OF THE DIRECTOR OF INCOME TAX (EXEMPTIONS) HYDE RABAD DATED 29.05.2013. 2. THE BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE ARE THAT THE ASSESSEE- TRUST WAS FORMED VIDE TRUST-DEED EXECUTED ON 16.07.2012 AND HAS FILED AN APPLICATION IN FORM NO.10A ON 15.1 1.2012 SEEKING REGISTRATION U/S.12AA OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961 . ON THE SAID APPLICATION THE DIT(E) ISSUED A QUESTION NAIRE VIDE LETTER DATED 18.02.2013 REQUESTING THE ASSESSEE-TRUST TO PRODUCE ORIGINAL TRUST-DEED FURNISH DETAILS ON SPECIFI C POINTS AND ALSO TO PRODUCE BOOKS OF ACCOUNTS ETC. FOR VERIFICATION. ON PERUSAL OF THE OBJECTS OF THE TRUST AS CONTAINED IN THE TRUST-DEED IT WAS NOTICED BY THE DIT(E) 2 ITA.NO.1104/HYD/2013 VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD THAT ASSESSEE TRUST IS CARRYING ON BOTH CHARITABLE AND RELIGIOUS OBJECTS. THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSESSEE-TRUST IS TO PROMOTE EDUCATION BOTH IN SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES. IN FACT THE OBJECT CLAUSES (I) TO (IV) & (VI) AS MENTIONED UNDER PARA 4 AT PAGE 3 OF THAT TRUST-DEED ARE OF CHARITABLE NATUR E. THE OBJECT CLAUSE (V) WHICH IS OF RELIGIOUS NATURE IS AS U NDER : (V) TO CONDUCT SABHAS CONFERENCES FOR PROPAGATION OF DWAITA SIDDHANTHA AND TO CONDUCT CONVOCATIONS ETC. 3. THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE EXPLAINING ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED ON BY THE TRUST IN A NOTE FURNISHED SEPARATELY VIDE LETTER DATED 22.04.2013 BEFOR E THE DIT(E) SUBMITTED THAT THE TRUST HAS SET UP A VEDIC SC HOOL AND AS ON TODAY THE INSTITUTION HAS TEN STUDENTS TO WH OM VEDIC EDUCATION IS BEING IMPARTED. IT WAS FURTHER STATED BEFORE DIT(E) THAT BESIDES VEDIC EDUCATION THEY ARE A LSO TAUGHT ADWIATA DWIATHA AND VISHISTHA ADWIATHA PHILOSOPHIES. IT WAS FURTHER STATED BEFORE THE DIT(E) T HAT THE TRUST HAS SET UP A RESEARCH FUND FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING ON RESEARCH OF THE VEDAS AND DWIATHA PHILOSOPH Y. IT WAS FURTHER SUBMITTED BEFORE THE DIT(E) THAT THE TR UST HAS PAID HONORARIUM TO SCHOLARS WHO DELIVERED LECTURES ON VEDAS AND OTHER PHILOSOPHIES. IT WAS FURTHER STATED TH AT THE TRUST HAS ARRANGED ANNADANAM IN ONE OF THE CONVOCAT ION HELD IN JANUARY 2013 AT MALKAJGIRI HYDERABAD. 4. THE DIT(E) HELD AS FOLLOWS : 2.2. FROM SUCH OBJECTS IN THE TRUST-DEED AND SUCH NOTE REGARDING ACTIVITIES FURNISHED IT SHOWS THAT THE ASSESSEE TRUST IS PURSING BOTH RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES. IN VIEW OF HAVING BOTH CHARITABLE AND RELIGIOUS OBJECTS THAT THE APPLICAN T TRUST IS THUS A TRUST WITH MIXED OBJECTS IS MEANT 3 ITA.NO.1104/HYD/2013 VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD FOR BOTH CHARITABLE AND RELIGIOUS PURPOSES. UNDER THIS CIRCUMSTANCE AND SINCE THE TRUST HAS BEEN CREATED ON 16.7.2012 I.E. AFTER I.E. AFTER 01/04/1962 AND MOREOVER IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 11(1)(A) OF THE ACT WHEREIN REFERENCE HAS BEEN MADE TO WHOLLY CHARITABLE PURPOSES OR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES UNDER THAT CIRCUMSTANCE HAVING REGARD TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12A(1)(AA) OF THE ACT R.W.S. 11(1)(A) OF THE ACT THE ASSESSEE-TRUST IN THIS CASE WOULD NO T BE ELIGIBLE FOR REGISTRATION U/S.12AA OF THE ACT. FURTHER UNDER SUCH FACTS KEEPING IN VIEW THE RATIO OF DECISION OF HON'BLE SUPREME COURT IN STATE OF KERALA V. M.P. SHANTI VARMA JAIN(1998) 231 ITR 787(SC) AND CIT VS. PALGHAT SHADI MAHAL TRUST (2002) 254 ITR 212 (SC) AND CIT V. UPPER GANGES SUGAR MILLS LTD. (1997) 227 ITR 578 AND OF THE HON'BEL JAMMU & KASHMIR HIGH COURT IN GHULAM MOHIDDIN TRUST VS. CIT [2001] 248 ITR 587 THE ABOVE TRUST WOULD ALSO NOT BE ELIGIBLE FO R REGISTRATION U/S.12AA OF THE ACT. 5. HENCE THE DIT(E) HELD THAT REGISTRATION SOUGHT UNDER SECTION 12AA OF THE ACT IS TO BE REJECTED. 6. ON APPEAL BEFORE US THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR TH E ASSESSEE SUBMITTED THAT THE ASSESSEE-TRUST IS HAVIN G MIXED OBJECTS AS PER THE TRUST DEED AND IS PURSUING BOTH RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES. FOR THE PROPOSITION THAT THE TRUST WITH MIXED OBJECTS IS ELIGIBLE FOR EXEMPTION UNDER SECTION 12AA THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE RELIED O N THE ORDER OF CO-ORDINATE BENCH OF THIS TRIBUNAL IN THE CASE OF VENKATESWARA VARDHAKYA SEVA KENDRAM WELFARE TRUST KURNOOL VS. DIT (E) HYDERABAD IN ITA.NO.450 AND 451/HYD/2013 DATED 11.7.2013 AND ALSO THE DECISION OF THE COORDINATE BENCH IN THE CASE OF REHOBOTH MISSION VS . DIT(E) REPORTED IN 42 SOT 149 AND IN THE CASE OF ADDL. DIR ECTOR OF INCOME TAX (E) VS. ISLAMIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION 58 S OT 10 (MUM.) 4 ITA.NO.1104/HYD/2013 VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD 7. THE LEARNED D.R. ON THE OTHER HAND RELIED ON TH E ORDER OF THE DIT(E). 8. WE HAVE HEARD BOTH THE PARTIES AND PERUSED THE MATERIAL AVAILABLE ON RECORD. WE FIND THAT THE ORDE RS OF COORDINATE BENCH OF THIS TRIBUNAL IN THE CASE OF M/ S. VENKATESWARA VARDHAKYA SEVA KENDRAM WELFARE TRUST K URNOOL VS. DIT (EXEMPTIONS) HYDERABAD IN ITAS. NO. 450 AND 451/HYD/2013 DATED 11.07.2013 HAS FOLLOWED THE DECIS ION OF THE COORDINATE BENCH IN THE CASE OF REHOBOTH MISSION VS . DIT(E) HYDERABAD REPORTED IN 42 SOT 149. IN THE CASE OF REH BOTH MISSION (SUPRA) IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY WHOSE OBJECTS ARE PARTLY RELIGIOUS AND PARTLY CHARITABLE IS ELIGIBLE FOR REGISTRATION UNDER SECTION 12AA CONSEQUENTLY THE D IRECTOR OF I.T. (EXEMPTION) WAS DIRECTED TO GRANT REGISTRATION TO THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY SUBJECT TO FULFILMENT OF OTHER CONDITIONS IF ANY. THE RELEVANT OBSERVATIONS IN THE CASE OF REHOBOTH MISSI ON (SUPRA) ARE AS UNDER : '6. WE HAVE GONE THROUGH THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. 13(1)(B) OF THE ACT. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LANGUAGE OF THIS PROVISION TO SUGGEST THAT AN INSTITUTION OF MIXED OBJECTS IS PRECLUDED FROM GETTING REGISTRATION U/S 12AA OF THE ACT. IT IS ALSO SEEN FROM THE OBJECTS OF THE TRUST IN QUESTION THAT THE ASSESSEE IS CARRYING ON NO NON-CHARITABLE OR NON-RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES. WE PLACE RELIANCE ON THE JUDGEMENT OF ACIT V. BARKATE SAIFIYAH SOCIETY 213 ITR 492 (GUJ) AND CIT V. CHANDRA CHARITABLE TRUST 294 ITR 86 (GUJ) WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT A TRUST CAN EITHER BE FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES OR FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSES OR IT CAN BE FOR BOTH. ONLY A TRUST WHICH IS FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSE IS EXCLUDED AND DEBARRED FROM REGISTRATION U/S 12AA OF THE ACT. A TRUST WHOSE OBJECT IS CHARITABLE AS WELL AS RELIGIOUS IS NOT DEBARRED FROM REGISTRATION. FURTHER IN THE CASE OF NEW 5 ITA.NO.1104/HYD/2013 VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD LIFE IN CHRIST EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION V. CIT & OTHERS 246 ITR 532 (MAD) WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT FOR GRANTING OR REFUSING REGISTRATION U/S 12A IN RELATION TO SUCH TRUST THE ONLY CONDITION PRECEDENT IS THAT AN APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION SHOULD BE MADE IN TIME AND THE ACCOUNTS OF THE INSTITUTE SHOULD BE AUDITED. NO ENQUIRY ABOUT OBJECTS OF THE TRUST CAN BE MADE U/S 12A OF THE ACT. WE HAVE GONE THROUGH ALL THE JUDGEMENTS CITED BY THE LEARNED COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE. THE FACTS OF THE CASE IN THE CASE CONSIDERED BY THE GUJARAT HIGH COURT SQUARELY APPLY TO THE FACTS OF THE CASE ON HAND. THE DEPARTMENT HAS NOT BROUGHT ANY CONTRARY DECISION TO OUR NOTICE. IN OUR OPINION IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER CONSIDERATION THE DIT(E) SHOULD NOT HAVE REJECTED THE APPLICATION OF THE ASSESSEE FOR REGISTRATION U/S 12AA OF THE ACT ON THIS REASON. COMMENTING ON THE HONOURABLE GUJARAT HIGH COURT DECISION THE DIT(E) HAS OBSERVED THAT THE HON'BLE HIGH COURT HAS INTRODUCED A NEW CONCEPT KNOWN AS 'CHARITABLE RELIGIOUS TRUST.' ACCORDING TO HIM TRUST HAS TO BE EITHER WHOLLY RELIGIOUS OR WHOLLY CHARITABLE. OTHERWISE IT IS NOT ENTITLED FOR REGISTRATION AND THE HON'BLE GUJARAT HIGH COURT DID NOT CONSIDER THE WORD 'OR' WHICH HAS BEEN EMPLOYED U/S 11(1)(A) AND SEC. 12 OF THE ACT AND THE HON'BLE HIGH COURT HAS INTERPRETED SEC. 13(1)(B) OF THE ACT. WE ARE UNABLE TO AGREE WITH THE DIT(E) AS TO HOW AND WHY THE JUDGEMENT OF THE HON'BLE GUJARAT HIGH COURT IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE FACTS OF THE PRESENT CASE. THERE IS NO SUCH BAR SINCE THERE IS NO JURISDICTIONAL HIGH COURT'S JUDGEMENT ON THIS ISSUE TO THE CONTRARY AND THIS OBSERVATION OF THE DIT(E) IS UNWARRANTED. CONSEQUENTLY WE DIRECT THE DIT(E) TO GRANT REGISTRATION TO THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY SUBJECT TO FULFILMENT OF OTHER CONDITIONS IF ANY.' 9. WE THEREFORE RESPECTFULLY FOLLOWING THE DECISI ONS IN THE CASE OF M/S. VENKATESWARA VARDHAKYA SEVA KENDRAM WELFATE TRUST KURNOOL AND THE DECISION IN THE CASE OF REHO BOTH MISSION 6 ITA.NO.1104/HYD/2013 VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD (SUPRA) DIRECT THE DIT(E) TO GRANT REGISTRATION TO THE ASSESSEE- TRUST SUBJECT TO FULFILMENT OF CONDITIONS IF ANY. AC CORDINGLY WE ALLOW THE APPEAL OF THE ASSESSEE FOR STATISTICAL PU RPOSES. 10. IN THE RESULT APPEAL OF THE ASSESSEE IS ALLOW ED FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES. ORDER PRONOUNCED IN THE OPEN COURT ON 31.10.2013. SD/- SD/- (B. RAMAKOTAIAH) (ASHA VIJAYARAGHAVAN) ACCOUNTANT MEMBER JUDICIAL MEMBER HYDERABAD DATE 31 ST OCTOBER 2013. VBP/- COPY TO 1. VEDAVYASA VIDYAPEETA HYDERABAD C/O. RAVINDRA CHENJI ADVOCATE C-308 AHUJA ESTATE HYDERABAD. 2. THE DIRECTOR OF INCOME TAX (EXEMPTIONS) HYDERABAD. 3. ADIT(E)-III HYDERABAD 4. D.R. A BENCH ITAT HYDERABAD 5. GUARD FILE.