Sri Shirdi Sai Charitable Trust, CHENNAI v. ITO, Nagercoil

ITA 1941/CHNY/2010 | misc
Pronouncement Date: 03-01-2011 | Result: Allowed

Appeal Details

RSA Number 194121714 RSA 2010
Assessee PAN AAJTS0662B
Bench Chennai
Appeal Number ITA 1941/CHNY/2010
Duration Of Justice 1 month(s) 17 day(s)
Appellant Sri Shirdi Sai Charitable Trust, CHENNAI
Respondent ITO, Nagercoil
Appeal Type Income Tax Appeal
Pronouncement Date 03-01-2011
Appeal Filed By Assessee
Order Result Allowed
Bench Allotted B
Tribunal Order Date 03-01-2011
Assessment Year misc
Appeal Filed On 16-11-2010
Judgment Text
IN THE INCOMETAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL: B-BENCHL;CHENN AI (BEFORE SHRI ABRAHAM P. GEORGE. ACCOUNTANT MEMBER AND SHRI GEORGE MATHAN JUDICIAL MEMBER) ITA NO. 1941 / MDS/ 10 SHRI SHRIDI SAI CHARITABLE TRUST 306 ARUNACHALAM COLONY NAGERCOIL 629001 KANYAKUMARI DIST. (PAN AAJTS0662B VS THE I.T.O WARD I(1) NAGERCOIL. (APPELLANT) (RESPONDENT) APPELLANT BY: RESPONDENT BY: SHRI S.SRIDHAR SHRI P.B.SEKARAN CIT-DR ORDER PER SHRI ABRAHAM P.GEORGE ACCOUNTANT MEMBER: IN THIS APPEAL ASSESSEE ASSAILS THE ORDER OF CIT R EJECTING ITS APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION UNDER SEC. 12AA OF THE INCOME-TAX ACT 1961 (THE ACT FOR SHORT). 2. SHORT FACTS APROPOS ARE THAT THE ASSESSEE HAD FILED AN APPLICATION ON 31-03-2010 FOR REGISTRATION UNDER SEC. 12AA OF THE ACT BEFORE THE CIT. COPY OF THE TRUST DEED WAS ANNEXED ALONGWITH THE APPLICATIO N. CIT WAS OF THE OPINION THAT THE OBJECTS OF THE TRUST THOUGH APPARENTLY CH ARITABLE IN NATURE WAS IN FACT BOTH RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE. AS PER CLAUSE ONE OF ITS OBJECTS ASSESSEE TRUST COULD DEED ASSESSEE COULD CONSTRUCT AND MAINTAIN S HRIDI SAIBABA MEDICATION AND PRAYER HALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF PUBLIC AND ACCOR DING TO THE LD. CIT THIS WAS A RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY. FURTHER AS PER CIT ASSESSEE T RUST WAS CONSTRUCTING A BUILDING ITA NO.1941/MDS//10. 2 FOR THE PURPOSE OF USING IT AS A TEMPLE. ACCORDING TO HIM MERE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING WOULD NOT AMOUNT TO CHARITABLE ACTIVITY. HE CAME TO A CONCLUSION THAT NEITHER THE GENUINENESS OF THE TRUST NOR THE CHARIT ABLE NATURE WERE ESTABLISHED AND THEREFORE DENIED REGISTRATION UNDER SEC. 12AA O F THE ACT. 3. NOW BEFORE US LD. AR STRONGLY ASSAILING THE ORD ER OF THE CIT SUBMITTED THAT ASSESSEE WAS INDEED A CHARITABLE TRUST AND CON STRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF A PRAYER HALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC WOULD N OT MAKE IT A RELIGIOUS TRUST. ACCORDING TO HIM ASSESSEE HAD AT NO POINT OF TIME STATED THAT THE BUILDING BEING CONSTRUCTED WAS FOR USE AS A TEMPLE. RELIANCE WAS P LACED ON TRUST DEED DATED 03-01-2008 AND OBJECTS CLAUSE MENTIONED THEREIN FO R ARGUING THAT ASSESSEE WAS INDEED A CHARITABLE TRUST AND NOT RELIGIOUS TRUST. 4. PER CONTRA LD. DR STRONGLY SUPPORTED THE ORDER OF THE CIT. 5. WE HAVE CAREFULLY PERUSED THE ORDER OF THE CIT A ND HEARD THE RIVAL SUBMISSIONS. THE OBJECT CLAUSE OF THE ASSESSEE TRUS T RUNS AS UNDER: ! CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE SHIRDI SAIBABA ME DITATION AND PRAYER HALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC. 2. CONSTRUCTION AND RUNNING OF SCHOOLS COLLEGES E DUCATION INSTITUTIONS FREE DISPENSARIES CENTRES FOR POOR FEEDING AND HOM E FOR THE AGED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC. 3. GRANTING OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ANY EDUCATIO NAL INSTITUTION FOR GRANTING SCHOLARSHIPS PRIZES MEDALS AWARD FOR EX CELLENCE ION STUDIES SPORTS AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DISTRIBUTION OF BOO KS AND NOTE BOOKS FOR POOR AND DESERVING STUDIES. 4. ESTABLISHMENT CONDUCT MAINTENANCE OF CLINICA L LABORATORIES HOSPITALS NURSING HOMES DISPENSARIES AND INSTITUTIONS OF SIM ILAR NATURE AND PROVIDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THE DESERVING PER SONS FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT INM ANY MEDICAL INSTITUTION. ITA NO.1941/MDS//10. 3 5. PROVING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR PERFORMING ANN ADHANAM AND FEEDING THE POOR DIRECTLY AND THROUGH OTHER INSTITUTIONS. 6. ESTABLISHMENT CONDUCT MAINTENANCE OF OLD AGE HOME HOMES FOR PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND P ERSONS WITH SIMILAR DISABILITIES AND ALSO FOR GRANTING FINANCIAL ASSIST ANCE TO INSTITUTIONS PERFORMING SIMILAR ACTIVITIES. 7 PROVIDING RELIEF TO THE POOR AND ADVANCING ANY OTHER OBJECT OF GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITY. 8. THE TRUST WILL NOT CARRY OUT ANY ACTIVITIES W ITH THE INTENTION OF EARNING PROFIT AND WILL PERFORM WITH SERVICE MOTIVE ONLY. 9. NO ACTIVITIES OF THE TRUST WILL BE CARRIED O UT OUTSIDE INDIA. 6. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTEN ANCE OF SHRIDI SAIBABA MEDITATION AND PRAYER HALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE P UBLIC IS A RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY OR NOT. NO DOUBT NONE OF THE OTHER OBJECTS MENTIONED ABOVE CAN NEVER BE CONSIDERED AS ANYTHING BUT CHARITY. IN OUR OPINION A PRAYER HALL CONSTRUCTED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC WOULD NOT CONVERT THE ASS ESSEE TRUST TO A RELIGIOUS ONE. JUST BY NAMING A PRAYER HALL AS SHRIDI SAIBABA MEDI TATION AND PRAYER HALL WOULD NOT MAKE IT A RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION SINCE ADMITTE DLY THE PRAYER HALL WAS FOR THE BENEFIT OF PUBLIC AND THERE WAS NO LIMITATION OF US E THEREOF TO ANY PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE TRUST DEED THAT WOULD GIVE EVEN A VAGUE HINT THAT IT WAS MEANT FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANY PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY. WE ARE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE CIT CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE BUILDING BEING CONSTRUCTED BY THE ASSESSEE WAS FOR BEING USED AS A TEMPLE. IN OUR OPINION THERE COULD BE NO QUESTION REGARDING T HE CHARITABLE NATURE OF ITS OBJECTS. IN SO FAR AS GENUINENESS OF THE TRUST IS C ONCERNED LD. CIT CAME TO A NEGATIVE CONCLUSUION WITHOUT ANY BACKING OF EVIDENC E. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES ITA NO.1941/MDS//10. 4 DENIAL OF REGISTRATION UNDER SEC. 12AA OF THE ACT W AS NOT WARRANTED . THE ORDER OF THE LD.CIT IS THEREFORE QUASHED AND HE IS DIRECTED TO GRANT THE ASSESSEE REGISTRATION SOUGHT BY IT UNDER SEC. 12AA OF THE AC T. 7. APPEAL OF THE ASSESSEE IS ALLOWED. ORDER WAS PRONOUNCED IN THE OPEN COURT ON 03 -0 1-2011. SD/- SD/- (GEORGE MATHAN) (ABRAHAM P. GEORGE) JUDICIAL MEMBER ACCOUNTANT MEMBER CHENNAI: 3RD JANUARY 2011. NBR CC: ASSESSEE /ASSESSING OFFICER/ CIT(A)/ CIT/ D .R/ GUARD FILE.