JITO Pune Chapter,, Pune v. Commissioner of Income-tax - 1,,

ITA 2167/PUN/2013 | misc
Pronouncement Date: 17-11-2014 | Result: Allowed

Appeal Details

RSA Number 216724514 RSA 2013
Assessee PAN AAAAJ7129E
Bench Pune
Appeal Number ITA 2167/PUN/2013
Duration Of Justice 11 month(s) 4 day(s)
Appellant JITO Pune Chapter,, Pune
Respondent Commissioner of Income-tax - 1,,
Appeal Type Income Tax Appeal
Pronouncement Date 17-11-2014
Appeal Filed By Assessee
Order Result Allowed
Bench Allotted A
Tribunal Order Date 17-11-2014
Assessment Year misc
Appeal Filed On 13-12-2013
Judgment Text
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL PUNE BENCH A PUNE BEFORE SHRI R.S. PADVEKAR JUDICIAL MEMBER AND SHRI R.K. PANDA ACCOUNTANT MEMBER ITA NO. 2167/PN/2013 JITO PUNE CHAPTER 321/A/2 M. PHULE PETH OSWAL BANDHU SAMAJ COMPOUND SHANKARSHETHI ROAD PUNE 411042 .. APPELLANT PAN NO.AAAAJ7129E VS. CIT-1 PUNE .. RESPONDENT ASSESSEE BY : SHRI S.N. DOSHI DEPARTMENT BY : MRS. M.S. VERMA DATE OF HEARING : 29-10-2014 DATE OF PRONOUNCEMENT : 17-11-2014 ORDER PER R.K. PANDA AM : THIS APPEAL FILED BY THE ASSESSEE IS DIRECTED AGAIN ST THE ORDER DATED 30-09-2012 OF THE CIT(A)-I PUNE REFUSING REG ISTRATION U/S.12A OF THE INCOME TAX ACT 1961. 2. FACTS OF THE CASE IN BRIEF ARE THAT THE ASSESS EE SOCIETY WAS SET UP VIDE A MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION EXECUTED ON 23- 09-2008. IT WAS REGISTERED UNDER THE BOMBAY PUBLIC TRUST ACT 1 950 VIDE NOTIFICATION DATED 04-02-2012 ISSUED BY THE ASSISTA NT CHARITY COMMISSIONER PUNE REGION PUNE. IT IS ALSO REGIST ERED UNDER THE SOCIETIES REGISTRATION ACT 1860 VIDE NOTIFICATION DATED 15-04-2009 ISSUED BY THE ASSISTANT REGISTRAR OF SOCIETIES PUN E REGION PUNE. 2 THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY FILED FORM NO. 10A FOR REGISTR ATION U/S.12A OF THE I.T. ACT. THE CIT CALLED FOR CERTAIN DETAILS F OR GRANTING OF REGISTRATION WHICH THE ASSESSEE COMPLIED TO SOME EX TENT. FROM THE VARIOUS DETAILS FURNISHED BY THE ASSESSEE THE LD.C IT NOTICED FROM THE OBJECT CLAUSE OF THE MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION THAT WHILE SOME OF THE OBJECTS COULD NOT BE PRIME-FACIE CONSIDERED AS CHARITABLE ONE OF THE OBJECTS WAS OF A RELIGIOUS NATURE. THE PRIMA-F ACIE NON CHARITABLE OBJECTS ACCORDING TO LD.CIT ARE AS UNDER : 3(A) . . . . . . . . . . . THROUGH EXPANSION OF P RODUCTION OF GOODS AND SERVICES FOR DOMESTIC AND OVERSEAS MARKET THERE BY RAISING LIVING STANDARD OF SOCIETY AT LARGE. 3(F) TO PROVIDE FOR ARBITRATION IN RESPECT OF SETT LEMENT OF DISPUTES ARISING IN THE COURSE OF TRADE SERVICES VOCATIONS INDUSTRY OR OTHER BUSINESS MATTERS OF THE COMMUNITY AND TO SECURE THE SERVICE OF EXPERTS IF FOUND NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE. 2.1 SIMILARLY THE PRIMA-FACIE RELIGIOUS OBJECT OF THE SOCIETY ACCORDING TO HIM IS AS UNDER : 3(B) TO ENCOURAGE CONDUCT AND SUPPORT ACTIVITIES LEADING TO UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL UPLIFTMENT AS PREACHED BY TIRTH ANKAR BHAGWANTS. 2.2 HE FURTHER NOTED FROM THE DETAILS OF THE ACTIVI TIES FURNISHED BY THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY THAT THE SAME WERE MAINLY INTE NDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MEMBERS OF JAIN COMMUNITY. FURTHER A FEW ACTIVITIES ALSO DID NOT APPEAR TO BE IN CONSONANCE WITH THE OB JECTS. HE THEREFORE ASKED THE ASSESSEE TO EXPLAIN AS TO WHY ITS APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION U/S.12A SHOULD NOT BE REJECTED. HE AL SO ASKED THE ASSESSEE TO FURNISH A COPY OF THE MEMORANDUM OF ASS OCIATION AND BY- LAWS OF THE JITO-MAIN CHAPTER AND TO STATE IF TH E ABOVE INSTITUTION IS REGISTERED U/S.12A OF THE I.T ACT 1961. ACCORD ING TO THE LD.CIT 3 THE ASSESSEES OWN MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION SHOWS THAT IT IS ACTUALLY CONNECTED WITH THE MAIN CHAPTER. 3. ACCORDING TO THE LD.CIT REGISTRATION U/S.12A CAN BE GRANTED TO A TRUST OR INSTITUTION IF THE CIT IS SATISFIED ABOUT THE OBJECTS OF THE TRUST OR INSTITUTION AS WELL AS ABOUT THE GENUINENESS OF ITS ACTIVITIES. HE NOTED THAT SOME OF THE OBJECTS ARE NOT CHARITABLE I N NATURE. SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTE ACCORDING TO THE LD.CIT CAN NOT EVEN BE CONSIDERED AS AN OBJECT FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ANY GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITY. SIMILARLY THE OBJECT OF THE SOCIETY TO E NCOURAGE CONDUCT AND SUPPORT ACTIVITIES LEADING TO UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL UPLIFTMENT AS PREACHED BY THE TIRTHANKAR BHAGWANTS AS PER CLAUSE 3(B) OF T HE OBJECT CLAUSE IS RELIGIOUS IN NATURE. HE FURTHER NOTED THAT SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY APPEARS TO BE F OR THE BENEFIT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE JAIN COMMUNITY WHICH IS APPARENT FROM THE JITO CRICKET TOURNAMENT CONDUCTED BY THE ASSESSEE SOCIET Y. THE VARIOUS OTHER ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY ACCORDING TO THE LD.CIT ARE ALSO GEARED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE JAIN COMMUNITY. THE ASSESSEE SOCIETY HAPPENS TO BE A PREDOMINANTLY CHAR ITABLE INSTITUTION NOTWITHSTANDING THE FEW OBJECTS WHICH CANNOT BE PRI MA-FACIE REGARDED AS CHARITABLE. 3.1 ACCORDING TO THE LD. CIT WHEN A CHARITABLE TRU ST OR INSTITUTION IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF A SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR CASTE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13(1)(B) GETS ATTRACTED. IN SUCH A SITUATION THE CONCERNED TRUST OR INSTITUTION CANNOT AVAIL THE BENEFIT OF DEDUCTION U/S.11 AND 12. REGISTRATION U/S.12A CONFERS AN IN- PRINCIPLE RECOGNITION OF ENTITLEMENT TO SUCH BENEFITS. WHEN THE BENEFITS ENVISAGED IN SECTION 11 AND 12 CANNOT AT ALL BE AVA ILED BY A TRUST OR 4 INSTITUTION IN VIEW OF APPLICATION OF THE PROVISION S OF SECTION 13(1)(B) NO PURPOSE WILL BE SERVED BY GRANTING REGISTRATION U/S.12A TO SUCH A TRUST OR INSTITUTION. SINCE THE ACTIVITIES OF THE ASSESSEE FALLS U/S.13(1)(B) AND SINCE ALL THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSES SEE SOCIETY CANNOT BE REGARDED AS CHARITABLE AND SOME OF ITS ACTIVITIE S PREDOMINANTLY AIMED AT BENEFITTING A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNI TY HE HELD THAT THE CONDITION OF SATISFACTION PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 1 2AA AS TO THE OBJECTS OF A TRUST OR INSTITUTION AS WELL AS THE GENUINENES S OF THE ACTIVITIES IS NOT SATISFIED. HE ACCORDINGLY REJECTED THE REQUEST FOR GRANT OF REGISTRATION U/S.12A OF THE I.T. ACT. 4. AGGRIEVED WITH SUCH ORDER OF THE CIT THE ASSESSE E IS IN APPEAL BEFORE US WITH THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS : 1. ON THE FACTS AND IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE THE LD CIT HAS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT OBJECTS OF THE TRUST ARE NOT CHARITABLE INCLUDING AND PARTICULARLY THE OBJECT REPRODUCED HEREBELOW: '3(F) TO PROVIDE FOR ARBITRATION IN RESPECT OF SETT LEMENT OF DISPUTES ARISING IN THE COURSE OF TRADE SERVICES VOCATIONS INDUSTRY OR OTHER BUSINESS MATTERS OF THE COMMUNITY AND TO SECURE THE SERVICE OF EXPERTS IF FOUND NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE.' 2. ON THE FACTS AND IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE THE LD CIT HAS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT FOLLOWING OBJECT CLAUSE IS PRIMA-FACIE R ELIGIOUS:- '3 (B) TO ENCOURAGE CONDUCT OR SUPPORT ACTIVI TIES LEADING TO UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL UPLIFTMENT AS PREACHED BY TIRTHANKAR BHAG WANTS' 3. ON THE FACTS AND IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE TH E LD CIT HAS FURTHER ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED ON BY THE TRU ST WERE PRIMARILY MEANT FOR MEMBERS OF THE JAIN COMMUNITY AND THUS IT IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY ATTRACTING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13(1)(B) AND THEREFORE NO PURPOSE WILL BE SERVED BY GRANTING REGIST RATION U/S. 12A. 4. THE ABOVE GROUNDS MAY KINDLY BE ALLOWED TO BE AME NDED ALTERED MODIFIED ETC. IN THE INTEREST OF NATURAL JUSTICE. 5. THE LD. COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE STRONGLY OBJECT ED TO THE REJECTION OF REQUEST FOR GRANT OF REGISTRATION U/S. 12A OF THE I.T. ACT. HE SUBMITTED THAT THE CIT REJECTED THE REGISTRATION ON THE GROUND THAT 5 SOME OF THE OBJECTS ARE NOT CHARITABLE IN NATURE AN D MAINLY INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY . REFERRING TO THE COPY OF THE TRUST DEED PLACED AT PAGES 3 TO 20 OF T HE PAPER BOOK HE SUBMITTED THAT THE VIEW OF THE CIT THAT SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTE CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS AN OBJECT OF GENERAL PUBLIC UTILIT Y IS DEVOID OF ANY MERIT. HE SUBMITTED THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE TRUST MAY OR MAY NOT NECESSARILY BE THE TRADERS OR PROFESSIONALS AND MEM BERSHIP IS OPEN TO ANY PERSON. THE TRADERS OR PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE T HE MEMBERS OF THE TRUST UNDISPUTEDLY PROVIDE THE ESSENTIAL SERVIC ES TO THE PUBLIC AT LARGE. ALL THESE TRADERS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO DO SO. THEY TOGETHER ATTEND TO ACHIEVE THE ECONOMIC PROSPERITY THAT TAKES CARE OF THE UNDER PRIVILEGED CLASS OF THE SOCIETY. AS THE DISPUTE MAY ARISE NOT ONLY AMONGST THE MEMBERS BUT ALSO COULD BE RELA TED TO THE POLICIES OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT CREATE HURDLES IN C ARRYING OUT THE ACTIVITIES THEREFORE THIS CLAUSE IS CHARITABLE IN NATURE. FOR THE ABOVE PROPOSITION HE RELIED ON THE FOLLOWING DECISIONS : 1. CIT VS. ANDHRA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE REPORTED IN ( 1965) 55 ITR 722 (SC). 2. ADDL.CIT VS. SURAT ART SILK CLOTH MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION REPORTED IN (1980) 121 ITR 1 (SC) 3. CIT VS. WORLD AGRICULTURE FAIR MEMORIAL FARMERS WELFARE TRUST SOCIETY REPORTED IN (1985) 155 ITR 370 (DELHI ) 4. CIT VS. ANDHRA PRADESH STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORP ORATION REPORTED IN (1986) 159 ITR 1 (SC) 6. SO FAR AS THE OBJECTION OF THE LD. CIT THAT THE ACTIVITIES ACTUALLY CARRIED ON BY THE ASSESSEE TRUST APPEARED TO BE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE JAIN COMMUNITY FOR WHICH HE HAS REFE RRED TO THE CONDUCTING OF THE JPL CRICKET TOURNAMENT HE SUBMITT ED THAT VARIOUS 6 BENCHES OF THE TRIBUNAL HAVE CONSIDERED THIS ASPECT AND HAVE HELD THAT REGISTRATION CANNOT BE REJECTED ON THESE REASO NINGS. ACCORDING TO HIM THE OBSERVATION OF THE CIT THAT CHARITABLE TRUST IF ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF A SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY O R CASTE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13(1)(B) GETS ATTRACTED IS NOT CORRECT. 6.1 REFERRING TO THE DECISION OF THE HONBLE SUPREM E COURT IN THE CASE OF CIT VS. DAWOODI BOHRA JAMAT REPORTED IN 364 ITR 31 HE SUBMITTED THAT THE HONBLE SUPREME COURT IN THE SAI D DECISION HAS HELD THAT THE OBJECTS OF THE TRUST ARE NOT BENEFITT ING A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE OBJE CTS CLEARLY REFLECT THE INTENTION OF THE TRUST OF OBSERVING TENETS OF I SLAM. HOWEVER THESE OBJECTS DO NOT RESTRICT ONLY AND FOR THE BENE FIT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY. 6.2 REFERRING TO THE DECISION OF THE HONBLE SUPREM E COURT IN THE CASE OF AHMEDABAD RANA CASTE ASSOCIATION VS. CIT RE PORTED IN 82 ITR 704 HE SUBMITTED THAT THE HONBLE APEX COURT IN THE SAID DECISION HAS HELD THAT AN OBJECT BENEFICIAL TO A SECTION OF PUBL IC IS AN OBJECT OF GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITY. THE SECTION OF PUBLIC MUST BE DEFINITE AND IDENTIFIABLE AND IT IS NOT NECESSARY THAT THE OBJEC T SHOULD BENEFIT THE WHOLE MANKIND. 6.3 REFERRING TO THE DECISION OF HONBLE SUPREME CO URT IN THE CASE OF CIT VS. SURAT ART SILK CLOTH MANUFACTURERS ASSOC IATION REPORTED IN (1980) 121 ITR 1 HE SUBMITTED THAT EVEN WHEN THERE IS AN ADMIXTURE OF CHARITABLE AND RELIGIOUS OBJECTS THE REGISTRATIO N CANNOT BE REFUSED AND IT DOES NOT FALL U/S.13(1)(B). 7 6.4 REFERRING TO THE DECISION OF THE HONBLE SUPREM E COURT IN THE CASE OF CIT VS. AHMEDABAD RANA CASTE ASSOCIATION RE PORTED IN 140 ITR 1 (SC) HE SUBMITTED THAT THE SUPREME COURT IN T HE SAID DECISION HAS HELD THAT TRUST FOR BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF RANA COMMUNITY WITH THE OBJECT OF PROMOTING UNITY OF BROTHERHOOD AMONGS T THE MEMBERS IS CHARITABLE PURPOSE. REFERRING TO THE DECISION OF T HE HONBLE GUJARAT HIGH COURT IN THE CASE OF CIT VS. CHANDRA CHARITABL E TRUST REPORTED IN 294 ITR 86 HE SUBMITTED THAT THE HONBLE HIGH COURT IN THE SAID DECISION HAS HELD THAT IF THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSESS EE TRUST ARE NOT ONLY TO PROPAGATE JAINISM OR HELP AND ASSIST MAINTENANCE OF TEMPLE SADHUS SADHVIS SHRAVIKS AND SHRAVAKS AND OTHER GO ALS ARE ALSO SET OUT IN THE TRUST DEED THE TRUST IS A CHARITABLE AS WELL AS A RELIGIOUS TRUST AND SECTION 13(1)(B) WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE. HE ALSO RELIED ON THE FOLLOWING DECISIONS : 1. SHRI 1008 PARSHWANTH DIGAMBERE JAIN MANDIR TRUST VS. DIT ITAT MUMBAI BENCH 2. KASYAPA VEDA RESEARCH FOUNDATION VS. CIT ITAT COCHIN BENCH 3. CIT VS. ARULMIGU SRI KAMATCHI AMMAN TRUST 20 TAXMANN.COM 55 MADRAS HIGH COURT 4. SHIV MANDIR DEVSTTAN PANCH COMMITTEE SANSTAN VS. CIT ITAT NAGPUR BENCH 5. MALIK HASMULLAH ISLAMIC EDUCATIONAL AND WELFARE SOCIETY VS. CIT 24 TAXMANN.COM 93 ITAT LUCKNOW BENCH 7. THE LD. DEPARTMENTAL REPRESENTATIVE ON THE OTHER HAND HEAVILY RELIED ON THE ORDER OF THE CIT. SHE SUBMITTED THAT THE LD. CIT HAS GIVEN A CLEAR CUT FINDING AS TO WHY THE TRUST IS NO T ELIGIBLE FOR REGISTRATION U/S.12AA WHICH IS SELF-EXPLANATORY. S HE ACCORDINGLY SUBMITTED THAT THE ORDER OF THE CIT BE UPHELD. 8 8. WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE RIVAL ARGUMENTS MADE BY B OTH THE SIDES PERUSED THE ORDER OF THE LD.CIT AND THE PAPE R BOOK FILED ON BEHALF OF THE ASSESSEE. WE FIND THE LD. CIT IN THE INSTANT CASE DENIED THE BENEFIT OF REGISTRATION U/S.12A ON THE GROUND T HAT SOME OF THE OBJECTS ARE NOT CHARITABLE IN NATURE AND MAINLY INT ENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY. FURTH ER ACCORDING TO HIM SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTE CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS AN OBJECT OF GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITY. HE HAS ALSO OBSERVED THAT CONDUCTING THE JPL CRICKET TOURNAMENT ACTIVITY ORGANIZED WITH A VIEW T O UNITE THE MEMBERS IS NOT IN CONSONANCE WITH THE OBJECTS OF TH E TRUST AND THIS ACTIVITY IS AGAIN ORGANIZED FOR UNITING JAIN COMMUN ITY. IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE THE LD.CIT HELD THAT IF A CHARITABLE TRUST I S ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF A SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR CASTE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13(1)(B) ARE ATTRACTED. 8.1 WE FIND THE HONBLE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE O F CIT VS. ANDHRA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE REPORTED IN 55 ITR 722 H AS HELD THAT AN OBJECT BENEFICIAL TO A SECTION OF THE PUBLIC IS AN OBJECT OF GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITY. THE EXPRESSION GENERAL PUBLIC UTI LITY HOWEVER IS NOT RESTRICTED TO OBJECTS BENEFICIAL TO THE WHOLE OF MA NKIND. TO SERVE A CHARITABLE PURPOSE IT IS NOT NECESSARY THAT THE OB JECT SHOULD BE TO BENEFIT THE WHOLE OF MANKIND OR EVEN FOR PERSONS LI VING IN A PARTICULAR COUNTRY OR PROVINCE. IT IS SUFFICIENT IF THE INTEN TION IS TO BENEFIT A SECTION OF THE PUBLIC AS DISTINCT FROM SPECIFIC IND IVIDUALS. 8.2 WE FIND THE HONBLE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE O F CIT VS. DAWOODI BOHRA JAMAT (SUPRA) REPORTED IN 364 ITR 31 HAS OBSERVED AS UNDER (SHORT NOTES) : 9 NORMALLY A FINDING OF FACT DECIDED BY THE LAST FACT FINDING AUTHORITY IS FINAL AND OUGHT NOT TO BE LIGHTLY INTERFERED WITH BY THE HIGH COURT IN AN APPEAL. THE APPELLATE COURTS HOWEVER OUGHT TO BE CAUTIOUS W HILE WEEDING OUT SUCH QUESTIONS AND SHOULD THE QUESTION INVOLVE EXAMINATION O F A FINDING OF FACT EX-CAUTELA ABUNDANTI THE APPELLATE COURTS WOULD REQU IRE TO EXAMINE WHETHER THE QUESTION INVOLVES MERELY A FINDING OF FAC T OR THE LEGAL EFFECT OF SUCH PROVEN FACTS OR DOCUMENTS IN APPEAL. WHILE THE FO RMER WOULD BE A QUESTION OF FACT WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE INTERFERED WITH THE LATTER IS NECESSARILY A QUESTION OF LAW WHICH WOULD REQUIRE CONSI DERATION. OFTEN QUESTIONS OF LAW AND FACT ARE INTRICATELY ENTWINED SO METIMES TO THE EXTENT OF BLURRING THE DOMAINS IN WHICH THEY OUGHT TO BE CO NSIDERED AND THEREFORE REQUIRE CAUTIOUS CONSIDERATION. A QUESTION WHERE THE L EGAL EFFECT OF PROVEN FACTS IS INTRINSICALLY IN APPEAL HAS TO BE DIFFERENTIAT ED FROM A QUESTION WHERE A FINDING OF FACT ALONE IS ASSAILED. WALI MOHAMMAD V. MOHAMMAD BAKSH [1930] 57 IA 86 ; SECRETARY O F STATE FOR INDIA IN COUNCIL V. RAMESWARAM DEVASTHANAM [1934] 61IA 163 ; LAKSHMIDHAR MISRA V. RANGALAL [1949] 76 IA 271 AND SREE MEENAKSHI MILLS LTD . V. CIT [1957] 31ITR 28 (SC) RELIED ON. A CONJOINT READING OF SECTIONS 11 12 12A AND 12AA OF THE INCOME-TAX ACT 1961 MAKES IT CLEAR THAT REGISTRATION UNDER SECTIONS 1 2A AND 12AA IS A CONDITION PRECEDENT FOR AVAILING OF THE BENEFIT UND ER SECTIONS 11 AND 12. UNDER THE SCHEME OF THE ACT SECTIONS 11 AND 12 ARE SUB STANTIVE PROVISIONS WHICH PROVIDE FOR EXEMPTIONS AVAILABLE TO A RELIGIOU S OR CHARITABLE TRUST. SECTION 13 LISTS THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE EXEM PTION WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE TO A RELIGIOUS OR CHARITABLE TRUST OTHERWISE FALLING UNDER SECTION 11 OR 12 AND THEREFORE REQUIRES TO BE READ IN CONJUNC TION WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 11 AND 12 TOWARDS DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBI LITY OF A TRUST TO CLAIM EXEMPTION UNDER THE AFORESAID PROVISIONS. SECTION 13(L )(B) CONCEPTUALISES THAT INCOME OF A CHARITABLE TRUST CREATED OR ESTABLISH ED FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANY PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR CASTE WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFIT OF SECTION 11 OR SECTION 12 OF THE ACT. THUS WHILE UN DER SECTION 11 A TRUST WHICH IS ESTABLISHED FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSES TO BENEFIT A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY MAY BE A VALID CHARITABLE TRUST UNDER SECT ION 13(1)(B) SUCH TRUST WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO EXEMPTION AND CONSEQU ENTLY THE INCOME WOULD BE EXIGIBLE TO TAX UNDER THE ACT. THE PHRASE 'CHARITABLE PURPOSE' IS EXPANSIVE AND INCLUSI VE. THE EXPRESSION 'CHARITABLE PURPOSE' IS DEFINED IN THE DICTIONARY CL AUSE OF THE ACT UNDER SECTION 2(15) BY WAY OF AN INCLUSIVE DEFINITION SO AS T O INCLUDE RELIEF TO THE POOR EDUCATION MEDICAL RELIEF AND ADVANCEMENT OF ANY OTHER OBJECT OF GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITY. THE EXPRESSION 'ANY OTHER OBJ ECT OF GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITY' IS OF THE WIDEST CONNOTATION. THE WORD 'GENE RAL' IN THE EXPRESSION MEANS PERTAINING TO A WHOLE CLASS. THEREFORE ADVANCEM ENT OF ANY OBJECT OF BENEFIT TO THE PUBLIC OR A SECTION OF THE PUBLIC AS D ISTINGUISHED FROM BENEFIT TO AN INDIVIDUAL OR A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WOULD BE A CHARITABLE PURPOSE. THE EXPRESSION WOULD PRIMA FACIE INCLUDE ALL OBJECTS WHICH PROMOTE THE WELL- BEING OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC. IT CANNOT BE SAID THAT A PURPOSE WOULD CEASE TO BE CHARITABLE EVEN WHEN PUBLIC WELFARE IS INTENDED T O BE SERVED. IF THE PRIMARY PURPOSE AND THE PREDOMINANT OBJECT OF A TRUST ARE TO PROMOTE THE WELFARE OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC THE PURPOSE WOULD BE A CHARITABLE PURPOSE. IF THE PRIMARY OR PREDOMINANT OBJECT OF AN INSTITUTION IS CHARITABLE ANY OTHER OBJECT WHICH MIGHT NOT BE CHARITABLE BUT WHICH IS AN CILLARY OR INCIDENTAL TO 10 THE DOMINANT PURPOSE WOULD NOT PREVENT THE INSTITUTI ON FROM BEING A VALID CHARITABLE TRUST. AHMEDABAD RANA CASTE ASSOCIATION V. CIT [1971] 82 ITR 704 (SC); THIAGARAJAR CHARITIES V. ADDL . CIT [1997] 225 ITR 1010 (SC) ; ADDL . CIT V. SURAT ART SILK CLOTH MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION [1980] 121 ITR 1 (SC); CIT V. KAMLA TOWN TRUST [1996] 217 ITR 699 (SC); ABDUL SATHAR HAJI MOOSA SAIT DHARMASTAPANAM V. COMMR . OF AGRL . I. T. [1973] 91 ITR 5 (SC); TRUSTEES OF GORDHANDAS GOVIN - DRAM FAMILY CHARITY TRUST V. CIT [1973] 88 ITR 47 (SC) ; YOGIRAJ CHARITY TRUST V. CIT [1976] 103 ITR 777 (SC) ; SOLE TRUSTEE LOKA SHIKSHANA TRUST V. CIT [1975] 101 ITR 234 (SC) AND CIT V. ANDHRA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE [1965] 55 ITR 722 (SC) RELIED ON. SECTION 13 IS IN THE NATURE OF AN EXCEPTION FROM APP LICABILITY OF SECTION 11 OR 12 AND THE EXAMINATION OF ITS APPLICABILITY WOULD ON LY ARISE AT THE STAGE OF CLAIM UNDER SECTION 11 OR 12. THUS WHERE THE INCOME OF A TRUST IS ELIGIBLE FOR EXEMPTION UNDER SECTION 11 THE ELIGIBILITY FOR CLAIMING EXEMPTION OUGHT TO BE TESTED ON THE TOUCHSTONE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECT ION 13. FROM THE PHRASEOLOGY IN CLAUSE (B) OF SECTION 13(1) I T COULD BE INFERRED THAT THE LEGISLATURE INTENDED TO INCLUDE ONLY TRUSTS ESTABLI SHED FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSES. THAT HOWEVER DOES NOT MEAN THAT IF A TRUST IS A COMPOSITE ONE THAT IS ONE FOR BOTH RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE PURPOSES IT WOULD NOT BE COVERED BY CLAUSE (B). WHAT IS INTENDED TO BE EXCLUDE D FROM BEING ELIGIBLE FOR EXEMPTION UNDER SECTION 11 IS A TRUST FOR CHARITAB LE PURPOSE WHICH IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANY PARTICULAR RELIGIO US COMMUNITY OR CASTE. SUCH TRUSTS WITH COMPOSITE OBJECTS WOULD NOT BE EXPELLE D OUT OF THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 13(1)(B) PER SE. THE SECTION REQUIR ES IT TO BE ESTABLISHED THAT SUCH CHARITABLE PURPOSE IS NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR CASTE. THAT IS TO SAY IT NEEDS TO BE EXAM INED WHETHER SUCH RELIGIOUS-CHARITABLE ACTIVITY CARRIED ON BY THE TRU ST BENEFITS ONLY A CERTAIN PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR CLASS OR SERVES ACROSS T HE COMMUNITIES AND FOR SOCIETY AT LARGE. SOLE TRUSTEE LOKA SHIKSHANA TRUST V. CIT [1975] 101 ITR 234 (SC) AND CIT V. ANDHRA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE [1965] 55 ITR 722 (SC) RELIED ON. INSTITUTIONS ESTABLISHED TO SPREAD RELIGIOUS AWARENESS BY M EANS OF EDUCA- TION THOUGH ESTABLISHED TO PROMOTE AND FURTHER RELIGI OUS THOUGHT COULD NOT BE RESTRICTED TO RELIGIOUS PURPOSES. UNLIKE THE PHRASE 'CHARITABLE PURPOSE' 'RELIGIOUS PUR POSE' IS NOT DEFINED UNDER THE ACT. A RELIGIOUS PURPOSE WOULD BE ONE RELAT ING TO A PARTICULAR RELIGION AND BROADLY WOULD ENCOMPASS OBJECTS RELATING TO OBSERVANCE OF RITUALS AND CEREMONIES PROPAGATION OF TENETS OF THE R ELIGION AND OTHER ALLIED ACTIVITIES OF THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY. IN CERT AIN CASES THE ACTIVITIES OF THE TRUST MAY CONTAIN ELEMENTS OF BOTH : RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE AND THUS BOTH PURPOSES MAY OVERLAP. THIS IS MORE SO WHEN THE RELI GIOUS ACTIVITY CARRIED ON BY A PARTICULAR SECTION OF PEOPLE WOULD B E A CHARITABLE ACTIVITY FOR OR TOWARDS OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY AND ALSO THE PUBLIC AT LARGE. THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSESSEE-TRUST AS MENTIONED UNDER THE T RUST DEED WERE TO ARRANGE FOR NYAZ AND MAJLIS (LUNCH AND DINNER) ON RE LIGIOUS OCCASIONS OF THE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY AND URS MUBARAK OF AWLIYA-E-QUIRAM AND SAINTS OF THE DAWOODI BOHRA COMMUNITY TO ARRANGE FOR LUNCH AND D INNER ON RELIGIOUS OCCASIONS AND AUSPICIOUS DAYS OF THE DAWOODI BOHRA COMMU NITY FOR THE 11 BETTERMENT OF THE DAWOODI BOHRA COMMUNITY TO GIVE A ND TAKE QARDAN HASANA ACCORDING TO FARMA OF QURANE MAJID TO ARRANG E FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND TO ESTABLISH MADARSA AND SUCH ORGANIZATIO N TO ASSIST/HELP THE NEEDY PEOPLE FOR RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES TO CARRY O UT ALL RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES ACCORDING TO SHARIAT AND DIRECTION OF SHARIAT-E-MOHAM MEDIYAH FOR THE PROSPERITY OF THE DAWOODI BOHRA COMMUNITY. THE ASSESSEE- TRUST FILED AN APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION BEFORE THE COMMISSIONER U NDER SECTION 12A OF THE ACT READ WITH SECTION 12AA OF THE ACT FOR AVAILI NG OF EXEMPTION UNDER SECTION 11 OF THE ACT. THE COMMISSIONER REJECTED THE A PPLICATION ON THE GROUND THAT SINCE THE OBJECT AND PURPOSE OF THE TRUST WAS CONFINED ONLY TO A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY SECTION 13(1)(B) WOULD BE ATTRACTED. ON APPEAL THE TRIBUNAL (SEE DAWOODI BOHRA JAMAT V. CIT [2009] 317 ITR (AT) 133 (INDORE)) CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT SINCE THE A SSESSEE WAS A PUBLIC RELIGIOUS TRUST AS THE OBJECTS OF THE TRUST WERE WHOLLY RELIGIOUS IN NATURE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13(1)(B) WHICH WERE OTHERWISE APP LICABLE IN THE CASE OF CHARITABLE TRUSTS WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE AND HELD THAT THE ASSESSEE-TRUST WAS ENTITLED TO EXEMPTION AND DIRECTED THE COMMISSIONE R TO GRANT REGISTRATION UNDER SECTION 12A READ WITH SECTION 12AA OF THE ACT TO THE ASSESSEE-TRUST. ON APPEAL BY THE DEPARTMENT THE HIGH CO URT CONCLUDED FIRSTLY THAT SINCE THE APPELLATE TRIBUNAL HAD RECORD ED A FINDING OF FACT THAT THE ASSESSEE WAS A PUBLIC RELIGIOUS TRUST IT WOULD NOT IN TERFERE WITH SUCH A FINDING OF FACT IN EXERCISE OF ITS POWERS UNDER SECTION 260A AND SECONDLY AS THE TRUST WAS NOT CREATED OR ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFI T OF ANY PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR CASTE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13(1)(B) WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE TO IT AND DISMISSED THE APPEAL FILED BY THE DEPARTMENT. ON FURTHER APPEALS : HELD DISMISSING THE APPEALS (I) THAT DETERMINATION OF THE NATURE OF THE TRUST AS WHOLLY RELIGIOUS OR WHOLLY CHARITABLE OR BOTH CHAR ITABLE AND RELIGIOUS UNDER THE ACT IS NOT A QUESTION OF FACT. IT IS A QUESTI ON WHICH REQUIRES EXAMINATION OF THE LEGAL EFFECTS OF THE PROVEN FACTS AND DOCUMENTS THAT IS THE LEGAL IMPLICATION OF THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSESSEE-T RUST AS CONTAINED IN THE TRUST DEED. IT IS ONLY THE OBJECTS OF A TRUST AS DECLAR ED IN THE TRUST DEED WHICH WOULD GOVERN ITS RIGHT OF EXEMPTION UNDER SECTION 11 OR 12. IT IS THE ANALYSIS OF THESE OBJECTS IN THE BACKDROP OF FISCAL JURISPRUDENC E WHICH WOULD ILLUMINATE THE PURPOSE BEHIND CREATION OR ESTABLISHME NT OF THE TRUST FOR EITHER RELIGIOUS OR CHARITABLE OR BOTH RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE PURPOSE. THEREFORE THE HIGH COURT HAD ERRED IN REFUSING TO I NTERFERE WITH THE OBSERVATIONS OF THE TRIBUNAL IN RESPECT OF THE CHARAC TER OF THE TRUST ON THE GROUNDS THAT THEY WERE PURE FINDINGS OF FACT. (II) THAT THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSESSEE-TRUST WERE NOT INDI CATIVE OF A WHOLLY RELIGIOUS PURPOSE BUT WERE COLLECTIVELY INDICATIVE OF BOTH CHARITABLE AND RELI- GIOUS PURPOSES. ALTHOUGH OBJECTS (C) AND (F) WHICH PROV IDED FOR ACTIVITIES COMPLETELY RELIGIOUS IN NATURE AND RESTRICTED TO THE SPECIFIC COMMUNITY OF THE ASSESSEE-TRUST WERE OBJECTS WITH RELIGIOUS PURPOSE ONLY THE FACT THAT THE OTHER OBJECTS TRACED THEIR SOURCE TO THE HOLY QURAN A ND RESOLVED TO ABIDE BY THE PATH OF GODLINESS SHOWN BY ALLAH WOULD NOT BE SUFF ICIENT TO CONCLUDE THAT THE ENTIRE PURPOSE AND ACTIVITIES OF THE TRUST WE RE PURELY RELIGIOUS IN COLOUR. THE OBJECTS REFLECTED THE INTENT OF THE TRUST AS OBSERVANCE OF THE TENETS OF ISLAM BUT DID NOT RESTRICT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE TRUST TO RELIGIOUS OBLIGATIONS ONLY AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MEMBERS O F THE COMMUNITY. THE PROVISION OF FOOD TO THE PUBLIC ON RELIGIOUS DAYS OF T HE COMMUNITY THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MADARSAS AND ORGANISATIONS FOR DISSEMINATI ON OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND RENDERING ASSISTANCE TO THE NEEDY AND PO OR FOR RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES WOULD REFLECT THE ESSENCE OF CHARITY. THE A CTIVITY OF PROVIDING FOR 12 FOOD ON CERTAIN SPECIFIC OCCASIONS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS AND AUSPICIOUS EVENTS OF THE DAWOODI BOHRA COMMUNITY DID NOT RESTRICT THE BENEFIT TO THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY. NEITHER THE RELIGIOUS TENET S NOR THE OBJECTS AS EXPRESSED LIMITED THE SERVICE OF FOOD ON THESE OCCASION S TO MEMBERS OF THE SPECIFIC COMMUNITY. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MADARSAS OR IN STITUTIONS TO IMPART RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TO THE MASSES WOULD QUALIFY AS A CHA RITABLE PURPOSE QUALIFYING UNDER THE HEAD OF EDUCATION UNDER THE PR OVISIONS OF SECTION 2(15) OF THE ACT. SIMILARLY ASSISTANCE BY THE ASSESSEE-TRUST TO THE NEEDY AND POOR FOR RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES WOULD NOT DIVEST THE TRUST OF ITS ALTRUIST CHARACTER. THEREFORE THE OBJECTS OF THE TRUST EXHIBITED THE DUA L TENOR OF RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE PURPOSES AND ACTIVITIES. SECTION 11 OF THE ACT ALLOWED SUCH TRUST WITH COMPOSITE OBJECTS TO CLAIM EXEMPTION FROM TAX AS A RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE TRUST SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13 . THE ACTIVITIES OF THE TRUST UNDER SUCH OBJECTS WOULD THEREFORE BE ENTITLED TO EXEMPTION ACCORDINGLY. IN RE : TRUSTEES OF THE TRIBUNE [1939] 7 ITR 415 (PC) AND IN RE : SOUTH PLACE ETHICAL SOCIETY ; BARRALET V. ATTORNEY GENERAL [1980] 3 ALL ER 918; [1980] 1 WLR1565; 54 TAX CAS 446 APPLIED. (III) THAT THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSESSEE-TRUST WERE BASED ON RELIGIOUS TENETS UNDER THE QURAN ACCORDING TO THE RELIGIOUS FAITH OF ISLAM. THE ACTIVITIES OF THE TRUST THOUGH BOTH CHARITABLE AND RELIGIOUS WERE N OT EXCLUSIVELY MEANT FOR A PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY. THE OBJECTS DID NOT CHANNEL THE BENEFITS TO ANY COMMUNITY IF NOT THE DAWOODI BOHRA C OMMUNITY AND THUS WOULD NOT FALL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13(1)(B ) OF THE ACT. THE ASSESSEE-TRUST WAS A CHARITABLE AND RELIGIOUS TRUST WHICH D ID NOT BENEFIT ANY SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY AND THEREFORE IT COULD NOT BE HELD THAT SECTION 13(1)(B) OF THE ACT WOULD BE ATTRACTED TO THE ASSESSEE- TRUST AND THEREBY IT WOULD BE ELIGIBLE TO CLAIM EXEMPTION UNDER SECTION 1 1 OF THE ACT. 8.3 WE FURTHER FIND THAT UNDER IDENTICAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES THE DI (EXEMPTIONS) MUMBAI VIDE ORDER DATED 07-08- 2007 HAS GRANTED REGISTRATION U/S.12AA OF THE I.T. ACT TO JA IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE ORGANIZATION (JITO) HAVING SIMILAR OBJECTS IN WHICH THE ASSESSEE IS INTEGRALLY CONNECTED. 8.4 WE FIND THE HONBLE GUJARAT HIGH COURT IN THE C ASE OF CIT VS. CHANDRA CHARITABLE TRUST REPORTED IN 294 ITR 86 HAS HELD THAT IF THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSESSEE TRUST ARE NOT ONLY TO PROPA GATE JAINISM OR HELP AND ASSIST MAINTENANCE OF TEMPLE SADHUS SADH VIS SHRAVIKS AND SHRAVAKS AND OTHER GOALS ARE ALSO SET OUT IN TH E TRUST DEED THE 13 TRUST IS A CHARITABLE AS WELL AS A RELIGIOUS TRUST AND SECTION 13(1)(B) WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE. 8.5 IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE CITED JUDICIAL PRECEDENTS WE ARE OF THE CONSIDERED OPINION THAT THE ASSESSEE TRUST IS ENTIT LED TO REGISTRATION U/S.12A OF THE I.T. ACT. WE THEREFORE SET ASIDE TH E ORDER OF THE CIT AND DIRECT HIM TO GRANT REGISTRATION U/S.12A OF THE I.T. ACT TO THE ASSESSEE TRUST. GROUNDS RAISED BY THE ASSESSEE ARE ACCORDINGLY ALLOWED. 9. IN THE RESULT THE APPEAL FILED BY THE ASSESSEE IS ALLOWED. PRONOUNCED IN THE OPEN COURT ON 17-11-2014. SD/- SD/- (R.S. PADVEKAR) (R.K. PANDA) JUDICIAL MEMBER ACCOUNTANT MEMBER PUNE DATED: 17 TH NOVEMBER 2014 SATISH COPY OF THE ORDER FORWARDED TO : 1. ASSESSEE 2. DEPARTMENT 3. CIT-I PUNE 4. THE D.R A PUNE BENCH 5. GUARD FILE BY ORDER // TRUE COPY // ASSISTANT REGISTRAR ITAT PUNE BENCHES PUNE