M/s Christ Evangelical Luthern Ministries, Guntur v. The CIT, Guntur

ITA 371/VIZ/2009 | misc
Pronouncement Date: 05-07-2010 | Result: Allowed

Appeal Details

RSA Number 37125314 RSA 2009
Assessee PAN AAATC4688C
Bench Visakhapatnam
Appeal Number ITA 371/VIZ/2009
Duration Of Justice 1 year(s) 13 day(s)
Appellant M/s Christ Evangelical Luthern Ministries, Guntur
Respondent The CIT, Guntur
Appeal Type Income Tax Appeal
Pronouncement Date 05-07-2010
Appeal Filed By Assessee
Order Result Allowed
Bench Allotted DB
Tribunal Order Date 05-07-2010
Date Of Final Hearing 21-04-2010
Next Hearing Date 21-04-2010
Assessment Year misc
Appeal Filed On 22-06-2009
Judgment Text
IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL VISAKHAPATNAM BENCH VISAKHAPATNAM BEFORE: SHRI SUNIL KUMAR YADAV JUDICIAL MEMBER AND SHRI BR BASKARAN ACCOUNTANT MEMBER ITA NO.116/VIZAG/2009 ASSESSMENT YEAR : 2005-06 CHRIST EVANGELICAL LUTHERN MINISTRIES GUNTUR ACIT CIRCLE-2(1) GUNTUR (APPELLANT) VS. (RESPONDENT) APPELLANT BY: SHRI G.V.N. HARI CA RESPONDENT BY: SHRI D. MANOJ KUMAR ORDER PER SHRI S.K. YADAV JUDICIAL MEMBER:- THESE APPEALS ARE PREFERRED BY THE ASSESSEE. ITA NO.371 OF 2009 IS PREFERRED AGAINST THE ORDER OF CIT PASSED U/S 12AA OF THE INCOME TAX ACT. THE OTHER APPEAL ITA NO.116 OF 2009 IS PASSED AGAIN ST THE ORDER OF THE CIT(A) DENYING THE BENEFIT OF EXEMPTION U/S 11 OF T HE I.T. ACT ON THE GROUND THAT THERE WAS NO REGISTRATION U/S 12A IN FAVOUR OF THE ASSESSEES. THIS ORDER OF CIT(A) WAS ALSO CHALLENGED ON OTHER GROUNDS. 2. SINCE BOTH THE APPEALS WERE HEARD TOGETHER THES E ARE BEING DISPOSED OFF THROUGH THIS CONSOLIDATED ORDER. WE HOWEVER PR EFER TO ADJUDICATE THEM ONE AFTER THE OTHER. ITA NO.371/VIZAG/2009 ASSESSMENT YEAR : N.A. CHRIST EVANGELICAL LUTHERN MINISTRIES GUNTUR CIT GUNTUR (APPELLANT) VS. (RESPONDENT) PAN NO.AAATC 4688C 2 ITA NO.371 OF 2009: 3. THIS APPEAL IS AGAINST THE ORDER OF CIT PASSED U /S 12AA OF THE I.T. ACT. THIS APPEAL IS BARRED BY 745 DAYS AS THE CIT HAS PA SSED AN ORDER ON 30 TH MARCH 2007 AND THE APPEAL IS FILED ON 22 ND JUNE 2009. THE ASSESSEE HAS ALSO FILED AN APPLICATION FOR CONDONATION OF DELAY IN FILING OF THE APPEAL ALONG WITH THE AFFIDAVIT STATING THEREIN THAT THE ASSESSE E IS A CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION CONSTITUTED ON 29.1.2003 AND APPLIED FOR REGISTRATI ON U/S 12A OF THE I.T. ACT VIDE APPLICATION DATED 1.7.2004. THIS APPLICATION WAS NOT DISPOSED OFF BY THE CIT. THE ASSESSEE WAS FURTHER ADVISED BY OFFICE OF THE CIT TO MOVE ANOTHER APPLICATION. ACCORDINGLY THE ASSESSEE FILED ANOTH ER APPLICATION AND ON THE BASIS OF IT REGISTRATION WAS GRANTED W.E.F. 1.4.200 6. THE ASSESSEE WAS HOWEVER ADVISED BY ITS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT THAT WH EN THE CIT DID NOT CHOOSE TO PASS ANY ORDER ON THE APPLICATION DATED 2 2.7.2004 WITHIN 6 MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF THE SAID APPLICATION THE REGISTRA TION U/S 12A SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GRANTED W.E.F. 1.4.2004 AND THE REFORE THERE WAS NO NEED TO PREFER ANY APPEAL AGAINST THE ORDER OF THE CIT DATED 30 TH MARCH 2007 GRANTING THE REGISTRATION U/S 12AW.E.F. 1.4.20 06 ON SECOND APPLICATION OF THE ASSESSEE MOVED ON 5.9.2006. IN THIS REGISTRA TION CERTIFICATE THERE WAS NO DISCUSSION WITH REGARD TO THE EARLIER APPLICATIO N. 4. THE RETURN OF INCOME FOR THE ASSESSMENT YEAR 200 5-06 CAME UP FOR SCRUTINY AND THE ASSESSING OFFICER VIDE HIS ORDER D ATED 28.12.2007 REJECTED THE CLAIM OF THE ASSESSEE U/S 11 OF THE ACT FOR THE REASON THAT REGISTRATION U/S 12A WAS GRANTED W.E.F. 1.4.2006 ONLY. THE PLEA OF THE ASSESSEE THAT THE REGISTRATION U/S 12A IS DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GRANTED W.E.F. 1.4.2004 ON THE BASIS OF HIS EARLIER APPLICATION DATED 1.7.2004 ON ITS NON-DISPOSAL BY THE CIT WAS REJECTED. THE ASSESSEE CHALLENGED THE ORDER OF THE A.O. BEFORE THE CIT(A) BUT DID NOT FIND FAVOUR WITH HIM. HE THEREA FTER APPROACHED MR. G.V.N. HARI CA ON 10 TH JUNE AND HE WAS FINALLY ADVISED TO PREFER AN APPEA L AGAINST THE ORDER OF THE CIT PASSED U/S 12AA OF THE ACT VID E ITS ORDER DATED 30.3.2007 BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL. IMMEDIATELY THEREAF TER ASSESSEE PREFERRED THE PRESENT APPEAL. THEREFORE THE DELAY IN FILING OF THE APPEAL IS THE BONAFIDE MISTAKE OF THE ASSESSEES AS IT WAS ON ACCO UNT OF IMPROPER ADVICE OF A C.A. AND NOT INTENTIONAL. THEREFORE DELAY MAY BE CONDONED AND THE APPEAL 3 BE ADMITTED FOR HEARING. THE LD. COUNSEL FOR THE AS SESSEE FURTHER CONTENDED THAT SINCE THE EARLIER APPLICATION HAS NOT BEEN DIS POSED OFF TILL DATE BY THE CIT THE REGISTRATION U/S 12A IS DEEMED TO HAVE BEE N GRANTED W.E.F. 1.4.2004. 5. THE LD. D.R. STRONGLY OPPOSED THE CONTENTION OF THE ASSESSEES WITH THE SUBMISSION THAT IT IS FOR THE ASSESSEE TO TAKE AN APPROPRIATE STEP AT THE RELEVANT POINT OF TIME. IF HE WAS NOT SATISFIED WIT H THE ORDER OF THE CIT HE COULD HAVE CHALLENGED THE SAME WITHIN A PERIOD OF L IMITATION INSTEAD OF WAITING THE RESULT OF HIS ASSESSMENT. 6. HAVING HEARD THE RIVAL SUBMISSIONS AND FROM A CA REFUL PERUSAL OF THE RECORD WE FIND THAT ASSESSEE HAS APPLIED FOR REGIS TRATION U/S 12A BY FILING FORM NO.10A ALONG WITH RELEVANT DOCUMENT BEFORE THE CIT ON 1.7.2004. THE COPY OF THE APPLICATION CONTAINING THE ACKNOWLEDGEM ENT OF THE OFFICE OF THE CIT IS APPEARING AT PG.NO.1 2 & 3 OF THE COMPILATI ON OF THE ASSESSEES. IN RESPONSE THERETO THE OFFICE OF THE CIT WROTE A LET TER TO THE ASSESSEE VIDE LETTER DATED 4.1.2005 ASKING THE ASSESSEE TO SUBMIT MORE PAPERS IN ORDER TO PROCESS HIS APPLICATION. THIS COPY OF THE LETTER I S AVAILABLE AT PG.NO.7 OF THE COMPILATION OF THE ASSESSEES. THIS LETTER WAS COMP LIED WITH. THE ASSESSEE HAS ALSO FILED ONE LETTER WRITTEN BY THE ASSESSEE F ILING A CERTIFICATE AND DECLARATION BEFORE THE CIT ON 17.9.2004. FROM A CA REFUL PERUSAL OF THESE DOCUMENTS IT APPEARS THAT ASSESSEE HAS FILED THE A PPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION U/S 12A BEFORE THE CIT ON 1.7.2004 AND HIS APPLICAT ION HAS NOT BEEN DISPOSED OFF. THERE AFTER THE SECOND APPLICATION W AS FILED BY THE ASSESSEE ON 5.9.2006 ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE CIT GRANTED REGI STRATION BY PASSING AN ORDER U/S 12AA ON 30 TH MARCH 2007 W.E.F 1.4.2006. IN THIS LETTER THERE WAS NO DISCUSSION WITH REGARD TO THE EARLIER APPLICATIO N. DURING THE COURSE OF HEARING THE LD. D.R. DID NOT CONTROVERT THE CONTEN TION OF THE ASSESSEES WITH REGARD TO THE NON-DISPOSAL OF FIRST APPLICATION. A CCORDING TO THE ASSESSEE THE FIRST APPLICATION WAS NOT DISPOSED OFF BY THE CIT A ND AT THE ADVICE OF THE OFFICE OF THE CIT ASSESSEE MOVED A SECOND APPLICAT ION ON 5.9.2006 WHICH WAS PROCESSED BY THE CIT AND REGISTRATION WAS GRANT ED VIDE ITS ORDER DATED 30.3.2007 W.E.F. 1.4.2006. APPARENTLY THE CONTENT IONS OF THE ASSESSEES 4 APPEARS TO BE CORRECT. WHEREVER ANY APPLICATION AR E FILED IT SHOULD BE DISPOSED OFF WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD IF IT IS N OT DISPOSED OFF THE APPLICANT SHOULD NOT SUFFER ON ACCOUNT OF ITS NON-DISPOSAL. 7. WE HAVE ALSO EXAMINED THE OTHER CONTENTIONS OF T HE ASSESSEES THAT HE REALIZED ITS MISTAKE AFTER THE ASSESSMENT ORDER PAS SED FOR THE ASSESSMENT YEAR 2005-06 IN WHICH THE BENEFIT OF REGISTRATION U /S 12A WAS DENIED TO THE ASSESSEES. EVEN IN THE APPEAL THE ASSESSEE COULD NOT GET A RELIEF AND ON LEGAL ADVICE HE PREFERRED THE PRESENT APPEAL BEFOR E US. SINCE THE DELAY IN FILING OF THE APPEAL IS NOT INTENTIONAL BUT ON THE ILL ADVICE OF HIS COUNSEL WE CONDONE THE DELAY AND ADMIT THE APPEAL FOR HEARING. 8. SO FAR AS OTHER CONTENTIONS OF THE ASSESSEE WITH REGARD TO THE GRANT OF REGISTRATION W.E.F. 1.4.2003 ARE CONCERNED WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT IF THE APPLICATION OF THE ASSESSEE FOR REGISTRATION U/S 12 A FILED ON 1.7.2004 IS NOT DISPOSED OFF THE REGISTRATION U/S 12A SHOULD BE GRA NTED W.E.F. 1.4.2003 BECAUSE THE NATURE OF ACTIVITIES OF THE ASSESSEE WE RE NOT DOUBTED BY THE CIT AS HE GRANTED THE REGISTRATION ON THE BASIS OF THE SECOND APPLICATION FILED ON 5.9.2006. DURING THE COURSE OF HEARING NOTHING HA S BEEN BROUGHT ON RECORD BY THE LD. D.R. TO SUBSTANTIATE THAT EARLIER APPLIC ATION HAS EVER BEEN DISPOSED OFF. IN THE LIGHT OF THESE FACTS WE HAVE NO OTHER OPTION BUT TO HOLD THAT EARLIER APPLICATION FILED BY THE ASSESSEES HAS NOT BEEN DISPOSED OFF FOR WHICH ASSESSEE SHOULD NOT SUFFER. THEREFORE SINCE THE E ARLIER APPLICATION HAS NOT BEEN DISPOSED OFF THE REGISTRATION IS DEEMED TO HA VE BEEN GRANTED W.E.F 1.4.2003 AS THE NATURE OF ACTIVITIES HAS NOT BEEN D OUBTED BY THE CIT. WE ACCORDINGLY MODIFY THE ORDER OF CIT AND HOLD THAT THE REGISTRATION U/S 12A IS GRANTED TO THE ASSESSEES W.E.F. 1.4.2003. ITA 116 OF 2009: 9. THIS APPEAL IS ALSO AGAINST THE ORDER OF CIT CON FIRMING THE DENIAL OF EXEMPTION U/S 11 OF THE I.T. ACT ON THE GROUND THAT DURING THE RELEVANT ASSESSMENT YEAR THERE WAS NO REGISTRATION U/S 12A I N FAVOUR OF THE ASSESSEES. OTHER GROUNDS ARE ALSO RAISED IN THIS APPEAL. ON P ERUSAL OF THIS ORDER OF THE 5 LOWER AUTHORITIES WE FIND THAT ASSESSING OFFICER HA S DENIED THE EXEMPTION TO THE ASSESSEE FOR THE REASONS THAT THERE WAS NO REGI STRATION U/S 12A IN FAVOUR OF THE ASSESSEE DURING THE RELEVANT ASSESSMENT YEAR . IN THE FOREGOING APPEALS WE HAVE ALREADY HELD THAT THE REGISTRATION IS GRANTED W.E.F. 1.4.2003. MEANING THEREBY THE ASSESSEE HAD A REGISTRATION U/S 12A DURING THE IMPUGNED ASSESSMENT YEAR. THEREFORE THE ENTIRE IS SUE REQUIRE A FRESH LOOK IN THE LIGHT OF REGISTRATION U/S 12A IN FAVOUR OF T HE ASSESSEES FOR WHICH ASSESSEE IS ENTITLED FOR EXEMPTION U/S 11 OF THE AC T. WE THEREFORE SET ASIDE THE ORDER OF THE CIT(A) AND RESTORE THE MATTER TO T HE FILE OF THE A.O. WITH THE DIRECTION TO RE-EXAMINE THE ENTIRE CLAIM OF THE ASS ESSEES IN THE LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE ASSESSEE HAD A REGISTRATION U/S 12A D URING THE RELEVANT ASSESSMENT YEAR. 10. IN THE RESULT THE ITA NO.371 IS ALLOWED AND ITA NO.116 IS ALLOWED FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES. PRONOUNCED IN THE OPEN COURT ON 5.7.2010 SD/- SD/- (BR BASKARAN) (SUNIL KUMAR YADAV) ACCOUNTANT MEMBER JUDICIAL MEMBER VG/SPS VISAKHAPATNAM DATED 5 TH JULY 2010 COPY TO 1 M/S. CHRIST EVANGELICAL LUTHERN MINISTRIES NETHA JI ROAD 3 RD LANE VIDYA NAGAR GUNTUR-7 A.P. 2 ACIT CIRCLE-2(1) GUNTUR 3 THE CIT GUNTUR 4 THE CIT(A) GUNTUR 5 THE DR ITAT VISAKHAPATNAM. 6 GUARD FILE. BY ORDER SENIOR PRIVATE SECRETARY INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL VISAKHAPATNAM