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Stream International Services Private Limited, Maxus Mall, 4th floor, Fatak Road, Near Timbda Hospital, Bhayendar (W), THANE 400 101. Vs. Asstt. Commissioner of Income Tax 7(2), Aaykar Bhavan, Mumbai.
October, 16th 2014
                         "K"                     

IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL "K"              BENCH,    MUMBAI
     BEFORE SHRI N.K. BILLAIYA, AM AND SHRI AMIT SHUKLA, JM

      .  .  ,                          ,                             

                 ./I.T.A. No.8290/ Mum/2011
                (     /     Assessment Year : 2007-08
Stream International               /          Asstt. Commissioner of
Services Private Limited,                     Income Tax ­ 7(2),
                                   Vs.
Maxus Mall, 4 t h floor,                      Aaykar Bhavan,
Fatak Road,                                   Mumbai.
Near Timbda Hospital,
Bhayendar (W),
THANE ­ 400 101.
      . / PAN : AAECS8569F
  ( /Appellant)        ..                       (    / Respondent)


       Appellant by                Shri S.N. Soparkar
                                   Shri B.S. Soparkar
       Department by               Shri S.D. Srivastava
           / Date of Hearing                     : 29-09-2014
          /Date of Pronouncement :
                                    [

                              / O R D E R
PER N.K. BILLAIYA, A.M.                   :
.    .  ,   

        This appeal by the assessee is preferred against the assessment order
passed in pursuance to the directions u/s 144C(5) of the Income Tax Act,
1961 dated 16-8-2011.

2.      In ground No. 1, the assessee is aggrieved by the treatment of rental
income earned on leasehold premises from M/s Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd.
as "Income from House Property".
                                      2                  ITA 8290/M/11




3.    At the outset, the ld. Counsel for the assessee stated that an identical
issue was considered by the Tribunal in A.Y. 2006-07 in ITA No.
8997/Mum/2010 qua ground No. 2 of that appeal and directed the A.O. to
treat the rental income under the head "income from other sources". The ld.
D.R. fairly conceded to this.

4.    We have carefully perused the order of the Tribunal in ITA No.
8997/Mum/2010. We find that the Tribunal has considered this issue at para
4 of its order and after considering the facts and the submissions, the
Tribunal finally concluded by holding that "in such a situation, it is directed
that the same should be included under the head "income from other
sources". With this direction, the Tribunal restored the matter to the file of
the A.O. for computing the income after allowing the eligible deductions and
allowances as per the relevant provisions under Chapter IV-F. The Tribunal
has further directed that while allowing such deductions, the A.O. will also
ensure that no deduction is doubly claimed/allowed, firstly, in computing of
income under the head "profits and gains of business or profession" and then
under the head "income from other sources". As no distinguishing
facts/decisions has been brought before us, respectfully following the findings
of the co-ordinate Bench of this Tribunal in ITA No. 8997/Mum/2010, the
matter is restored to the file of the A.O. for doing the needful in the light of
the findings given by the Tribunal in A.Y. 2006-07. Ground No. 1 is treated
as allowed for statistical purpose.




5.    Ground No. 2 has not been pressed by the ld. Counsel for the assessee
and accordingly dismissed as not pressed.

6.    Ground No. 3 relates the disallowance u/s 14A of the Act. During the
course of assessment proceedings, the A.O. noticed that the assessee has
earned exempt income in the form of dividend. The assessee claimed that it
has not claimed any expenses. The assessee was asked as to why section 14A
                                    3                   ITA 8290/M/11




read with Rule 8-D of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 should not be invoked.
The assessee replied that it has not incurred any expenses to earn such
dividend income. The A.O. did not accept this submission and proceeded by
computing the disallowance as per the provisions of section 14A read with
Rule 8D. The disallowance was computed taking 0.5% of average investment.
The A.O. proposed to disallow Rs. 16,55,850/-.      The matter was objected
before the DRP. The DRP was of the opinion that Rule 8-D is applicable from
A.Y. 2008-09 following the decision of Hon'ble Bombay High Court in the case
of Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. vs. DCIT. The DRP was of the opinion that the
disallowance u/s 14A of the Act has to be worked out on a reasonable basis
and accordingly directed the A.O. to disallow 5%. However, the A.O.
completed the assessment by making the disallowance @ 0.5% of average
investment at Rs. 16,55,850/-. Before us, the ld. Counsel for the assessee
stated that the A.O. has not followed the directions of the DRP. The ld. D.R.
relied upon the assessment order.

7.    We have carefully perused the orders of the authorities below. It is a
settled position of law that application of Rule 8-D is prospective and is
applicable from A.Y. 2008-09. We also find that the DRP has considered the
disallowance of 5% to be reasonable. However, the A.O. has not appreciated
the directions of the DRP correctly, may be directions was not clear.
Therefore, modifying the directions of the DRP, we direct the A.O. to restrict
the disallowance u/s 14A of the Act to 5% of the exempt income. Ground No.
3 is accordingly allowed.

8.    Ground No. 4 relates to the transfer pricing adjustment of Rs.
6,40,58,995/-.

9.    During the course of assessment proceedings, the A.O. noted that the
assessee has entered into various international transactions with its
Associated Enterprises (AEs). A reference u/s 92C(1) of the Act was made to
                                       4                      ITA 8290/M/11




the Transfer Pricing Officer, Mumbai for the determination of the Arm's
Length Price in relation to the international transactions. The assessee has
reported the following international transactions in its Form 3CEB:-
       Sr No.   Nature     of   International Amount (Rs)          Method
                transactions
       1        Rendering eCRM services       54,16,75,364/-       TNMM
       2        Reimbursement     of       expenses 36,22 ,707/-   CUP
                received


10.   In so far as rendering eCRM services, the assessee has selected the
following companies as its comparables and their updated margins are as
follows:-
       Sr No.   Name of the company                                Margins
       1        Ace Software Exports Ltd.                             -6.79%
       2        Ask Me Info Hubs Ltd.                                   5.6%
       3        C S Software enterprise Ltd.                              N.A
       4        Cosmic Global Ltd.                                    11.75%
       5        Maple E Solutions Ltd.                                34.32%
       6        Transworks Information Services Ltd.                  12.44%
                (Aditya Birla Manics Worldwide Ltd.)
       7        Triton Corpn. Ltd.                                     32.36%
       8        Galaxy Commercial Ltd.                                 14.36%
       9        CMC Ltd. (seg)                                         31.92%
       10       Datamatics Software Pvt. Ltd. (Seg)                     3.14%
       11       Gold Stones Teleservices Ltd. (seg)                   -68.25%
                (Formerly Gold Stone Teleservices Ltd.)
       12       National securities depository Ltd. (seg)              29.17%

During the course of the proceedings before the TPO, the assessee was given
a set of 25 companies involved in ITES service activity which were selected by
the Department. The assessee accepted 13 companies while objections were
raised with reference to nine companies. After considering the objections and
the submissions, the TPO selected following companies from the list of
companies selected by the Department. The final list of companies read as
under:-
                                     5                        ITA 8290/M/11




       Sr. No.   Name of the company                               Margins
       1         Ace Software Exports Ltd.                              -6.79
       2         Cosmic Global Ltd.                                   11.75%
       3         Maple E Solutions                                    34.32%
       4         Transworks Information Services Ltd.                 12.44%
                 (Aditya Birla Manics Worldwide Ltd.)
       5         Triton Corpn. Ltd.                                    32.36%
       6         CMC Ltd. (seg.)                                       31.92%
       7         Datamatics Softword Pvt. Ltd. (seg.)                   3.14%
       8         Accentia Technologies Ltd.                              38.26
       9         Allsec Technologies Ltd.                                27.31
       10        Apex Knowledge Solutions Limited                        12.83
       11        Apollo Healthstreet Limited                            -13.55
       12        Asit C Mehta Financial Services Limited                 24.21
       13        Datamatic Financial Services Limited (seg)               5.07
       14        Flextronics Software Systems Limited (seg)              14.54
       15        Genesys International Corporation Limited               13.35
       16        Infosys BPO Limited                                     28.78
       17        Iservices India Private Limited                         50.27
       18        R Systems International Limited (seg)                   20.18
       19        Spanco Limited (seg)                                    25.81
       20        Triton Corp. Limited                                    34.93
       21        Bodhtree Consulting Limited                             29.58
       22        Caliber Point Business Solution                         21.26
       23        Eclerx services Ltd.                                    90.43
       24        Informed Technologies Ltd.                              35.56
       25        Moldtec technologies Ltd.                             113.49
       26        Vishal Information Technologies Ltd.                    51.19
       27        Wipro Ltd.                                              29.70
                 Average Mean                                            28.60


The TPO finally concluded by stating that the assessee's OP/TC Margin is less
compared to the average mean of the margin of the comparable companies
which is 28.60% whereas assessee's operating profit margin as claimed by it
is 15.45%. The adjustment of Rs. 6,40,58,995/- was accordingly made.
Objections were raised before the DRP but without any success. Aggrieved by
this, the assessee is in appeal before us.

11.   The ld. Counsel for the assessee strongly objected to the inclusion of 15
companies. The ld. Counsel for the assessee argued at length explaining why
                                     6                         ITA 8290/M/11




these companies should not be compared as comparable cases pointing out
reasons for the exclusion in respect of each and every company.

12.    Per contra, the ld. D.R. relied upon the findings of the lower authorities.

13.    We have carefully perused the orders of the authorities below and the
submissions of the ld. Counsel for the assessee in respect of each comparable
companies objected by the assessee. Let us take the comparable companies
one by one:-

(i)    Maple Esolutions Ltd.:- The OP/TC of this company is 34.32%. It is the
       say of the ld. Counsel for the assessee that this company was under
       serious indictment in fraud cases. A perusal of the order of the Tribunal
       for A.Y. 2006-07 in ITA No. 8997/Mum/2010 show that this company
       was excluded from the list of comparables. Respectfully following the
       precedent, we direct the exclusion of this company from the final list of
       comparables.
(ii)   Triton Corp. Ltd.:- The OP/TC of this company is 32.36%. It is the say
       of the ld. Counsel for the assessee that this company also deserves to
       be excluded as the Directors of this company were involved in fraud,
       therefore, financial results of the company are not reliable. In support,
       reliance was placed on the decision of the Tribunal in the case of
       Capital   IQ   Information   Systems    (India)   Pvt.    Ltd.    in   ITA   No.
       1961/Hyd/2011,      CRM      Services   India     (P)    Ltd.    in    ITA   No.
       4068/(Del)/2009, Avincon India Pvt. Ltd. in ITA No. 1989/Mum/2011
       and Market Tools Research Pvt. Ltd. on ITA No. 2066/Hyd/2011. We
       have perused the decisions relied upon by the ld. Counsel for the
       assessee. We find that whenever a company or its directors are found to
       be involved in fraud, the co-ordinate Benches have taken a consistent
       view of excluding such company from the final list of comparables as
       the financial results are not reliable. Respectfully following this
                                     7                     ITA 8290/M/11




        consistent view taken by the Tribunal, we direct the exclusion of this
        company from the final list of comparables.
(iii)   CMC Limited (Seg):- The OP/TC of this company is at 31.92%. At the
        outset, the ld. Counsel for the assessee stated that the related party
        transaction of this company is 58% to 59%. The ld. Counsel for the
        assessee further argued that this company has low employee cost to
        sales, therefore, should not be considered as a comparable. We find
        that this company's related party transactions are in the range of 58%
        to 59%. It is also a fact that this company has low employee cost to
        sales at 17.66% as compared to that of the assessee which is 49.34%.
        On both count, in our considered opinion, this company deserves to be
        excluded from the final list of comparables. We direct accordingly.
(iv)    Accentia Technologies Ltd.:- The OP/TC of this company is 38.26%.
        The ld. Counsel for the assessee stated that this company amalgamated
        with two of its subsidiaries pursuant to the order of the court because
        of which the immediate effect of the amalgamation/merger is reflected
        on the operating income, expenses and PBIT. This amounts to
        extraordinary events and therefore the company needs to be excluded.
        The Co-ordinate Hyderabad Bench of the Tribunal in the case of Capital
        IQ Information Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd.      in ITA No. 1964/Hyd/2011
        and in the case of Zavata India Private Limited in ITA No.
        1781/Hyd/2011 has taken a view that extraordinary events like merger
        and de-merger will impact profitability of companies and therefore
        should be excluded. We also find that the segmental data is not
        available and therefore where there is no segmental data, the overall
        result declared by a company cannot per se be applied for purposes of
        taking comparison. A similar view was taken by the Tribunal in the
        case of Roche Diagnostics India Pvt. Ltd. in ITA No. 4127/Mum/2009.
        We also find that this company was rejected by the DRP in assessee's
        own case for A.Y. 2009-10 on account of non-availability of segment-
                                         8                 ITA 8290/M/11







        wise results. Considering the facts in the light of the judicial decisions
        discussed hereinabove, we direct the exclusion of this company from
        the final list of comparables.
(v)     Asit C. Mehta Financial Services Ltd. (seg):- The OP/TC of this company
        is 24.21%. The ld. Counsel for the assessee stated that this company
        has low employee cost to sales as compared to that of the assessee.
        Reliance was placed on the decision of the Hyderabad Bench of this
        Tribunal in the case of Zavata India Private Limited in ITA No.
        1781/Hyd/2011. We find force in the contention of the ld. Counsel for
        the assessee. This company's employee cost to sales is at 24.78% as
        compared to that of the assessee which is 49.34%. As the employee cost
        to sales is found to be much lower than that of the assessee, we direct
        for the exclusion of this company from the final list of comparables.
(vi)    Infosys BPO Ltd.:- The ld. Counsel for the assessee stated that the
        turnover of this company is extremely high as compared to that of the
        assessee. Moreover, Infosys is a brand and commands premium in the
        market, therefore, this company should be excluded from the list of
        comparables. It is an undisputed fact that Infosys is a brand and
        commands premium in the market. It is also a fact that the turnover for
        the year of this company was Rs. 649.56 crores as against that of the
        assessee of Rs. 54.17 crores which is almost 12 times of the assessee.
        Infosys BPO Ltd. is a joint company and it assumes significant
        business risks unlike the assessee who does not assume significant
        risks therefore deserves to be excluded from the final list of
        comparables. We direct accordingly. A similar view was taken by the
        Hyderabad Bench of this Tribunal in the case of C3i Support Services
        Pvt. Ltd. in ITA No. 2183/Hyd/2011.
(vii)   Spanco Ltd. (seg.):- The OP/TC of this company is 25.81%.          The ld.
        Counsel for the assessee stated that the TPO has not provided report of
        this company and requested for necessary direction. The ld. Counsel for
                                      9                     ITA 8290/M/11




       the assessee further stated that the company also has very low
       employee cost to sales as compared to that of the assessee. In our
       considered opinion, this company needs to be restored back to the file
       of the A.O./TPO with a direction to provide report of this company to
       the assessee and decide the issue afresh whether this company passes
       the test of being in the final list of the comparables.
(viii) Triton Corp. Ltd.:- This Company has been repeated again. We have
       considered this company at Sl No. 2 hereinabove, therefore, requires no
       separate adjudication.
(ix)   Bodhtree Consulting Ltd.:- The OP/TC of this company is 29.58%. The
       ld. Counsel for the assessee stated that this company has extraordinary
       profit due to hiving off of e-paper business and web based assessment
       services to separate companies. The ld. Counsel for the assessee further
       stated that this company is finally not comparable as the company is in
       the software development. Further, this company has no segmental
       reporting. On perusal of the accounts of this company, we find that the
       company has earned extraordinary profit during the year due to hiving
       off of e-paper business and web based assessment services to separate
       company. It appears that the cost has been transferred to new
       companies while income is retained by this company. We further find
       that this company is engaged in single segment hence it is functionally
       different. As the company has hived off its business, it is a case of de-
       merger. In our considered opinion, this issue needs to be considered by
       the A.O./TPO. We accordingly restore this company back to the file of
       the A.O./TPO with a direction to verify the contentions of the assessee
       that the company is in ITES and whether segmental data are available
       or not and decide afresh whether this company needs to be considered
       in the final list of comparables.
(x)    Caliber Point Business Solutions Ltd.:- At the outset, the ld. Counsel
       for the assessee stated that this company deserves to be rejected as the
                                    10                     ITA 8290/M/11




       related party transaction is more than 25% which is a filter adopted by
       the TPO himself. We find that the DRP has not considered this
       objection because it was of the opinion that related party transaction is
       mainly for reimbursements and recoveries and therefore would not
       affect the company. We find that an identical issue came up before the
       Tribunal in assessee's own case in A.Y. 2006-07 in ITA No.
       8997/Mum/2010 wherein the Tribunal has rejected this contention of
       the Department. The Tribunal at para 13 of its order has observed that
       "A pure reimbursement of expenses by one AE to another AE is very
       much a `transaction' as per section 92F(v) and consequently is equally an
       international transaction as per section 92B requiring consideration as
       per section 92 of the Act". These observations were in relation to a
       company namely Datamatics Financial Services Limited. We therefore
       do not find any force in the rejection of the objection by the DRP in line
       with the observations of the Tribunal in assessee's own case for A.Y.
       2006-07. We direct for the exclusion of this company from the final set
       of comparable.
(xi)   eClerx Services Ltd. & Mold-Tek Technologies Ltd.:- For both these
       companies, the ld. Counsel for the assessee stated that these
       companies are functionally different, therefore, cannot be considered as
       comparables. We find that the Mumbai Special Bench of the Tribunal in
       the case of Maersk Global Centres (India) Pvt. Ltd. in ITA No.
       7466/Mum/2012       has   rejected   eClerx   Services   Limited   because
       solutions offered by this company included data analytics, operations,
       management, audits and reconciliation, metrics management and
       reporting services. The Special Bench opined that if these functions
       actually performed by the assessee company for its AEs are compared
       with the functional profile of M/s eClerx Services Limited and Mold-Tek
       Technologies Ltd., it is difficult to find out any relatively equal degree
       of comparability and the said entities cannot be taken as comparable
                                         11                 ITA 8290/M/11




        for the purpose of determining ALP of the transactions of the assessee
        company with its AEs. Facts being identical, respectfully following the
        observations of the Special Bench (supra), we direct that these two
        entities be excluded from the list of final comparables.
(xii)   Informed Technologies India Limited:- The ld. Counsel for the assessee
        stated that firstly this company is not functionally comparable and
        secondly it has a low employee cost to sales as compared to that of the
        assessee. We have already held that in relation to the rejection of the
        company as comparable on the ground of low cost to sales, we find that
        in this company, the employee cost to sales is 27.77% as compared to
        that of the assessee which is 49.34%. Following our own view and other
        judicial decisions discussed elsewhere in this matter, we direct for
        exclusion of this company from the list of comparables.
(xiii) Vishal Information Technologies Ltd.:- We find that this company was
        excluded from the final list of comparables in A.Y. 2006-07 by the
        Tribunal in ITA No. 8997/Mum/2010. The issue has been discussed
        by the Tribunal at para 19, 20 & 21 of its order. As no distinguishing
        fact has been brought on record before us, respectfully following the
        findings of the co-ordinate Bench of this Tribunal in assessee's own
        case in A.Y. 2006-07, we direct for the exclusion of this company from
        the final list of comparables.
(xiv)   Wipro Ltd. (seg):- The facts of this company are similar to the facts of
        Infosys BPO Ltd. considered by us at Sl No. (vi). For the similar reason,
        this company is also directed to be excluded from the final list of
        comparables.
14.     To complete the adjudication, we direct the A.O./TPO to recompute/re-
determine the Arm's Length Price as per our directions given hereinabove.
Before closing, we find that the assessee has also taken certain additional
grounds.
                                   12                   ITA 8290/M/11




15.    Ground No. 1.2 & 1.3 relates to the taxability of rental income. These
grounds are treated as allowed qua our decision to ground No. 1 of this
appeal.

16.    Ground No. 3.3 relates to the determination of Arm's Length Price. This
issue will be considered by the A.O. while re-determining the ALP as per our
directions given hereinabove.

17.    Ground No. 5 relates the grant of short credit of TDS. We direct the
A.O. to allow the credit of TDS as per the provisions of law after due
verification.

18.    Ground No. 6 relates to the levy of interest u/s 234B of the Act. The
levy of interest is mandatory though consequential. We order accordingly.

19.    In the result, appeal filed by the assessee is allowed in part for
statistical purpose.


       Order pronounced in the open court on 10th October, 2014.

                                                10-10-2014    


                Sd/-                                         sd/-
      (AMIT SHUKLA)                                   (N.K. BILLAIYA)
      JUDICIAL MEMBER                               ACCOUNTANT MEMBER

  Mumbai;
                        Dated -   10-10-2014.
                                    [

 . ../ R.K., Sr. PS
                                            13                  ITA 8290/M/11




..0             /Copy of the Order forwarded to :
1.    / The Appellant
2.     / The Respondent.
3.     () / The DRP ­II, Mumbai
4.      / Director of Income Tax (IT), concerned, Mumbai
5.            ,     ,  / DR, ITAT, Mumbai K Bench

6.     / Guard file.
                                                                        / BY ORDER,

                            //True Copy//
                                                           /  (Dy./Asstt.   Registrar)
                                                               ,  / ITAT, Mumbai

 
 
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