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CIT vs. Society For The Promotion Of Education, Adventure Sport & Conservation Of Environment (Supreme Court)
February, 24th 2016

S. 12AA: Non disposal of an application for registration before the expiry of six months as provided u/s 12AA (2) results in deemed grant of registration

In Society for the Promotion of Education, Adventure Sport & Conservation of Environment vs. Commissioner of Income Tax (2008) 216 CTR (All) 167, the Allahabad High Court held that non disposal of an application for registration before the expiry of six months as provided u/s 12AA (2) would result in deemed grant of registration. However, this was reversed by the Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court in CIT vs. Muzafar Nagar Development Authority (2015) 372 ITR 209. The appeal filed by the department in the case of Society for the Promotion of Education came up before the Supreme Court. HELD by the Supreme Court disposing of the appeal:

(i) The short issue is with regard to the deemed registration of an application under Section 12AA of the Income Tax Act. The High Court has taken the view that once an application is made under the said provision and in case the same is not responded to within six months, it would be taken that the application is registered under the provision.

(ii) The learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the appellants, has raised an apprehension that in the case of the respondent, since the date of application was of 24.02.2003, at the worst, the same would operate only after six months from the date of the application.

(iii) We see no basis for such an apprehension since that is the only logical sense in which the Judgment could be understood. Therefore, in order to disabuse any apprehension, we make it clear that the registration of the application under Section 12AA of the Income Tax Act in the case of the respondent shall take effect from 24.08.2003.

(iv) Subject to the above clarification and leaving all other questions of law open, the appeal is disposed of with no order as to costs.

Note 1: Though the Supreme Court left “all other questions of law open”, the impact of the verdict is that the law laid down in Society for the Promotion of Education, Adventure Sport & Conservation of Environment vs. Commissioner of Income Tax (2008) 216 CTR (All) 167 that there is a deemed registration is approved and the law laid down by the Full Bench in CIT vs. Muzafar Nagar Development Authority (2015) 372 ITR 209 is no longer good law.

 

 
 
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