DCIT vs. Syncom Formulations (I) Ltd (ITAT Mumbai)
February, 12th 2016
S. 37(1): While receiving of gifts by doctors is prohibited by MCI Guidelines, the giving of such gifts by Pharma companies is not prohibited by any law. CBDT Circular dated 01.08.2012 is prospective
Receiving of gifts by doctors was prohibited by MCI guidelines, giving of the same by manufacturer is not prohibited under any law for the time being in force. Giving small gifts bearing company logo to doctors does not tantamount to giving gifts to doctors but it is regarded as advertising expenses. As regards sponsoring doctors for conferences and extending hospitality, pharmaceuticals companies have been sponsoring practicing doctors to attend prestigious conferences so that they gather contemporary knowledge about management of certain illness/disease and learn about newer therapies. We found that the disallowance was made by the AO by relying on the CBDT Circular dated 01.08.2012 onwards. However, the Circular was not applicable because it was introduced w.e.f.01.08.2012. i.e. assessment year 2013-2014, whereas the relevant assessment year under consideration is 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Accordingly, we do not find any merit in the disallowance so made by the AO in both the assessment years under consideration.