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UTI Bank Limited Trishul, Opp. Samtheshwar Mahadev Near Law Garden Ellisbridge Ahmedabad-380 006 (Appellant) Vs. The ACIT Circle 8, Ahmedabad
September, 20th 2013
                               1 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                               4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                               790/A/2012
                       .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
  IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL " A " BENCH, AHMEDABAD
(BEFORE SHRI G.C.GUPTA VICE PRESIDENT & SHRI ANIL CHATURVEDI, A.M.)


 I.T. A. Nos. 2572/AHD/2006, 4386,4388/AHD/2007 & 790/AHD/2012
         (Assessment Year: 2004-05,2002-03,2004-05 & 07-08)

UTI Bank Limited "Trishul",      Vs.     The ACIT Circle 8,
Opp. Samtheshwar Mahadev                 Ahmedabad
Near Law Garden Ellisbridge
Ahmedabad-380 006


     (Appellant)                              (Respondent)

           ITA Nos. 2737/AHD/2006, 236 & 238/AHD/2008
          (Assessment Years: 2004-05, 2002-03 & 2004-05)

The ACIT Circle 8,               Vs.     UTI Bank Limited
Ahmedabad                                "Trishul", Opp.
                                         Samtheshwar Mahadev
                                         Near Law Garden
                                         Ellisbridge Ahmedabad-
    (Appellant)                          380 006

                                         (Respondent)


                     PAN:AACU2414K


 Appellant by        : Shri Arvind Sonde. A.R.
 Respondent by       : Shri Subhash Bains, CIT D.R.

                           ( )/ORDER

Date of hearing                 : 23-08-2013
Date of Pronouncement           : 10-09-2013
                                       2 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                       4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                       790/A/2012
                              .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
     PER SHRI ANIL CHATURVEDI,A.M.
1.    These are seven appeals out of which four appeals are filed by Assessee
     namely ITA NO. 2572/Ahd/2006 (for A.Y. 2004-05), ITA No. 4386/Ahd/2007 (for
     A.Y. 2002-03), ITA No. 4388/Ahd/2007 (for A.Y. 2004-05) & ITA No.
     790/Ahd/2012 (for A.Y. 2007-08) against the order of CIT(A) dated 25.09.2006,
     05.10.2007, 05.10.2007 & 05.01.2012 respectively.        The three appeals of
     Revenue namely in ITA No. 2737/Ahd/2006 (for A.Y. 2004-05), ITA No.
     236/Ahd/2008 (for A.Y. 2004-05) & ITA No. 239/Ahd/2012 (for A.Y. 2007-08)
     are against the order of CIT(A) dated 25.09.2006, 05.10,2007 & 5.10.2007
     respectively. We proceed to dispose of all these appeals by way of
     consolidated order for the sake of convenience.


         We first take up Assessee's appeal (in ITA No. 2572/Ahd/2006 for AY
     2004-05)


2.    The facts as culled out from the order of lower authorities are as under:


3.    Assessee is a company engaged in the business of banking. It filed its return
     of income for A.Y. 2004-05 declaring income of Rs. 465,59,74,060/-. The case
     was selected for scrutiny and thereafter the assessment was framed u/s 143(3)
     vide order dated 31.01.2006 and the total income was determined at Rs.
     664,36,99,320/-. Aggrieved by the order of Assessing Officer (AO), Assessee
     carried the matter before CIT(A). CIT(A) vide order dated 25.09.2006 granted
     partial relief to the Assessee. Aggrieved by the aforesaid order of CIT(A) both
     the Assessee as well as Revenue are in appeal before us.


     Ground no 1 and its sub grounds are with respect to depreciation on windmills.


4.    During the course of assessment proceedings, AO noticed that Assessee had
     shown purchase of windmills amounting to Rs. 27,54,00,000/- and the same
                             3 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                             4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                             790/A/2012
                     .      A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
was shown as put to use on 19.03.2004 and Assessee had also claimed
depreciation at 80% amounting to Rs. 11,01,60,000/-.        The Assessee was
asked to justify its claim. The submissions made by the Assessee was not
found acceptable to the AO as he was of the view that the Assessee is a
Banking institution governed by Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and it cannot
engage in any other business other than banking. The AO was further of the
view that the depreciation at higher rate is available to an Assessee who is
engaged in generation and distribution of electricity and since the assessee
was a banking company, it cannot said to be engaged in the generation of
electricity. He further noted that the lease rentals were fixed on the basis of
interest on advances and other charges receivable by the Assessee as a
financier but the same was not co-related to the projected income on the
capacity of each wind energy generator, the Assessee was not entitled for
surplus income on excess generation of power, Assessee was not to suffer any
loss owing to lesser production or any other contingencies, the return of the
Assessee on financing was granted by taking Interest Free Deposit, Assessee
was not taking the responsibility of labour, repairs, taxes etc in running of the
project. He also noted that the normal life of to wind energy generator was 20
years and the lease period adopted by the Assessee was only 10 years. He
also disallowed the claim of the Assessee for the reason that the purchase of
wind energy generators was in its name without land and power purchase
agreement in its name with the concerned Electricity Board. He accordingly
held that income from operation is shown as lease rental and not as income
from generation of electricity. He therefore treated the entire transaction as
financing and therefore disallowed the claim of depreciation of Rs.
11,01,60,000/-. Aggrieved by the order of AO, Assessee carried the matter
before CIT(A). CIT(A) noted that the facts in the present year were similar to
assessment year 2002-03 and thereafter upheld the order of AO by holding as
under:-
                                    4 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                    4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                    790/A/2012
                          .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
3.4   Facts of the case for this assessment year is very similar to facts for A.Y.
02-03. The WEGs in question were manufactured by NEPC Ltd. The appellant
has advanced money to the said company, but unable to recover the same. In
that year for recovering the amount, the lease arrangement was done through
WESCARE INDIA LTD., whereas in this year the same has been entered with
new developer Sundaram Clayton Ltd.. The main objective of the appellant was
only to recover outstanding dues from NEPC Ltd., and for this purpose M/s.
WESCARE INDIA LTD., was assured a commission of Rs. 2,00,000/- per
WEG. However, due to backing out of Sundaram Clayton Ltd., there was delay
in completion of the project and hence the payment of commission was
resented. On similar facts in A.Y. 2002-03 and on similar submission made by
the assessee in that year, the issue was decided by CIT(A) vide order dt:
18/11/2005. The main findings were as under:-
"iv) From the contents of the tripartite agreement dt:22-9-2000, the statement of
Shri V.R. Raghunathan and papers found in survey which are discussed in
detail by the AO in the asst. order and in brief reproduced in para 7.1 above, it
is evident that actually M/s. Wescare India Ltd.(WIL) approached UT1 Bank for
financing their business in which tax saving benefit was to be passed on to UTI
Bank. Thereafter, the tripartite agreement was signed. The tripartite lease
agreement suggests that the payment for assets has been made by UTI Bank
in the capacity of financier and not real owner. The lessee and W1L is required
to suffer the losses arising out of purchase of assets and they are only
amenable to all risks attached to purchase of assets."
"v) The appellant is engaged in banking business under the Banking
Regulations Act. The appellant cannot engaged in generation of electricity, as it
is not permissible under the Banking Regulations Act. Hence, the appellant was
not permitted to purchase Windmill for generation of power in the normal
course of business in the first instant."
"vi) Further, the UTI was not concerned with the operational aspect of
equipment or loss or damages to the equipment. Here only W1L has taken all
responsibilities for that. Even the land did not belong to the UTI Bank Ltd, but
belong to WIL."
"vii) The contention of assessee that in case of wind mills stop operation due to
agitation or due to change in the wind velocity resulting in short generation of
power the revenue would be drastically and critically affected is contrary to the
evidence. WIL has agreed to pay for the shortage vide clause 6A(i) proviso.
Non receipt of deposit from WIL and non action for the lapse is a serious
breach of the agreement itself."
                                     5 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                     4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                     790/A/2012
                            .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
The assessee has not followed the agreement in its true meaning as the
assessee has not taken any action for non-observance of various conditions in
the agreement.
Instead of taking action for the default in deposit by WIL as a violation of the
agreement, the assessee is turning the same as a shield "that deposit is not
received".
"The owning of the WEG without the requisite land with abundant velocity of
wind is of scrap value. This may be the reason for the alleged lessee B1L
belonging to TVS group did not go for the purchase of the wind mills. On the
contrary by joining in the agreement without any investment and/or
responsibility BIL is getting the power at 60 Ps. less per unit."
"viii) The decision in the case of Prakash Ind. Ltd. is not relevant for deciding
the issue whether the assessee is entitled to depreciation or not. In that case
the questions involved was of ownership between the company and bank. In
the said lease agreement there was a stipulation that after the expiry of the
lease period the machinery was to be returned to the Bank. The dispute was
not under the Income tax Act and therefore not applicable. The decision of the
ITAT in the case of Birla Chemicals and Traders (P) Ltd. is also not relevant for
the issue at hand."
"ix) Therefore, in view of the discussions made above and the finding brought
out on record by the A.O. and discussed in details in the asst. order, which are
produced above in earlier paras, it is evident that this was not a lease
transaction, but only finance transaction. Hence, the depreciation is not
allowable."
"x) As per the decision of Hon. Supreme Court in the Case of McDowell & Co.
Vs. CIT., 154 ITR 148, to ascertain the real nature of transaction, the veil has to
be lifted. As per the decision of Hon. Karnataka High Court in the case of
Avasarala Automation Ltd. Vs. JCIT 266 ITR 178, it has been held that while it
is permissible for an assessee to have the tax planning, it is not permissible to
prepare documents and to give the colour of real transactions on the basis of
said documents, which would enable the assessee to evade the payment of
tax. When an assessee makes a claim of depreciation on the ground allowed
by law, it would always be open to the AO to pierce the veil of transactions put
forward and find out as whether the transaction put forward for the purpose of
claiming depreciation is genuine transaction or only a make believe, one
intended to avoid payment of tax."

As the facts here are similar in this assessment year also and on considering
the facts of the case for this asst. year also as discussed in detail by the A.O. in
the asst. order, it is evident that these are in fact loan transaction which are
claimed by the appellant as lease transactions. The case laws relied upon by
the appellant are not applicable to the facts of the present case. The so called
operation of lease transaction is nothing but a colourful device and as per the
Supreme Court's decision in the case of McDowell & Co.Vs. CIT., 154 ITR 148,
we have to find out the truth behind the fact and decide the case accordingly.
                                               6 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                               4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                               790/A/2012
                                     .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
           Therefore, it is held that transaction made was only loan transaction and not
           genuine lease transaction and the A.O. was justified in disallowing the
           depreciation and the action of the A.O. is hereby confirmed."

5.          Aggrieved by the order of CIT(A), the Assessee is now in appeal before us.


6.          Before us, the learned A.R. at the outset submitted that the issue of
           depreciation on leased assets has now been settled and decided by Hon.
           Supreme Court in the case of ICDS Ltd vs. CIT & Anr (2013) 350 ITR 527 (SC).
           He also submitted the following the aforesaid decision of Hon. Apex Court, the
           Mumbai Tribunal on identical facts in the case of Development Credit Bank Ltd.
           vs. DCIT ITA No. 300/Ahd/2001 and 4892/Ahd/2003 has decided the issue in
           assessee's favour. The learned A.R. further submitted that the Assessee had
           entered into lease transaction in the normal course of business as the same
           was permissible by the Banking Regulation Act. He further submitted that the
           lease income earned by the Assessee is also disclosed in its Profit and Loss
           account. He also urged that in Assessee's own case for earlier assessment
           year the issue has been decided in its favour. He placed on record the order of
           the Tribunal. He thus urged that the addition made be the AO be deleted.


7.          We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record. It is
           an undisputed fact that the income from lease has been considered by
           Assessee as income. It is also an undisputed fact that the AO has considered
           the lease entered by the Assessee to be a Finance lease to arrive at the
           conclusion that the assessee is not entitled to depreciation. On identical facts,
           in the Assessee's own case for AY 2002-03 (in ITA No. 2572/Ahd/2006 order
           dated 25.09.2006 the issue has been decided in favour of Assessee by holding
           as under:

     25.          We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record.
           It is an undisputed fact that the income from lease has been considered by
           Assessee as income it is an undisputed fact that the A.O. has considered the
           lease entered by the Assessee to be a Finance lease to arrive at the conclusion
                                        7 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                        4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                        790/A/2012
                               .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      that the Assessee is not entitled to depreciation. We find that the issue of
      depreciation on leased assets has been decided by Honourable Apex Court in
      the case of ICDS Ltd (supra). One of the question before the Hon. Supreme
      Court was "whether the Assessee is entitled to depreciation vehicles finance by
      it which is neither owned nor used by the Assessee by virtue of the business"
      the Hon. Supreme Court held as under:

      "The provision on depreciation in the Income-tax Act, 1961, reads that the asset
      must be "owned, wholly or partly, by the assessee and used for the purposes of
      the business". Therefore, it imposes a twin requirement of "ownership" and
      "usage for business" for a successful claim under section 32 of the Act.
      The section requires that the assessee must use the asset for the "purpose, of
      business". It does not mandate usage of the asset by the assessee itself. As
      long as the asset is utilized for the purpose of business of the assessee, the
      requirement of section 32 will stand satisfied, notwithstanding non-usage of the
      asset itself by the assessee.
      The definitions of "ownership" essentially make ownership a function of legal
      right or title against the rest of the world. However, it is "nomen genera-
      lissimum", and its meaning is to be gathered from the connection in which it is
      used, and from the subject-matter to which it is applied. As long as the
      assessee has a right to retain the legal title against the rest of the world, it
      would be the owner of the asset in the eyes of law.
      Held, affirming the decision of the Tribunal, (i) that the assessee was a leasing
      company which leased out the trucks that it purchased. Therefore, on a
      combined reading of section 2(13) and (24) of the Act the income derived from
      leasing of the trucks would be business income, or income derived in the
      course of business, and had been so assessed. Hence, it fulfilled the require-
      ment of section 32 of the Act, that the asset must be used in the course of busi-
      ness. The assessee did use the vehicles in the course of its leasing business.
      The fact that the trucks themselves were not used by the assessee was
      irrelevant for the purpose of the section."

26.         In the case of Development Credit Bank Ltd. the issue before Mumbai
      Tribunal was with respect to depreciation on assets given on lease. The Co-
      ordinate Bench of Tribunal decided the issue in favour of Assessee by holding
      as under:
      "28 We have heard the arguments of both the sides and we are of the view that
      cross appeals on the issue of allowance of depreciation in the current year
      have to be decided simultaneously. In so far as disallowance of depreciation on
      the assets involved in SLB transactions, the issue stands settled in favour of
      the assessee. From the synopsis filed by the AR, it is seen that the assessee
      provided the AO with all the information as was asked for, i.e. lease
      agreements, copies of bills for purchase of assets, inspection reports, copies of
                                     8 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                     4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                     790/A/2012
                           .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
insurance cover etc., which, in our considered opinion, was identical
circumstance, which was before the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in the case of
Cosmo Films (supra), i.e. SLB transactions, revenue authorities applying
McDowell's case and arguing that it is a devise for lowering the tax effect and
relying on the Board's circular (supra), and more importantly, that, that case
also pertained to assessment year 1996-97. The Hon'ble Delhi Court took the
view that SLB transactions are genuine and cannot be considered to be sham.
29. On appreciation of the records, as produced before us, the decision of
Hon'ble Delhi High Court in the case of Cosmo Films Ltd. (supra) has
arguments of the assessee on the impugned issue, thereby, impliedly, reversed
the ratio in the decisions of MidEast (supra) and Induslnd (supra). We find that
tests laid down in MidEast case was primarily to ascertain the genuineness of
the transaction entered by the assessee with its lessee, which was done by the
CIT(A) in each case.
31. In any case, the issue of SLB transaction and in particular the issue of
ownership of asset, also has been laid to rest by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the
case of ICDS Ltd. Vs CIT, in CA No. 3286 to 3290 of 2008, wherein the
question that was sought to be answered was whether the appellant (assessee)
is the owner of the vehicles which are leased out by it to its customers". The
Hon. supreme Court of India, concluded, extracted from para 28, "From a
perusal of the lease agreement and other related factors, as discussed above,
we are satisfied of the assessee's ownership of the trucks in question" (para28,
page28).
32. Coming to the issue of finance lease, wherein the CIT(A) sustained the
disallowance because the usage of the equipment lease out could not be
substantiated. On going through the decision of the jurisdictional High Court of
Bombay, we find that the issue now is at rest, in so far as the lessor is
concerned, because, while dealing the case of the lessor, i.e. the assessee in
the instant case, the asset has left its corridors for being utilized, and in return,
rent had been received by the assessee. The Hon. Bombay High Court in the
case of Kotak Securities Ltd. has held that what is to be seen is that the asset
has been given on lease and the lease rent has been received, given in that
case, so far as lessor is concerned, the asset has been used.
34. After having examined all the transactions which have been impugned
before us, we are of the opinion that the assessee is entitled to the claim of
depreciation under all the three circumstances, i.e. sale lease back,
genuineness of transaction and asset having being put to use. We, therefore,
allow ground no. 1 the assessee's appeal and dismiss both the grounds of the
department's appeal.
27. In view of the aforesaid facts, we are of the view that in view of the decision
of H'ble Apex Court in the case of ICDS (supra) and the decision of Mumbai
Tribunal in the case of Development Credit Bank Ltd, Assessee is eligible for
                                      9 ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                      4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                      790/A/2012
                            .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
     depreciation and we thus delete the addition made by the Assessing Officer.
     Thus this ground of the Assessee is allowed.
9.   Since the facts in the year under appeal are identical to that of earlier year,
     following the decision of the co-ordinate bench in the Assessee's own case for
     AY 2002-03, the decision of H'ble Apex Court in the case of ICDS (supra) and
     the decision of Mumbai Tribunal in the case of Development Credit Bank Ltd,
     we decide the issue in favour of assessee. Thus this ground of the Assessee is
     allowed.


          Ground No. 2 is with respect to disallowance under 14A.


8.    AO noticed that Assessee has claimed interest on tax free bonds and
     dividend on shares and mutual funds amounting to Rs. 24,76,97,844/- as
     exempt income. The assessee had also made suo motto disallowance under
     Section 14A of Rs. 2,20,000,000/-. He further noted that on identical facts in
     A.Y. 2003-04, the claim of Assessee was rejected. He accordingly worked out
     the disallowance of interest and other expenditure by working out the
     disallowance of Rs. 30.78 Cr. by holding as under:
                      a)           Total                                16720
                                   borrowed
                                   fund        at
                                   year    end
                                   available
                                   for
                                   investment
                      b)           Total                  7430
                                   interest
                                   free funds
                                   of         the
                                   appellant
            10ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
             4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
             790/A/2012
     .      A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
         comprising
         of shares,
         capital,
         reserves,
         demand
         deposits
         and     other
         liabilities
         Less:-              5562
         Funds
         deployed
         for      CRR
         and      SLR
         (Rs. 725 +
         4837)
c)       Interest                           1868
         free funds
         available
         for
         investment
d)       Total                              14852
         borrowed
         funds
         available
         for
         investment
e)       Ratio         of                   87.43:12.57
         borrowed
         funds         to
         interest
             11ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
              4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
              790/A/2012
     .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
         free funds
         available
         for
         investment
         is,
         therefore,
         87.43
         (borrowed)
         12.57
         (interest
         free)
f)       Tax     free                        311
         investment
         s as per
         Balance
         Sheet
         Add:                                -
         Share
         Application
         Money as
         at
         31/03/200
         3
g)       Total       tax                     311
         free
         investment
         s
h)       Interest
         expenditur
         e
              12ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
               4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
               790/A/2012
     .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
         attributable
         to Rs. 311
         crores
         which
         ought       to
         be related
         to tax free
         investment
         s
         [ Borrowed                           21.22
         deployed
         funds        in
         tax       free
         investment
         ]
         ( Rs. 311
         crores)      x
         1022         x
         Total
         Interest
         Total
         borrowings
         (Rs. 14852
         crores)
i)       All     other
         expenditur
         e       which
         can        be
         attributed
         to tax free
        13ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
         4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
         790/A/2012
.       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
    investment
    would be
    [Borrowed                           11.76
    deployed
    funds          in
    tax        free
    investment
    ]
    (Rs.       311
    crores)
    x1022          x
    Total
    operative
    exp.
    Total funds
    borrowed
    and       (Rs.
    562
    Crores)
        interest
    free      (Rs.
    14852
    Crores.)


    Total                               32.98
    disallowan
    ce        (h+j)
    Total
    Less:                               2.20
    Disallowed
                                       14ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                        4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                        790/A/2012
                               .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
                                    by     the
                                    assessee
                                                                          30.78
                                    Net
                                    Disallowan
                                    ce


9.    Aggrieved by the order of AO, Assessee carried the matter before CIT(A).
     CIT(A) granted partial relief to the Assessee by holding as under:
     "4.3 After considering the submissions of the appellant and the case laws
     relied upon, I am of the opinion that the action of the Assessing Officer is not
     correct as regards disallowing interest expenses amount after allocating it to
     the investments for exempted income. The appellant has filed the details before
     the Assessing Officer admitting that only part of the interest bearing funds is
     used for investing in the investments giving tax exempted income. The interest
     cost is calculated at Rs. 2.2 Cr. which is offered for taxation. Hence the A.O. is
     not justified in further allocating the interest expenditure for this purpose
     disregarding the fact that the appellant has surplus funds. However as regards
     the other operating expenses are concerned, the appellant has not filed any
     details as to how much expenditure is to be apportioned for earning the
     exempted income. Therefore, proportionate expenditure has to be allocated out
     of the total operative expenditure for earning the exempt income under the
     provisions of Sec. 14A. This view is supported by the decision of ITAT Chennai
     Bench in the case of Southern Petro Chemicals Industries v. DCIT, 93 TTJ 181.
     As per this decision, the investment decisions are very strategic decisions in
     which top management is involved and, therefore, proportionate management
     expenses are required to be deducted while computing the exempted income.
     The appellant has submitted that even if earlier year appellate order is followed,
     the disallowance out of operating expenses comes to Rs. 4.47 Cr. This
     submission is not accepted. The Assessing Officer has already given detailed
                                         15ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                          4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                          790/A/2012
                                .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      working in asst. order for calculating Rs. 11.76 Cr., which is justified. Hence,
      the disallowance is confirmed to be extent of Rs. 11.76 Cr. and the balance
      amount is deleted.


10.    Aggrieved by the order of CIT(A) the Assessee and Revenue are in appeal
      before us.


11.    Before us, the learned A.R. submitted that the interest free funds available
      with the Assessee in the form of Capital, Reserves and Surplus and interest
      free demand deposit are far in excess of the Tax Free Investment at the end of
      the year and therefore no disallowance under Section 14A is called for. He
      further submitted that on identical facts in the Assessee's own case, the Hon.
      Tribunal had deleted the addition made under 14A and which has also been
      upheld by Hon. Gujarat High Court in Tax Appeal No. 118/Ahd/2013.            He
      therefore submitted that in the present case no disallowance under Section 14A
      was called for.


12.    The learned D.R. on the other hand pointed to the relevant paragraphs of the
      order of AO and relied on the order of AO and further submitted that the AO
      has rightly made the disallowance under section 14A and thus supported his
      order.


13.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record. It
      is an undisputed fact that the Assessee has earned Rs. 24.77 Crore on account
      of Interest on tax free bonds, debentures and dividend income which has been
      claimed as exempt. It is also a fact that Assessee while computing the total
      income had suo motu disallowed Rs. 2.20 Crores under section 14A.           AO
      worked out the disallowance under section 14A at Rs. 30.78 Crore. We find
      that on identical facts for A.Y. 2003-04 in ITA No. 2571/Ahd/2006, the Co-
      ordinate Bench of Tribunal had restricted the disallowance to be made by
                                        16ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                         4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                         790/A/2012
                              .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      Assessee. We further find that in Assessee's own case for A.Y. 2002-03 in ITA
      No. 2572/Ahd/2006 order dated 25.09.2006, the matter has been decided by
      holding as under:
14.    19. We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record.
       It is an undisputed fact that the Assessee has earned Rs. 39.65 Crore on
       account of interest on tax free bonds, debentures and dividend income which
       has been claimed as exempt. It is also a fact that the Assessee while
       computing the total income has suo motu disallowed Rs. 6.32 Crore u/s 14A.
       AO worked out the disallowance under Section 14A at Rs. 36.68 Crore and
       after setting off disallowance made by the assessee, he disallowed Rs. 30.45
       Crore. We find that before AO, Assessee has not raised the contention about
       no disallowance u/s 14A and therefore the AO had proceeded ahead on the
       basis of suo moto disallowance made by the Assessee. CIT(A) had deleted
       the addition to the extent of Rs. 25.35 Crore. We further find that on identical
       facts for A.Y. 2003-04, (ITA No 2571/Ahd/2006), the Co-ordinate Bench of
       Tribunal had restricted the disallowance to that made by the Assessee by
       holding as under:
      33. We have heard the rival contentions and perused the material on record. The undisputed
           facts are that during the year the assessee has earned interest of Rs 17.45 crore on tax
           free bond and debentures as against which the assessee had suo moto disallowed Rs
           5.53 crore being the interest expenses u/s 14A as against which the AO has worked out
           the disallowance of Rs 32.76 crore. After giving the credit of disallowance of Rs 5.53
                                                                                                   st
           crore made by the Assessee, the AO disallowed Rs 27.23 crore u/s 14A. As on 31
           March 2003, the interest free funds available with the assessee was to the tune of Rs
           3404 crore (comprising of share capital of Rs 230 crore, Reserves of Rs 689 crores and
           interest free demand deposits of Rs 2485 crores) as against which the tax free
           investments were to the tune of Rs 589 crore. Thus the interest free funds were far in
           excess of the investments. CIT (A) has given a finding that the facts in AY 2003-04 are
           identical to the facts of the case in AY 2002-03 and accordingly he has followed the
           decision of CIT (A) for AY 2002-03. These facts have not been controverted by the Ld.
           D.R. nor have they brought on record any facts to the contrary. Hon'ble Bombay High
           Court in the case of CIT Vs Reliance Utilities & Power Ltd (supra) has held that if there
           are interest free funds available to an assessee sufficient to meet its investments and at
           the same time the assessee has raised a loan it can be presumed that the investments
           were from interest free funds available. In the present case, since the assessee has suo
           moto disallowed Rs 5.53 crore u/s 14A, respectfully following the decision of Bombay
           High Court, we are of the view that in the facts of the present case, no further
           disallowance over and above than what has been disallowed by the Assessee is called
                                               17ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                                4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                                790/A/2012
                                   .           A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
          for. As far as disallowance of other administrative expenses is concerned, the undisputed
          fact is that the disallowance has been made by the AO without giving a finding as to how
          much administrative expenditure has been incurred to earn the exempt income. In the
          case of Hero Cycles (supra) the Hon'ble High Court has held that the contention of the
          Revenue that directly or indirectly some expenditure is always incurred which must be
          disallowed u/s 14A cannot be accepted. Disallowance u/s 14A requires finding of
          incurring of expenditure. In the present case, the AO has presumed that the assessee
          might have incurred expenditure to earn the exempt income. He has not given any finding
          of incurring of expenditure. In view of these facts and respectfully following the decision of
          High Court, we are of the view that no disallowance of administrative expenses can be
          made. We accordingly direct for the deletion of the addition made by the AO and allow
          this ground of the assessee.
          20. Before us, the learned A.R. has raised a new argument wherein it was
          submitted that even the suo motu disallowance made by the Assessee
          while computing the income should be deleted and for which he placed
          reliance the decision of Hon. Calcutta High Court and the decision of
          Supreme Court. We find that this ground was not taken by the assessee
          before A.O. and CIT(A). AO had proceeded on the basis of the suo-moto
          disallowance made by the Assessee. Thus the AO or CIT(A) did not had
          any opportunity to examine the aforesaid contention and therefore there is
          no finding on it either by the A.O. and CIT(A). In view of these facts, we
          are of the view that the matter with respect to Nil disallowance under 14A
          be remitted back to the file of AO for examining it afresh. Thus the matter
          is remitted to the file of AO and he is directed to admit the issue and
          decide the issue afresh on merits. as per law after considering the
          submissions made by the Assessee and after giving a reasonable
          opportunity of hearing to the Assessee. Assessee is also directed and
          furnish promptly the details called for by the AO to decide the issue. Thus
          this ground of the Assessee is allowed for statistical purposes.

15.    Since the facts in the year under appeal are identical to that of A.Y. 2002-03,
      as admitted before us by both the parties, we for similar reasons remit the
      matter back to the file of AO for examining the issue afresh with directions
      similar to that given while deciding the appeal for AY 2002-03 and direct him to
      decide the issue afresh on merits as per law and after considering the
      submissions made by the Assessee and after giving reasonable opportunity of
      hearing to the Assessee. Assessee is also directed to furnish promptly the
                                           18ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                            4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                            790/A/2012
                                   .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
        details called for by the AO to decide the issue. Thus this ground of Assessee
        is allowed for statistical purposes.


        Ground No. 3 is with respect to disallowance u/s 36(1)(vii)

16.      During the course of assessment proceedings, AO noticed that Assessee has
        claimed write off under Section 36(1)(vii) at Rs.156,42,85,257/- and had not
        considered the provision in the bad and doubtful debt account at the end of
        accounting year amounting to Rs. 162.51 Crore. The Assessee was asked to
        substantiate its stand. The Assessee interalia submitted during the year as per
        the Income Tax Account, there was no incremental provision made and
        therefore no disallowance was called for. It was further submitted that identical
        disallowance made in A.Y. 2002-03 was deleted by CIT(A). AO did not accept
        the contentions of Assessee as he was of the view that the order of CIT(A) for
        A.Y. 2002-03 was not accepted by the Department and a second appeal has
        been filed. He was further of the view that the credit balance of Rs. 162.51
        Crore as at the end of the financial year was required to be disallowed. Since
        the Assessee had claimed write off bad debts only to the extent of Rs.
        156,42,85,257/- the AO limited the disallowance to the extent of the bad debts
        claimed by Assessee and accordingly disallowed Rs. 156,42,85,257/- under
        Section 36(1)(vii). Aggrieved by the order of AO, Assessee carried the matter
        before CIT(A). CIT(A) granted partial relief to the Assessee by holding as
        under:


  5.3         I have carefully considered the facts of the case and the submissions as
        advanced by the appellant along with various judicial decisions. Similar issue
        arose in earlier asst. year, i.e. 2002-03, wherein I have, vide order dated
        18.11.2005, held after considering the decision of South Indian Bank Ltd. V.
        CIT, 262 ITR 579 (Ker.) DCIT V. Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd., 88 ITD 185 (Coch)
        (SB) & Karnataka Bank Ltd. V. ACIT, 78 TTJ 996 (Bang) as under:-
                                             19ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                              4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                              790/A/2012
                                   .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      "The actual bad debt written off would be limited to the excess amount of write
      off over the amount standing to the credit of the provision account created
      under cl. (viia) to sec. 36(1) allowed under cl.(viia) to section 36(1). Thus, it is
      clear from the decision of Cochin ITAT special bench that it is the provision
      made and allowed u/s Sec 36 (1) (viia) which has to be considered for
      restricting the deduction u/s 36 (1) (vii). The AO. has understood it and instead
      of restricting the disallowance of bad .debt u/s 36(1)(vii) by this provisions made
      and allowed U/s 36(1)(viia) amounting to Rs. 8.24 cr he has restricted it and
      disallowed by an amount of Rs. 59.03 Cr.plus 31.603 Cr. This is not correct and
      cannot be upheld.
      The provision made and allowed ui/s. 36(l)(viia) is although independent
      allowance, it will restrict the disallowance u/s. 36(l)(vii) by application of proviso
      to sec. 36(l)(ii), which restricts to the credit balance of the provision made and
      allowed in assessment for doubtful debts u/s. 36(l)(viia).
      Now, the only dispute remains is that of restricting the disallowance u/s.
      36(1)(vii) by applying the proviso to this sec., whether it should be restricted by
      the opening balance of the provisions for bad and doubtful debts u/s. 36(1)(viia)
      or by the closing balance of provision for bad and doubtful debts u/s. 36(1)(viia)
      of the I.T. Act.

            In earlier assessment year, i.e. A.Y. 2002-03 and 2003-04, it was held by
      CIT(A) that it should be restricted by closing balance of the provision for bad
      and doubtful debt u/s. 36(1)(viia) of the I.T. Act. Following the same order to
      adopt a consistent view, it is held for this year also that it should be restricted
      by closing balance of provision of bad and doubtful debt u/s. 36(1)(viia) of the
      I.T. Act. Therefore, in my view the correct deduction allowable to the appellant
      is as under:-

      Deduction allowable u/s. 36(1)(vii):
      Gross bad debt actually written off during
      previous year.                                          Rs. 157.43 Cr.
      Less: closing balance in the provision for bad &
      Doubtful debts u/s. 36(1)(viia) as on 31-03-04.        Rs. 37.76 Cr.
      Balance allowable u/s. 36(1)(vii)..                    Rs. 119.67 Cr.

      Hence, the allowable deduction u/s. 36(1)(vii) is Rs. 119.67 Cr. as against the
      claim made by the appellant Rs. 142. 59 Cr. Therefore, the disallowance
      comes to Rs. 22. 92 Cr. which is confirmed and the balance amount it deleted

17.    Aggrieved by the order of CIT(A), the Assessee is now in appeal before us.


18.    Before us at the outset, the learned A.R. submitted that the issue in the
      present ground is identical to that of the facts of the case in earlier years. He
                                          20ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                           4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                           790/A/2012
                                .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      further submitted that in earlier years, the Hon. Tribunal has decided the issue
      for A.Y. 2003-04 in its favour. He further submitted that Hon. Gujarat High
      Court in Assessee's own case for A.Y. 1998-99, 2000-01 & 2001-02 in Tax
      Appeal No. 1077 to 1080/Ahd/2010 has decided the issue in favour of
      Assessee. He thus submitted that since the facts in the year under appeal are
      identical to that earlier years, the issue be decided in its favour following the
      decision of High Court and Tribunal. The learned D.R. on the other hand relied
      on the order of Assessing Officer.


19.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record. We
      find that the Revenue in tax appeal no. 1077 to 1080/Ahd/2010 (for AY 1998-
      99, 2000-01 & 2001-02) had preferred appeal before High Court against the
      order of Tribunal and the question raised before Hon. Gujarat High Court reads
      as under:
      "whether the appellate Tribunal is right in law and on facts in holding that for the
      purpose of section 36(1)(vii) only the closing credit balance in the previous
      account of the earlier years is to be considered.        Despite the provision of
      section 36(1)(vii) of the Act?"


      The Hon. Guj. H. C. held as under:-
      15. In the present case, however, the question of method of operation of
      proviso to section 36(l) (vii) arises. Such proviso as noted, provides that in case
      of an assessee to which clause (viia) applies, the amount of deduction relating
      to any such debt or part thereof shall be limited to the amount by which such
      debt or part thereof exceeds the credit balance in the provision for account
      made under that clause. The revenue's contention is that by virtue of such
      proviso, the claim of the assessee for deduction for debts write off, should be
      reduced by the closing balance of the assessee in his account for the provision
      of bad and doubtful debts. On the other hand, the assessee contents that such
      diminution be limited to the opening balance of such account.

      16.We notice that in this respect the provision is silent. We may therefore
      record that the interpretation adopted by the Tribunal in the impugned judgment
      would ordinarily give rise to a question of law particularly when it is pointed out
      that there is no previous decision of any High Court on the subject. However,
                                                 21ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                                  4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                                  790/A/2012
                                         .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
             the issue has been made sufficiently clear by the CBDT Circular No.17/2008
             dated 26-11-2008. In the said circular, this very issue has been examined and
             clarified in the following manner:-

             " 2. In a recent review of assessment of Banks carried out by C&AG, it has
             been observed that while computing the income of banks under the head 'Profit
             and Gains of Business & Profession, deductions of large amounts under
             different sections are being allowed by the Assessing Officers without proper
             verification, leading to substantial loss of revenue. It is, therefore, necessary
             that assessments in the cases of banks are completed with due care and after
             proper verification. In particular, deductions under the provisions referred to
             below should be allowed only after a thorough examination of the claim on facts
             and on law as per the provisions of the I.T, Act, 1961.

(i)                            Under section 36(l)(vii) of the Act, deduction on account of bad
             debts which are written off as irrecoverable in the accounts of the assessee is
             admissible. However, this should be allowed only if the assessee had debited
             the amount of such amounts to the provision for bad and doubtful debt account
             under section 36(1)(vii) of the Act, as required by section 36(2) (v) of the Act.
(ii)                           While considering the claim for bad debts u/s 36(1)(vii), the
             assessing officer should allow only such amount of bad debts written off as
             exceeds the credit balance available in the provision for bad and doubtful debt
             account created u/s 36(1) (viia) of the Act. The credit balance for this purpose
             will be the opening credit balance i.e., the balance brought forward as on 1st
             April of the relevant accounting year."

       17.           As already noted, in absence of such clarification by CBDT, we would
             have been inclined to admit the appeals. However, when such circular issued
             under section 119(2) of the Act clarifies-the position beyond any doubt, we
             have no reason to entertain the revenue's appeals. As already noted, the
             statutory provision is silent on the precise method of working out the deduction.
             It is by now well-settled that such circulars issued by the Board in exercise of its
             statutory powers under section 119(2) of the Act, may have the effect of
             relaxing the rigors of a statutory provision. In the case of Catholic Syrian Bank
             Ltd. (supra) itself, the Apex Court touched on the effect of the circular issued by
             the Board. It was observed as under:-
             "Now, we shall proceed to examine the effect of the circulars which are in force
             and are issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (for short, "the Board") in
             exercise the power vested in it under section 119 of the Act. Circulars can be
             issued by the Board to explain or tone down the rigours of law and to ensure
             fair enforcement of its provisions. These circulars have the force of law and are
             binding on the income-tax authorities, though they cannot be enforced
             adversely against the assessee. Normally, these circulars cannot be ignored. A
             circular may not override or detract from the provisions of the Act but it can
                                               22ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                                4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                                790/A/2012
                                     .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
            seek to mitigate the rigour of a particular provision for the benefit of the
            assessee in certain specified circumstances so long as the circular is in force, it
            aids the uniform and proper administration and application of the provisions of
            the Act. (Refer to UCO Bank v. CIT(1999) 4 SCC 599). "

      18.        In case of UCO Bank vs. Commissioner of Income Tax reported in 237
            ITR 889 the Supreme Court in connection with effect of circulars issued by the
            Board under section 119 of the Act observed:

          " Such instructions may be by way of relaxation of any of the provisions of the
          sections specified there or otherwise. The Board, thus, has powers inter alia, to
          tone down the rigour of the law and ensure a fair enforcement of its provisions,
          by issuing circulars in exercise of its statutory powers under section 119 which
          are binding on the authorities in the administration of the Act. Under section
          119(2)(a), however, the circulars as contemplated therein cannot be adverse to
          the assessee. Thus, the authority which wields the power for its own advantage
          under the Act is given the right to forgo the advantage when required to wield it
          in the manner it considers just by relaxing the rigour of the law or in other
          permissible manners as laid down in section 119. The power is given for the
          purpose of just, proper and efficient management of the work of assessment
          and in public interest. It is a beneficial power given to the Board for proper
          administration of fiscal law so that undue hardship may not be caused to the
          assessee and the fiscal laws may be correctly applied. Hard cases which can
          be properly categorised as belonging to a class, can thus be given the benefit
          of relaxation of law by issuing circulars binding the taxing authorities."
      19.       In the result, bearing in mind the circular issued by CBDT dated
          26.11.2008 no further controversy should arise.
          In the result, the tax appeals are dismissed."


20.          Before us, the Ld.D.R. could not controvert the submissions made by the
            Ld.A.R. nor could bring any material on record to demonstrate that the decision
            of High Court has been overturned by Superior Court. Further, since the facts
            the year under appeal are identical to that of earlier years, we respectfully,
            following the decision of Hon. Gujarat High Court, in Assessee's own case
            allow this ground in favour of Assessee and thus this ground of Assessee is
            allowed.


            Ground no. 4 is with respect to disallowance of fraud expenses.
                                        23ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                         4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                         790/A/2012
                              .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
21.    Assessing Officer noticed that the Assessee has claimed loss on account of
      fraud expenses amounting to Rs. 52.31lacs. Assessee submitted the details to
      the extent of Rs. 29.51 lacs but no details were furnished with respect to the
      remaining amount of Rs. 22.80 lacs as according to the Assessee they
      consisted of smaller amounts pertaining to retail and demat accounts and the
      numbers were very high. The Assessing Officer did not accept the contention
      of the Assessee. In the absence of details of Rs. 22.80 lacs, he considered the
      same has not allowable. Aggrieved by the order of Assessing Officer, Assessee
      carried the matter before CIT(A). CIT(A) confirmed the order of Assessing
      Officer by holding as under:-


      "7.2 During the appellate proceedings, the appellant submitted that these are
      genuine losses and should be allowed. The appellant filed copy of newspaper
      article showing that the same person Shri G.N. Sharma has done fraud at
      various other places, hence it should be allowed. However no details or any
      other evidence were submitted in support of this claim of loss. Hence, it is held
      that the Assessing Officer was justified in disallowing the loss of Rs. 22. 80 lacs
      in respect of which no details were submitted. This ground is, therefore,
      rejected."

22.    Aggrieved by the order of CIT(A), Assessee is now in appeal before us.


23.    Before us, the learned A.R. strongly submitted that the losses were genuine
      and were incurred during the course of business and therefore submitted the
      same should be allowed. The Ld. D.R. on the other hand submitted that in the
      absence of details the expenditure cannot be allowed and thus supported the
      order of AO and CIT(A).


24.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record.
      We find that the Assessee did not furnish details of loss of Rs. 22.80 lacs
      before the Lower Authorities nor were the same submitted before us. In view of
      these facts, we find no reason to interfere with the order of CIT(A). Thus this
      ground of Assessee is dismissed.
                                        24ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                         4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                         790/A/2012
                               .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08

      ITA No. 2737/AHD/2002006 (for A.Y. 2004-05) Revenue's Appeal)


25.    The grounds raised reads as under:-
      1.The Ld. CIT(A) has erred in law and on facts in restricting the disallowance
      u/s. 14A at Rs. 11.76 Crores as against Rs. 30.78 Crores made by the
      Assessing Officer, thereby granting relief of Rs. 19.02 Cr.
      2.The Ld. CIT(A) has erred in law and on facts in restricting the disallowance
      u/s. 36(1)(viia) at Rs. 22.92 Cr. as against Rs. 156.42 Cr. disallowed by the
      Assessing Officer thereby granting relief of Rs. 133.5 Cr.
      3.The Ld. CIT(A) has erred in law and on facts in allowing compensation for of
      lease agreement of Rs. 32 lacs. The Assessing Officer has rightly disallowed
      this claim holding that the assessee company after the expiry of lease
      agreement in 2001 was under no contractual obligation to pay the
      compensation to lessor specially so when it had regularly made the payments
      of rent during the period 2001 to 2004.

26.    Before us, both the parties submitted that Ground No 1 is connected with
      Ground No 2 of Assessee's appeal in ITA No. 2572/A/2006 and the
      submissions made by them while arguing the ground in Assessee's appeal are
      equally applicable to the present grounds.


27.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record.
      Since ground no. 1 of the present Revenue's appeal are connected with ground
      no. 2. of Assessee's appeal in ITA No. 2572/Ahd/2006 and since Ground No 2
      of Assessee's appeal in ITA No 2572/Ahd/2006 hereinabove has been has
      been discussed and decided in favour of Assessee, we therefore for similar
      reasons dismiss this ground of the Revenue.


28.    Before us, both the parties submitted that Ground No 2 is connected with
      Ground No 3 of Assessee's appeal in ITA No. 2572/A/2006 and the
      submissions made by them while arguing the ground in Assessee's appeal are
      equally applicable to the present grounds.
                                    25ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                     4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                     790/A/2012
                            .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
29.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record.
      Since ground no. 2 of the present Revenue's appeal are connected with ground
      no. 3. of Assessee's appeal in ITA No. 2572/Ahd/2006 and since Ground No 2
      of Assessee's appeal in ITA No 2572/Ahd/2006 hereinabove has been has
      been discussed and decided in favour of Assessee, we therefore for similar
      reasons dismiss this ground of the Revenue.


      Ground no. 3 is with respect to compensation expenses for termination of rent
      agreement.


30.    During the course of Assessment proceedings, AO noticed that Assessee had
      taken premises at Baroda known as Arundeep Complex on "Leave and
      Licence" basis on 1.12.1996 from one Shri Dilip Kumar Patel for the period of 5
      years with stipulation to extend the same for another 5 years. A Non Interest
      Bearing Security deposit of Rs. 35 lakhs was also paid. In the year 2001, the
      bank did not renew the agreement as per the original terms but however
      continued to pay the increased rent on month to month basis. Thereafter, the
      landlord was asked to return the security deposit initially given. The landlord did
      not return the security deposit but on the contrary made a claim of rent for
      period from 2003 to 2006 as if the leave and licence agreement was extended
      for another 5 years with effect from 2001. The bank entered into a compromise
      with the landlord and forego the deposit and paid compensation of Rs. 32 lakhs
      which included 6 months rent equivalent to Rs. 16,08,936/- ( inclusive of
      opportunity cost on security deposit ) for the notice period (b) an estimated
      cost of Rs. 12 lakhs towards restoration and (c) the reminder for other
      expenses. AO did not accept the contention of the Assessee as he was of the
      view that there was no legal obligation on the part of Assessee to pay such
      compensation. He was further of the view that no businessman will forego the
      right to recover the deposit as there were no arrears of rent and accordingly
      disallowed the security deposit of Rs 32 lacs which was claimed by Assessee
                                       26ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                        4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                        790/A/2012
                               .       A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
       as revenue expenditure. Aggrieved by the order of AO, Assessee carried the
       matter before CIT(A).       CIT(A) after considering the submissions of the
       Assessee decided the issue in favour of Assessee by holding as under:


6.2          During the course of appellate proceedings, the appellant has submitted
       that the existing premises did not have good view and entrance to the premises
       was small and not suitable. hence the appellant vacated the same. Although
       the lease agreement was not renewed in writing in 2001, the appellant was
       using the premises beyond that period and the landlord claimed compensation
       by   implication   "lease    agreement     continues".    The    landlord   claimed
       compensation and demanded Rs. 80 lakhs which was ultimately settled for Rs.
       32 lakhs and it was paid to the landlord to avoid future litigation cost etc. It is a
       fact tat this expenditure is genuine and was paid to the landlord and this should
       be allowed as business expenditure. The appellant relied on the following
       decisions saying that the A.O is prohibited from sitting in the judgment
       ovcrprudence or wisdom of judgment after businessman:-
  i.               CIT v Dhanrajgirji Raja Narasingirji, 191 ITR 544....50(SC)
 ii.              CIT v Walchand & Co. (P) Ltd., 65 ITR 381...385 (SC) and J.K.
       Woolen CIT, 72 ITR 612 (SC).
iii.              F.E. Dinshaw Ltd. V. CIT, 36 ITR 114... 120 (Bom)
iv.               CIT v Vijayalakshmi Mills Ltd., 94 ITR 173... 178...179 (MAD).
 v.               CIT v Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd. (2001) 254 ITR 377 (Del)
vi.               Extracts from the law and practice of income tax by Kanga,
       Palkhiwala and Vyas-Volume I- Ninth Edition Page 899.

6.3          I have carefully considered the facts of the case and the submissions
       along with the case laws relied upon. I am in agreement with the appellant's
       view. It is a fact that the expenditure is genuine and it was paid to the landlord
       as compensation for vacating the premises. It was necessary to avoid the
       litigation cost. If any expenditure is genuine and incurred in the course of
       business, its quantum or sufficiency cannot be examined by the Assessing
       Officer, unless the payment is made to a related concern. Therefore, in view of
       the above discussion and by following the case laws as relied upon by the
                                           27ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                            4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                            790/A/2012
                                 .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      appellant, I hold that there is no justification on the part of the Assessing Officer
      to disallow the claim of compensation paid by the appellant amounting to Rs.
      32 lakhs. The appellant gets relief on this point."


31.    Aggrieved by the order of CIT(A), the Revenue is now in appeal before us.
      Before us, the learned D.R. relied on the order of AO, on the other hand the
      learned A.R. supported the order of CIT(A).


32.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record. We
      find that CIT(A) while deleting the addition has noted that the landlord claim
      compensation and demanded Rs. 80 lakhs which was ultimately settled for 32
      lakhs and it was paid to landlord to avoid future litigation cost etc. He has
      further held that the cost was necessary to avoid litigation cost and the
      expenditure was genuine and incurred in the course of business. Before us, the
      Revenue could not controvert the findings of CIT(A). Thus we find no reason to
      interfere with the order of CIT(A). Thus this ground of Revenue is dismissed.


      ITA No: 4386/Ahd/2007 (Assessee's appeal) and ITA No 236/Ahd/2008
      (Revenue's appeal) for AY 2002-03


33.    These two appeals, one by the Assessee and the other by the Revenue, arise
      out of the order of CIT(A) dated 5.10.2007 wherein the dispute is with respect
      to penalty u/s 271(1)(c).


34.    The appeal of Assessee is against the order of AO dated 25.01.2007 for AY
      2002-03 whereby penalty was levied u/s 271(1)(c) at 300% (Rs 24,09,75,000/-)
      by AO. Assessee is aggrieved by the levy of penalty whereas Revenue is
      aggrieved by the order of CIT(A) dated 05.10.2007 whereby he reduced the
      penalty at 100% (Rs.8,03,25,000/-). Since the issue is common, both the
      appeals are considered together for disposal for the sake of convenience.
                                           28ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                            4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                            790/A/2012
                               .           A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08

35.    In this appeal, Assessee has raised various grounds but they all relate to levy
      of penalty under Section 271(1)(c) amounting to Rs.8,03,25,000/-.

      The facts as culled out are as under:


36.    While passing the order under Section 143(3) for A.Y. 2002-03,AO apart from
      other disallowances, had made disallowance on account of fraud expenses (Rs
      22,80,000/-) and depreciation on wind energy generators of Rs. 11,01,60,000/-.
      The aforesaid 2 disallowances was also sustained by CIT(A). Assessing Officer
      noted that Assessee knowingly committed the default of furnishing inaccurate
      particulars of income by claiming depreciation of Rs. 22,50,00,000/- on wind
      energy generators and therefore levied penalty on it at 300% of the tax sought
      to be evaded (Rs. 24,09,75,000/-).


37.    Aggrieved by the order of AO, Assessee carried the matter before CIT(A).
      CIT(A) granted partial relief by reducing the penalty from 300% to 100%.
      Assessee is aggrieved by the order of CIT(A) because he has retained the
      penalty and on the other hand the Revenue is aggrieved by the action of CIT(A)
      in reducing penalty from 300% to 100%.


38.    Before us, the learned A.R. submitted that Assessee had disclosed and made
      known to the Assessing Officer all the particulars and facts material to the
      computation of income accurately. He further submitted that the there is no
      finding of concealment of any primary facts and or furnishing of inaccurate
      particulars of income and that the explanation given by the Assessee is false.
      He further submitted that each of the claims made in the return was bonafide
      and based on honest understanding of law or judicial precedents as also was
      made under the guidance of professional. He further submitted that the
      impugned disallowance involved a legal proposition on understanding or
      interpretation whereof two views were possible. He further submitted that
                                       29ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                        4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                        790/A/2012
                              .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      penalty proceedings are materially different from the assessment proceedings
      and that mere assessment of an item as income does not per se justify
      conclusion of concealment and or furnishing of inaccurate particulars. He
      further submitted that the disallowance involved a legal proposition on
      understanding or interpretations where two views were possible. He further
      submitted that the Assessee had disclosed and made all particulars and facts
      material to the computation of its income accurately the claim made in the
      return was bonafide and based on honest and bonafide understanding of law
      and judicial precedent. The learned A.R. further submitted that the Assessee
      has discharged its burden of satisfactorily explanation of its claim. He further
      submitted that no penalty was leviable as the Assessee was neither guilty of
      contumacious conduct nor any element of mens rea was present. He further
      submitted that mere difference of opinion as primarily law based debatable
      complex question of interpretation cannot be a ground for sustaining penalty.
      He further relied on the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Reliance
      Petroproducts (2010) 322 ITR 158 (SC). He thus urged that the penalty levied
      be deleted. The learned D.R. on the other hand relied on the order of
      Assessing Officer.


39.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record. In
      the present case, the penalty has been levied on the disallowance of
      depreciation on wind energy generators. While deciding the quantum appeal in
      ITA No. 2572/Ahd/2006, hereinabove, the quantum addition has been deleted
      by us and the matter has been decided in favour of the Assessee. Since the
      quantum addition on which the penalty has been levied itself has been deleted,
      the question of levy of penalty under Section 271(1)(c) on such disallowance
      therefore does not arise, We therefore delete the penalty. Thus this ground of
      Assessee is allowed and the ground of Revenue is dismissed.


         ITA No: 4388/Ahd/2007 (Assessee's appeal) and ITA No 238/Ahd/2008
      (Revenue's appeal) for AY 2004-05
                                        30ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                         4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                         790/A/2012
                                  .     A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08

40.    These two appeals, one by the Assessee and the other by the Revenue, arise
      out of the order of CIT(A) dated 5.10.2007 wherein the dispute is with respect
      to penalty u/s 271(1)(c).


41.    The appeal of Assessee is against the order of AO dated 25.1.2007 for AY
      2004-05 whereby penalty was levied u/s 271(1)(c) at 300% (Rs 12,10,13,550/-/-
      ) by AO. Assessee is aggrieved by the levy of penalty whereas Revenue is
      aggrieved by the order of CIT(A) dated 5.10.2007 whereby he reduced the
      penalty at 100% (Rs.4,03,37,850/-). Since the issue is common, both the
      appeals are considered together for disposal for the sake of convenience.


42.    While passing the order under Section 143(3) for A.Y. 2004-05,AO apart from
      other disallowances, AO had made disallowance on account of fraud expenses
      (Rs 22,80,000/-) and depreciation on wind energy generators of Rs.
      11,01,60,000/-. The aforesaid 2 disallowances was also sustained by CIT(A).
      Assessing Officer was therefore of the view that the assessee has within the
      meaning of s. 271(1)(c) read with explanations has knowingly committed the
      default of furnishing inaccurate particulars of income and therefore levied
      penalty @300% of the tax sought to be evaded (Rs 12,10,13,550/-).


43.    Aggrieved by the order of AO, Assessee carried the matter before CIT(A).
      CIT(A) granted partial relief by reducing the penalty from 300% to 100%.
      Assessee is aggrieved by the order of CIT(A) because he has retained the
      penalty and on the other hand the Revenue is aggrieved by the action of CIT(A)
      in reducing penalty from 300% to 100%.


44.    Before us the learned A.R. submitted that the Assessee has disclosed and
      made known to the AO all the particulars and facts material to computation of
      its income accurately. The impugned amount represented loss incurred in the
                                       31ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                        4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                        790/A/2012
                              .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      normal course of business. He further submitted that each of the claims made
      in the return was bonafide and based on honest understanding of law or judicial
      precedents as also was made under the guidance of professional. He further
      submitted that the impugned disallowance involved a legal proposition on
      understanding or interpretation whereof two views were possible. He further
      submitted that penalty proceedings are materially different from the assessment
      proceedings and that mere assessment of an item as income does not per se
      justify conclusion of concealment and or furnishing of inaccurate particulars. He
      further submitted that the disallowance involved a legal proposition on
      understanding or interpretations where two views were possible. He further
      submitted that the Assessee had disclosed and made all particulars and facts
      material to the computation of its income accurately the claim made in the
      return was bonafide and based on honest and bonafide understanding of law
      and judicial precedent. The learned A.R. further submitted that the Assessee
      has discharged its burden of satisfactorily explanation of its claim. He further
      submitted that no penalty was leviable as the Assessee was neither guilty of
      contumacious conduct nor any element of mens rea was present. He further
      submitted that mere difference of opinion as primarily law based debatable
      complex question of interpretation cannot be a ground for sustaining penalty.
      He further relied on the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Reliance
      Petroproducts (2010) 322 ITR 158 (SC). He thus urged that the penalty levied
      be deleted. The learned D.R. on the other hand relied on the order of
      Assessing Officer.


45.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record. In
      the present case, one of the addition on which the penalty has been levied is on
      the disallowance of depreciation on wind energy generators. While deciding the
      quantum appeal in ITA No. 2572/Ahd/2006, hereinabove, the quantum addition
      has been deleted by us and the matter has been decided in favour of the
      Assessee. Since the quantum addition on which the penalty has been levied
                                         32ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                          4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                          790/A/2012
                                .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      itself has been deleted, the question of levy of penalty under Section 271(1)(c)
      on such disallowance therefore does not arise,

46.    The other addition on which the penalty is levied is on fraud expenses. The
      penalty under s. 271(1)(c) of the Act is leviable if the AO is satisfied in the
      course of any proceedings under the Act that any person has concealed the
      particulars of his income or furnished inaccurate particulars of such income. It is
      well settled that assessment proceedings and penalty proceedings are
      separate and distinct and the finding in the assessment proceedings cannot be
      regarded as conclusive for the purposes of the penalty proceedings.


47.    The necessary ingredients for attracting Expln. 1 to s. 271(1)(c) are that : (i)
      the person fails to offer the explanation, or (ii) he offers the explanation which is
      found by the AO or the CIT(A) or the CIT to be false, or (iii) the person offers
      explanation which he is not able to substantiate and fails to prove that such
      explanation is bonafide and that all the facts relating to the same have been
      disclosed by him. If the case of any assessee falls in any of these three
      categories, then according to the deeming provision provided in Expln. 1 to s.
      271(1)(c) the amount added or disallowed in computing the total income shall
      be considered as the income in respect of which particulars have been
      concealed, for the purposes of cl. (c) of s. 271(1), and the penalty follows. On
      the other hand, if the assessee is able to offer an explanation, which is not
      found by the authorities to be false, and assessee has been able to prove that
      such explanation is bona fide and that all the facts relating to the same have
      been disclosed by him, then in that case penalty shall not be imposed.


48.    In the present case the assessee had disclosed all the material facts before
      the AO and CIT(A). When the assessee has made a particular claim in the
      return of income and has also furnished all the material facts relevant thereto,
      the disallowance of such claim cannot automatically lead to the conclusion that
      there was concealment of particulars of his income by the assessee or
                                          33ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                           4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                           790/A/2012
                               .          A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      furnishing inaccurate particulars thereof. This is a case of bona fide difference
      of opinion regarding the allowability of a claim of deduction between the
      Assessee and Department. What is to be seen is whether the said claim made
      by the assessee was bona fide and whether all the material facts relevant
      thereto have been furnished and once it is so established, the assessee cannot
      be held liable for concealment penalty under s. 271(1) (c) of the Act. In the
      present case all the necessary facts were furnished by Assessee. In the case of
      CIT Vs. Reliance Petroproducts (supra) the Hon. Apex Court has held that
      there making a claim which is not sustainable in law by itself will not amount to
      furnishing inaccurate particulars regarding the income of Assessee. In view of
      the totality of facts we are of the view that the addition does not call for levy of
      penalty under s. 271(1)(c).


49.    We thus cancel the penalty levied by the AO on both the additions made by
      the AO. Thus this ground of Assessee is allowed and the ground of Revenue is
      dismissed.




      ITA No. 790/Ahd/2012 (for A.Y. 2007-08) Assessee's appeal

50.    Assessee electronically filed its Return of Fringe Benefit on 20.10.2007 for AY
      2007-08 declaring value of Fringe Benefit of Rs 16,47,56,033/-. The case was
      selected for scrutiny and thereafter the assessment was framed u/s 115WE(3)
      vide order dated 21.12.2009 and the Fringe Benefit value declared by the
      assessee was accepted.


51.     Later, on verification of the assessment records and from the annual
      accounts for the year ended 31.3.2007, CIT noted that Assessee had
      contributed Rs 9.14 crore (Rs 9,13,67,379) to approved superannuation fund
      but in the return of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT), it had shown only Rs 22,36,132
      as "contribution towards approved superannuation fund for employees". He was
                                        34ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                         4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                         790/A/2012
                               .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      of the view that u/s 115W(1)(c) of the Act, any contribution by the employer to
      any superannuation fund for the employees attract levy of fringe benefit tax on
      100% of such contribution. He was thus of the view that AO had not made any
      addition to FBT and therefore Rs 8,91,31,247/- has escaped assessment
      resulting into short levy of FBT alongwith interest to the tune of Rs
      3,99,01,995/-. and accordingly the order of the AO was erroneous and
      prejudicial to the interest of Revenue. CIT issued show cause notice on
      13.12.2011 in response to which the Assessee interalia submitted that the s.
      115W(1)(c) was amended by Finance Bill 2006 wef AY 2007-08 and according
      to which only contribution by an employer to an approved superannuation fund
      in excess of Rs 1 lac per year per employee would attract levy of FBT. The
      Assessee further submitted that out of the total expenditure of Rs 9.14 crore
      towards approved superannuation fund, Rs 8.62 crores was in respect of
      employees having per employee contribution of less than Rs 1 lac per year and
      therefore Rs 8.62 crore was not liable for FBT. It was further submitted that of
      the balance contribution of Rs 51.36 lacs (Rs 9.14 crore less Rs 8.62 crore) , in
      case of 29 employees the contribution was Rs 1 lac or more and therefore the
      threshold of Rs 1 lac per employee for 29 employees was reduced and the
      amount of contribution liable to Rs 22,36,132 was worked out. It was further
      submitted that the assessement was framed by the AO u/s 115WE(3) after due
      application of mind and verification and therefore the order of the AO cannot be
      considered as erroneous and prejudicial to the interest of Revenue. CIT did not
      accept the contentions of the Assessee and held the order of the AO passed
      u/s 115WE(3) to be erroneous and prejudicial to the interest of Revenue and
      accordingly cancelled the order and directed the AO to frame fresh order.


52.    Aggrieved by the order of the CIT, the Assessee is now in appeal before us.


53.    Before us the Ld.A.R. submitted reiterated the submissions made before CIT
      and also placed on record the details of contribution made in superannuation
                                         35ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                          4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                          790/A/2012
                               .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
      fund. He further submitted that in the present case the prerequisite conditions
      specified u/s 263 are not satisfied. He submitted that the computation of taxable
      FBT was as per the provisions of the Act and the AO had passed the order
      after detailed inquiries and verification of the books of accounts and records of
      the Assessee. Specific queries were raised during the course of assessment
      and after being satisfied, the AO passed the order. He therefore urged that the
      order passed u/s 263 be quashed. The Ld.A.R. further submitted that in
      response to the show cause notice, the AO had made detailed submissions but
      in the order passed u/s 263, CIT(A) has not dealt with the submissions and
      therefore the order passed by CIT needs to be quashed.


54.    On the other hand the Ld.D.R. supported the order of CIT.


55.    We have heard the rival submissions and perused the material on record.




            The relevant clause of Fringe Benefit reads as under:
            SECTION 115WB-FRINGE BENEFITS

      (1) For the purposes of this Chapter, "fringe benefits" means any consideration
      for employment provided by way of-

            (a) .....;

            (b) ......;

      (c) any contribution by the employer to an approved superannuation fund for
      employees; and

            SECTION 115WC-VALUE OF FRINGE BENEFITS.

      (1) For the purposes of this Chapter, the value of fringe benefits shall be the
      aggregate of the following namely:-
                                          36ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                           4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                           790/A/2012
                                .         A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
             (a) ..... ;

      (b) the amount of contribution, referred to in clause (c) of sub-section (1) of
      section 115WB, which exceeds one lakh rupees in respect of each employee;

55.   On reading the relevant provisions of section 115WB and 115WC it can be
      seen that the value of contribution by an employer to an approved
      superannuation fund for employees in excess of Rs one lac in respect of each
      employee is chargeable to FBT. Before us, the Ld.A.R. has placed on record
      the total contribution in superannuation fund to be Rs 9,13,67,379 which
      includes list of 29 employees where the contribution in superannuation fund
      was more than Rs 1 lac and their aggregate amount was Rs 51,36,132. From
      the aforesaid amount, the Assessee had reduced Rs 29 lacs, being the
      exemption limit in respect of 29 employees,(the contribution was in excess of rs
      1 lacs each) and the balance of Rs 22,36,132 was considered as taxable FBT.
      Before us, the Revenue could not controvert the submissions made by the
      Ld.A.R nor could point out any mistake in the calculation of FBT.


56.    In the case of Malabar Industrial Co. vs CIT (supra) the H'ble Apex Court has
      held that CIT has to be satisfied of twin conditions, namely (i) the order of the
      AO sought to be revised is erroneous; and (ii) it is prejudicial to the interests of
      the Revenue so as to invoke the provisions of s. 263. If one of them is absent if
      the order of the ITO is erroneous but is not prejudicial to the Revenue or if it is
      not erroneous but is prejudicial to the Revenue recourse cannot be had to s.
      263(1).In the present case, the Revenue could not point out any error in the
      calculation of working of FBT and therefore order of the AO which is sought to
      be revised cannot be considered to be erroneous and therefore the provisions
      of s. 263 could not be invoked in the present case. We therefore quash the
      order of CIT. Thus this ground of the Assessee is allowed.
      57. In the result the appeal of the Assessee is allowed.
                                    37ITA Nos.2572, 2737/A/2006,
                                     4386,4388/A/2007, 236,238/A/2008
                                     790/A/2012
                           .        A.Ys. 2002-03,2004-05 & 2007-08
 58.   In the result ITA No. 2572/Ahd/2006 Assessee's appeal is partly allowed, ITA
 No. 2737/Ahd/2006 Revenue's appeal is dismissed, ITA No. 4386/Ahd/2007
 Assessee's appeal is allowed, ITA No. 236/Ahd/2008 Revenue's appeal is dismissed,
 ITA No. 4388/Ahd/2007 Assessee's appeal is allowed, ITA No. 238/Ahd/2008
 Revenue's appeal is dismissed and ITA No. 790/Ahd/2012 Assessee's appeal is
 allowed.

                 Order pronounced in Open Court on 10 - 09 - 2013.
          Sd/-                                             Sd/-
   (G.C.GUPTA)                                       (ANIL CHATURVEDI)
VICE PRESIDENT                                     ACCOUNTANT MEMBER
  Ahmedabad.                TRUE COPY
 Rajesh
 Copy of the Order forwarded to:-
 1.  The Appellant.
 2.  The Respondent.
 3.  The CIT (Appeals) ­
 4.  The CIT concerned.
 5.  The DR., ITAT, Ahmedabad.
 6.  Guard File.
                                                            By ORDER




                                                       Deputy/Asstt.Registrar
                                                         ITAT,Ahmedabad

 
 
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