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CIT vs. Travancore Cochin Udyoga Mandal (Supreme Court)
September, 15th 2017

S. 37(1): in order to decide whether disputed lease rent is deductible in the year of fixation or in the year the dispute attains finality, the nature of fixation of rent, its payment, recovery etc. and whether it is statutory or contractual, have bearing. The Tribunal is required to bring the facts on record

(i) The need to remand the case to the Tribunal, has occasioned because firstly, the question as to whether the fixation of rent and its payment is statutory or contractual and, if so, its effect while claiming deduction under the Income Tax Act and, if so, in which year of assessment is a mixed question of law and fact. Secondly, it was neither decided by any of the authorities below and nor by the Tribunal and the High Court. It may be that since the Revenue itself did not raise it before the authorities below and raised it for the first time before this Court by simply placing reliance on the provisions of the Act and the two Rules mentioned above, this Court cannot decide the same in this appeal, for the first time for want of factual material and legal issues attached to it.

(ii) In our considered opinion, in order to decide the issue of deduction, the nature of fixation of rent, its payment, recovery etc. and whether it is statutory or contractual, has some bearing over the question. It is also clear that the respondent did not get any chance to meet this submission before the courts/authorities below. It is for these reasons, we are of the view that the matter needs to be remanded to the Tribunal for its proper adjudication.

(iii) The Tribunal being the last adjudicatory authority in hierarchy on facts would be in a better position to decide the issue after taking into account the documents filed by the parties in support of their respective contentions. Depending upon the decision of the Tribunal, the parties can carry the matter to the higher Courts.

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