Gauhati H.C : Whether in such cases the assessees are entitled to relief under s. 43B(b) of the Act

High Court Of Gauhati

CIT vs. George Williamson (Assam) Ltd.

Section 36(1)(va), 43B(b)

P.G. Agarwal & T.N.K. Singh, JJ.

IT Appeal Nos. 76, 56, 91, 80 & 84 of 2003 and 2 of 2005

26th June, 2006

Counsel Appeared :

K.P. Sarma & U. Bhuyan, for the Appellant : Dr. Ashok Saraf, Ms. N. Hawelia, Ms. M.L. Gope, S. Chetia & Amit Goyal, for the Respondent

JUDGMENT

P.G. agarwal, J. :

In all these appeals a common question of law raised is regarding interpretation of cl. (b) of s. 43B of the IT Act,1961, read with the second proviso to the said section and cl. (va) of sub-s. (1) of s. 36 of the said Act. The matter relates to deposit of contributions made towards provident fund, etc., after the close of the accounting period but before the due date for filling of the return of income and whether in such cases the assessees are entitled to relief under s. 43B(b) of the Act. Learned counsel for both sides have submitted that the question raised in these appeals stands covered by the decision of this Court in the case of CIT vs. Assam Tribune (2002) 253 ITR 93 (Gau), wherein it was held that the contributions towards provident fund, etc., paid before the filing of the return by the assessees are entitled for the deduction. We also find that the above decision rendered by this Court was based on an earlier decision of this Court in the case of CIT vs. Bharat Bamboo & Timber Suppliers (1998) 146 CTR (Gau) 487 : (1996) 219 ITR 212 (Gau). Mr. Bhuyan appearing for the appellants has fairly submitted that no appeal/Special Leave Petition against the above decision was preferred by the appellants as the amounts involved were small. Mr. Bhuyan has also drawn our attention to a contrary decision of the Hon’ble Kerala High Court in the case of CIT vs. South India Corporation Ltd. (1999) 157 CTR (Ker) 422 : (2000) 242 ITR 114 (Ker). Mr. Bhuyan, has, therefore, prayed that the matter may be reviewed by this Court. Dr. Saraf appearing for the respondents, on the other hand, has submitted that in the meantime, the relevant proviso to s. 43B(b) has been amended and the relevant words “referred to in cls. (a), (c), (d), (e), or (f)” have been omitted w.e.f. 1st April, 2004. According to Dr. Saraf, the effect of such omission without any saving clause of the General Clauses Act, means that the above provisions were not (in) existence or never existed. Dr. Saraf has placed reliance on the decisions of the Constitution Bench of the apex Court in the cases of Kolhapur Canesugar Works Ltd. vs. Union of India (2000) 2 SCC 536 and in Rayala Corporation (P) Ltd. vs. Director of Enforcement (1969) 2 SCC 412. The above decisions were reiterated in the case of General Finance Co. vs. CIT (2002) 176 CTR (SC) 569 : (2002) 257 ITR 338 (SC).

On consideration of the submissions and on perusal of the earlier decisions of this Court, we are not inclined to review the decisions in Bharat Bamboo (supra) and Assam Tribune (supra) and accordingly we hold that the decision of the above cases shall apply to the present appeals. The appeals, therefore stand dismissed as aforesaid.

[Citation : 284 ITR 619]

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