High Court Of Madras
CIT – I, Chennai vs. Armour Consultants (P.) Ltd.
Assessment Year : 2004-05
Section : 30
Mrs. R. Banumathi And K. Ravichandrabaabu, JJ.
Tax Case (Appeal) No. 2 Of 2010
March 1, 2013
K. Ravichandrabaabu, J. – The assessee is on appeal as against the order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in respect of the assessment year 2004-2005, by raising the following substantial question of law:-
1. Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was right in holding that that the assessee was entitled for deduction of Rs. 87.5/- lakhs in respect of donations to the Chennai Mathematical Institute, paid by to other companies to whom the original receipts for donations were issued and when the assessee claim was based only on the basis of year end journal entries crediting the accounts of those two companies ?
2. Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was right in holding that the excess provision under the heads consultancy charges and professional fees was allowable even though the assessee had not proved with evidence any rational basis for making the provision ?
3. Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was right in holding that addition by way of disallowance of expenditure on setting up of a new office Mumbai of Rs. 57,25,036/- was allowable as revenue expenditure without appreciating that the expenditure was mainly on construction materials, charges for design and fabrication works, etc., which were of capital nature ?
2. The assessee is a company engaged in Insurance Broking business. They filed their return of income for the assessment year 2004-2005 declaring a total income of Rs. 33,93,860/-. The assessment was completed under Section 143(3) of the Income Tax Act thereby determining a total income of Rs. 4,43,44,540/-. While completing the assessment, the Assessing Officer disallowed the claim of Rs.87,50,000/- being the weighted deduction claimed by the assessee under Section 35(1)(ii) of the said Act on a sum of Rs.70,00,000/- made as donation to M/s. Chennai Mathematical Institute. He also disallowed a sum of Rs. 51,90,315/- being the claim made by the assessee under the head ‘repairs and maintenance’ relating to the office premises taken on lease at Mumbai, by treating the same as capital in nature. Likewise, the Assessing Officer made a disallowance of the excess provision of Rs. 25,32,428/- towards the claim of the assessee for consultancy charges and professional fees.
3. The assessee went on appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals). The first appellate authority accepted the contention of the assessee in respect of the above referred three claims and consequently allowed the appeal. Further appeal was preferred by the Revenue before the Tribunal. The assessee succeeded before the Tribunal also as all its contentions were concurrently accepted. Hence, the present appeal is filed before this court by the Revenue by raising the above substantial questions of law.
4. Mr. T. Ravikumar, learned Senior Standing Counsel appearing for the Revenue submitted that insofar as the first issue viz., the claim of the assessee under Section 35(1)(ii) of the Income Tax Act seeking weighted deduction of Rs.87.50 lakhs is concerned, the Assessing Officer found that a sum of Rs. 70 lakhs was made as a contribution to M/s. Chennai Mathematical Institute, (hereinafter referred to as CMI) initially not by the assessee but by other two companies viz., Shriram Chits Tamil Nadu Private Limited (hereinafter referred to as SCTPL) and Shriram Investment Ltd., (hereinafter referred to as SIL) on 18.7.2003. The CMI also issued receipts on the said day only in the name of those two companies and not in the name of the assessee. The Assessing Officer found that the funds had actually gone from the original donors and only by a subsequent event another receipt was issued by CMI in the name of the assessee. The Assessing Officer also found that only journal entries were made by the assessee at the end of the assessment year whereby the donations were credited to the party’s account. It is also found by the Assessing Officer that the accounts submitted by the assessee to the Insurance Regulations and Development Authority (hereinafter referred to as IRDA) did not figure in the said donation payment of Rs. 70/-lakhs.
5. The learned Senior Standing Counsel further submitted that the donation once paid is not revocable and therefore when admittedly the donation was made initially by the other two companies viz., SCTPL and SIL only and not by the assessee and also when admittedly the donee viz., CMI issued the receipts in favour of those two companies only, the said transaction cannot be subsequently cancelled or revoked by issuing another receipt in favour of the assessee after a period of eight months by treating the transaction as if made between the assessee and the donee. He further submitted that admittedly the assessee did not have sufficient funds to give donation as on 18.7.2003. Even at a later point of time only journal entries were made thereby crediting the donation in the accounts of the assessee. He further pointed out that the assessee was maintaining the books of accounts on tally package and therefore any entry could be inserted at their wish. It is also contended by the learned counsel that no proof of any agreement is placed or shown between the assessee and other two companies viz., SCTPL and SIL. He further submitted that any letter issued by the said Company subsequently, cannot alter the nature of the transaction made earlier, especially when the letter issued by the SCTPL and relied on by the assessee does not contain any date. He also invited our attention to the assessment order passed by the Assessing Officer, more particularly, with regard to the facts recorded by him based on the statement made by the Officer in charge of CMI to show that the donee was not aware of the assessee at the time of receipt of the donations and also to prove that the said donation was made only by SCTPL and SIL and not by the assessee.
6. He further pointed out that there is no Board resolution passed by the assessee Company for making such donation. Section 292 of the Companies Act specifically requires passing of such resolution before making any such donation. Thus, according to the learned counsel, in the absence of any such Board resolution, the Assessing Officer was right in concluding that the donation was not made by the assessee especially when giving such donation is not the business of the assessee.
7. Per contra Mr. R. Sivaraman, learned counsel appearing for the assessee submitted that admittedly CMI is an institution approved by Government of India as contemplated under Section 35(1)(ii) of the Income Tax Act. It is also an admitted fact that the donee viz., CMI was in urgent need of the money for purchasing the land. It is also not in dispute that the assessee was not having sufficient funds for making such donation at the relevant point of time. Therefore, the assessee requested the other two companies viz., SCTPL and SIL to make the payment. The said request was made to those two companies only because of the reason that the Chairman of those two companies also happened to be the Founder Director of the assessee company and also Founder Director of the CMI. The learned counsel for the assessee further submitted that Section 43(2) does not say that the assessee should pay directly. On the other hand, the word ‘incurred’ used in Section 43(2) means the actual liability. Thus, according to the learned counsel even though the amount was not actually paid by the assessee as on 18.7.2003, still as it is a liability ‘incurred’ by the assessee as contemplated under Section 43(2) of the Income Tax Act coupled with the fact that the journal entries were made subsequently crediting those donations at the assessee’s accounts could be sufficient to seek weighted deduction under Section 35(1)(ii) of the Income Tax Act. The learned counsel further submitted that the said payment of Rs. 70/- lakhs was in fact accounted before the IRDA in the second half year and therefore the contention of the Revenue in this aspect is totally incorrect.
8. Insofar as the second issue viz., the disallowance of expenditure made by the assessee in setting up of the assessee’s office premises taken on lease at Mumbai is concerned, the learned counsel for the Revenue submitted that the Tribunal followed the decision of the Madras High Court reported in CIT v. Ayesha Hospitals (P.) Ltd.  292 ITR 266 (Mad.) for allowing the claim of the assessee towards the head “repairs and maintenance”. The learned counsel submitted that a perusal of the agreement made between the parties viz., the assessee and owner of the premises would indicate that the expenses are capital in nature. In the support of his contention, the learned counsel for the Revenue relied on the decision of the Supreme Court reported in CIT v. Sri Mangayarkarasi Mills (P). Ltd.  315 ITR 114/182 Taxman 141.
9. Per contra, the learned counsel appearing for the assessee submitted that the issue involved in this case in respect of the repairs and maintenance is squarely covered by the decision of this court reported in Ayesha Hospitals (P.) Ltd. (supra) which has been subsequently followed in another decision reported in Thiru Arooran Sugars Ltd. v. Dy. CIT  350 ITR 324/213 Taxman 90 (Mag.)/31 taxmann.com 3 (Mad.). He further submitted that the decision of the Supreme Court in Sri Mangayarkarasi Mills (P.) Ltd. (supra) is not applicable to the facts of this case, since that decision was in relation to current repairs and deduction under Section 37 has not been gone into therein. He further submitted that another decision of this Court reported in CIT v. Sanco Trans Ltd.  284 ITR 51(Mad.) also supports the assessee’s case.
10. Insofar as the issue with regard to the excess provision is concerned, the learned counsel appearing for the Revenue submitted that the Tribunal had only dealt with the consultancy charges and not with the professional fees. The assessee had not adopted any scientific method for making provision towards consultancy charges and professional fees. Certain circumstances should be gone into before coming to a conclusion with regard to the claim made towards the excess provision. The learned Standing counsel relied on an unreported decision of this Court made in T.C.A. Nos. 148 to 155, dated 9.7.2012 (CIT v. Forbes Campbell Finance Ltd.) and T.C.(A) No.324 of 2010, dated 18.2.2013 (Renowned Auto Products Mfrs. Ltd. v. ITO). He also relied on the decision of the Apex Court reported in Sutlej Cotton Mills Ltd. v. CIT  116 ITR 1.
11. Per contra, the learned counsel appearing for the assessee submitted that the assessee is engaged in the business of insurance broking and therefore negotiations with the professional consultancy were going on between the assessee and the consultants during the relevant point of time and therefore, the excess provision was made by the assessee. However, such excess provision was reversed in the next assessment year thereby showing the same as income. Therefore, there is no revenue loss. It is further submitted by the learned counsel that the Revenue is not disputing the payments made to the professionals or the consultants. The assessee had adopted the scientific method for arriving at the provision. The Assessing Officer had not found that the payment was not genuine. The decision of the Supreme Court relied on by the Revenue reported in Sutlej Cotton Mills Ltd. (supra) is not applicable to the facts of this case. Learned counsel for the assessee would strongly rely on the finding rendered by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeal) in this aspect to prove that the scientific method was adopted by the assessee in arriving at the provision towards professional and consultancy charges.
12. Heard the learned counsel appearing for the respective parties and perused the materials placed before us.
13. Let us first consider the issue with regard to disallowance of expenditure on setting up of a new office at Mumbai. Admittedly, the assessee is only a lessee in respect of the premises in which it was setting up its office at Mumbai. The lease period was 30 months. Though the Assessing Officer found that the expenditure made by the assessee was in the nature of capital expenditure, both the first appellate authority viz., Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) as well as the final fact finding appellate authority viz., the Tribunal categorically and concurrently found that those expenditures were made by the assessee mainly towards charges for design, layout and material construction, fabrication works. Both the appellate authorities had pointed out that the assessee Company was required incur such expenditure for providing partitions, vinyl flooring and interior decoration in order to provide business ambience and achieve functional utility. The Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) had specifically pointed out that the expenditure made by the assessee to make the premises more useful and enhance its functional utility will not come under the purview of capital expenditure and by following the decision of this Court reported in Sanco Trans Ltd.(supra) the Commissioner found that those expenditures are to be allowed only as a revenue expenditure except in respect of a sum of Rs. 3,38,000/- paid for carrying out airconditioning work like providing ducts for split type air conditioner, etc., as those things are of enduring nature. Therefore, the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) allowed a sum of Rs. 53,87,036/- as revenue expenditure.
14. The Tribunal after elaborately considering the finding of the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) as well as by going through the nature of the work done by the assessee at the Mumbai Office, came to the conclusion that the expenditure incurred by the assessee for designing and layout as well as other construction materials for making the office functional cannot be called as capital expenditure. Thus, by following the decision of this Court reported in Sanco Trans Ltd. (supra) the Tribunal concurred with the view of the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) and allowed the expenditure as revenue expenditure.
15. The learned counsel for the Revenue relied on the decision of the Supreme Court reported in Sri Mangayarkarasi Mills (P.) Ltd. (supra) to reject the claim of the assessee in this aspect. A perusal of the said judgment of the Apex Court only shows that the same was rendered, while dealing in respect of the expenditure of replacement of parts of a textile machinery. The Apex Court found that replacement of such an old machine part with a new one would constitute the bringing into existence of an asset in the place of the old one and not repair of the old existing machine. Therefore, the Apex Court found that such textile machinery repair of a machine can at best said to be current repairs within the meaning of Section 31 of the Income Tax Act. The Apex Court also pointed out in the said judgment that Sections 31 and 37 of the Act operate in different spheres and the tests applicable to Section 31 cannot be read into section 37 of the Act. When that being the position, we are unable to appreciate the contention of the Revenue as to how Mangayarkarasi case can be applied to the case on hand when the facts are totally different and distinguishable and the deduction sought to be made by the assessee is not the one under Section 31 of the Act and on the other hand, as rightly contended by the learned counsel for the assessee, the deduction was sought in respect of the expenses made towards designing and lay out as well as other temporary partition and construction made for making the office functional. When that being the factual position, in our considered view, the decisions of this Court reported in Ayesha Hospitals (P.) Ltd. (supra) ; Sanco Trans Ltd. (supra), and Thiru Arooran Sugars Ltd. (supra) wherein identical issues were considered, would cover the case of the assessee also in its favour. In all the above decisions, this Court considered similar expenses made by the respective assessees therein in the leased premises and found that such expenses made by the assessee was deductible as revenue expenditure. We find that those decisions of this Court squarely apply to the facts and circumstances of this case. Accordingly, the said question of law viz., the third question of law is answered in favour of the assessee.
16. While coming to the next issue viz., the excess provision towards consultancy charges and professional fees is concerned, the Assessing Officer found that the assessee admitted that a sum of Rs. 25,32,428/- was found to be made as excess provision and the same was debited for the next financial year. Such admission of the assessee was found by the Assessing Officer as showing that the expenses debited in the books are without having any correlation with the actuals. Therefore, he added the said sum of Rs. 25,32,428/. Similarly in respect of professional fees, the Assessing Officer found that a sum of Rs. 12,60,000/- was made as excess provision and consequently added the said sum. When the said issue was considered by the first appellate authority, he found the provision for the expenditure towards consultancy charges and professional fees were made as on 31.3.2004 based on the claims received from the consultants/professionals while the same were under negotiations. Later, on further discussions and negotiations with the concerned branch officials, the amount was settled for a lesser figure. As this discussion and negotiations were taking place for a long time and in between as the accounts had to be finalised by June 2004 in the meantime the assessee had made provision based on the original claims received. The first appellate authority also pointed out that subsequently, when the amounts were settled for a lesser figure, the excess provision created had been reversed and offered as income in the subsequent year. He further found that the assessee had also filed the details of payments made to the parties after the said negotiations. Based on such factual finding, the first appellate authority came to the conclusion that the provisions made were properly supported and reasonable as per the facts existing on that date and accordingly he directed the Assessing Officer to allow the full expenditure claimed under the head consultancy charges and professional charges subject to verifying the fact about offering of such amount so reduced as income in the relevant assessment year.
17. The Tribunal found that the paper book submitted by the assessee contained details of administrative expenses showing the professional and consultancy expenses. The Tribunal also noted the submission of the assessee that they have many branches and had received bills from various consultants. It also noted the submission of the assessee that at the time of closing the accounts, negotiations with some consultants were still going on and therefore the assessee had to necessarily create a provision for those charges. By pointing out all those factual aspects and also by considering the details of administrative expenses furnished by assessee showing the professional and consultancy charges, the Tribunal allowed the said expenditure, by observing that the negotiations were still pending with various consultants at the time of finalisation of the accounts of the assessee and therefore the assessee had no other alternative but to show those expenses as a provision. Subsequent reversal of such excess provision in the next year also was taken into consideration by the Tribunal for allowing the excess provision made by the assessee.
18. We have considered the issue. Even though the learned Standing Counsel for the Revenue submitted that there was no scientific method adopted by the assessee in making the provision towards consultancy and professional charges, the factual findings rendered by the first appellate authority as well as the Tribunal show that the assessee was left with no other option except to make the provision of those expenses in view of the fact that negotiations were going on even at the time of closing the accounts. Such factual findings of both the appellate authorities are not disputed or controverted by the Revenue. In fact even a perusal of the assessment order passed by the Assessing Officer shows that he is not disputing the above said fact except to say that the provision was made without having any correlation with the actuals. When the expenses is in respect of consultancy charges and professional fees, certainly the assessee is entitled to have negotiations with the parties for reducing the same and when such finality on the quantum could not be reached even at the time of closing the accounts, the assessee is certainly entitled to make a provision for the same based on the original claims made by those parties. Therefore, we find every justification on the part of the assessee in making an excess provision based on the original claim made by the parties. We cannot lose sight of the fact that the assessee had subsequently shown the amount so reduced as income in the next year in respect of the amount which has been in excess of the provision.
19. No doubt the learned counsel for the Revenue relied on the Division Bench decision of this court made in Forbes Campbell Finance Ltd. (supra) and Renowned Auto Products Mfrs. Ltd. (supra) to show that the assessee is not entitled to make the provision in excess of what the assessee is really bound to incur such an expenditure. In so far as the decision of this court made in T.C.(A) Nos. 148 to 155 of 2005, is concerned, it is respect of warranty provision. The assessee in that case was engaged in the business of trading in various office equipment and appliances like typewriters, duplicator papers etc. The assessee therein offered one year warranty and free service during the said period. The assessee therein created provision in respect of service charges for four quarters in the warranty period on the sales effected. However, the assessee therein offered excess provision as income in the subsequent year. The assessee took the stand that even though there might not have been a necessity to provide free service, yet, they created necessary provision in the accounts each year during the warranty period as and when any claim was made by the service dealers. Therefore, according to the assessee therein the obligation could not be treated as contingent liability. The Assessing Officer therein found that the liability was a contingent one in the absence of any claim made or even a belated claim made by the service dealers therein. The Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) confirmed the assessment order and further appeal by the assessee before the Tribunal decided the issue in favour of the assessee. Aggrieved against the same, the said appeals were preferred before this Court. The Hon’ble Division Bench by applying the law laid down by the Apex Court reported in Rotork Controls India (P.) Ltd. v. CIT  314 ITR 62/180 Taxman 422 (SC) allowed the case of the Revenue by holding that the warranty provision made therein was only on adhoc basis, a fact which was recorded by the Tribunal and that even though the warranty period was for one year and the assessee had to make the payment to the service provider as and when a demand is made, normally such payment claim has to come during the period of warranty or within a reasonable time. It was also pointed out by the Hon’ble Division Bench that the assessee therein does not deny the fact that the service charges payable to the dealers arises only as and when the claim is made by the service provider and in none of those assessment years, the assessee had pleaded that the provision made in the accounts towards the service charges were reversed within a reasonable time, or for that matter any analysis was made by the assessee at the end of those years to contend that the provision was made only on a scientific basis.
20. Thus, from the perusal of the above decision of the Hon’ble Division Bench it could be seen that the facts of that case are totally different and distinguishable one. First of all that is a case of warranty provision. Admittedly, the assessee therein made the warranty provision and the service charges were payable to the dealers only as and when a claim was made by the service provider. Therefore, considering the nature of the provision as a contingent liability, the Hon’ble Division Bench disagreed with the assessee’s contention. But, here in this case, it is a provision for professional fees and consultancy charges. The payment liability of such charges or fees by the assessee was certain. Though the liability was certain, only the quantum was not certain at the time of filing the return, in view of the continuous negotiations with the parties. Therefore, the assessee was left with no other option to make provision based on the original claim made by the parties. When such being the factual position, the decision reported in T.C.A.No.148 of 2005 is not helpful to the Revenue in this case. Equally, in the other T.C.A.No.324 of 2010 dated 18.2.2013 it is the specific finding of this court that the Tribunal rendered factual finding of such liability as a contingent liability with uncertainty and therefore, this Court did not intervene with the factual finding of the Tribunal in that aspect. Consequently, the said decision relied on by the Revenue in this aspect is also not helpful to them. Thus, we answer the second question of law also in favour of assessee.
21. This leads us to go into the last issue viz., the expenditure made by the assessee on scientific research under Section 35(1)(ii). The Assessing Officer pointed out that the donations were paid by the two companies viz., SCTPL and SIL to the CMI and the donee also issued the receipts dated 18.7.2003 under Receipt Nos.041 and 042 in favour of those two companies only. The Assessing Officer further pointed out that the donation once paid cannot be revoked and therefore the consequent receipt issued in favour of the assessee in the month of March 2004 cannot be accepted. The Assessing Officer further pointed out that if this sort of transaction is permitted the donations carrying weighted deduction can be bartered according to the convenience of persons, depending upon the degree of necessity to reduce one’s tax liability. Since donations were originally flown only from the other two companies and the donations were also credited to the party’s account by way of journal entry, the Assessing Officer disallowed the claim of Rs. 87,50,000/- being the claim of weighted deduction by the assessee under Section 35(1)(ii) of the I.T. Act.
22. The first appellate authority had elaborately discussed the issue by considering various submissions made by the respective parties. Thereafter he came to the conclusion that the assessee is entitled to deduction under Section 35(1)(ii). In support of his conclusion he pointed out that the beneficiary viz., CMI is an approved institution under Section 35(1)(ii) and therefore the question to be decided is whether the assessee had incurred expenditure or not. He also pointed out that the said two companies also did not make any claim of paying any donations to the CMI nor they made any claim of deduction under Section 35(1)(ii). The Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) also noted the circumstances under which the payment was made to the CMI by the other two companies and the issuance of receipts in their name and cancelling the same at a later point of time. The Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) also pointed out that the assessee was not having liquid funds at the relevant point of time and therefore it approached the other two companies viz., SCTPL and SIL, who obliged with payment of the said sum in favour of the CMI by issuing two cheques. The Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) also found that non-reporting of the expenditure in the returns sent to IRDA for the first half year cannot be faulted as admittedly the same has been rectified in the second half year’s return. After finding that the appellant had incurred the expenditure and all the three companies are tax paying companies and it is not the assessee’s case that the payments made by the loss making companies have been taken credit of by a tax paying company to reduce its tax liability and to avoid payment of tax by all the companies, the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) allowed the deduction.
23. On further appeal to the Tribunal, it has been found that the CMI was an approved organisation and under normal practice sometimes the Chairman of the Group commits funds to such causes. It is further found by the Tribunal that the Shriram Group of Companies had been contributing to the cause of mathematics. Thus, by noting that the donations have been given not only by the assessee but also by other group companies also, the Tribunal accepted the assessee’s contention with regard to the necessity for making expenditure initially through the other two companies as it was not having sufficient funds at that time. The Tribunal had also taken into consideration of the letter addressed by the Shriram Chits Tamilnadu Pvt. Limited to the assessee company indicating that the amount so paid on behalf of the assessee to CMI has to be reimbursed by them. The Tribunal also pointed out that two other companies did not make any claim of deduction in respect of such payment made to the donee. It is also pointed out that the receipts have not been diverted to the assessee company to avail of any advantage which was not available to other companies. Therefore, by pointing out all those factual aspects of the matter, the Tribunal allowed the claim of deduction under Section 35(1)(ii).
24. Going by the factual findings rendered by both the appellate authorities, it is seen that the assessee requested the other two companies to make the expenditure on their behalf by way of scientific research as it was not having sufficient funds at that time. This fact is not disputed by the Revenue or disproved by them. Therefore, the payment was made by the other two companies to the CMI. Even though they made the payment and obtained receipts in their name, the fact remains that they have not claimed any deduction nor shown those expenditure in their books of accounts . On the other hand, it is only the assessee who had shown expenditure in the journal entry and claimed deduction. It is also stated that the assessee had paid the money subsequently to those two companies in the subsequent year. Therefore, the fact remains that what was paid to the CMI by the other two companies was not actually paid by them and it was paid only on behalf of the assessee. When the payment, receipt and the status of the CMI as notified under Section 35(1)(ii) by the Government of India were not disputed, we fail to understand as to how the assessee can be disallowed deduction under Section 35(1)(ii). May be it is an understanding between the assessee and other two companies, in view of the shortage of funds at the hands of the assessee at the relevant point of time. That itself cannot be taken to reject the claim of the assessee, when admittedly the assessee had shown the said amount as an expenditure by way of journal entry and also obtained receipt in their name. Even the said expenditure was shown in the accounts placed before the IRDA in the second half of the assessment year. Therefore, it cannot be stated that the assessee had not shown the said expenditure in the IRDA accounts. Both the first appellate authority as well as the Tribunal had gone into the issue in detail on the factual aspect of the matter and given a finding on such factual aspects to hold that the assessee is the actual payer to the CMI for its scientific research and consequently entitled to deduction under Section 35(1)(ii). In the absence of any other contra materials placed before us or before the authorities below by the Revenue, we are not inclined to interfere with such factual finding rendered by both the appellate authorities. Accordingly, this question of law is also answered against the Revenue.
25. In the result, the appeal filed by the Revenue is dismissed thereby answering all the questions of law in favour of the assessee and against the Revenue. No costs.
[Citation : 355 ITR 418]