High Court Of Kerala
CIT vs. Malayalam Plantations (India) Ltd.
Sections 4, 37(1)
Asst. Year 1977-78
T. Kochu Thommen & K.P. Radhakrishna Menon, JJ.
IT Ref. No. 136 & 137 of 1984
27th March, 1987
Menon, for the Revenue : K.A. Nayar, for the Assessee
KOCHU THOMMEN, J.:
The following two questions have been, at the instance of the Revenue, referred to us by the Tribunal, Cochin Bench : ” 1. Whether the payment of Rs. 75,000 to one Mr. Nair is revenue expenditure deductible in the computation of the business income of the assessee ? 2. Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the rubber replantation subsidy is income assessable to income- tax ? ” Question No. 2 has to be, in the light of our decision in CIT vs. Malayalam Plantations Ltd. (1987) 62 CTR (Ker) 109:(1987) 168 ITR 63(Ker) IT Ref. Nos. 352 and 353 of 1982), answered in the affirmative, that is, in favour of the Revenue and against the assessee. We do so.
2. Question No.1 relates to the payment of Rs. 75,000 paid by the assessee to one Mr. Nair during the accounting year relevant to the asst. yr. 1977-78 in full and final settlement of Mr. Nair’s suit against the assessee for recovery of possession of property. The ITO considered this claim to be in the nature of a capital expenditure and, therefore, not allowable under s. 37 of the IT Act, 1961. This finding was confirmed by the CIT (Appeals). However, on appeal by the assessee, the Tribunal found that the expenditure was in the nature of an ex gratia payment and was allowable under s. 37. The specific finding of the Tribunal nevertheless is: ” …This expenditure is to be considered as only incurred for protecting the property of the assessee. It would, therefore, be revenue expenditure . … .. “
The conclusion is, in our view, not warranted by the finding that the expenditure was incurred for the protection of the property. The suit instituted against the assessee by Mr. Nair was for recovery of possession of land. It was for preserving the assessee’s right in or over the land that the payment was made. That being the fact found, the Tribunal went wrong in concluding that such expenditure was allowable under s. 37. Accordingly, we answer question No.1 in the negative, that is, in favour of the Revenue and against the assessee.
We direct the parties to bear their respective costs in these tax referred cases.
[Citation : 169 ITR 237]