High Court Of Madras
CIT vs. Dadha Plantations (P) Ltd.
Asst. Years 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84
V.S. Sirpurkar & N.V. Balasubramanian, JJ.
Tax Case Nos. 1254 to 1256 of 1990
10th July, 2002
J. Naresh Kumar, for the Applicant : R. Meenakshisundaram, for the Respondent
N.V. BALASUBRAMANIAN, J. :
At the instance of the Revenue, the Tribunal has stated the case and referred the following common questions of law with regard to the interpretation of s. 40A(8) of the IT Act in relation to the asst. yrs. 1981-82, 1982-83 an 1983-84 of the assessee : “1. Whether, on th facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was right in holding that no disallowance of interest should be made on interest payments made to directors and shareholders on the credit balances in the current accounts held by them with the assessee in terms of s. 40A(8) of the Act ?
2. Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was right in law in holding that the interest payment made to directors and shareholders on their deposits with the assessee-company is excepted by the provisions of s. 40A(8) on the basis of the ratio of the decision laid down by the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of CIT vs. Kalani Asbestos (P) Ltd. (1989) 180 ITR 55 (MP) : (1989) 44 Taxman 217 (MP) : TC 18R.784 ?” The assessee is a private limited company and during the course of assessment proceedings, the AO found that the assessee-company had made certain payments of interest to shareholders and directors of the company. The ITO held that the provisions of s. 40A(8) of the Act were attracted to the payment of interest to the directors and shareholders and disallowed 15 per cent of the interest so paid. The CIT(A) on appeal, deleted the disallowance of interest made by the ITO and that order was also confirmed by the Tribunal. It is against the order of the Tribunal, the present revision has been made. Heard Mr. J. Naresh Kumar, learned junior standing counsel for the Revenue and Mr. R. Meenakshisundaram, learned counsel for the Respondent. We find that the company had made payments of interest to shareholders and directors on the credit balances lying in their current accounts and they were made not in the capacity of depositors. We hold that the credit balance in the current account of the shareholders or the directors cannot be regarded as a deposit made by them and they were not deposits made by them. The term “deposit” has a meaning of its own and in our opinion, it does not include a mere credit balance lying in the current account of the shareholders or the directors of the company. The legal relationship between the company and the depositâholders is far different from the legal relationship of the company and shareholders and the terms of deposit would be different from the terms on which interest was paid on the amounts lying in credit balance of the shareholders. There is also no evidence to show that there was an agreement to treat the credit balance of the account-holders as deposits. The Madhya Pradesh High Court in CIT vs. Kalani Asbestos (P) Ltd. (supra) has taken a similar view. Hence, we hold that the Tribunal was correct in law in holding that no disallowance of interest is called for by invoking s. 40A(8) of the Act as the interest payments were made to the shareholders and directors on the credit balances in that current accounts not in the capacity as deposit-holder nor the amounts so lying can be regarded as deposit. Accordingly, the common questions of law referred to us are answered against the Revenue and in favour of the assessee. No costs.
[Citation : 258 ITR 639]