High Court Of Madras
CIT vs. Asoka Betalnut Co. (P) Ltd.
Asst. Year 1983-84
V.S. Sirpurkar & N.V. Balasubramanian, JJ.
Tax Case No. 863 of 1992
9th July, 2002
T.C.A. Ramanujam, for the Applicant : R. Meenakshisundaram, for the Respondent
N.V. BALASUBRAMANIAN, J. :
The question referred to us under s. 256(1) of the IT Act, 1961, at the instance of the Revenue in relation to the assessment year of the assessee 1983-84 is as under :
“Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the royalty paid to the director as a proprietor of the trade mark could be treated as a benefit derived by a director within the meaning of s. 40(c) of the IT Act, 1961 ?”
2. The short facts are that the assessee-company paid royalty of a sum of Rs. 1,68,758 to the directors and the ITO treated the sum paid as remuneration and disallowed the same under s. 40 (c) of the IT Act, 1961. The CIT(A) on appeal following his own order for the asst. yr. 1982-83 held that the royalty payment cannot be treated as remuneration and deleted the disallowance which was confirmed by the Tribunal. It is against this order the present reference is being made at the instance of the Revenue. The learned counsel appearing for both the parties have fairly submitted that the reference for the earlier year 1982-83 came for consideration before this Court and this Court has held that the payment of royalty was paid to the directors not in the capacity of directors but as a proprietor of the trade mark and it cannot be treated as benefit which can be disallowed under s. 40(c) of the Act. We also find that the Supreme Court has taken a similar view in the case of Bharat Beedi Works (P). Ltd. vs. CIT (1993) 112 CTR (SC) 247 : (1993) 201 ITR 1063 (SC) : TC 18R.270, wherein the Supreme Court has held that so long as the remuneration, i.e., payments were not made in the capacity of directors as directors, the payments do not fall under s. 40(c) of the Act. Here, it was specifically found that the trade mark belongs to the directors and they were the proprietors and the royalty was paid not in the capacity of director but as a proprietor of the trade mark and hence s. 40(c) of the Act does not apply to the facts of the case. Moreover, it is not also the case of the Revenue that the payments were made as a device or as a screen to cover the payments by way of remuneration. We, therefore, hold that the Tribunal was right in holding that royalty paid to the directors is not to be taken into account for the purpose of s. 40(c) of the Act. Therefore, the question of law is answered against the Revenue and in favour of the assessee. However, in the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.
[Citation : 258 ITR 620]