High Court Of Rajasthan
CIT vs. Maharaja Sawai Mansinghji Museum Trust
Asst. Year 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77
S.S. Byas & A.K. Mathur, JJ. D.B.
IT Ref. No. 40 of 1980
19th May, 1987
B.R. Arora, for the Revenue : None, for the Assessee
S.S. BYAS, J.:
The Tribunal (Delhi Bench “E”), Delhi, has remitted the following question of law to this Court for its decision: “Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was justified in holding that the assessee is an educational institution within the meaning of s. 10(22) of the IT Act, 1961, and is, therefore, not liable to be assessed under the Act ? “
2. Briefly recapitulated, the material facts are that the assessee, Maharaja Sawai Mansinghji Museum Trust, City Palace, Jaipur, is a public charitable trust duly registered under the Rajasthan Public Trusts Act, 1959. The late Maharaja Mansinghji, the ex-ruler of the erstwhile State of Jaipur, created a trust on 16th April, 1959, by a registered deed and founded a museum in a portion of the City Palace, Jaipur, for the benefit of the public. By a supplementary deed of trust executed in 1972, some more properties were settled on trust. It has been treated and accepted as a trust for charitable purposes within the meaning of s. 2(15) and had enjoyed the exemption from tax under s. 11 of the IT Act, 1961 (hereinafter to be referred to as “the Act”). The assessee later on contended that it is an “educational institution” within the meaning of s. 10(22) of the Act. This contention was negatived and disallowed by the IT authorities. No appeals were filed by the assessee against those orders by which it was refused to be treated as an “educational institution” under s. 10(22) of the Act. The assessee again raised the same disputes for the asst. yrs. 196667, 1974-75, 1975-76 and 1976-77. The ITO as well as the AAC, in their orders, took the same view that the assessee is not an “education institution”. The assessee went up in appeal before the Tribunal, Delhi Bench, New Delhi. It was contended before the Tribunal by the assessee that it is maintaining a museum and the museum is an “educational nstitution”. It is, therefore, not assessable to tax under the Act. The Tribunal, by its order dt. 20th Sept., 1979, allowed the appeal and held that the assessee(trust) is running and maintaining a museum and the museum is an “educational institution” within the meaning of s. 10(22) and is, therefore, not liable to pay any tax under the Act. The CIT, Jaipur, felt aggrieved by the aforesaid order of the Tribunal and moved the Tribunal to make a reference to this Court. It is thus that we have the reference before us. Nobody has appeared on behalf of the assessee.
We have heard Mr.B.R. Arora, learned counsel for the Revenue. It was argued by Mr. Arora that right from 1959 to 1966-67 and thereafter from 1968 to 197374, the museum managed and maintained by the assessee(trust) was not accepted and treated as an “educational institution”. Those orders by which the museum was not treated as “educational institution” were not challenged by the assessee in appeals. It was argued that the judgment, annexure “D”, passed by this Court on March 13,1972, related to the question whether the assessee was liable to pay tax under the Rajasthan Entertainment and Advertisement Tax Act,1967. It was for that limited purpose that the judgment is relevant to show that the museum maintained by the assessee is used for the education of the people.This judgment is no more good law in view of the pronouncements made by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Sole Trustee, Loka Shikshana Trust vs. CIT 1975 CTR (SC) 281 : (1975) 101 ITR 234 (SC) : TC23R.161. It was further urged by him that s. 10(22) of the Act covers the case of an “educational institution” existing solely for educational purposes. Reliance, in support of the contention, was based on the aforesaid authority of the Supreme Court. We have bestowed our thoughtful consideration to the submissions made by Mr. Arora.
It would be useful to read s. 10(22) of the Act which reads as under: “10.(22) any income of a university or other educational institution, existing solely for educational purposes and not for purposes of profit.”
7. It is amply clear from a bare reading of it that the “educational institution” must exist “solely” for educational purposes. “Solely” means exclusively and not primarily. Simply because certain persons may add something to their knowledge by visiting the museum,it cannot be said that the museum exists “solely” for educational purposes. The emphasis in s. 10(22) is on the word “solely.”
8. Sec.2(15) speaks about “charitable purposes” and the definition given therein includes “education”. The word “education” occurring in s. 2(15) of the Act came for judicial review in the case of Loka Shikshana Trust’s case (supra). It was observed : “The sense in which the wordâeducation’ has been used in s. 2(15) in the systematic instruction, schooling or training given to the young is preparation for the work of life. It also connotes the whole course of scholastic instruction which a person has received. The word âeducation’ has not been used in that wide and extended sense, according to which every acquisition of further knowledge constitutes education. According to this wide and extended sense, travelling is education, because as a result of travelling you acquire fresh knowledge. Likewise, if you read newspapers and magazines, see pictures, visit art galleries, museums and zoos, you thereby add to your knowledge. Again, when you grow up and have dealings with other people, some of whom are not straight, you learn by experience and thus add to your knowledge of the ways of the world. If you are not careful, your wallet is liable to be stolen or you are liable to be cheated by some unscrupulous person. The thief who removes your wallet and the swindler who cheats you teach you a lesson and in the process make you wiser though poorer. If you visit a night club, you get acquainted with and add to your knowledge about some of the not much revealed realities and mysteries of life. All this in a way is education in the great school of life. But that is not the sense in which the word âeducation’ is used in cl.(15) of s. 2. What education connotes in that clause is the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of students by normal schooling.”
9. Though their Lordships had no occasion to deal with s. 10(22) of the Act, the pronouncements are wide enough to cover the case of an “educational institution” because under s. 10(22), the “educational institution” must exist “solely” for educational purposes.
10. The Tribunal tried to make a distinction between the word “education” used in s. 2(15) and the words “educational institution” occurring in s. 10(22) of the Act. According to their Lordships of the Supreme Court, visiting a museum is one way of education in the great school of life but that is not the sense in which the word “education” is used in cl.(15) of s. 2 of the Act. According to their Lordships, “education” connotes the process of training and developing the knowledge, etc., of students by normal schooling. In this view of the matter, the museum cannot be taken to be an “educational institution” existing”solely” for educational purposes. Sec. 2(15) is wider in terms than s. 10(22) of the Act. If the assessee’s case does not fall within s. 2(15), it is difficult to put it in s. 10(22) of the Act.
We, therefore, hold that the assessee(trust) is not an “educational institution” within the meaning of s. 10(22) of the IT Act,1961. It is, therefore, liable to be assessed under the Act.
The reference is thus answered against the assessee and in favour of the Revenue.
[Citation : 169 ITR 379]