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M/s. The Coromandel Engineering Co. Ltd. v. The Commissioner of Income-tax - T.C.No.680 of 1989  RD-TN 350 (11 June 2002)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE V.S.SIRPURKAR
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE N.V.BALASUBRAMANIAN
T.C.No.680 of 1989
M/s. The Coromandel Engineering Co. Ltd.,
No.52/53, Jehangir St., Chennai 600 001.
... Applicant. vs.
The Commissioner of Income-tax,
.. Respondent. Reference arising out of the order of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, A-Bench, Madras in I.T.A.No.1341/ Mds/1978-79, dated 29.6.1979, at the instance of the assessee.
For applicant :: Mr.M.P.Senthilkumar
For respondent :: Mr.T.Ravikumar, Jr.Standing Counsel for Income-tax.
(ORDER of the Court was made by V.S.SIRPURKAR,J.)
Following two questions came to be referred to us at the instance of the assessee:
" 1. Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the appellant's case, the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal was right in law in holding that the appellant could not be considered to be an 'industrial company'?
2. Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the appellant' s case, the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal was right in law in holding that the definition of 'industrial company' in section 2(7)(c) of the Finance Act, 1978 did not cover the activities of the appellant for the purpose of determining the rate at which the appellant was liable to income-tax? "
2. The assessee appears to be an Engineering Company called, M/s. The Coromandel Engineering Co. Ltd. The relevant assessment year is 1975-76. It claimed to be taxed at the lower rate of tax on the ground that it is an industrial company. All the lower authorities have recorded a finding of fact that the assessee undertook construction work of several factories and the total cost of construction came to Rs.1,80,96,000/-. All the lower authorities have held that the assessee could not be termed as an 'industrial company' and thereby levied tax at the higher rate. The matter was reverted back to the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) for fresh examination and the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals), on fresh examination of the materials placed before him, came to the same conclusion that the company could not be said to be an industrial company and was not therefore entitled to be taxed at the lower rate.
3. We have seen the order of the Tribunal also. The Tribunal has also confirmed the finding of fact recorded by the lower authorities that the assessee was only constructing buildings and was not engaged in any manufacturing activity or for that, any business of generation or distribution of electricity or any other form of power or in the construction of ships or in the manufacture or processing of goods or in mining and therefore it could not be said that it was an industrial company. As to what is an industrial company has now been settled by the Apex Court in MONOCHA BROS P. LTD. v. COMMISSIONER OF INCOME-TAX (204 ITR 628). The following words of their Lordships would throw a light on the subject:
" A reading of the definition aforesaid shows that, for being characterised as an 'industrial company', the company must be mainly engaged in the business of generation or distribution of electricity or any other form of power or in the construction of ships or in the manufacture or processing of goods or in mining. The explanation says that a company shall be deemed to be mainly engaged in any of the specified activities, only if the income attributable to any one or more of the specified activities is not less than 51 per cent of the total income, i.e., total income for the relevant previous year, as computed before making any deduction under Chapter VI-A of the Income-tax Act."
Their Lordships held that the burden to prove that the assessee is such a company lies on the assessee itself. We find that no material has been produced before us also to suggest that the inference on the facts drawn by the Appellate Tribunal is in any manner erroneous. We do not find any reason to interfere with the order passed by the Appellate Tribunal. Once it is held that the assessee has not been able to prove that it is an industrial company, then there would be no question of answering the second question referred. In that view, the order of the Tribunal is confirmed. The first question is answered against the assessee and in favour of the Revenue and in view of that, it is felt not necessary to answer the second question. The matter is closed. No costs.
1.The Asst. Registrar, Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Rajaji Bhavan, III Floor, Besant Nagar, Chennai (5 copies).
2.The Secretary, Central Board of Revenue, New Delhi (3 copies). 3.The Commissioner of Income-tax, Central II Madras-34. 4.The Income-tax Officer, Central Circle XVI, Madras.
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