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CWT v. Smt. Meera Agrawal - W.T.R. No. 20 of 1988 [2005] RD-AH 2274 (2 September 2005)


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Court No.37

Wealth Tax Reference No.20 of 1988

Commissioner of Wealth Tax, Agra v. Smt.

Meera Agrawal, Agra

Hon'ble R.K.Agrawal, J.

Hon'ble K.N.Ojha, J.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi, has referred the following questions of law under Section 27(1) of the Wealth Tax Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") for opinion to this Court:-

"Whether the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal  is legally correct in holding that the assessee was entitled to exemption u/s 5(1)(iv) of the W.T.Act in respect of his share in the value of immovable property which belonged to the firm of which the assessee is a partner?"

The reference relates to the assessment year 1981-82. The respondent is a partner in the firm M/s Kanhaiya Ice Factory and M/s Agarwal Enterprises. These two firms own certain immovable properties. The Inspecting Assistant Commissioner who had made the assessment, took the value of these properties at a figure higher than what was shown in the balance sheet. He, however, declined to allow exemption under Section 5(1)(iv) of the Act. The Commissioner of Wealth Tax (Appeals), however, allowed the claim of the respondent. The Revenue appealed before the Tribunal but has failed.

We have heard Sri A.N.Mahajan, the learned counsel for the Revenue.  No body has put in appearance on behalf of the respondent.

A perusal of Section 5(1)(iv) of the Act shows that the deduction is permissible in respect of one house or part of the house. A Division Bench of this Court in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax  v. Jai Kishan Gupta, (2003) 264 ITR 482 has held that exemption under Section 5(1)(iv) of the Act is not available to a cinema building as it is not a building for human habitation or a dwelling or a home and a cinema hall is not a house at all.

We are in respectful agreement with the view taken in the case of Jai Kishan Gupta (supra).

The aforesaid decision has been followed by this Court in Wealth Tax Reference Case No.187 of 1984, Commissioner of Income, Meerut v. Smt. Urmila Devi, C/o M/s Kanhaya Lal & Co., Ganj Bazar, Meerut, decided on 11th August 2004.

Respectfully following the aforesaid decision, we answer the question of law referred to us in the negative, i.e., in favour of the Revenue and against the assessee. Since no body has put in appearance on behalf of the respondent assessee, there shall be no order as to costs.




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