G PRABHAMURTHY Vs. WEALTH TAX OFFICER
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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George Cheriyan, Accountant Member -
(1.) THESE two appeals are preferred by the assessee and relate to the assessment years 1977-78 and 1978-79. The appeals are against the orders passed by the Commissioner in exercise of his powers under Section 25(2) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 ('the Act').
(2.) The order of the Commissioner sets out the computation of the figure of wealth as under:
The Commissioner has stated that the WTO granted exemption of the net amount in each year under Section 5(1)(xxxiii) of the Act as claimed by the assessee. According to the Commissioner, this was erroneous.
The Commissioner stated that the assessee, an Indian citizen, was living with her husband in Australia and her husband died in a car accident in March 1974. She returned to India on 6-5-1974 with two minor children. Most of the assets held in Australia, according to the Commissioner, consisted of compensation received on account of death of her husband and the amounts were not brought to India when she returned on 6-5-1974 but were remitted during the accounting years relevant to the assessment years 1977-78 and 1978-79. With the amounts remitted the assessee acquired assets in India. According to the Commissioner, Section 5(1)(xxxiii) was introduced in the Act by the Finance Act, 1976, with effect from 1-4-1977. The Commissioner has stated that the assessee undoubtedly was a person of Indian origin who returned to India with the intention of permarently residing in India. He stated that she did not bring any moneys or assets into India at the time of her return, money having been received very much subsequent to 6-5-1974. According to the Commissioner, the exemption under Section 5(1)(xxxiii) can only be prospective or, in other words, it would apply only to persons who returned to India after 1-4-1976 and not to persons who returned earlier. He negatived the plea of the assessee that there was nothing in the Act to restrict the exemption on the lines stated by him. The Commissioner, therefore, held that the WTO was not justified in granting exemption under Section 5(1)(xxxiii) and he, therefore, set aside the assessments and directed the WTO to re-do them bearing in mind his observations.
(3.) IN the appeals before us, the learned counsel submitted that the requirements of Section 5(1)(xxxiii) were satisfied and the WTO was justified in granting the exemption. He pleaded for the orders of the WTO being restored. The learned departmental representative, on the other hand, stated that1 on the facts enumerated in the order of the Commissioner, it was clear that exemption had wrongly been granted by the WTO, and it, therefore, had to be withdrawn and that was what the order of the Commissioner sought to achieve.;
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