WEALTH TAX OFFICER Vs. A M SHIVALINGARADHYA AND SONS
LAWS(IT)-1982-3-49
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
Decided on March 24,1982

Appellant
VERSUS
Respondents

JUDGEMENT

O.V. Subramanian, Accountant Member - (1.) THESE two appeals are by the revenue and they relate to the assessment years 1976-77 and 1977-78. They raise a common contention. The valuation dates are 31-3-1976 and 31-3-1977.
(2.) The assessee owned agricultural lands including coconut garden. The assessee claimed that the coconut trees standing in the garden are exempt under Section 5. The WTO found that the dictionary meaning of the term "coconut tree" is "tropical palm-tree". The coconut garden is an orchard since coconut tree is a fruit bearing tree. An "orchard" is defined as an enclosure with fruit trees. The WTO found that trees in an orchard or plantation arc specifically excluded in the new provisions of Section 5(1)(viiib) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 ("the Act"), which has come into force with effect from 1-4-1976. He, therefore, negatived the contention of the assessee and brought to tax in each year in question the value of the coconut garden at Rs. 60,125. The assessee appealed. The appeals came to be disposed of ex parts. The AAC found that there was nothing wrong in the procedure adopted by the WTO. However, he found that the exemption under Section 5(1)(iva) has not been granted. This will be well within the limit of Section 5(1A). With these directions, he allowed the appeals of the assessee.
(3.) THE revenue has come on second appeal. It was submitted that the AAC erred in holding that an amount of Rs. 60,125 in each year, being the value of the coconut trees, is exempt under Section 5(1)(iva) read with Section 5(1A). It was further contended that the AAC failed to appreciate the fact that only agricultural lands are exempt under Section 5(1)(iva) and standing trees and growing crops are excluded from land. For this purpose the definition of "agricultural lands" was referred to under Section 2(e)(7) of the Act. In any case the assessee is not entitled to relief under Section 5(1)(viiib), since it is a plantation.;


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