WEALTH TAX OFFICER Vs. SUNIL LAMBA
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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O.P. Garg, Judicial Member -
(1.) THIS bunch of appeals relating to four assessment years preferred by the revenue against consolidated order dated 10-9-1980 of the AAC was heard together.
(2.) ASSESSMENT YEAR 1973-74-31-3-1973 is the corresponding valuation date. The assessee is an individual. The assessment was completed by the WTO as per order dated 30-12-1978 determining net wealth at Rs. 22,566.
The assessee had one-half share in a house situate at No. 29, Hanuman Road, New Delhi. He had purchased the said house jointly with one Smt. Meena on 25-5-1972. Cost price of the assessee's one-half share in the said asset came to Rs. 1,09,140. That sum had been borrowed by the assessee from a certain firm in which he was a partner. In the assessment completed by the WTO, Rs. 1,09,140, i.e., the declared estimated value of the assessee's one-half share, was accepted as correct value. Benefit of exemption under Section 5(1)(iv) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 ("the Act"), was given to the assessee to the extent of Rs. 1 lakh. That left balance sum of Rs. 9,140 as value of taxable portion of the asset. In respect of the amount of Rs. 1,09,140, being the debt owed by the assessee to the partnership firm as aforesaid, the assessee claimed deduction under Section 2(m) of the Act from the aggregate value of his assets. The WTO took the view that out of the said debt, Rs. 1 lakh was relatable to exempt portion of the asset in question and that the balance debt of Rs. 9,140 was relatable to taxable portion of the said asset. In this view of the matter, deduction to the extent of Rs. 9,140 was allowed by the WTO under Section 2(m). Deduction of other debts amounting to Rs. 42,439 as allowed by the WTO under the said provisions is not material for purposes of the instant case.
(3.) THE assessee went in appeal to the AAC. THE AAC directed that the exemption contained in Sub-clause (ii) of Section 2(m) did not hit any portion of the entire debt of Rs. 1,09,140 and that, therefore, over and above the exemption of Rs 1 lakh as aforesaid, under Section 5(1)(iv), the assessee was further entitled to deduction of the entire debt of Rs. 1,09,140 with reference to provisions of Section 2(m). In this regard, learned AAC based his view on the aspect that whereas the word "payable" had been used in the opening part of Section 5(1), the word "chargeable" had been used in Section 2(m)(ii). THE said two words, according to the AAC, carried different meaning and connotation.;
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