INCOME TAX OFFICER Vs. USHA SAH
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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I.S. Nigam, Accountant Member -
(1.) THIS is an appeal filed by the revenue against the order of the AAC, Allahabad Range, Allahabad.
(2.) The assessee is an individual and the appeal relates to the assessment year 1977-78. The assessee's husband, Shri J.P. Sah, was an official of the United Nations who unfortunately expired. After his death, the assessee became entitled as the widow of the deceased official of the United Nations to receive benefits under Article 35 of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. The amount received during the previous year relevant to this assessment year was Rs. 60,427 by way of pension under the aforesaid article. It was claimed before the ITO that this amount was exempt from tax in view of the specific provisions of Clause (b) of Section 18 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947. The ITO, however, held that in the first place, the assessee was not an official of the United Nations and, secondly, the amount received by her was not in the nature of either salary or other emoluments, since there can be said to be no employer-employee relationship between the United Nations and the assessee and, in these circumstances, the assessee was not entitled to exemption from tax on the amount of Rs. 60,427 received from the United Nations. The ITO, therefore, while completing the assessment, added this amount also to the assessee's total income.
When the matter went up in appeal, the AAC held that what was received by the assessee was what her husband would have received out of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, but for his death and, since the source of the payment was the United Nations, which was entitled to immunity, nothing turns on whether the payment was made to the official of the United Nations or to the official's widow or heirs in the event of death of the official, since in both the cases, the nature of payment was the same. He, therefore, accepted the assessee's claim that the amount of Rs, 60,427 received from the United Nations was exempt from tax. Aggrieved by this order of the AAC, the revenue has come up in the present appeal before us.
(3.) THE learned departmental representative, Shri Jauhari, submitted to us that there was a distinction between the widow of an official of the United Nations and the official of the United Nations himself and the immunity from taxation is limited to payments made by the United Nations to its officials and not to any payment by the United Nations to any person whatsoever. Elaborating on his argument, Shri Jauhari submitted that while the term payment made by the United Nations to its officials may include payments made by the United Nations to its officials after their retirement from service of the United Nations, it can under no circumstances, include or cover a payment made by the United Nations to any other person even if the other person happens to be a widow or member of the family of an official of the United Nations. Summing up, Jauhari submitted to us that the assessee was not entitled to exemption from tax on the amount of Rs. 60,427 received from the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.;
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