COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX CALCUTTA Vs. ANJAMLI KHAN
LAWS(SC)-1990-11-87
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: CALCUTTA)
Decided on November 06,1990

COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX,CALCUTTA Appellant
VERSUS
ANJAMLI KHAN Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX VS. LUCY KOCHUVAREED [LAWS(KER)-1991-2-12] [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH-TAX VS. JAGDEV INDER SINGH [LAWS(P&H)-1993-5-74] [REFERRED TO]
SHER SINGH HUF VS. COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX [LAWS(DLH)-2000-7-2] [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX VS. MANJIT KAUR [LAWS(P&H)-2006-11-21] [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX VS. KANHI RAM SIHI [LAWS(P&H)-2008-10-95] [REFERRED TO]
PENTAKOTA RADHAKRISHNA VS. C I T, VISAKHAPATNAM [LAWS(APH)-2014-10-72] [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX CALCUTTA VS. U C MEHATAB [LAWS(SC)-1995-3-33] [APPLIED]
FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA VS. KAILASH CHAND [LAWS(ALL)-2013-12-122] [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX VS. NAND LAL, MOHAN LAL [LAWS(P&H)-2010-5-281] [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX, DELHI AND ORS. VS. SUMAN DHAMIJA [LAWS(DLH)-2015-12-240] [REFERRED TO]
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC VS. DELHI WAKF BOARD [LAWS(DLH)-2011-12-443] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Ranganathan, J. - (1.)These three appeals arise out of the assessments to wealth tax of Kumar Amarendra Lal Khan (since deceased) for the assessment years 1957-58, 1958-59 and 1959-60, Shri Khan (hereinafter referred to as the "assessee") owned vast agricultural properties which, by virtue of the provisions of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953 (hereinafter referred to as the "Act"), came to vest in the State of West Bengal. Under the Act, the assessee was entitled to receive compensation in respect of the lands. The mode of determination and payment of compensation has been prescribed under Ss. 16 and 17 read with S. 23 of the Act. In completing the assessments of the assessee to wealth-tax for the assessment years above mentioned (in respect of which the relevant valuation dates were 14-4-1957, 14-4-1958 and 14-4-1959 respectively),- the Wealth-tax Officer required the assessee to furnish particulars of the compensation due from the Government. The assessee was unable to furnish such particulars but stated that his agricultural income from the lands used to be assessed at Rs. 1,00,000/- per annum and that the taxes thereon amounted to Rs. 20,000/ - per annum. Taking the net agricultural income at Rs. 80,000 / - and applying the provisions of S. 17(1) of the Act, the Wealth-tax Officer estimated the compensation payable to the assessee at Rs. 3,40,000/-. Deducting there from the interim compensation already received by the assessee, the amount of compensation due to him was estimated at Rs. 3,25,000/- as on 14-4-1957, Rs. 3,00,000/- as on 14-4-1958 and Rs. 3,00,000/- as on 14-4-1957.
(2.)The assessee preferred appeals to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner contending that the compensation receivable from the West Bengal Government was not an 'asset' which could be included in the net wealth of the assessee under the Wealth-tax Act. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner negatived this contention and affirmed the assessments. The assessee preferred further appeals to the Tribunal. The Tribunal, following an earlier decision dated 29-4-1963 in WTA Nos. 302 to 304 of 1961-62 accepted the contention put forward by the assessee. In that decision, the Tribunal had discussed the provisions of the Act and concluded:-
"It is clear, therefore, that the assessee had no right to receive any compensation on the respective valuation dates much less from the date of the vesting, as the departmental representative contends. If the assessee had any right at all, it was at the best, an imperfect right which has no market value whatever, But our considered view is that the assessee had no right whatever perfect or imperfect on the respective valuation dates to receive any .compensation for the acquisition of his estates by the State Government."
Following this decision, the Tribunal excluded the aforesaid sums of Rs. 3,25,000/-, Rs. 3,00,000/ - and Rs. 3,00,000/ - respectively the assessee for the assessment years in question.
(3.)On the request of the Commissioner of Wealth-tax, the Tribunal referred the following question to the High Court at Calcutta for its opinion:-
"Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was right in holding that the sum of Rs. 3,25000, Rs. 3,00,000/ - and Rs. 3,00,000 / -estimated by the Wealth-tax Officer as the amounts of compensation due to the assessee under the provisions of the West Bengal Estate Acquisition Act, 1953 as, on the relevant valuation dates for the assessment years 1957-58, 1958-59 and 1959-60 respectively could not be included in the assessee's net wealth as computed under the provisions of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 -

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