COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH TAX Vs. NAWAB FAZALYAR JUNG
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
COMMISSIONER OF WEALTH-TAX
NAWAB FAZALYAR JUNG
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Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, J. -
(1.)The following questions of law are referred to us for opinion under section 27(1) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 :
"1. Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Appellate Tribunal is correct in holding that an amount of Rs. 4 lakhs being the fair market value of properties transferred by the assessee to his wife, is not includible in his wealth under section 4(1) (a) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957? 2. If the answer to the above question is in the affirmative, whether the Appellate Tribunal is correct in law in omitting to sustain the inclusion of at least Rs. 1,20,000 in the net wealth of the assessee representing the debt due from his wife ?"
(2.)For the assessment year 1977-78, the assessee paid a sum of Rs. 1,20,000 to this wife, Smt. Basheerunnisa Begum, towards payment of her meher amount. She invested the same and purchased house properties in Kachiguda and Khairatabad. The value of the said properties was included in the net wealth of the assessee under section 4(1) (a) (i) of the Wealth-tax Act as Rs. 4,00,000. On appeal by the assessee, the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) held that the Wealth-tax Officer was not correct in including the value of the house properties belonging to the assessee's wife in the net wealth of the assessee. Accordingly, the sum of Rs. 4,00,000 was ordered to be deleted. In the appeal arising out of the assessment of the wealth for the assessment year 1975-76, the Tribunal by its order dated 7/06/1982, held that the sum of Rs. 1,20,000 given by the assessee to his wife as meher amount, cannot be considered as transfer without consideration to his wife. In view of that order, the appellate authority held that the question of inclusion of the value of the property acquired by his wife did not arise and directed that the amount of Rs. 4,00,000 be deleted. Against the order of the appellate authority, the Wealth-tax Officer filed an appeal before the Tribunal. It was contended before the Tribunal that the earlier order of the Tribunal dated 23/04/1983, was not accepted by the Tribunal and that an alternative plea was taken that at least the amount of Rs. 1,20,000 should be included. That was also rejected by the Tribunal as being untenable. However, the said two questions are referred.
(3.)In view of the fact that payment of meher to the wife by the husband during his lifetime is held to be not a transfer without consideration in Ghiasuddin Babu Khan v. CIT  153 ITR 707 (AP) [FB], it follows that the property purchased from out of the said amount cannot be included in the assets of the assessee for the purpose of wealth-tax under section 4(1) (a) (i) of the Act. In view of the above discussion, the first question is answered in the negative (sic) i.e., in favour of the assessee and against the Revenue.
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