AMALENDU SAHOO Vs. INCOME TAX OFFICER
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
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Barin Ghosh J. -
(1.)None appears on behalf of the petitioners. A property belongs to the petitioners. The United Bank of India is a tenant of a portion of the said property. It appears that there were certain disputes between the petitioners and the bank for quite some time, and accordingly rents were not paid to the petitioners. On December 16, 1998, the bank agreed to pay a rent of Rs. 6,20,512 to the petitioners but at the same time proposed to deduct a sum of Rs. 99, 198 on account of income-tax deducted at source. The principal grievance in the instant writ petition appears to be in relation to such deduction.
(2.)In the body of the petition it has not been established that the petitioners had individually rented out a portion of the property to the bank prior to the bank agreeing to pay the sum of Rs. 6,20,512 on December 16, 1998. The petition, however, shows that a memo of agreement was entered with the bank on January 13, 1999, whereby the petitioners individually agreed to rent out specified portions of the properties to the bank. It, therefore, appears to me that prior to January 13, 1999, the petitioners as undivided joint owners had let out the property to the bank.
(3.)Section 194-I of the Income-tax Act talks about a person as well as an individual. There appears to be a conscious decision to keep them separate. A person may be an individual and may be a body of individuals. While the liability under Section 194-I is foisted the moment rent is to be paid to a person which as aforesaid may be an individual or a body of individuals. But the rate of tax to be deducted has been fixed for an individual at a separate rate and for a body of individuals at a separate rate. The proviso to the section deals with the payee. If the payee is an individual entitled to receive rent in excess of Rs. 1,20,000 per annum then the payer is obliged to deduct 15 per cent. thereof as tax deducted at source. If the payee is a body of individuals and if the rent payable exceeds Rs. 1,20,000 per annum, the payer is required to deduct 20 per cent. thereof as tax deducted at source. By using the expressions "person", "individual", "other cases" and "payee" the Legislature has made the same explicit. This has also been considered by a single judge of this court and has supported what I have expressed above. The said judgment of the learned single judge is in the case of Smt. Bishaka Sarkar v. Union of India.
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