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Aspinwall And Co. Travancore Ltd. vs Commissioner Of Income-Tax on 12 March, 1997

Kerala High Court
Aspinwall And Co. Travancore Ltd. vs Commissioner Of Income-Tax on 12 March, 1997
Equivalent citations: 1998 230 ITR 587 Ker
Author: K Usha
Bench: K Usha, G Sivarajan


JUDGMENT

K.K. Usha, J.

1. A reference at the instance of the assessee arises from the order of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Cochin Bench, in I. T. A. No. 66 (Coch) of 1993. The relevant assessment year is 1981-82. The following is the question referred for the opinion of this court :

“Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, was the Tribunal right in law and in facts in holding that the amount of notional interest brought to tax by the Assessing Officer in the previous years which could not be realised in any of the subsequent years, could not be deducted in the computation of income of the appellant ?”

2. The assessee, a public limited company, is engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of coir. It had advanced a loan of Rs. 1 lakh to a sister concern, Mambad Rubber and Produce Company Ltd., some years back. The loan was outstanding. The assessee did not include interest on such loan though it was following the mercantile system of accounting. The assessee’s previous year for the assessment year 1981-82 ended on December 31, 1980. On March 10, 1980, the loan account was converted into shares in Mambad Rubber Manufacturing Company. Out of the advance made to the company, a sum of Rs. 2,00,900 was converted into 20,090 shares of Rs. 10 each in the capital of the debtor company and the shares were subsequently sold on February 16, 1983, at a loss. Such loss amounted to Rs. 1,72,219. The Tribunal, in its order for the assessment year 1983-84, held that the loss was in the capital field for the reason that when the outstanding were converted into shares what was a current asset was converted into a capital investment and when such investment was sold below the cost of acquisition, capital loss resulted. In view of the above finding, the assessee contended before the Tribunal that it is confining its claim for deduction as loss to a sum of Rs. 75,118 representing the notional interest on the impugned advance which was subjected to tax in the earlier years.

3. The assessing authority as well as the first appellate authority had already rejected the larger contention taken by the assessee. On the limited prayer made by the assessee, the Tribunal took the view that this is not a case of bad debt where the assessee itself had taken the income into account in the preceding years and on its not being realised had written it off as a bad and irrecoverable debt. It has converted the debt into shares. The contention put forward by the assessee was therefore rejected by the Tribunal.

4. We do not find any merit in the contention raised by the assessee. The moment the amount of debt was utilised for the purpose of acquiring shares of the debtor company, thereafter, there was no question of any notional interest due on the amount of advance or debt as the case may be. We are of the view that the Tribunal was fully justified in rejecting the claim of the assessee.

5. In the light of the above discussion, we answer the question in the affirmative, against the assessee and in favour of the Revenue.

6. A copy of this judgment under the seal of this court and the signature of the Registrar shall be forwarded to the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Cochin Bench.

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