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02-07-2018, NEW OKHLA INDUSTRIAL, Section 10(20A), 194A, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
The appellant by these appeals has challenged the Division Bench judgment of Allahabad High Court dated 28.02.2011 dismissing the writ petition filled by the appellant challenging the notices issued by the Income Tax Authority under Section 142 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as well as the judgment dated 04.11.2011 rejecting the review application.
2. The facts giving rise to these appeals are: The appellant-New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (hereinafter referred to as the “Authority”) has been constituted under Section 3 of the U.P. Industrial Area Development Act, 1976 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act, 1976’) by notification dated 17.04.1976. The Act, 1976 was enacted by State Legislature to provide for the constitution of an Authority for the development of certain areas in the State into industrial and urban township and for matters connected therewith. Under the Act, 1976 various functions have been entrusted to the Authorities. Notices under Section 142 of the Income Tax Act dated 28.07.1998 and 08.08.1998 were issued to the appellant. The appellant challenging the said notices filed writ petition contending that appellant is a local authority, hence, is exempted from payment of income tax under Section 10(20) and Section 10(20A) of Income Tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as “I.T.Act, 1961). The writ petition was allowed by the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court on 14.02.2000 holding that the appellant is a local body. It was held that it is covered by the exemption under Section 10(20A) of I.T.Act, 1961. The Division Bench, however, did not go into the question whether it is also exempt under Section 10(20).
3. By the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992, the Parliament had inserted Part IXA of the Constitution providing for the constitution of Municipalities. A notification dated 24.12.2001 was issued by the Governor in exercise of the power under the proviso to clause (1) of Article 243Q of the Constitution of India specifying the appellant to be an “industrial township” with effect from the date of the notification in the Official Gazette. A notice dated 29.08.2005 was issued by the Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax to the appellant for furnishing Income Tax Return for the assessment year 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. Notice mentioned that after omission of Section 10(20A) w.e.f. 01.04.2003 the Authority has become taxable. Notice under Section 142(1) was also enclosed for the above purpose.
4. Notices were also issued to different Banks requiring different information. The appellant vide its letter dated 20.09.2005 replied the notice dated 29.08.2005 stating that it is a local authority and exempt from Income Tax hence notice under Section 142 be withdrawn. The Income Tax authorities also issued notice to the different Banks to deduct TDS as required under Section 194A of the Income Tax Act and remit the same to the Central Government Account.
5. The appellant filed a writ petition praying for quashing the notice under Section 142 of the Income Tax Act dated 29.08.2005. The appellant also challenged notice dated 31.08.2005 issued under Section 131 to the Bankers of the appellant. Notice dated 21.09.2005 under Section 194A was also sought to be quashed. The writ petition was contested by the Income Tax Department. The High Court in the writ petition decided the only question “whether New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) is a local authority after 01.04.2003 within the meaning of Section 10(20) of the Income Tax Act, 1961”. The Division Bench of the High Court relying on two judgments of this Court in Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Narela, Delhi vs. Commissioner of Income Tax and another, (2008) 9 SCC 434 and Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority vs. Union of India and others, (2006) 5 SCC 100, held that after 01.03.2003 the NOIDA is not a local authority within the meaning of Section 10(20) of the I.T.Act, 1961. The writ petition was consequently dismissed. Although, the appellant had prayed for quashing notices issued to its Bankers and notice under Section 194A but the High Court did not advert to the said issue. We do not find any necessity to advert to the aforesaid issues, since, different concerned Banks have already filed civil appeals challenging the judgment of the High Court rendered in their writ petition which has been separately challenged by a group of civil appeals being Civil Appeal arising