“A” STANDS FOR ANY OR MANY?

Full text

(1)

“A” STANDS FOR ANY OR MANY?

A BIZARRE CLASH OF LAW V/S LANGUAGE

DR PARAS JAIN

“A” STANDS FOR ANY OR MANY?

A BIZARRE CLASH OF LAW V/S LANGUAGE

DR PARAS JAIN

(2)

Background Background

When a tax payer sells “a” residential house

OR

any other taxable long-term asset other than “a”

residential house. Eg: commercial property, gold, units of non-equity funds, etc.

There is no Income tax liability if

he purchases or constructs “a” residential house within the stipulated periods under Section 54/54F of Income Tax Act .

(3)

The Moot Question The Moot Question

What does the article “a” used before ‘residential house’

mean ?

Does “a” mean ONE : OR

Does “a” mean More than ONE?

NO tax if ONE house purchased and Tax payable if TWO OR MORE houses purchased/ constructed?

IF a Tax payer purchases or constructs two residential houses, will only one of these will be considered for the tax concession?

(4)

Moot Question Moot Question

Where does the problem lie ?

Is it plain English usage of the article “a” or

Do the lawmakers really intend the exemption only for one house.

A teacher is one who teaches – does it mean only ONE teacher should teach or ALL

teachers should Teach ????

(5)

Arguments Arguments

• “A” is used by default because the other two articles

“an” or “the” could not be used for grammatical reasons;

“A” literally means “only one” . So A house must mean ONE HOUSE .

What did the lawmakers mean - To boost housing generally OR

-To Encourage individuals without house to buy one house.

BOTH THE ARGUMENTS ARE EQUALLY VALID – SO THE CONFUSION

(6)

Reactions of those who matter

1. Parliament did not think it fit to clarify the issue.

2. Central Board of Direct Taxes CBDT believes in the dictum

SILENCE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SPEECH.

3. Finally the Courts - let’s have a look !

(7)

ANY OR MANY ??

First View

ANY OR MANY ??

First View

‘A’ can be ‘Any’

but

‘Any’ cannot be ‘Many’.

[Re: Gulshanbanoo R Mukhi vs. Joint CIT (Bom) 2002 ITD 649 (Mum) ]‘

(8)

SECOND VIEW:

ANY AND MANY

“A” is equivalent to ‘Any’ in singular sense

But singular includes plural” [the General Clauses Act]

So “A” means MANY !!!

If the legislation wanted “A” to mean One they could have used

“One” NOT A. E.g. Wealth-Tax Act and the Estate Duty Act use ONE HOUSE not A HOUSE

( Re: Fulwanti C Rathod vs. ITO, (ITA 1092/Mum. /1995),

(9)

Third View- 2 in 1 Third View- 2 in 1

if the two flats of the building are situated in same compound and within common boundaries and have unity of structure, then they could be regarded as constituting one house

[Shiv Narain Chaudhari vs. CWT (108 ITR 104) All ]

(10)

Fourth view-

Neither 2 Nor Half

.

If the stand that ‘A’ is not two is accepted, then

‘a’ can also not mean half. Half means joint owner say two brothers or spouses /

•( In this case argument was “a” means one so half is not allowed )

•Re: ITO vs. Rasiklal N Satra (280ITR243 ), T

•Co- ownership is not absolute ownership. So

“A” does not hit !!!

(11)

FINALLY FINALLY

Relevant sections 54,54F

And what is your view

Any or Many ???

Figure

Updating...

References

Updating...

Related subjects :