Thursday, August 7, 2014

Conducting educational diploma courses and management programmes was an educational activity under sec. 2(15)


a)The assessee, a public charitable trust, was having objects of continuing education, training and research on various facets of management and related areas.

b)It claimed exemption under section 11. The Assessing Officer (‘AO’) held that activities of assessee would fall within scope of 'advancement of any other object of general public utility’ and the assessee would not be entitled to exemption under Section 11 as its aggregate receipts exceeded the limit specified under second proviso to Section 2(15).

c)The CIT(A) confirmed the said order. Further, the Tribunal reversed the order of CIT(A). The aggrieved revenue filed the instant appeal.

The High Court held in favour of assessee as under:

1)The revenue had denied the exemption under section 11 mainly on the ground that the case of the assessee would fall under the fourth limb of the definition of 'charitable purpose' i.e. 'advancement of any other object of general public utility'.

2)The activities of the assessee such as continuing education diploma, certificate programmes; management development programmes, public seminars, workshops and conferences, etc., were educational activities. 3)Second proviso to section 2(15) would not apply in respect of relief to the poor; education or medical relief. Thus, where the purpose of a trust or institution was relief of the poor; education or medical relief, it would constitute 'charitable purpose' even if it incidentally involved the carrying on of the commercial activities.

4)In the instant case, as the activities of assessee would fall within realm of education which was a 'charitable' purpose as per section 2(15). The assessee was entitled to exemption under section 11. – DIT(Exemption) v. Ahmedabad Management Association [2014] 47 162 (Gujarat)