Profit from sale of land after dividing it into small plots not to be considered as business income

Profit from sale of land after dividing it into small plots not to be considered as business income.



Where assessee sold its land held for more than 60 years in small plots as required by end users and sale consideration was not ploughed back in land, investment, gains on sale of these plots was to be treated as capital gains.


Refer judicial pronouncement: 

[2018] 90 taxmann.com 329 (Rajkot – Trib.)
IN THE ITAT RAJKOT BENCH
Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax, Circle-2, Rajkot
v.
Narendra J. Bhimani*
PRAMOD KUMAR, ACCOUNTANT MEMBER
AND RAJPAL YADAV, JUDICIAL MEMBER
IT APPEAL NO. 411 (RJT.) OF 2012
CO NO. 18 (RJT.) OF 2012
[ASSESSMENT YEAR 2008-09]
JANUARY  31, 2018 
Section 45, read with section 28(i), of the Income-tax Act, 1961 – Capital gains – Chargeable as (Business income vs Capital gains : Land dealings) – Assessment year 2008-09 – Assessee purchased agricultural land in 1960 – With passage of time and rapid urbanization, said land, being in residential area, became non-agricultural land – As smaller sized plots were required by end-users in this area, assessee divided said land in small sized plots to get market price – He sold said plots of land – Sale consideration was not ploughed back in land investments and gains on sale of these plots was treated as capital gains – Whether said sale was not an adventure in nature of trade and, hence, proceeds of same were liable to be taxed as capital gain – Held, yes [Para 7] [In favour of assessee]
FACTS
  The assessee had sold certain plots of land, and offered to tax capital gains on such sale of plots.
  The Assessing Officer observed that the assessee had himself converted the agricultural land into non-agricultural land and divided it into small sized plots with due permission of authorities. Sale of land had been made after proper plotting (in more than 30 parts) to different parties and, thus, the sale of above land was an adventure in the nature of trade and, hence, the proceeds of same were liable to be taxed as profits from business.
  The Commissioner (Appeals) held that profit from the sale of land after plotting it out to secure better price could not be taxed as profit from an adventure in the nature of trade, and the Assessing Officer had incorrectly held the land as stock-in-trade.
  On appeal:
HELD
  There is nothing more than the activity of dividing the plots in smaller sized units which has led the Assessing Officer to believe that the assessee was carrying on an adventure in the nature of trade. What he has overlooked is a whole bunch of factors which reasonably demonstrate that not only that the assessee was never engaged in the business of dividing the large plots of land into smaller end use units, but also that what was sold by the assessee was the land possessed by the assessee for a long period of time. Due to a fundamental change in the use of land in the areas concerned, over the long period during which the assessee held the land, the sellable standard unit size had indeed considerably come down, and, in order to get the market price for land, he had to essentially divide the land holding into plot size for which there is end user market. While it may have been common to buy the land in the size that the assessee did in 60s as the use of land was agricultural at that point of time, with the passage of time, and rapid urbanization and this land now being in the residential area, where smaller sized plots were required by the end users, the assessee had no choice but to sell the land plots in smaller size to get the market price. No other approach would have enabled the assessee to get the right price in the end user market, and anything other than end user market would have reduced the selling price to factor for profit by the business which would have bought entire land just to buy it, divide it into smaller plots and sell to the end users. It was clearly a one off activity for the assessee as the assessee did not go beyond selling what he already held for the long years, and even the sale consideration was not ploughed back in land investments all along the gains on the sale of these plots was treated as capital gains, and, beyond any dispute or controversy, these lands were held as capital assets. For all these reasons, the conclusions arrived at by the Commissioner (Appeals) was upheld. [Para 7]
Usha N. Shrote for the Appellant. K.T. Hemani for the Respondent.
ORDER
Pramod Kumar, Accountant Member – This appeal, filed by the Assessing Officer, is directed against the order dated 19th March 2012 passed by the CIT(A) in the matter of assessment under section 143(3) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for the assessment year 2008-09. The assessee has also filed a cross objection but as learned counsel for the assessee fairly submits, it merely supports this order of the CIT(A) and is not, therefore, pressed. The CO is thus dismissed as not pressed.
2. Coming to the appeal filed by the Assessing Officer, in the first and second grounds of appeal, which we will take up together, the appellant has raised the following grievances:
“1.   The Ld. CIT(A)-III, Rajkot has erred in law and on facts in directing the AO to calculate the long term capital gain from the sale of “Race Course” plots as returned by the assessee instead of business income.
2.   The Ld. CIT(A)-III, Rajkot has erred in law and on facts in directing the AO to calculate the long term capital gain from the sale of “Woodland Park” plots as returned by the assessee instead of business income.”
3. Briefly stated, the relevant material facts are as follows. The assessee before us is an individual. During the course of scrutiny assessment proceedings, the Assessing Officer noted that the assessee has sold certain plots of land, and offered to tax capital gains on such sale of plots. It was explained by the assessee that there were two pieces of land – one of which (in Race Course area) was purchased by R.A. Jasani & Co, in which assessee was 12.5% partner, way back on 30th April 1964; and the other piece of land (in Haripar Pad) was purchased by the assessee on 6.4.1989. These pieces of land were all along held as capital asset and the gains of sale of part of the land even in earlier years were assessed as capital gains. The assessee submitted that since the assessee was finding it difficult to sell entire land to one single buyer at a reasonable price, he had to divide the land in small sellable pieces, by way of bifurcation and plotting activity, so as to sell the land. This was not a commercial activity or an adventure in the nature of trade. The assessee was not engaged at any point of time, prior to or after this division of large pieces of land into sellable unit size, in any business activity of dealing in land or colonization. The sale proceeds of plots were also not ploughed back into land or similar activity. Whatever was done, by way of activity of dividing the lands into small unit sizes, was a one off activity to facilitate sale of land. It was, inter alia, on the strength of these submissions and facts of the case that the assessee urged the Assessing Officer to treat the gains on sale of plot as capital gains. The Assessing Officer, however, rejected the submissions of the assessee on the basis of following reasoning:
“5. The above listed contentions of the assessee are not acceptable for the reasons below:
i.   The assessee has himself converted the said land into non agricultural land and subsequent plotting with due permission of authorities. Hence, seeking refuge in the argument that the said land is no more suitably for agriculture and hence, has been sold is not justified. In fact the assessee’s act of getting the said agricultural land converted into non agricultural and further undertaking sub plotting of the same is an important indicator of assessee’s intention of indulging in trading of the land in question, that too after plotting.
ii.   The land in which assessee has dealt includes posh area of race course and, even in general, land prices in and around Rajkot has seen a tremendous boom in recent years. Hence, the claim that assessee could not find a buyer conveniently does not seem to be true and is unacceptable Further, assessee was also queried regarding the fact that whether he made any attempt to sell the land in question as a whole to any party as such or not? This question was not answered directly by the assesses at any point of time during assessment proceedings, thus, leading to a negative conclusion in this regard. The inference that can be easily drawn is that the assessee indulged in sub plotting and conversion of land into non agricultural to fetch the best possible price for his land. The intention of the assessee was to trade in land.
iii.   It is immaterial as to what treatment was given to his receipts by assessee and whether the same were accepted by tax authorities as such or not. It is a well established principle that concept of res judicata is not applicable in Income tax proceedings. The facts in the current previous year as discussed above clearly point out that the conduct and intention of assessee was to indulge in trade of plotted lands.
vi.   Further, it is an established law that mere accounting treatment cannot be conclusive to determine the true nature of any transaction. As the Courts of the land have observed that the mention of the assessee behind such transactions are more important. The Bombay ITAT Bench in the case of Janak Rangwalla v. ACIT (2007), has observed that the intention of the assessee behind such transactions are more important. However, there cannot be any objective methodology to find out ‘intention’ of a human being. Only safe approach would be the examination of quality or such transactions. In the given case the conduct of the assessee prior to sale and the scale of transactions convey that intention of assessee was to trade in land.
6. The sale of above land was an adventure in the nature of trade and hence the proceeds of same are liable to be taxed as Profits from business because of following reasons:—
[1]   Sale of land has been made after proper plotting (in more than 30 parts) to different parties. Proper sale deeds have been entered into in respect of the same. This act itself shows that it was a business venture. Thus, magnitude of transaction tends to eliminate the possibility of investment for personal use, possession or enjoyment. Sale of land after plotting has been held as a business venture in following cases by various courts:
  G. Venkataswamy Naidu v. CIT (SC) (1959) (35 ITR 594) Indrarnani Bai v. Addl. CIT (SC) 200 ITR 594
[2]   Just as the conduct of the purchaser subsequent to the purchase of a commodity improving or converting it so as to make it more readily resaleable is a relevant factor in determining the character of the transaction, so would his conduct prior to the purchase be relevant if it shows a design and a purpose. In the present case before sale of land the assessee converted it into non agricultural land and thereafter indulged in sub plotting of the same. This was done with intention to attracting good potential buyers for the land. Thus the dominant intention of the assessee was to make profit by resale of the shares and not to make an investment Intention is a relevant factor and unless it is off-set by the presence of other factors, it would raise a strong presumption that a transaction is an adventure in the nature of trade.
[3]   In the case of CIT v. Sutlej Cotton Mills Supply Agency Ltd. 100 ITR 706 hon’ble SC has laid down that “a single transaction can also constitute trade and it is not necessary fiat assessee must be indulging in the same trade or business frequently and continuously.” Thus assessee’s contention that he is not a habitual trader in land is not acceptable. Further, previous records show that in previous year also, the assessee has indulged in selling of plots of land.
Thus total effect of all relevant factors and circumstances listed above point to the fact that the assessee has indulged in trading of plotted land and thus the sale proceeds are being treated as business income of the assessee. Cost of Haripar land is being taken as its purchase price in 1989. Total cost of race course land as per original deed was Rs.99,000/- in which assessee has a 12.5% share. Therefore cost of the said land is taken on estimate basis to be at Rs.16,000/- as some of the land has already been sold. Therefore total cost of the land sold is Rs.4,92,679 (woodland haripar park land) + Rs. 16,000 (Race course land)=Rs.5,08,679/-.
Thus business income of the assessee is being computed as under:
Business income as per return……………………….Rs.46,958/-
Add:- Income from sale of plots of land …………..Rs.72,89,400/-
Less:- cost of purchase of plots…………………Rs.5,08,679/-
Total business income……… …………………..Rs.68.27,679/-
Thus, as sale proceeds of plotted land is being treated as business income in the hands of assessee, hence, exemption u/s 54EC of Rs.18,00,000/- cannot be availed. The same is also being taxed under the head business income as computed above.”
4. Aggrieved by the stand of the Assessing Officer, assessee carried the matter in appeal before the CIT(A). Learned CIT(A) reversed the stand of the Assessing Officer and held that the gains on sale of plots are required to be treated as capital gains. While holding so, learned CIT(A) observed as follows:
‘7.1 I have gone through the assessment order, submissions of appellant and Assessing Officer. The appellant sold plot of lands at two different locations in the Financial Year relevant to Assessment Year under appeal. The first sale was of the land situated at “Race Course” in Rajkot and the second sale was of the land at Haripar village in Lodhika Talluka of Rajkot district.
7.2 The “Race course Land” was purchased by a firm R.A.Jasani & Co as agricultural land measuring 3 acres 25 gunthas of survey no 476 on 30.04.1964. Appellant was 12.5% partner in this firm. This partnership was dissolved by the order of civil court dated 07-03-2001 in Misc application no 317 of 1991 with effect from 21.11.87 u/s 42-C of the Indian Partnership Act when one of the partner Shri R A Jasani expired, as mentioned in para 10 of this order. In the same order of civil court, the sole asset of this dissolved firm, i.e. the “Race course Land survey no 476” was agreed to be divided between the erstwhile partners subject to final approval from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation. The agricultural land was in the name of the firm. On dissolution of firm the share of erstwhile partners was to be allotted in small pieces. Therefore Civil Court stated in para 15 of this order dated 07-03-2001 that as small pieces of agricultural land is not allowed in law the agricultural land shall be converted into non agricultural land. Finally appellant received the plot no 3, 51 and 53/54 vide the rectification order dated 19-2-2004 of civil court which was passed after the plan was approved by the competent authority. The plots 51 and 53/54 were relatively small in size and appellant could dispose them off in Financial Year 2006-07. However plat no 3 was much bigger, i.e. 906.57 sq m. It is convenient to find more buyers if the size of land is smaller. The smaller size of land is affordable by more buyers and suits the requirement of more buyers. Therefore sub plotting was carried out by the appellant in plot no 3 and subplots 3/3, 3/4, 3/5 and 3/6 admeasuring 434.64 sqm were sold during the Financial Year relevant to Assessment Year under appeal. The land of “Race course” held by appellant is a very old land where appellant had an interest through a partnership firm which was subsequently converted into ownership land of appellant on settlement of the issue of dissolution of the firm and subsequent allocation of such land as per share of appellant in this partnership firm. The land was undisputedly agricultural land prior to its allocation to appellant as erstwhile partner of the firm R.A.Jasani & Co. It is not possible to carry out any business activity in an agricultural land. Therefore land of “Race Course” could not be a business trading asset in the hands of the firm R.A.Jasani & Co when it was in existence. The sale proceed of such land cannot therefore be taxed as business income in the hands of the appellant u/s 176(3A) of the I.T .Act after the discontinuance of the business of the firm because it could not have been included as trading asset in the total income of the firm if it had continued. The “Race Course” land was a capital asset of the firm and after dissolution of firm vides order dated 07- 03-2001 of the civil court, the share of such land was allotted to appellant on 19-02- 2004. The conversion of this land to non agricultural land was a necessity for distribution amongst the partners. It was not any business consideration of appellant. Civil court had ordered such conversion so that the land could be distributed amongst the partners because the distribution was not possible if the land had remained in the status of agricultural land. Therefore, appellant has received the part of “Race course” land as its share from the capital asset of the firm R.A. Jasani & Co as capital asset and not as business asset. It is pertinent to mention that the intention of investment or trading in any asset is not decided at the time of sale, it is decided at the time of its acquisition. Appellant received the share of capital asset of the firm R.A. Jasani & Co on distribution after dissolution of the firm R.A. Jasani & Co. Therefore, such share has to be a capital asset in the hands of the appellant. It is not a case that appellant had purchased this land recently solely with an intention to sell. If the conversion of land into nonagricultural land is with an intention to earn profit, the intention is adventure in nature of trade. If the conversion of land into nonagricultural land is only to facilitate the distribution of land amongst the partners or to facilitate disposal of a longstanding capital asset then it cannot be considered as conversion of investment into stock in trade also. Moreover, it is a fact that the conversion from agricultural land to non agricultural land was carried out by all the erstwhile partners of “R A Jasani & Co” and not when appellant had ownership right on this land. Therefore, conversion of the land from agricultural to non-agricultural land cannot be an issue in case of appellant. The facts do not show that the appellant had subsequently carried out any activity of land development etc that may lead to the interpretation that the capital asset was converted into business asset. I do not find any organized business activity carried out by appellant after receiving the land from the distribution of larger land of the firm except that he could easily sell the smaller plots of land. In the case of CIT v. Premji Gopalbhai reported in 113 ITR 785(Guj.), relied upon by the appellant, plot inherited by the assesses was converted into non-agricultural land and was divided into plots and the assessee sold the plots as and when a purchaser was available. In this case the land was considered as investment and not stock in trade. Appellant has relied upon the decision of H’ble Allahabad High Court in case of CIT v. Shashi Kumar Agrawal reported in 195 ITR 767(All), where it is held that profit from the sale of land after plotting it out to secure better price cannot be taxed as profit from an adventure in the nature of trade. I therefore hold that Assessing Officer has incorrectly held the “Race Course” land of appellant and as stock in trade. I direct the Assessing Officer to treat the “Race Course” land as capital asset of appellant acquired by appellant on 19-02-2004.
7.3 I find that the firm was effectively dissolved from 21.11.87 u/s 42-C of the Indian Partnership Act when one of the partner Shri R A Jasani expired but the distribution of the sole asset in the form of land amongst the earlier partners or the legal heirs of such partners took place on 19.02.2004 vide the order of civil court. There was admittedly no business activity of the entity “R.A Jasani & Co” after 21.11.1987. The distribution of land standing in the name of “R.A. Jasani & Co” amongst the partners on 19.02.2004 may therefore be considered as distribution of land by “R.A.Jasani & Co” and capital gain u/s 45(4) may be attracted in case of “R.A. Jasani & Co” in Assessment Year 2004-05. The Madras High Court in case of CIT v. Vijayalakshmi Metal Industries[2002] 256 ITR 540 (Mad.) held that the relevant date for ascertaining the year in which the tax is to be levied under section 45 is the year in which the transfer takes place. That year may or may not be the year in which the dissolution of the firm takes; place. The year in which the capital gain is to be brought to tax is “the previous year in which the said transfer takes place”. It is for this reason that the capital gain in the hands of entity “R. A. Jasani & Co” will arise in Assessment Year 2004-05. I find that in such cases the provisions of section 189(1) of LT. Act become applicable even after dissolution of firm and discontinuance of its business. The fair market value of plots was determined at Rs. 5600/- per Sq. Mtr. for Financial Year 2003-04 and Assessing Officer has considered the same as reasonable in her report. Therefore, the capital gain may be calculated on the “Race course land” of “R. A. Jasani & Co.” deeming the value of consideration at a rate of Rs.5600/- per sq. Mtr. for Assessment Year 2004-05 u/s 45(4) of the I.T. Act. After allowing deduction for indexed cost of acquisition of such land at Rs 1200/- per square meter as on 01.04.1981, the capital gain would be 5600-1200 x (551/100) – (-) Rs 1012/- per Sq. Mtr. As there is no positive capital gain on distribution of land of Race Course, no further action is required in case of “R. A. Jasani & Co”.
7.4 As far as appellant is concerned, the part of “Race course land” may be said to be the individual property of appellant from 19.02.2004. In case of Smt. Laxmi Jain v. Dy. CIT89 ITD 470 (ITAT-Mumbai), it was held that the deeming provision, whereby the cost of previous owner is taken as cost of acquisition by the person who acquired the property, is not made applicable to cases where a partner receives property from firm on retirement, therefore, for the purposes of determining the cost of acquisition of the asset, as per section 48(ii) whereas the distribution of assets on retirement of a partner was not covered by section 49 which implies that the cost of acquisition of the asset in the hands of the retiring partners should be the market value on the date of retirement and not the cost for which the previous owner of the property acquired it. Since the consideration of the transfer of collective land of “R.A. Jasani & Co.” to individual members has been considered at a rate of Rs 5600/-per sq. Mtr. the same rate of Rs 5600/- per sq. Mtr. may be considered as cost of acquisition in hands of members including the appellant. The period of holding of land received on distribution in the hands of appellant will be from the date of distribution of asset, i.e. 19-02-2004 as per the decision in case of P. P. Menon v. CIT(2010) 325 ITR 122 (Ker).
The capital gain in the hands of appellant may be calculated as under:
  Plot No. Sq. mt. FMV on 19/2/04 Indexed value Sale Value LTCG
  3/part3 108.66 Rs. 5600 per sq. mt. 108.66*5600 *551/463=724150 1170000 445850
  3/part4 108.66 Rs. 5600 per sq. mt. 108.66*5600 *551/463=724150 1170000 445850
  3/part5 108.66 Rs. 5600 per sq. mt. 108.66 *5600*551/463=724150 1177500 453350
  3/part6 108.66 Rs. 5600 per sq. mt. 108.66*5600 *551/463=724150 1177500 453350
  TOTAL LTCG BEFORE EXEMPTION U ‘S 54EC 1798400
The net long term capital gain from sale of Plot No 3 (part 3,4,5,6) of “Race Course” Sand was returned at Rs. 18,06,160/- by the appellant in the return of income which is quite similar to Rs. 17,98,400/-. Considering the fact that the fair market at Rs 5600/- per sq. mtr. considered during the appellate proceeding is only an estimation, I direct the Assessing Officer to calculate the long term capital gain from sale of “Race Course” plots as returned by appellant in the return of income at Rs. 18,06,160/-.
7.5 The other land which was sold by appellant was; the land at Haripar pad, Survey No 56/1/10 and known as “Woodland Park”. This land was purchased by appellant on 06.04.1989 as Agricultural land. Appellant got this land converted into non agricultural land and sub plotted the land after the purchase. Though a long period of holding may indicate the intention of investment, but the issue has to be decided on the basis of intention at the time of purchase. The land was purchased as agricultural land way back in 1989 but the purpose of purchase of land was never to carry out any agricultural activity as admitted by the appellant. This agricultural land was converted into a nonagricultural land after the purchase and sub plotting was carried out. This activity of appellant is required to be examined. The conversion and sub plotting are activities, which together may constitute the intention of making profit if such activities are not in isolation but frequent activities. The appellant entered into solitary purchase and did sell some sub plots between 1989 to 1993 but retained the balance sub plots till Financial Year 2007-08 and did not indulge in activity of similar repurchases. Moreover, the unsold sub plots were held for about 18 long years without any series of purchases and sales which is very unlikely in case of a trader The conversion of the agricultural land as nonagricultural land and sub plotting may be with an intention to carry out business activity if such activities are frequent and with additional business activities. The conversion and sub plotting may be to simply make the sale of investment easier in future by converting it into nonagricultural land and making sub plots so that it is easier to find more buyers and the sale of investment may become easier. Therefore, other factors are also required to be considered in arriving at the decision whether appellant purchased the land for trading purpose or for investment purpose. There is no regular activity of buying, improving, developing, and related business activity with such land which could support the view that the land was purchased for business purpose. It is unlikely that a land could be purchased for business purpose and retained for decades without doing any activity related to trade. There are no frequent sales and further purchases. The act of sub-plotting was done with a view to make disinvestment easy and quicker at any time in future. The land has been shown under head assets in the, Balance sheet filed from year to year and the purchase of land had never been considered as trading purchase. The appellant had otherwise also not indulged in the activity of trading in land. The act of development of land to make is suitable for any construction activity is part of organized business activity. In present case, I do not find any organized business activity carried out by appellant after converting the land into non-agricultural land except that he could easily sell the smaller plots of land. The sale of one piece of land may not have suitable buyer or it may be sold only on discount resulting in depreciation of its actual market value. Therefore, appellant converted it into non-agricultural land so that it could be divided into smaller pieces because there are more buyers for smaller pieces of land. The capital asset was there with appellant for last 18 years and the act of appellant to facilitate the sale of its capital asset so that it could be easily sold in parts and its market value is not sacrificed, cannot be said to be an act of adventure in the nature of trade. There is a solitary instance of purchase and subsequent few and far spaced sales and no other repurchases which generally happens with investment and is not likely to happen in trading. An isolated activity cannot come within the purview of adventure in the nature of trade and business. In” the case of CIT v. Premji Gopalbhai reported in 113 ITR 785 (Guj.), relied upon by the appellant, plot acquired by the assessee was converted into non-agricultural land and was divided into plots and the assessee sold the plots as and when a purchaser was available. In this case the land was considered as investment and not stock in trade. Appellant has relied upon the decision of H’ble Allahabad High Court in case of CIT v. Shashi Kumar Agrawal reported in 195 ITR 767(All), where it is held that profit from the sale of land after plotting it out to secure better price cannot be taxed as profit from an adventure in the nature of trade, I therefore hold that Assessing Officer has incorrectly held the woodland park land as stock in trade. I direct the Assessing Officer to treat the land as capital asset of appellant. The long term capital gain from sale of “Woodland Park” plots may be calculated as returned by appellant in return of income at Rs.10,31,108/-.’
5. The Assessing Officer is aggrieved of the relief so granted by the CIT(A) and is in appeal before us.
6. We have heard the rival contentions, perused the material on record and duly considered facts of the case in the light of the applicable legal position.
7. We find that there is nothing more than the activity of dividing the plots in smaller sized units which has led the Assessing Officer to believe that the assessee was carrying on an adventure in the nature of trade. What he has overlooked is a whole bunch of factors which reasonably demonstrate that not only that the assessee was never engaged in the business of dividing the large plots of land into smaller end use units, but also that what was sold by the assessee was the land possessed by the assessee for a long period of time. Due to a fundamental change in the use of land in the areas concerned, over the long period during which the assessee held the land, the sellable standard unit size had indeed considerably come down, and, in order to get the market price for land, he had to essentially divide the land holding into plot size for which there is end user market While it may have been common to buy the land in the size that the assessee did in 60s as the use of land was agricultural at that point of time, with the passage of time, rapid urbanization and this land now being in the residential area, where smaller sized plots were required by the end users, the assessee had no choice but to sell the land plots in smaller size to get the market price. No other approach would not have enabled the assessee to get the right price in the end user market, and anything other than end user market would have reduced the selling price to factor for profit by the business which would have bought entire land just to buy it, divide it into smaller plots and sell to the end users. It was clearly a one off activity for the assessee as the assessee did not go beyond selling what he already held for the long years, and even the sale consideration was not ploughed back in land investments. We have also noticed that all along the gains on the sale of these plots was treated as capital gains, and, beyond any dispute or controversy, these lands were held as capital gains. For all these reasons, and for the detailed reasoning adopted by the CIT(A) reproduced earlier in this order- with which we are in considered agreement, we approve the conclusions arrived at by the learned CIT(A) and decline to interfere in the matter.
8. Ground nos. 1 and 2 are thus dismissed.
9. So far as ground no. 3 is concerned, grievance of the revenue is that ld. CIT(A) has erred in law and on facts in directing the Assessing Officer to reduce the income under the head “income from other sources” by Rs.15,490/-. No specific arguments are advanced in support of this ground, and rightly so, because the relief granted by the CIT(A) is on account of duality of disallowance in the sense the disallowance deleted was unwarranted as the same was already accounted for the in the figure of income from other sources, which was taken by the Assessing Officer at Rs 2,42,073 as against the actual figure of Rs 2,26,583. The impugned disallowance was thus clearly a double disallowance. Learned Departmental Representative could not bring on record any material to dislodge these well reasoned findings of the CIT(A). We approve the conclusions arrived at by the learned CIT(A) on this point as well, and decline to interfere in the matter.
10. Ground no. 3 is also dismissed.
11. In the result the appeal is dismissed. To sum up, the CO and the appeal are dismissed.


*In favour of assessee.

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