Concealed consideration on sale of Agricultural Land is not Agricultural Income – ITAT


Agricultural Income

ACIT vs. Mohinder Singh (ITAT Chandigarh)

S. 2(1A)/ 68: An assessee who understates the consideration received for sale of agricultural land to avoid payment of stamp duty is defrauding the exchequer. He cannot take advantage of his own wrong and is estopped from contending that the amount received from the purchaser is a higher amount than was stated in the agreement. The incremental amount is assessable as ‘income from other sources’ and not as ‘agricultural income’. However, penalty u/s 271(1)(c) cannot be levied for the said wrong claim

Both seller and purchaser are estopped from their act and conduct to take such a self -contradictory plea. Not only the earlier but the later authorities also are the public officers appointed for the collection of taxes contributing to the public exchequer (may be of the State or of the Union) and a person having represented the factum of the transaction in a particular manner at one stage to a public officer and getting a wrongful benefit is estopped to deny the same to the subsequent public authority. Both authorities being employee and representative of the government.

The principle of estoppel in the light of the provisions of section 115 of the Evidence Act gets attracted in such a case. Even otherwise, recognizing such a transaction will amount to over riding the provisions of Transfer of Property Act and Indian Registration Act. In view of the above discussion. It can be safely held that not only legally but also ethically and morally. The parties to a registered document are not allowed to deny the terms of the document. Until and unless the very validity or execution of such a document is disputed….

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