The Tax Publishers2020 TaxPub(DT) 5478 (Mad-HC) : (2020) 428 ITR 0038


Section 80-IA(4)

Container freight station (CFS) being part of Inland port, the assessee having CFS would be entitled to infrastructure facility and eligible for deduction under section 80-IA(4)(i).

Deduction under section 80-IA(4) - Infrastructure facility - Container freight station (CFS) whether part of Inland Port -

In the earlier year when as can be seen from the notification of Ministry of Commerce and the Guidelines the approval was subject to the creation of minimum level of infrastructure facilities. Hence, it was an essential part of the CFS operation business of the appellant. In fact, the situation is like that there can be a warehouse without CFS but not a CFS without warehousing as can be seen from the notification pertaining to the appellant where it was part of minimum level of infrastructure. Hence, in such a situation warehousing income, had to be treated as part of CFS income and eligible for deduction under section 80-IA. The Tribunal allowed the warehousing income to be a part of CFS income and held that the assessee would be eligible for deduction under section 80-IA. It further observed that the warehousing facilities in the assessee's case were a part of CFS being a necessary infrastructure and that the notification issued by the Ministry, Government of India was very clearly worded in this aspect. The common order passed by the Tribunal for the assessment years, namely, 2002-03 and 2003-04, dated 14-6-2011 was placed before the Tribunal. But the Tribunal had not adverted to the same. Held: The Tribunal referred to the order passed in the assessee's own case for the assessment years 2008-09 and 2009-10 in I.T.A. Nos. 1032 and 1033 of 2013, dated 21-11-2013. This observation was found in paragraph 3 of the impugned common order wherein the Tribunal recorded the submissions of the assessee. However, in the discussion portion of the impugned common order, the said decision was not applied by the Tribunal while remanding the matter to the AO. The Tribunal ought to have applied the decision in the assessee's own case. In any event, since the matter had been sent back to the AO, this court was not inclined to interfere with the order passed by the Tribunal. The Tribunal cannot ignore the decision of a Co-ordinate Bench, unless it distinguishes the decision on the merits or if it disagrees with the view taken by the Tribunal and the only option would be to refer the same for consideration to a Larger Bench. The Tribunal did not do either of the options available to it. Container freight station (CFS) was a part of inland port and therefore, the assessee therein was entitled to the infrastructure facility as defined in the Explanation to section 80-IA(4)(i). The matters were remanded to the AO with a direction to apply the decision of the Tribunal in ITA. Nos. 825 and 826/Mds/2010, dated 14-6-2011 and pass fresh orders on the merits and in accordance with law. Assessee would also place before the AO, the communications received from the Government of India.

Followed:CIT v. A.L. Logistics (P) Ltd. (2015) 374 IT 609 (Mad-HC) : 2015 TaxPubDT) 2635 (Mad-HC) [TCA No. 1031 of 2014, dated 23-12-2014].

REFERRED : United Liner Agencies of India (P) Ltd. v. Jt. CIT (OSD) ITA Nos. 273 and 275/Mum/2013, dated 28-6-2013.

FAVOUR : In assessee's favour.

A.Y. : 2006-07 to 2011-12