Scholarship ad in Urdu does not mean it  intended for one community alone: Delhi High Court

The High Court  hearing a slew of appeals filed by the;  Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemption) opposing a ruling of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in a Hamdard Foundation case.

The Delhi High Court ruled that just because a scholarship advertising was published in Urdu, it cannot be assumed that it was only meant for students from a certain group [Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemption) Delhi VS Hamdard National Foundation (India)].

The statement  made by a Division Bench of Justices Manmohan and Dinesh Kumar Sharma while;  dealing with a batch of appeals filed by; the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) contesting a judgement of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.

According to the appeals, a common point of law arose as a result of the tribunal’s judgement allowing the assessee’s (Hamdard Foundation) appeal despite the fact that it had paid the majority of the scholarship money to students of a certain religious group. This, according to the court, was a clear breach of Section 13(1)(b) of the Income Tax Act of 1961.

The appellant further claimed that; the Foundation’s advertisement for educational scholarships  only published in Urdu, and in one publication. This, it  said, plainly suggested that;  the Foundation wished to limit the distribution of the scholarship advertisement since its goal  to benefit only a specific religious community.

The High Court, on the other hand, stated that; a review of the paper-book indicated that;  both the Commissioner Income Tax (Appeal) and the tribunal  made a concurrent conclusion that;  the benefit of the scholarship to poor and needy students  not limited to students from a certain group.

According to the Bench, an assessment of the list supplied by the Hamdard Foundation revealed that the award benefitted students from all groups without prejudice.

“Moreover, simply because; an advertising  published in Urdu, and only in one newspaper, it cannot be assumed that;  it  exclusively directed at students from a certain group.” In fact, in the assessment year 2010-11, a similar decision of CIT(A)  accepted by the revenue and  not even contested before the Tribunal,” the Court stated.

As a result, the appeals  dismissed by the court, which noted that; no substantive point of law arose in them.

While the commissioner of income tax  represented by; Senior Standing Counsel Abhishek Maratha, the Hamdard Foundation  represented by Senior Advocate Salil Aggarwal, along with attorneys Madhur Aggarwal and Uma Shankar.

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