When a Tribunal which is the highest fact finding authority has given a categorical finding, the Court has no reason to interfere : Delhi High Court  

A Tribunal is established to ensure that it categorizes and analyses the required categories justly, however the court will find no reason to question their decision when the work is done properly. This was held in the judgment passed by a single judge comprising HON’BLE JUSTICES MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN and MR. JUSTICE NAVIN CHAWLA, in the matter COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX (EXEMPTIONS) DELHI V. NATIONAL SAFAI KARAMCHARIS FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed a petition challenging the order dated 20th November, 2019 passed by the ITAT for AY 2017-18.

The counsel for the Appellant states that the ITAT erred in allowing the exemption under Section 10(26B) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to the Assessee and in not appreciating that this benefit is specifically restricted to promotion of interest of members of SC, ST, OBC community only. He states that the target group of the assessee are ‘ Safai Karmacharis’, who may or may not belong to SC, ST or OBC community.

In the court’s opinion, the Tribunal has given a categorical finding of fact that the respondent assessee, which is a Section 25 Company fully owned by the Government of India, uses its funds exclusively for the benefit of SC community who are inhabitants of Delhi.

The order states that The requirement of Section 10(26B) is that a Corporation established by a Central or State Act, wholly financed by the Government and working for the promotion of interest of the members of Schedule Castes or the Scheduled Tribes or other backward classes is entitled to claim the benefit of section 10(26B) and income shall not be included in total income.

As its names suggests the assessee has been engaged in the work of development of the National SafaiKaramcharis who are involved in the upliftment of SafaiKaramcharis & Manual Scavengers who belong to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Other Backward Classes and also in the inhumane practice of scavenging and other sanitation activities.

The letter dated 22.03.2000 clinches the issue wherein the state agency clearly stated that the finances from the assessee to the State agency was exclusively for the benefit of SC community inhabiting the Delhi area and possessing the Certificate to such an effect. It also stated therein that a general agreement was on this aspect between the assessee and state agency. These circumstances do not admit of any doubt as to the entitlement of the assessee to claim the benefit under section 10(26B).

After hearing both the parties The hon’ble Delhi High court dismissed the petition and  held that since the Tribunal which is the highest fact finding authority has given a categorical finding, which suffers from no perversity, this Court finds no reason to interfere.

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