Land can be held as agricultural land if agricultural operations have occurred
IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
The Relevant Text of the Order as follows :
20. As already mentioned, the question whether land was used for agricultural purpose or not to be considered as Agricultural land is a question of fact to be decided on the basis of facts and circumstances of a given case. The decisions cited by the learned counsel for Assessee in the case of Venkateswara Hospital (supra) is a case where the Hon’ble High Court of Madras refused to entertain an appeal on the ground that the question whether a property is Agricultural land or not is essentially a question of fact which action was confirmed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
The decision does not per se lay down any proposition that classification of land in the revenue record as Agricultural land is conclusive to hold that the land in question is agricultural land, as is sought to be canvassed by the learned counsel for the Assessee before us. As far as the decision of the Hon’ble Madras High Court in the case of Sakuntunala Vedachalam (supra) it was held that the user of adjacent lands for non agricultural purposes cannot be the basis to conclude that the Assessee’s lands cannot be regarded as Agricultural lands. No such conclusion has been drawn in the present case on the basis of potential use for of the land for non agricultural purpose.
As far as the decision of Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the case of CIT vs. Smt. Debbie Alemao and Joaquim Alemao,(supra) is concerned, the ratio laid down therein is that where the land is shown in revenue record as agricultural land and no permission was taken for conversion of land, it is immaterial whether any agricultural income is shown in the return or not. The basis on which revenue authorities came to a conclusion that the property is not Agricultural land in the present case is different from the facts of the case decided by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court viz., the fact that agricultural income from the property had not been declared by the Assessee.
21. If one considers the facts and circumstances of the present case as a whole and an overall view is to be taken in deciding whether the land was an agricultural land, one would come to a conclusion that the property cannot be considered as Agricultural land. Though the circumstance that the land is classified as Agricultural in the revenue records is in favour of the assessee, in our view, the other circumstances pointed out above outweighs all of the circumstances in favour of the Assessee and on the basis of those circumstances, we are inclined to conclude that the property was not an agricultural land. We therefore find no merits in this appeal and hence dismiss the same.
22. In the result, the appeal is dismissed.
Pronounced in the open court on this 4th day of September, 2020.