An entity having charitable character which is not established for benefit of a particular community is entitled to Sec 80G(5)(ii) benefit: Amritsar ITAT
In the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal
The Extract of the Judgment given below :
The assessee Shirmoni Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, a statutory body created under Sikh Gurudwara Act, 1925 was enacted for administration of Sikh Gurudwaras was also engaged in numerous charitable activities like running School, colleges, Medical colleges, Hospitals, Library, Sarai, Lunger, flood relief camps etc., for benefit of all communities/religions. The activities of assessee could not be termed as being done only for benefit of particular community/religion, hence, assessee would be entitled to benefit under section 80G(5)(ii).
It was contended that the provisions of section 80G(5)(iii), which states that “the institution or fund is not expressed to be for the benefits of any particular religious community or caste.” The mandatory provision is irrespective of the expenses incurred on religious activities. The benefit of clause 5(B) to section 80G can be taken only in those situations wherein an institution inadvertently incurs certain expenses which may be religious in nature but such benefits cannot be extended to an institution which is expressed to be for the benefit to any particular religious community.
However, it was observed that SGPC being a Statuary body having functions of a “State” and is constituted for exercising general supridence over all “Committees of Sikh Gurdwaras ” and has not been formed for the benefit of the Sikh community only nor does any provision of Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, say that SGPC (Board) is a religious body. “Committees of Sikh Gurdwaras ” are responsible for all the religious activities and not the Board (i.e., SGPC). In other words, it can be said that the Board (i.e., SGPC) is not created for the benefit of Sikh Religious Community only and is for the public at large and therefore, entitled for registration u/s 80G.
From the reading of Sikh RehtMaryada, Act of 1925,and other contemporary material available on the Activities of the Assessee, including the income and expenditure account, balance sheet etc. it is clear that in Sikhism, there is no distinction based on caste ,creed, sex etc . As is clear from the Sikh RehtMaryada, the place of worship( gurudwaras ) are open for all human beings irrespective of caste creed or religion, similarly, the Karda Prasad, is also distributed to the Sangat without making any discrimination, School, colleges , Medical colleges, Hospitals, Library, Sarai, are open for all human beings irrespective of caste creed or religion. In fact all the establishments were run by the Sikh community, under the ages of the Assessee are open for humanity and, the Assessee through its community is serving to the cause of humanity.
Therefore, when few historical Gurudwaras being place of public worship have been notified u/s 80G(2)(B), then the Board (i.e. SGPC) cannot be denied registration u/s 80G as it exercises general superintendence over Gurudwaras and charges 10% of the income of the Gurudwaras which is then used by SGPC, inter-alia, for charitable purposes for the public at large without discrimination of religion, caste, creed, color, sex, race etc.
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