Bad Debts Acquired from Predecessor-in-Interest: Delhi HC upholds Disallowance on Bad Debts amounting to Rs 5 crores [Read Order]

The Delhi High Court upheld the disallowance amounting to Rupees 5 crores on bad debts as they were obtained from predecessor-in-interest. The sole ground on which the impugned order is sought to be assailed is that the deduction qua bad debts acquired by the respondent/assessee, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd, from its predecessor-in-interest, i.e., Eicher Motors Ltd. [EML], on acquisition of its commercial vehicle division in a scheme of demerger, was not permissible as per the provisions of Sections 36(1)(vii) read with Section 36(2) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Ruchir Bhatia, senior standing counsel, who appeared on behalf of the appellant/revenue, does not dispute the fact that the subject debts have become bad. It is also not disputed that the predecessor-in-interest i.e., EML had offered for imposition of tax the subject debts at a relevant point in time.

Therefore, the only issue which arose for consideration before the statutory authorities was as to whether the successor-in-interest i.e., the respondent/assessee, could have written off the debts which were already turned bad. A Division Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Girish Kathpalia observed that “The Commissioner of Income Tax [“CIT(A)”] via his order dated 20.11.2015 has ruled in favour of the respondent/assessee. 6.1 This view has been sustained by the Tribunal. According to us, this issue is no longer res integra, given the factual matrix arising in the instant matter and in view of the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court in Commissioner of Income Tax v. T. Veerabhadra Rao.

This view has also found resonance with a judgment rendered by the coordinate bench of this court in CIT v. Times Business Solution Ltd.” “Having regard to the factual position and the legal principles enunciated in the judgments referred to hereinabove, we are of the opinion that no interference is called for with the impugned order. The disallowance concerning bad debts amounting to Rs.5,96,20,438/- was correctly deleted” the Court noted.

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