S. 80IB(10) Do not mandate that housing project must be on vacant land plot having minimum one acre area

For the purposes of Section 80IB (10) it is not the mandate of the Section that the housing project must be on a vacant plot of land having minimum area of one acre and that where a new housing project is constructed on a plot of land having minimum area of one acre but with existing housing projects would qualify for Section 80IB (10) deduction. Even otherwise, the argument of the Revenue does not stand to reason because, in the city of Mumbai where there is acute space crunch, it is difficult to find a vacant plot having minimum area of one acre and even if few such plots are existing it cannot be said that Section 80IB (10) deduction was intended to give benefit only to the undertakings who construct housing projects on those few plots. Therefore, it is clear that on a plot of land having minimum area of one acre, there can be any number of housing projects and so long as those housing projects are approved by the local authority and fulfill the conditions set out under Section 80IB (10), the deduction thereunder cannot be denied to all those housing projects. Section 80IB (10) while specifying the size of the plot of land, does not specify the size or the number of housing projects that are required to be undertaken on a plot having minimum area of one acre. As a result, significance of the size of the plot of land is lost and, therefore, the assessee subject to fulfilling other conditions becomes entitled to Section 80IB (10) deduction on construction of a housing project on a plot having area of one acre, irrespective of the fact that there exist other housing projects or not. In these circumstances, the decision of the Tribunal in rejecting the contention of the Revenue regarding the size of the plot cannot be faulted.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

INCOME TAX APPEAL NO.3633 OF 2009

INCOME TAX APPEAL NO.4361 OF 2010

The Commissioner of Income Tax





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