The assessee is in second round of appeal before us since the matter was earlier remanded back by co-ordinate bench of Tribunal (ITA No.61/Mum/2011 order dated 07/02/2014)
IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL “H” BENCH, MUMBAI
BEFORE HON’BLE SHRI AMARJIT SINGH, JM AND HON’BLE SHRI MANOJ KUMAR AGGARWAL, AM (Hearing through Video Conferencing Mode)
Assessment Year: 2007-08
Hindustan Oil Exploration Co. Ltd. Khetwari Darbar Road Off-Linking Road, Khar (W) Mumbai-400 052
PAN/GIR No. AAACH-1407-P
ACIT-12(2)(2) Aaykar Bhavan, 145A, 1st Floor M.K. Road Mumbai-400 020
Assessee by:Shri Nishit Gandhi-Ld. AR
Revenue by:Shri Gurbinder Singh-Ld. DR
Date of Hearing:15/07/2021
Date of Pronouncement: 26/07/2021
The assessee is in second round of appeal before us since the matter was earlier remanded back by co-ordinate bench of Tribunal (ITA No.61/Mum/2011 order dated 07/02/2014) to the file of Ld. Assessing Officer (AO)
2. The observation of the bench that drilling activity could not be separated from prospecting activity. The minerals are down to the earth’s crust and without drilling, the operations of prospecting and exploration could not be carried out. In the above background, Ld.AO was directed to verify the expenses and various details after considering relevant clauses of the agreement.
3.During appellate proceedings, the assessee pleaded that deduction in respect of expenses incurred for exploration and drilling is allowable even after commencement of commercial production. The Ld. AR also submitted that pursuant to the directions of Tribunal for AY 2009-10, Ld. AO allowed similar claim u/s. 42(1)(b). The assessee also submitted that it incurred various expenses for exploration and development before the blocks were put on commercial production. The expenses incurred by the Company were as per the PSC.
4. Upon perusal of assessment order, we find that the main reason to deny the deduction of expenditure is the conclusion of Ld. AO that expenses incurred for exploration or development were after the start of commercial production and therefore, the expenditure would not qualify for deduction u/s 42. The expenditure was for enhancement of productivity. Similar view was stated to be taken in AY 2006-07.
5. In view of the foregoing, we direct Ld. AO to allow the deduction of impugned expenditure.
The appeal stands allowed in terms of our above order.
Order pronounced on 26th July 2021
Please find attached the enclosed file for the full judgement