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Report No. 49

23. Law Ministry's Advice on the Estate Duty Bill.-

It appears that the validity of this provision was doubted by the late Dr. Alladi Krishnaswami lyer,1 and the Ministry of Finance consulted2 the Ministry of Law on the subject when the Bill was under discussion. The gist of the advice given by the Ministry of Law was as follows3:-

"A question has been raised as to whether the aggregation of agricultural land in a non-scheduled State would be constitutional. A further contention may also be raised that as the Parliament is acting as an agent of the Scheduled States, the agricultural lands in these States should be treated as separate estates. The doubt arises from the fact that the States which have not agreed may pass their own legislation to assess an estate duty on such lands, and further because in the Income-tax Act the agricultural income arising in a State which is exempted from income-tax is not included for that purpose. The power given to the Parliament to legislate on the subject of estate duty in respect of property other than agricultural land should necessarily be construed in its widest amplitude and it would be open to Parliament to adopt any method by which property within its jurisdiction are assessed to estate duty."

1. As a Member of the Rajya Sabha.

2. Lok Sabha Debates, 8th September, 1953.

3. Lok Sabha Debates, 8th September, 1953.

The Proposal for inclusion of Agricultural Income in the Total Income for the purpose of determining the Rat of Tax under the Income-Tax Act, 1961 Back

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