Book Reviews
Book Review: Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of Income-Tax’ 10th Edition

Launching the 10th edition of Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of Income-Tax’ at Moneylife Foundation event, noted income tax jurist Soli Dastur reviewed the book orally

The classics Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of income-tax’ has been updated by prolific writer and Supreme Court advocate and expert in tax and constitutional law Arvind Datar.


Renowned tax jurist Sohrab Erach Dastur, popularly known as Soli Dastur, while speaking at a Moneylife Foundation event to launch 10th edition of Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of income-tax’, talked about the book and Nani Palkhivala. In his oral review, Mr Dastur mentioned some important cases and facts from the book and new features of the book, which is updated by Mr Datar.


The 10th Edition has several new and innovative features. Mr Dastur recommends reading the preface by Mr Datar and said, “He (Mr Datar) broaches out all the issues which are very relevant today, and will continue to be relevant in the future as well.  In the 10th edition, what was previously relegated to additional cases is now being incorporated in the main book itself. This gives the reader all the cases and the subjects in one place, so that there is no need to refer to another part of the two volume book.”


While telling about the features of the book, Mr Dastur said, “One of the important features of this massive book is to give you food for thought. It is not to be just a compendium of cases, one has to be forthright in his view, express them regardless of whether they are right or wrong. Mr Datar’s views are mainly right but nevertheless one has to express. Mr Datar never hesitated to comment adversely on decided cases or on certain provisions in the Income Tax Act.


Mr Datar has condemned the views taken by the Supreme Court in connection with the scope of Section 147 of the Income Tax Act. He has also, in very bold and strong language, condemned the decision of the Full Bench of the Kerala High Court in select cases. Arvind Datar has not hesitated to dish out on how the Supreme Court was wrong in its interpretation of income derived from an undertaking. Also, there are select decisions that Arvind Datar has dealt with, and has condemned certain notions and interpretations which have been taken by the Supreme Court over the years, said Soli Dastur.


Mr Datar has condemned the decision of the Supreme Court, which has been quoted so often today in Azadi Bachav and in Turk war, where the Supreme Court gave a revolutionary meaning to the world, “Maybe Taxed,” appearing in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, said Mr Dastur.


Mr Dastur brings attention on what the Supreme Court says, that if a power to tax is given to an outside country to tax income, it means the residence country has given up his power to tax that. Mr Datar disagrees with this view in the book. “However, we need to remember that this gives us the real meaning to avoidance of double tax as contrasted with relief from double taxation,” Mr Dastur said.


In the book, Mr Datar refers to the Direct Tax Code or DTC and wishes that it will never become the law. Echoing the same, Mr Dastur said, “There are various provisions in the Code, which has been interpreted word-by-word and given meaning by the various courts. Therefore, when one tries to express the same intent in the court, the language is changed. So, this gives rise to the possibility of litigation simply because of the wording.”


While ending his speech and review, Mr Dastur said, if one wants to know about the modern position of the tax law and practice, this book is an essential part of anyone’s bookshelf, especially budding lawyers, tax practitioners, chartered accountants and even the lay public who has an interest in income tax.


The first edition of Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of Income-Tax’ was released in 1950, when Mr Palkhivala was just 30 years old and five years into practice at the bar. Mr Dastur said, “Very few other books go on to become a classic, written by a person at a tender young age.”


Mr Dastur, while talking on popularity of book, said, “There were two supplements in between, the supplements of the 6th and 7th edition and there were also reprints of the book on two occasions, reprints in the same year. This shows the popularity of book and there is likely to be a reprint of 10th edition of book well before 2015. It would be good if Mr Datar comes out with an updated edition of the book on 16 January 2020, the birth centenary of Nani Palkhivala.”


Author: Arvind Datar

Publisher: LexisNexis

Price: MRP Rs4,995 (Vol. I & II combined)



nagesh kini

3 years ago

As an addendum to the book review I'd like to suggest a must read. Mr. Palkhivala's Foreward to the very first edition is a classic piece of English literature. He explains the distinction between 'tax planning' and 'tax evasion'.

Milind Deora takes up Mumbai rail issues with Kharge

The Mumbai MP has sought urgent intervention of the railway minister to reduce the gap between platforms and trains and also made available ambulances at all suburban railway stations

Milind Deora, union minister of state for Communications, IT & Shipping, and member of Parliament (MP) from Mumbai South constituency has taken up the suburban rail commuters' issues with the railway minister. This follows a memorandum from Moneylife Foundation and Samir Zaveri Railway Helpline on behalf of Mumbaikars to the MP urging his urgent intervention in stopping deaths on Mumbai rail tracks due to the wide gap between platforms and trains.


Deora, in a letter written to Mallikarjun Kharge has requested the railway minister to initiate strong measures to ensure passenger travel safety in Mumbai. He urged the minister to take following steps to prevent rail accidents like the recent one where one young girl lost both her arms after falling through the wide gap between platform and local train at Ghatkopar station in Mumbai.


1. An ambulance should be made readily available at all stations along with first-aid kits so that the injured persons can be attended to immediately and rushed to nearby hospital, if needed.

2. Bridging the gap between the platform and the train should be expedited.

3. Emergency medical rooms should be made available at all suburban stations to treat injured persons, as ordered by the Bombay High Court.

4. In case of emergencies and accidents, there should be a mechanism in place where primacy is given to saving lives of accident victims by providing them necessary medical attention without delay. It has been observed that the officials tend to give more attention to paper work than saving the precious life.


Moneylife Foundation , Samir Zaveri Railway Helpline  as well as Coalition of Safe Rail Travel have been pushing for the raising of platforms for over a year. Samir Zaveri has taken up all these issues for several years now. He has even got the Courts to issue orders to Railway officials on these issues, however so far there is not much response from them.


Adv Bapoo Malcolm, who is a part of Moneylife group, managed to get the railway authorities to raise platform height at Grant Road station on a priority basis by filing a complaint and following it up. RTI activist Gaurang Damani, has successfully tried to close the railway track with a boundary wall with the help of certain efficient rail officials.


Here are more specific articles from DNA newspaper on the wide gap between train and platforms across Mumbai suburban network. 1. Mumbai: Hop on to lifeline, with care and 2. Mumbai local: Central Railway platforms provide height of horror


Here is the memorandum sent by Moneylife Foundation and Samir Zaveri Railway Helpline to Milind Deora…



Simple Indian

3 years ago

These are petty issues compared to the abysmal quality of travel in suburban sections in Mumbai. It is a miracle how more people don't have accidents, with many forced to travel dangerously on train-tops risking life and limb. What has Railways done for easing the overcrowding problem plaguing the Mumbai Suburban Railways in all three sections - Western, Central, and Harbour lines ? The root cause of majority of rail accidents is overcrowding.

Ramesh Iyer

3 years ago

It is strange no Railway Minister, or MP of Mumbai ever addresses the root cause of most accidents and deaths on railway tracks in Mumbai - overcrowding of trains. In fact, those who travel by suburban trains, particularly by Western and Central line would know that "overcrowding" would be a gross understatement.
Moreover, it takes ages for the Railways to do any major work to ease traffic on suburban routes. Though Navi Mumbai was supposed to be developed by CIDCO in the 1980s-90s to decongest Mumbai, the builders' lobby successfully scuttled that long-term alternative for their own vested interests. Not sure why only Harbour line doesn't have fast trains like the Western and Central Lines do. The new International Airport in Panvel, when it becomes operational, will likely move many businesses to that part of Navi Mumbai and put greater strain on the already constrained Harbour Line. Wish our politicians and town planners had the vision to cater to future population explosion, not just current demands.

Kingfisher, Moser-Baer scrips to be shifted to restricted 'T' group

In a move that is part of a surveillance review to safeguard investors’ interest, BSE would shift 117 securities while NSE would transfer 48 stocks to the trade-for-trade or ‘T’ group

Both BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) will transfer scrips of several companies, including Kingfisher Airlines and Moser-Baer to the restricted trade category from 17th January.


The move is part of a surveillance review to safeguard investors’ interest, the exchanges said in a release.


BSE would shift 117 securities to the trade-for-trade or ‘T’ group, while NSE would transfer 48 stocks to this segment.


Only delivery-based transactions are allowed in this segment and traders can’t take intra-day positions.


Among stocks which would be shifted to the ‘T’ Group segment on both the bourses included Kingfisher Airlines, Moser-Baer (India) Ltd, Usha Martin Education & Solutions Ltd, Acropetal Technologies Ltd, Nagarjuna Oil Refinery Ltd and Omax Autos Ltd.


These scrips would be shifted to the trade-for-trade segment from 17th January.


Besides, NSE said as many as 231 stocks such as 3i Infotech, Emami Infrastructure, Hindustan Dorr-Oliver and Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals will continue to trade in the restricted segment.


As per the bourses, the move is part of the “surveillance review, with a view to ensure market safety and safeguard the interest of investors”.


The stock exchanges have advised trading members to take “adequate precaution” while trading in these scrips “as the settlement will be done on trade-to-trade basis and no netting off will be allowed”.


However, they added that the transfer of these securities for trading and settlement on a trade-to-trade basis “is purely on account of market surveillance and it should not be construed as an adverse action against the company concerned”.


These stocks will have a price band of 5% — the maximum permissible limit within which their share price can move in a trading session.


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