On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the unclaimed money that is being collected to fund construction of a bridge across the Patanjali Ayurveda Hospital at the Mysore railway station is not a “fund” for a public purpose.
The apex court’s ruling on the petition filed by the National Commission for the Unclaimed Property (NCU) and the NGO Unclaimed Trusts (UT) is likely to set a precedent on whether such money is a public benefit or a private one.
The apex court ruled that since the funds are supposed to be for construction of the bridge, they are not subject to the Income Tax Act (ITA) as per the Income-tax Act.
The NCU and UT had argued that the funds collected from the construction of such a bridge should be considered as unclaimed, but the apex court had said it does not matter what the source of the funds is.
The court also said that a bridge cannot be built without the funds that are collected, since such funds are public goods and are supposed for public purposes.
The matter came to a halt when the Supreme Board of Revenue (SBR) said that the construction works on the bridge is being carried out by the state government.
The government had argued in the court that the project was a public project that would benefit the public.
However, the apex Court has also said in the recent ruling on a similar case, that it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that the expenditure incurred in this manner does not create a burden on the state.