DR. DATE-BAH JSC
The central issue in this case is the meaning to be given to the expression “educational institution of a public character” within the context of the Income Tax Act 1975 (SMCD 5) and the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592). Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal wrongly characterised this central issue in terms of whether the plaintiff school qualifies as a public school. It accordingly addressed the wrong issue when it sought to establish a dictionary meaning for “public school” and “private school”, respectively.
It seems clear that an educational institution may be characterised as being of a public character, although it is privately owned. This much is clear from the Privy Council cases of Dilworth and Ors v. The Commissioner of Stamps; Dilworth and Ors v. The Commissioner for Land and Income Tax.  AC 99. These two consolidated cases were heard on appeal from the Court of Appeal of New Zealand. In these cases, where a wealthy testator made a gift for…