Kalawati Devi Harlalka Vs.
Commissioner of Income-Tax, West Bengal & Ors  INSC 133 (1 May 1967)
01/05/1967 SIKRI, S.M.
CITATION: 1968 AIR 162 1967 SCR (3) 833
CITATOR INFO :
F 1968 SC 816 (3) RF 1969 SC 408 (4) RF 1969
SC 701 (5) F 1977 SC 459 (3) RF 1988 SC 752 (6)
Income-tax Act, 1961, ss. 297 and
298-Commissioner issuing notice of revision of assessment under s. 33B of the
incometax Act, 1922 whether such ' proceedings covered by the expression "
proceedings for the assessment" in s.
297(2)(a)-S. 6 General Clauses Act,
1897-Effect of s. 298 and the Income-tax (Removal of Difficulties) Orders, 1962Validity
The appellant received a notice on January
24, 1963 from the Commissioner of Income-tax, West Bengal, initiating a
revision under s. 33B of the Income-tax Act, 1922, of her assessments for the
years 1952-53 to 1960-61. The appellant thereupon filed a petition in the High
Court tinder Art. 226 of the Constitution praying that the notice be quashed
and the respondent restrained from giving effect to it. A single Bench of the
High Court dismissed the petition and in appeal to a Division Bench was also
it was contended on behalf of the appellant
(i) that the Income-tax Act, 1922, having been repealed by the Act of 1961
which came into force on April 1, 1962 the respondent had no power, authority
or jurisdiction to initiate the proceedings under s. 33B of the 1922 Act; (ii)
that s. 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, did not authorise the initiation of
the proceedings inasmuch as no steps were taken in respect thereof while the
1922 Act was in force; (iii) that s. 298 of the 1961 Act was void; and in any
event, the powers under the section.. under which the Government promulgated
the Income-tax (Removal of Difficulties) Order 1962, clause 4 of which
purported to cover a case like the present one, can be exercised only in
respect of the matters dealt with in s. 297 of that Act which does not deal
with proceedings tinder s. 33B of the 1922 Act.
HELD : (i) The proceedings initiated by the
respondent were valid as they were covered by the expression " proceedings
for the .assessment of that person" in Clause (a) of s. 297(2) of the 1961
Act. [841E; 846B] The word "assessment" can bear a very comprehensive
it can comprehend the whole procedure for
ascertaining and imposing liability upon the tax-payer. There was nothing in
the context of s. 297 which required the expression "procedure for the
assessment" to be given a narrower meaning. S. 297 is meant to provide as
far as possible for all contingencies which may arise out of the repeal of the
1922 Act. [845A-C] Commissioner of Income-tax, Bombay v. Khemchand Ramdas, 6
I.T.R. 414 at p. 423; A. N. Lakshman Shenoy v. Income-tax Officer, Ernakulum,
34 I.T.R. 275 at p. 291; C. A. Abraham v. Income-tax officer, Kottayam, 41
I.T.R. 425 at pp. 429430; Commissioner of Incometax v. Bhikaji Dadabhai &
Co., 42 I.T.R. 123 at p. 127; Commissioner of Income-tax v. Patiala Cement Co.
Ltd., 32 I.T.R. 333; Bhailal Amin & Scns Ltd. v. R. P. Dalal, 24 I.T.R.
229, referred to.
8 3 4 (ii)S. 6 of the General Clauses Act
would not apply because s. 297(2) evidences an intention to the contrary by
providing for many matters, some in accord with what Would have been the result
under s. 6 and some contrary to such a result. [846A] Union of lndia V. Madan
Gopal Kabra, 25 I.T.R. 58, referred to.
(iii)Section 298 of the 1961 Act is valid and
the present case was covered by cl. 4 of the Income-tax (Removal of
Difficulties) Order, 1962.[846 C-D] Jalan Trading Company (Priveite) Ltd. v.
Mill Mazdoor junior,  11 L.L.J. 546; Commissioner of Income-tax v. Dewan
Bahadur Ramgopal Mills, 41 I.T.R. 280 and Pandit Banarsi Das Bhanot v. State of
Madhya Pradesh, 9 S.T.C. 388, referred to.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal
No. 1421 of 1966.
Appeal from the judgment and order dated
December 8, 1964 of the Calcutta High Court in Appeal from Original Order No. 281
Debi Pal, R. K. Chaudhuri and B. P.
Maheshwari, for the appellant and the Intervener. , D.Narsaraju and R. N.
Sachthey, for respondents Nos. I and 2.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
Sikri, J. On January 24, 1963, the Commissioner of Incometax, West Bengal, sent
the following notice to Smt. Kalawati Harlalka, appellant before us,
hereinafter referred to as the assessee "Sub : Income-tax assessments of
1952-53 to 1960-61. Assessments erroneous and prejudicial to the interests of
revenueRevision of assessments under Section 33B of the Indian Income-tax Act
1922 proposal forNotice regarding.
On calling for and examining the records of
your case for the assessment years 1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1956-57,
1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60 and 1960-61 and other connected records, I consider
that the orders of assessment passed by the Income-tax Officer 'D' Ward,
Howrah, on 7th February, 1961, are erroneous in so far as they are prejudicial
to the interests of revenue for the following reasons amongst others.
2.Enquiries made have revealed that no
business as alleged was carried on from the address declared in the returns.
Also the said Income-tax Officer was not justified in accepting the initial
capital, the acquisition and 835 sale of jewellery, the income from business,
gift made by you etc. without any enquiry or evidence whatsoever.
3.1, therefore, propose to pass such orders
thereon as the circumstances of the cases justify after giving you an
opportunity of being heard under the powers vested in me under Section 33B of
the Income-tax Act, 1922.
The cases will be heard at 11 a.m. on 1st
February, 1963 at my above office when you are requested to produce the
necessary evidence in support of your contentions. Objections in writing
accompanied by necessary evidence, if any, received on or before the
appointment for personal hearing will also be duly considered.
Please note that no adjournment of the
hearing will be granted." The assessee on February 1, 1963, protested to
the Commissioner against the issue of the notice and stated that the said
notice was absolutely bad in law, illegal and void.
On the same date the assessee filed an
application under Art. 226 of the Constitution in the High Court at Calcutta,
inter alia praying that the said notice, dated January 24, 1963, be quashed or
set aside and the Commissioner of Income-tax be restrained from giving effect
to the said notice. The petition was beard by Banerjee, J., and three points
were urged before him:
(1)That the Income-tax Act, 1922-hereinafter
referred to as the 1922 Act-having been repealed by Income-tax Act, 1961
-hereinafter referred to as the 1961 Act-which came into force on April 1,
1962, the Commissioner of Income-tax had no power, authority or jurisdiction to
initiate the proceedings under s. 33B of the 1922 Act;
(2)Section 6 of the General Clauses Act in no
way authorises the initiation of the said proceedings inasmuch as no steps were
taken in respect thereof when the 1922 Act was in force and/or prior to its
repeal; and (3)The powers under s. 298 of the 1961 Act can only be exercised in
respect of the matters dealt with by s. 297 of the 1961 Act which does not deal
with proceedings tinder s.
33B of the 1922 Act.
In order to appreciate the grounds and the
findings of the learned Judge, it is necessary to set out the relevant
"S. 33B (1922 Act). Power of
Commissioner to revise Income-tax Officer's orders.-(1) The Commissioner may
call for and examine the record of any 83 6 proceeding under this Act and if he
considers that any order passed therein by the Income tax Officer is erroneous
in so far as it is prejudicial to the interests of the revenue, he may, after
giving the assessee an opportunity of being heard and after making or causing
to be made such enquiry as he deems necessary, pass such order thereon as the
circumstances of the case justify, including an order enhancing or modifying
the assessment, or cancelling the assessment and directing a fresh assessment.
(2) No order shall be made under sub-section
(1) (a) to revise an order of re-assessment made under the provisions of
section 34; or (b)after the expiry of two years from the date of the order
sought to be revised..........
"S. 297. (1961 Act). Repeals and
savings.(1) The Indian Income-tax Act 11 of 1922, is hereby repealed.
(2)Notwithstanding the repeal of the Indian
Income-tax Act, 11 of 1922 (hereinafter referred to as the repealed Act),(a)where
a return of income has been filed before the commencement of this Act by any
person for any assessment year, proceedings for the assessment of that person
for that year may be taken and continued as if this Act had not been passed;
(b)where a return of income is filed after
the commencement of this Act otherwise than in pursuance of a notice under
section 34 of the repealed Act by any person for the assessment year ending on
the 31st day of March, 1962, or any earlier year, the assessment of that person
for that year shall be made in accordance with the procedure specified in this
(c)any proceeding pending on the commencement
of this Act before any income-tax authority, the appellate tribunal or any
court, by way of appeal, reference or revision shall be continued and disposed
of as if this Act had not been passed;
(d)where in respect of any assessment year
after the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1940,(i)a notice under section
34 of the repealed Act had been issued before the commencement of this Act, the
proceedings in pursuance of such notice may be continued and disposed of as if
this Act had not been passed;
ii) any income chargeable to tax had escaped
assessment within the meaning of that expression in section 147 and no
proceedings under section 34 of the repealed Act in respect of any such income
are pending at the commencement of this Act, a notice under section 148 may,
subject to the provisions contained in section 149, or section 150, be issued
with respect to that assessment year and all the provisions of this Act shall
(e)section 23A of the repealed Act shall
continue to have effect in relation to the assessment of any company or its
shareholders for the assessment year ending on the 31st day of March, 1962, or
any earlier year, and the provisions of the repealed Act shall apply to all
matters arising out of such assessment as fully and effectually as if this Act
had not been passed;
(f)any proceeding for the imposition of a
penalty in respect of any assessment completed before the 1st day of April,
1962, may be initiated and any such penalty may be imposed as if this Act had
not been passed;
(g)any proceeding for the imposition of a
penalty in respect of any assessment for the year ending on the 31st day of
March, 1962, or any earlier year, which is completed on or after the 1st day of
April, 1962, may be initiated and any such penalty may be imposed under this
(h)any election or declaration made or option
exercised by an assessee under any provision of the repealed Act and in force
immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been an
election or declaration made or option exercised under the corresponding
provision of this Act;
(i)where, in respect of any assessment
completed before the commencement of this Act, a refund falls due after such
commencement or default is made after such commencement in the payment of any
sum due under such completed assessment, the provisions of this Act relating to
interest payable by the Central Government on refunds and interest payable by
the assessee for default shall apply;
83 8 (i) any sum payable by way of
income-tax, super tax, interest, penalty or otherwise under the repealed Act
may be recovered under this Act, but without prejudice to any action already
taken for the recovery of such sum under the repealed Act;
(k)any agreement entered into, appointment
made, approval given, recognition granted, direction, instruction,
notification, order or rule issued under any provision of the repealed Act
shall, so far as it is not inconsistent with the corresponding provision of
this Act, be deemed to have been entered into, made, granted, given or issued
under the corresponding provision aforesaid and shall continue in force
(1)any notification issued under subsection
(I.) of section 60 of the repealed Act and in force. immediately before the
commencement of this Act shall, to the extent to which provision has not been
made under this Act, continue in force until rescinded by the Central
(m)where the period prescribed for any
application, appeal, reference or revision under the repealed Act had expired
on or before the commencement of this Act, nothing in the Act shall be
construed as enabling any such application, appeal, reference or revision to be
made under this Act by reason only of the fact that a longer period there for
is prescribed or provision is made for extension of time in suitable cases by
the appropriate authority." "S. 298(1961 Act). Power to remove
difficulties. (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions
of this Act, the Central Government may, by general or special order, do anything
not inconsistent with such provisions which appears to it to be necessary or
expeditious for the purpose of removing the difficulty.
(2)In particular, and without prejudice to
the generality of the foregoing power, any such order may provide for the adaptations
or modifications subject to which the repealed Act shall apply in relation to
the assessment for the assessment year ending on the 31st day of March, 1962,
or any earlier year." "S. 6. (The General-Clauses Act).
Where this Act, or any (Central Act) or
Regulation made after the commencement of this Act, repeals any 3 9 enactment
hitherto made or hereafter to be made, then, unless a different intention
appears, the repeal shall not............
In exercise of the powers conferred under s.
298, the Central Government issued the Income-tax (Removal of Difficulties)
Order, 1962, which was published in the Gazette of India on August 8, 1962.
Clauses 2, 3 and 4 of the said order read as follows "2. Registration and
refund proceedings to be regarded as part of Assessment Proceedings:For the
purposes of clauses (a) and (b) of subsection (2) of section 297 of the Incometax
Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) (hereinafter referred to as the repealing Act),
proceedings relating to registration of a firm or a claim for refund of tax
shall be regarded as a part of the proceedings for the assessment of the person
concerned for the relevant assessment year.
3.Completion of assessments in cases covered
by section 297 (2) (b) of the repealing Act.In cases covered by clause (b) of
sub-section (2) of section 297 of the repealing Act. the assessments shall be
made, inter alia, in accordance with the procedure specified in the following
sections of the repealing Act, in so far as they may be relevant for this
Sections 131 to 136, 140 to 146, 1.53 [except
sub section (2) and clause (iii) of subsection (3)] 156 to 158. 185. 187 to
189, 282 to 284 and 288.
4.Appeal. reference or revision proceedings
in respect of orders passed under the repealed Act.-( I Proceedings by way of
the first or subsequent appeals, reference or revision in respect of any order
made under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 (11 of 1922) (hereinafter referred
to as the repealed Act) shall be instituted and disposed of as if the repealing
Act had not been passed.
(2)Any such proceedings instituted under the
repealing Act after the 31st day of March, 1962, and before the date of this
Order shall be deemed to have been instituted under the repealed Act and shalt
be disposed of as if the repealing Act had not been passed;
Provided that if any such proceeding has been
disposed of before the (late of this Order under any provision of the repealing
Act, it shall be deemed to have been disposed of under the corresponding
provision of L9Sup.Cl/6710 8 40 the repeated Act and any appeal, reference or
revision in respect of the proceeding so disposed of shall be instituted and
disposed of as if the repealing Act had not been passed." The learned
Judge held that the expression "proceedings for the assessment" in s.
297 (2) (a) of the 1961 Act had a comprehensive meaning and included
proceedings under s. 33A or s. 33B of the 1922 Act. He also held that clauses
(c) and (d) of s. 297(2) of the 1961 Act must be deemed to have been enacted by
way of abundant caution. In view of his findings, he did not consider it
necessary to determine whether s. 6 of the General Clauses Act saved the power
under s. 33B of the 1922 Act, but lie observed :
"If it had been necessary so to do, I
would have no hesitation in holding that such power would be saved under
Section 6 clauses (c) and (e) of the General Clauses Act, there being no
indication to the contrary in the repealing Act of 1961." He accordingly
dismissed the petition.
The assessee appealed and the Division Bench
dismissed the appeal. The Division Bench came to the conclusion that "the.
provision for assessment are contained in Chapter IV of the Act of 1922 and
section 33B finds place in this Chapter and the expression "proceedings
for the assessment" indicates that any of the proceedings relating to
assessment as contemplated in Chapter IV can be initiated and continued under
clause (a) of subsection (2) of section 297 including the proceeding by way of
Revision under section 33B of the, Act." The Division Bench repelled the
contention of the assessee that cl. (c) affected the scope of cl. (it). It
concluded that cls. (d) and (f) had been inserted by way of abundant caution.
It also repelled the contention that cl.
(4) of the Income-tax (Removal of
Difficulties) Order, 1962, was bad, and observed that "what clause (4) has
done is simply to make explicit what was implicit in clause (a) and it is with
the object of removing the doubt or difficulty, if any, existing in respect of
the construction of clause (a) of section 297(2) that a specific provision like
clause (4) was introduced in the Removal of Difficulties Order." In view of
these conclusions the Division Bench felt that "it is not necessary to
express any definite opinion on the point whether section 6 of the General
Clauses Act 1897, is available for the purpose of interpreting the provisions
of the Act of 1961." In the result the appeal before the Division Bench
failed and was dismissed. The assessee having obtained a certificate of fitness
under Art. 133 of the Constitution, the appeal is now before us.
841 The learned counsel for the assessee
contends that the expression "proceedings for the assessment" in s.
297 (2) (a) of the 1961 Act meant original proceedings for the assessment of a
person and not appellate or revisional proceedings. He says that Parliament has
left the question of appeal and revision to be determined by the application of
s. 6 of the General Clauses Act. He further says that the word
"assessment" has not been used in its wide sense because Parliament
has provided for the imposition of penalty in cls. (f) and (g), which
ordinarily falls within the wide sense of "assessment".
It has also provided for what is to happen to
pending proceedings in cl. (c). He urges that the High Court erred in holding
that these subclauses had been added by way of abundant caution.
The learned counsel for the respondent, Mr.
S. T. Desai, conends that s. 297 (2) (a) is comprehensive in its scope and
ampliude to include any proceedings under s. 33B of the 1922 Act. de further
says that s. 6 of the General Clauses Act will apply of the extent there is no
contrary intention in s. 297 (2) of the 1961 Act. He finally contends that even
if there is any doubt regarding the scope of cl. (a) it is removed by the,
Removal of Difficulties Order issued under s. 298.
It seems to us that the High Court is right
in holding that 297 (2) (a) of the 1961 Act includes with its scope a
proceeding under s. 33B of the 1922 Act. There is no doubt that the word
'assessment" does have subject to the context a very wide meaning. The
Privy Council in Commissioner of Income Tax, Bombay v. Khemchand Ramdas(l)
"In order to answer them, it is
essential to bear in mind the method prescribed by the Act making an assessment
to tax, using the word assessment in its comprehensive sense as including the
whole procedure for imposing liability upon the tax payer." In A. N.
Lakshman Shenoy v. Income-tax Officer, Ernakulam this Court held "Now the
question is in what sense has the word "assessment" been used in
section 13(1) of the Finance Act, 1950. Two circumstances may be noticed at once.
The long title says that the Finance Act, 1950, is an Act to give effect to the
financial proposals of the Central Government for the year beginning on April
1, 1950, and in section 13(1) the collocation of the words is "levy,
assessment and collection of income(1) 6 I.T.R. 414 at p.423.
(2) 34 I.T.R. 275 at p. 291.
842 tax". In our opinion, both these
circumstances point towards a comprehensive meaning; for it could not have been
intended, as part of the proposal of the Central Government, that those whose
income had totally escaped assessment should be liable but those who had been
under-assessed should go scot free. We can see nothing in the words of the
section which would justify such a distinction; we say this quite apart from
the argument that section 13(1) should be interpreted in consonance with the
financial agreement entered into between the Rajpramukh and the President, an
argument to which we shall presently advert. Moreover, the collocation of the
words, "levy, assessment, and collection" indicates that what is
meant is the entire process by which the tax is ascertained, demanded and
realised." In C. A. Abraham. v. Income-tax Officer Kottayam(1) this Court
"A review of the provisions of Chapter
IV of the Act sufficiently discloses that the word "assessment" has
been used in its widest connotation in that Chapter. The title of the chapter
is "Deductions and Assessment". The section which deals with
assessment merely as computation of income is section 23; but several sections
deal not with computation of income, but determination of liability, machinery
for imposing liability and the procedure in that behalf. Section 18A deals with
advance payment of tax and imposition of penalties for failure to carry out the
provisions therein. Section 23A deals with power to assess individual members
of certain companies on the income deemed to have been distributed as dividend,
section 23B deals with assessment in case of departure from taxable
territories, section 24B deals with collection of tax out of the estate of
deceased persons, section 25 deals with assessment in case of discontinued
business, section 25A with assessment after partition of Hindu undivided
families and sections 29, 31.
33 and 35 deal with the issue of demand
notices and the filing of appeals and for reviewing assessment and section 34
deals with assessment of incomes which have escaped assessment. The expression
"assessment" used in these sections is not used merely in the sense
of computation of income and there is in our judgment no ground for holding
that when by section 44, it is declared that the partners or members of the
association shall be jointly and severally liable to assessment.
it is only intended to declare the (I 41
I.T.R. 425 -,it pp. 429-430.
843 liability to computation of income under
section 23 and not to the application of the procedure for declaration and
imposition of tax liability and the machinery for enforcement thereof." In
Commissioner of Income-tax v. Bhikaji Dadabhai & Co.(1) this Court quoted
with approval the observations regarding the word "assessment" in
Abraham v. Income-tax Officer(-).
In Commissioner of Income-tax v. Paiiala
Cement Co. Ltd.( a similar question arose. The question was whether under s. 13
of the Finance Act, 1950, the appeals in respect of assessments for 1949-50
would be governed 'by the Patiala Income-tax Act, 2001, or by the Indian
Income-tax Act. We may here set out s. 13 of the Finance Act, 1950 :
"If immediately before the 1st day of
April, 1950, there is in force in any Part B State other than Jammu and Kashmir
or Manipur, Tripura or Vindhya Pradesh or in the merged territory of
Cooch-Behar any law relating to income-tax or super-tax or tax on profits of
business, that law shall cease to have effect except for the purposes of the
levy, assessment and collection of income-tax and super-tax in respect of any
period not included in the previous year for the purposes of assessment under
the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 (XI of 1922) for the year ending on 31st day of
March, 1951, or for any subsequent year, or, as the case may be, the levy,
assessment and collection of the tax on profits of business for any chargeable
accounting period ending on or before the 31st day of March, 1949." This
Court held that it is the provisions of the Patiala Act 2001 that applied. No
point was raised that in any event the Patiala Act having ceased to have
effect, the provisions dealing with appeals were not concerned with the levy,
assessment an( collection of income-tax.
In Bhailal Amin & Sons Ltd. v. R. P.
Dalal(1) the Bombay High Court (Chagla, C.J., & Shah J.), interpreting s. 7
of the Taxation Laws (Extension to Merged States and Amendment) Act (LXVII of
1949) the relevant portion of which is in the following terms :
"7. (1) If, immediately before the 26th
day of August, 1949, there was in force in any of the merged States any law
relating to income-tax, super-tax, or business profits tax, that law shall
cease to have effect (1)42 I.T.R. 123 at p. 127.
(3)32 I.T.R. 333.
(2) 41 I.T.R. 42 5 (4) 24 I.T.R. 229 844
except for the purposes of the levy, assessment and collection of income-tax,
and super-tax in respect of any period not included in the previous year for
the purposes of assessment under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, as extended
to that State by Section 3, or, as the case may be,, the levy, assessment and
collection of business profits tax for any chargeable accounting period ending
on or before the 31st day of March, 1948, and for any purposes connected with
such levy, assessment or collection..........
observed "It is urged by Mr. Palkiwalla
for the petitioners that the words "levy, assessment and collection"
do not include a right of appeal against the assessment order and the Baroda
law did not continue to apply to any rights of appeal that the petitioners
might have had in respect of the order of assessment. In the first instance
this argument appears to me to be a perfectly futile argument, because, if I
were induced to take such a view of the section it would leave the petitioners
without any right of appeal at all. If the Baroda Act ceases to apply and
obviously the Indian Act does not apply to the assessments of accounting years
prior to the accounting year 1948-49, there is no right of appeal; and the
petitioners could not have gone to the Tribunal at all, for there is no other
section or sections which confer any right of appeal under the Indian
Income-tax Act, in respect of assessments made under the Baroda Act. But, apart
from this, in my opinion the words "for the purposes of levy, assessment
and collection of income tax" include all procedure for the levy,
assessment and collection of income-tax, for without the procedure there can be
no levy, assessment or collection; and taking in particular
"assessment" with which we are concerned on this petition the
assessment is not final until all remedies by way of appeals which are given by
the Act are exhausted. This view is emphasized by the concluding, words of subsection
(1) which are "for any purposes in connection with such levy, assessment
and collection." There can in any event be no doubt that the procedure for
assessment including rights of appeal are included in the words "purposes
connected with assessment." In my opinion. therefore. the true construction
of sub-section (1) of section 7 is that the Baroda Act continues to apply to
the assessments of the petitioners even as regards the right of appeal which
was given under that Act to the Huzur Adalat." 84 5 .lm0 It is quite clear
from the authorities cited above that the word .assessment" can bear a
very comprehensive meaning; it can comprehend the whole procedure for
ascertaining and imposing liability upon the tax-payer. Is there then anything
in the context of s. 297 which compels us to give to the expression
"procedure for the assessment" the narrower meaning suggested by the
learned counsel for the appellant ? In our view, the answer to this question
must be in the negative. It seems to us that s. 297 is meant to provide as far
as possible for all contingencies which may arise out of the repeal of the 1922
Act.' It deals with pending appeals, revisions, etc.
It deals with Don-completed assessments
pending at the commencement of the 1961 Act and assessments to be made after
the commencement of the 1961 Act as a result of returns of income filed after
the commencement of the 1961 Act. Then in cl. (d) it deals with assessments in
respect of escaped income;
in cls. (f) & (g) it deals with levy of
penalties; cl. (h) continues the effect of elections or declarations made under
the 1922 Act; cl. (i) deals with refunds; cl. (i) deals with recovery; cl. (k)
deals generally with all agreements, notifications, orders issued under the
1922 Act; cl. (1) continues the notifications issued under s. 60(1) of the 1922
Act and cl. (in) guards against the application of a longer period of
limitation prescribed under the 1961 Act to certain applications, appeals, etc.
It is hardly believable in this context that Parliament did not think of
appeals and revisions in respect of assessment orders already made or which it
had authorised to be made under cl. (a) of s.
The learned counsel for the appellant submits
that Parliament had s. 6 of the General Clauses Act in view, and therefore no
express provision was made, dealing with appeals and revisions, etc. In our
view, s. 6 of the General Clauses Act would not apply because s. 297(2)
evidences an intention to the contrary.
In Union of India v. Madan Gopal Kabra(l)
while interpreting s. 13 of the Finance Act, 1950, already extracted above,
this Court observed at p. 68 :
"Nor can Section 6 of the General
Clauses Act, 1897, serve to keep alive the liability to pay tax on the income
of the year 1949-50 assuming it to have accrued under the repeated State law,
for a "different intention" clearly appears in Sections 2 and 13' of
the Finance Act read together 'as indicated above." It is true that
whether a different intention appears or not must depend on the language and
content of s. 297(2). It seems to us, however, that by providing for so many
matters mentioned above, some in accord with what would have been the result
under 1) 25 I.T.R. 58.
846 s. 6 of tile General Clauses Act and
some contrary to what would been the result under s. 6, Parliament has clearly
evidenced an intention to the contrary.
If s. 6 of the General Clauses Act is out of
the way, there is no doubt that Parliament should not be credited with the
intention of not providing for appeals and revisions, etc.
against the assessment orders made under the
1922 Act. In this context, we must ( give the expression "proceedings for
the assessment of that person " in cl. (a) of s. 297(2) a very
comprehensive the-meaning At any rate, if the Income Tax (Removal of
Difliculties Order, .1962, is valid, para 4 of the said order clearly covers
the present case and would give jurisdiction to the Commissioner to issue the
Relying on Jalan Trading Company (Private)
Ltd. v. Mill Madoor Union(1) thelearned counsel for the appellant urges that s.
298 is void. In our view, the present case is covered by the decision of this Court
in Commissioner of Income-tax v.Dewan Bahadur Ramgopal MillS ( 2 ) where a
similar order the Taxation Laws (Part B States) (Removal of Difficulties)
Order, 1950, made under s. 12 of the Finance Act, 1950, was upheld. Section 12
read as follows :
"If any difficulty arises in giving
effect to the provisions of any of the Acts, rules or orders extended by
section 3 or section I I to any State or merged territory, the Central
Government may, by order, make such provision, or give such direction, as
appears to it to be necessary for removing the difficulty." S. K. Das, J.,
speaking for the Court observed at p. 288 "Furthermore, the true scope and
effect of section 12 seems to be that it is for the Central Government to determine
if any difficulty of the nature indicated in the section has arisen and then to
make such order, or give such direction, as appears to it to be necessary to
remove the difficulty.
Parliament has left the matter to the
executive; 'but that does not make the notification of 1956 bad. In Pandit
Banarsi Das Bhanot v. State of Madhya Pradesh (3) we said at p. 435 :
"Now, the authorities are clear that it is not unconstitutional for the
legislature to leave it to the executive to determine details relating to the
working of taxation laws, such as the selection of persons on whom the tax is
to be laid, the rates at which it is to be charged in respect of different
classes of goods, and the like." We are, therefore, (1) 11 L.L..J.
(3)9 S.T.C. 388.
(2) 41 I.T.R. 28).
847 of the view that the notification of 1956
was validly made under section 12 and is not ultra vires the powers conferred
on the Central Government by that section." It is true that in that case
the attack was on the notification and, not on the section itself, but it seems
to its that the ratio even by the Court is appropriate to cover the validity of
the section itself. Furthermore, the terms of s. 37 of the Payment of Bonus
Act, 1965 are different and the Bonus Act is not a taxing law.
In the result the appeal fails and is
dismissed with costs.
R.K.P.S. Appea dismissed..