Commissioner of Income-Tax, Delhi New
Delhi Vs. M/S. Singh Engineering Works (P) Ltd. Kanpur  INSC 152 (11
11/08/1970 GROVER, A.N.
CITATION: 1971 AIR 95 1971 SCR (1) 769 1970
SCC (2) 428
Income-tax Act (43 of 1961), ss. 212, 273 and
297 (2)(g)installment Proceedings under s. 18-A of the 1922-Act-Assessment,
completed after 1st April 1962-Imposition of penalty under 1961 Act-Validity.
The assessee was required under s. 18A(1) of
the Income-tax Act, 1922, to make advance payments of tax for assessment years
1960-61 and 1961-62. The assessee made his own estimates of the tax for the two
years and paid the amounts.
But then the assessee filed returns of income
for the two years, the Income-tax Officer assessed the total income of' the
assessee on January 21, 1963, at much higher figures for the two years, and
held that the assessee furnished inaccurate and untrue estimates if tax and
imposed penalties under s. 273 of the 1961-Act. The Tribunal held that the
'Penalties could not be imposed, because, (1) the default under s. 18A of the
1922-Act could not be treated as a default under the 1961 Act; and (2)
s.297(2)(g) of the 1961installmentAct did not save the proceedings under s.18A
of the 1922installmentAct.
In a reference to this Court, under s.257 of
the 1961 Act,
HELD : Section212 of the 1961 Act corresponds
to s.18A(2) of the 1922-Act and s.273 of the 1961-Act, which empowers the levy
of penalty corresponds to s. 18A(9) of the 1922-Act.
According to s. 297(2) (g) of the 1961-Act, a
proceeding for the imposition of a penalty in respect of an assessment for the
year ending on 31st March 1962 or any earlier year, which is completed on or
after 1`st April 1962, may be initiated, and the penalty may' be imposed under
the new Act. The sub-section is applicable to the present case, since the
assessment was completed after 1st April 1962.
Therefore, penalty could be imposed under the
1961-Act, that is, under s. 273, which will apply mutatis mutandis to the
proceedings. [770 H; 771 A-B; 722 B-C] M/s. Jain Bros. & Ors. v. Union of
India.  3 S.C.R. 253 followed.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Income-tax
Reference Cases Nos. 1 and 2 of 1969.
References under s. 257 of the Indian
Income-tax Act, 1961 made by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Allahabad Bench
in R.A. Nos. 1253 and 1254 of 1967-68 (I.T.A. Nos. 13922 and 13923 of 1965-66.
R. N. Sachthey and Gobind Das, for the
appellant (in both the cases).
P. N. Pachauri, J.P. Goyal and Sobhamal Jain,
for the respondent (in both the cases).
169Sup-CI(P)/71-5 770 The Judgment of the
Court was delivered by Grover, J. The respondent company which is an assessee
was required by the Income tax Officer by notices issued under s. 18A (1) of
the Indian Income tax Act 1922, hereinafter called the "Old Act" to
make an advance payment of tax amounting to Rs. 3,17,077 for the assessment
year 1960-61 and Rs. 3,54,911 for the assessment year 1961-62. The assessee
chose to file its own estimate of tax under s. 18A(2) and in accordance
therewith it paid two installments of advance tax of Rs. 38,333/installment each
for the assessment year 1960-61 and three installments of Rs. 12,875/each for
the assessment year 1961-62. Thereafter the assessee filed revised estimates of
tax in the month of March 1960 and March 1961 respectively estimating the tax
at Rs. 1,80,000 /installment for each of the assessment years on a total income
of Rs. 4 lakhs. The balance of advance tax as per its revised estimate was paid
in time after deducting the installments which had already been paid. The
assessee subsequently filed its returns of income for the aforesaid two years
declaring the total income of Rs. 4,53,942/installment and Rs. 7,02,383/installment
respectively. The Income tax Officer completed the assessment of total income
of Rs. 5,35,000/installment and Rs.
8,99,029/installment for the assessment years
1960-61 and 1961-62 on January 21, 1963 after the Income tax Act 1961,
hereinafter called the "New Act" had come into force. The Income tax
Officer took the view that the assessee had furnished inaccurate, and untrue estimates
of tax and had not given any satisfactory explanation in respect of them. He
imposed penalties under s. 273 of the new Act amounting to Rs. 13,700/installment
and Rs. 12,342/installment for the assessment years 1960-61 and 1961-62
respectively. Appeals to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner in the matter of
imposition of penalty were rejected. The Appellate Tribunal held that the
penalties could not have been imposed under the provisions of s. 273 of the new
Act in respect of the two assessment years in question. It was said inter alia,
that in the absence of any deeming provision in the new Act the default under
s. 18A of the old Act could not be treated as a default under s. 212 of the new
Act and that s. 297(2) (g) of the new Act did not save the proceedings under s.
18A of the old Act. A question of law was referred directly to this Court under
the provisions of s. 257 of the new Act owing to the conflict between the
decisions of the various High Courts.
Section 18A of the old Act makes provision
for advance pay installment of tax. Sub-section (9) provides, inter alia, for
the imposition of penalty, if the Income tax Officer is satisfied that the
assessee has furnished estimates of the tax payable by him which he knew or had
reason to believe to be untrue. In the new Act s. 212 makes provision for the
estimate by the assessee and payment 771 of tax in accordance with that
estimate. Section 273 of the new Act empowers the Income tax Officer to levy
penalty on an assessee where fie finds at the time of regular assessment that
the assessee had furnished, under s. 212, an estimate of the advance tax
payable by him which he knew or had reason to believe to be untrue.
As stated before the Tribunal was of the
opinion that s. 297 (2) (g) of the new Act did not save proceedings under s.
18A of the old Act. According to that provision any proceeding for the
imposition of a penalty in respect of any assessment for the year ending on
31st day of March 1962 or any earlier year which is completed on or after the
first day of April 1962 may be initiated and any such penalty may be imposed
under the new Act.
In M/s. Jain Bros. & Others v. The Union
of India(1) this Court examined the provision of s. 271 which also appears in
Chapter XXI under which s. 273 is to be found and the provision of s.297 (2) (g)
of the new Act. This is what was stated in that case "We are further
unable to agree that the language of s. 271 does not warrant the taking of
proceedings under that section when a default has been committed by failure to
comply with a notice issued under s. 22 (2) of the Act of 1922. It is true that
cl. (a) of sub-s. (1) of s. 271 mentions the corresponding provisions of the
Act of 1961 but that will not make the part relating to payment of penalty
inapplicable once it is held that s. 297(2)(g) governs the case. Both ss.
271(1) and 297(2)(g) have to be read together and in harmony and so read the
only conclusion possible is that for the imposition of a penalty in respect of
any assessment for the year ending on March 31, 1962 or any earlier year which
is completed after first day of April 1962 the proceedings have to be initiated
and the penalty imposed in accordance with the provisions of s. 271 of the, Act
of 1961. Thus the assessee would be liable to a penalty as provided by s.
271(1) for the default mentioned in s. 28(1) of the Act of 1922 if his case
falls within the terms of s. 297(2)(g). We may usefully refer to this Court's
decision in Third Income tax Office,-, Mangalore v. Damodar Bhat (71 I.T.R.
806) with reference to s. 297(2)(j) of the
Act of 1961. According to it in a case falling within that section in a
proceeding for recovery of tax and penalty imposed under the Act of 1922 it is
not required that all the sections of the new Act relating to recovery or
collection should be literally applied but only such of the sections will apply
as are appropriate in the -particular case (1) (1970) 3S.C.R. 253 772 and
subject, if necessary, to suitable modifications. In other words, the procedure
of the new Act will apply to cases contemplated by s. 297 (2) (j) of the new
Act mutatis mutandis. Similarly the provision of S. 271 of the Act of 1961 will
apply mutatis mutandis to proceedings relating to penalty initiated in
accordance with s. 297 (2)(g) of that Act". , In our judgment s. 297(2)(g)
is clearly applicable to the present case inasmuch as the assessment was
completed on or after the first day of April 1962. The provisions of the new
Act contained in s. 273 will apply mutatis mutandis to proceedings relating to
penalty initiated in accordance with s. 297(2)(g) of the new Act. The question
which has been referred to us is answered in the affirmative and in favour of
the Commissioner of Income tax who will be entitled to his costs in this Court.
V. P. S.