of Wealth Tax Vs. Trustees of Sahebzadas of Saraf-E-Khas Trust, Hyderabad
 INSC 1581 (10 December 1996)
Jeevan Reddy, K.S. Paripoornan
O R D
APPEAL NOS. 2952-54 OF 1979:
appeals are directed against the order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court
answering the reference made under Section 27(1) of the Wealth Tax Acts 1957 at
the instance of the Revenues in favour of the assessee and against the Revenue.
The question referred was:
on the facts and in the circumstances of the case the penalty to be levied for
the assessment years 1962- 63, 196-64 and 1964-65 should be as per the
provisions of Section 18(1)(a) as they stood before amendment with effect from
1.4. 1963 (sic)." The High Court answered the said question in favour of
the ssessee following the earlier decision of the said Court in Commissioner of
Wealth Tax v. R.D. Chand [108 I.T.P.787].
these appeals it is contended by the learned counsel for the appellant-Revenue
that the aforesaid question has to be answered in favour of the Revenue and
against the assessee following the decision of this Court in Maya Rani Punj v.
Commissioner of Income Tax [157 I.T.R.330] which has overruled the earlier
decision of this Court in Commissioner of Wealth Tax Suresh Seth [129
I.T.R.328]. Though the said decision has been rendered with reference to the
provisions of the Income Tax Acts the ralevant provisions of the Income Tax Act
and the Wealth Tax Act are similar and the question considered therein was also
similar to the one arising herein. Indeed it overruled the decision in Suresh Seths
which fully supports the assessee's contention.
Salvew learned counsel tor the respondent- assessees, while not disputing that
the said decision corlcludes the issue against the assessees submitted that the
decision in Maya Rani Purj requires reconsideration inasmuch as it has not
properly appreciated the ratio of the decision in Suresh Seth, Counsel
submitted that the over- ruling of the decision in Suresh Seth is not correct
have heard Sri Salve at some length but we are not satisfied that there are any
good and compelling reasons to depart from the law enunciated in Maya Rani Punj.
The decision was rendered by a three-Judge Bench and it has fully considered
the principle of Suresh Seth but chose to disagree with it. Not only are we
bound by the said decision, we are also not satisfied that there are sufficient
grounds warranting reconsideration of the decision in Maya Rani Punj.
the said decision, the appeals are allowed.
judgment and order of the High Court is sat aside and the question
aforementioned is answered in the negative, i.e., in favour of the Revenue and
against the assessee.
shall be no order as to cost.
# L NOS.187-190 OF 1980:
appeals have been directed to be tagged with Civil Appeal Nos.2952-54 of 1979.
No separate argument have been addressed herein. In view of the decision in the
said appeals these appeals too are allowed and the question referred to the
High Court is answered in favour of the Revenue and against the assessee. The
question which was referred for the opinion of the High Court reads:
on the facts and circumstances of the case the Tribunal was right in holding
that the penalties u/s 18(1)(a) for asstt. years 1965-66 to 1968-69 were liable
to be calculated in accordance with the law as it stood before amendment on
1.4.69 even before the period of default after 31.3.69 and not as per the
increased scale of penalty introduced with effect from 1.4.69 by the Finance
Act, 1969?" Answered accordingly. No costs.