S.K. Desai, J.
1. This is an appeal from a decision given by Pendse J., in Miscellaneous Petition No. 952 of 1978 (see p. 402 supra). The main point that is urged in the petition pertains to the time as to when the Competent Authority can exercise powers under s. 269C of the I.T. Act, 1961. By the time the petition reached hearing before the learned single judge, the matter was not res integra, and it was concluded against the petitioner following the decisions of the Delhi High Court and of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. These decisions have been referred to in para. 9 of the judgment of the learned single judge. The petitioner was contending that the effective date for exercise of power under s. 269C not the date of registration but the date of execution of the document. The contention however, has been specifically negatived by both the Delhi and the Andhra Pradesh High Courts.
2. In Mahavir Metal Works P. Ltd. v. Union of India : 95ITR197(Delhi) , a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has considered this specific point as well as challenge to the vires of the provision. It has been held in the aforesaid decision that for the purpose of Chap. XX-A a transfer of immovable property must be taken to be effected only when the instrument of transfer is registered. The High Court also repelled the other challenges which mainly constitutional.
3. A similar view was taken by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Divvi Suryanarayana Murthy v. Competent Authority : 117ITR278(AP) . An interesting point arose for consideration of the Andhra Pradesh High Court inasmuch as the sale deed was executed prior to 15th November, 1972, When these provisions were introduced in the I.T. Act. The registration of the documents. however, took place after the said date. Negativing the plea of the petitioner before it, the Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court held that the acquisition proceedings initiated by the Competent Authority were valid as the effective date to be considered was the date of registration.
4. As far as this High Court is concerned, it is well settled that for the purposes of constituting and applying Central enactments, in particular Tax Acts such as the I.T. Act, 1961, the High Court should as far as possible accept the decisions given on similar points by other High Courts, leaving it to the aggrieved party to go higher. Following the aforesaid principle, it will have to be held that the decision of the learned single judge suffers from no infirmity and is required to be confirmed.
5. Before disposing of the appeal with the appropriate order, which will be of dismissal, it is pertinent to observe that in this case at the stage of admitting the petition, interim injunction in terms of prayer (c) was granted without imposing any obligation on the petitioner, which has today resulted in a very curious situation. The property sought to be acquired by the Union of India initially was a plot of land, and one does not know whether it remains in the same position today. It is more likely to have been converted into land and building, and the petitioner has perhaps allows third parties to occupy portions of the said building. In our opinion, prima facie, the powers of acquisition of the plot cannot be affected by such subsequent events, and if the petitioner has allowed third parties to acquire any rights without intimation of the pending acquisition notice, it would be entirely a matter between the petitioner and these third parties to resolve. However, it would have been more appropriate to restrict the petitioner by appropriate orders at the stage of admission. Indeed, this ought to have been pointed out by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Union of India at that stage, which does not appear to have been done. Subject to these observations, which do not affect the merits of the appeal, the appeal is dismissed with costs. Costs of respondents Nos. 1 and 2 are quantified at Rs. 500 in one set and of the 3rd respondent at Rs. 250. Interim orders in appeal to stand vacated.
6. Mr. Tijoriwala states that an appeal is pending in the Supreme Court from the decision of the Delhi High Court in the case of Mahavir Metal Works P. Ltd. : 95ITR197(Delhi) . He applies for a certificate under art. 132 of the Constitution of India. In our opinion, the matter involves a substantial question of law, namely, the validity and applicability of the impugned provision. We are inclined to and grant the certificate, particularly because special leave appears to have been granted by the supreme Court and the appeal is pending in the Supreme Court from the said decision of the Delhi High Court earlier referred to.