1. The question which has been referred to us at the instance of the Revenue u/s 27(1) of the WT Act is as follows :
'Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, it was rightly held that s. 19A of the WT Act which was inserted by the WT (Amendment) Act, 1964 and came into force on 1-4-1965 was a substantive section and not a procedural section and, therefore, had no application for the asst. yr. 1963-64?'
With the consent of the Counsel, the above mentioned question was re-framed as follows :
'Whether, the provisions of s. 19A of the WT Act which was inserted by the WT (Amendment) Act, 1964 and came into force on 1-4-1965 were retrospective in operation.'
Mr. N. V. Mehta appearing on behalf of the assessee has brought to our notice two reported decisions, one of the Madras High Court and the other of the Calcutta High Court in which these Courts have taken the view that s. 19A is not retrospective in operation. The decision of the Madras High Court is reported in A.F. Harvey Limited v. CWT, Madras in which the Division Bench of the Madras High Court has taken the view that s. 19A which came into force w.e.f. 1-4-1965 is not retrospective in operation. The decision of the Calcutta High Court is reported in CWT, West Bengal III Cal. v. Executors of the Estate of Sri E. C. Benthal (deceased), Calcutta. In this decision, the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court referring to s. 19A of the WT Act has pointed out that s. 19A which for the first time created a charge on the net wealth of person who was not alive on the corresponding date and made such charge enforceable against the estate left by him in the hands of his executors who were to be treated as individuals for the purpose of the Act came into force only on 1-4-1965 and there is nothing to indicate that the said section was to have retrospective effect. We see no reason to differ from the view taken and we agree with the reasons in the decision given in these two cases. It does not also appear that the Revenue has challenged the correctness of these decisions so far. Consequently, the question as reframed is answered in the affirmative and in favour of the assessee.
2. The assessee to get the costs of this reference.