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Revansiddappa Panchappa Umbarje Vs. the Secretary of State for India - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number Second Appeal No. 1096 of 1917
Judge
Reported in(1920)22BOMLR88
AppellantRevansiddappa Panchappa Umbarje
RespondentThe Secretary of State for India
Excerpt:
.....as that, but i think the words of sections 14 and 50 of the act clearly show that the legislature expressed the opposite..........was illegal. section 14 of the income tax act ii of 1880 provides that 'the collector shall, from time to time, determine what persons are chargeable under part iv, and the amount at which every person so chargeable shall be assessed.' we do not think that that section means that when the collector has once in any particular year determined that a certain person is chargeable under part iv, and has determined the amount at which that person so chargeable should be assessed, his powers against that person for that year are exhausted, in the event of his discovering that the income of that person is somewhat greater than the income upon which the tax was first assessed. the words 'from time to time' appear to me to make it perfectly clear that the collector has the power after the first.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. The facts in this came are not disputed. The plaintiff was assessed for income-tax in the year ending 31st March 1913 in the amount of' .Rs. 833-5-4. The plaintiff paid that amount on the 18th June 1012. It is admitted that the income of the plaintiff on which the assessment was levied was less than the actual income on which assessment ought to have been levied. When that had been ascertained, a supplementary bill was sent to the plaintiff for the amount of Rs. 488-10-8 on the 7th November 1912, and a direction was made that the plaintiff should pay the amount of the bill by the 4th of January 1913. The plaintiff paid in the amount on the 8th January 1913 under protest. Later on the plaintiff received a notice demanding payment of Rs. 61-1-4 as fine on account of the default in the payment of the income-tax money by the time fixed. The plaintiff paid the fine. He then filed this suit to recover from the Secretary of State for India the said amounts of Rs. 488-10-8 and Rs. 61-1-4 on the ground that the said amounts had been illegally levied, together with an amount of Rs. 38-1-6 as interest.

2. The plaintiff's suit has been dismissed in both Courts. In second appeal the same argument has been adduced before us which did not find favour in the lower Courts, namely, that the powers of the Collector of Income Tax had become exhausted when once he had made an assessment, and that any further assessment for the same year was illegal. Section 14 of the Income Tax Act II of 1880 provides that 'The Collector shall, from time to time, determine what persons are chargeable under Part IV, and the amount at which every person so chargeable shall be assessed.' We do not think that that section means that when the Collector has once in any particular year determined that a certain person is chargeable under Part IV, and has determined the amount at which that person so chargeable should be assessed, his powers against that person for that year are exhausted, in the event of his discovering that the income of that person is somewhat greater than the income upon which the tax was first assessed. The words 'from time to time' appear to me to make it perfectly clear that the Collector has the power after the first assessment to make a fresh assessment if the circumstances of the case require it. Even if we had any doubt in our minds as to the meaning of the words of Section 14, we have Section 50 which provides that 'all powers conferred by, or conferrable under, this Act may be exercised from time to time as occasion requires.' That decides the question before us without any doubt. In my opinion the appeal fails and must be dismissed with costs.

Heaton, J.

3. I cannot conceive that when the Legislature passed the Income Tax Act they intended to express what the appellant says they have expressed. What he says is meant by the Act is that when the Income Tax Collector has once made an assessment, he cannot increase or alter it (at a later date), although it may be perfectly clear that the original assessment Was made on an under-estimate of the income-tax payer's income. it would certainly revolutionize my conception of the powers of the Income-Tax Collector. Not only can I not conceive that the Legislature intended to enact such a thing as that, but I think the words of Sections 14 and 50 of the Act clearly show that the Legislature expressed the opposite intention. I agree, therefore, that the appeal should be dismissed with costs.


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