1. On a perusal of the order of the Tribunal it is quite clear that it did not discover any mistake, much less an apparent mistake, in the earlier order passed by it. The Tribunal appears to have adopted a very curious procedure. By the time the application under section 35 of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, came up for consideration, the composition of the Tribunal had changed. The members composing the Tribunal which heard that petition had not dealt with the case earlier. From paragraph 5 of the order of the Tribunal, it appears that it did not go into the question whether in its opinion there was an apparent mistake. On the other hand it appears to have sent the records to the members who sat on the Bench when that case was originally heard and elicited their opinion. This is what is stated in paragraph 5 of the orders :
'The matter was referred to the Members who dealt with the appeal and one of them, speaking for both, on the 15th March, 1951, had stated that they had given a relief of Rs. 7,000 out of a total of Rs. 50,902, and hence, the addition to be sustained was Rs. 43,902 and that Rs. 35,402 was a clerical error requiring rectification. In the light of this categorical statement, we have no other alternative but to hold that the Tribunal sustained Rs. 43,902 out of the total cash credits of Rs. 50,902.'
2. Quite clearly, the Tribunal had abdicated its functions. It did not pass any judicial order. Therefore, the order in question has to be and is hereby quashed. But it is open to the Tribunal to re-examine the matter and find out whether there was any apparent mistake in the earlier order passed by it. No costs.
3. Petition allowed.