1. These petitions under s. 256(2) of the I. T. Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), are by the revenue and relate to the same who is the respondent herein, for assessment years 1970-71 to 1973-74.
2. The questions which the revenue wants to be referred to this court, have been set out in para. 4 of the petition and it is unnecessary to reproduce them in this order.
3. The assessee is a manufacturer of synthetic resins. In the original assessment, the ITO had accepted the assessee's claim that synthetic resins came within the ambit of 'petrochemicals'. Accordingly, higher development rebate of 35 per cent. and also deduction under s. 80-I of the Act, were allowed to the assessee. Subsequently, on the basis of a circular issued by the CBDT and the memorandum issued by the Commissioner, the ITO sought to reopen the assessment under s. 147(b) of the Act. Ultimately, the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal held that the proposed reassessment proceedings were not warranted by s. 147(b). In these cases, the assessees had disclosed all the primary materials before the ITO who came to the conclusion that synthetic resins within the scope of the term 'petrochemicals'.
4. The learned counsel for the assessee has invited our attention to the definition of the term 'petrochemical' in the Condensed Chemical Dictionary (8th Edn.) revised by Gessner G. Hawley. According to that dictionary, the meaning of that term is 'an organic compound for which petroleum or natural gas is the ultimate raw material'. The learned standing counsel did not dispute that for manufacturing synthetic resins, petroleum or natural gas is the ultimate raw material. We do not see how a mere change of opinion on this point by the ITO, even if it be on the basis of a circular issued by the CBDT or the memorandum issued by the Commissioner, he (the ITO) could reopen the assessment under s. 147(b).
5. As the answers to the above questions are self-evident, we decline to direct the Tribunal to refer them and dismiss these petitions.