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Devichand Pannaji and Co. and anr. Vs. Commissioner of Income-tax, Karnataka-i Acquisition Range, Bangalore - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition Number 22990 of 1981
Judge
Reported in(1982)28CTR(Kar)287; [1982]138ITR789(KAR); [1982]138ITR789(Karn); 1982(1)KarLJ278
ActsIncome Tax Act, 1961 - Sections 269F and 269D(2)
AppellantDevichand Pannaji and Co. and anr.
RespondentCommissioner of Income-tax, Karnataka-i Acquisition Range, Bangalore
Appellant AdvocateS. Vasantha Kumar, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateC. Krishna Murthy and ;C.R.V. Swamy, Advs.
Excerpt:
- religious endowments act, 1863 [repeal by act ii /1927] section 6 of act ii of 1927 & section 8; [a.s. bopanna, j] application of the repealing act held, section 8 would clearly indicate that the repeal of religious endowments act would apply in so far as hindu religious endowments to which the act applies. but in so far as the jain religious endowments, the repeal by act (ii) of 1927 is not applicable. further, the religious endowments act 1863 has been repealed only in so far as it applies to hindu religious endowments and the repeal is specific to that extent and therefore the applicability of the act to the jain religious endowments act, 1863 is still applicable to the jains of dakshina kannada. section 10; maintainability of application under power of the district judge to..........which proceedings were initiated under chap. xx-a of the act. the petitioner was notified of the acquisition proceedings commenced against respondent no. 4, as he was the tenant of the premises, in respect of which the proceedings had been commenced under s. 269d(1) of the act. the petitioner was asked to appear before the iac, 2nd respondent herein, by a letter dated february 3, 1979, in which he was asked to appear in person or through his representatives on february 21,1979. the petitioner appeared before the 2nd respondent, iac, acquisition range, bangalore. but his representative was informed that he would be informed later of further proceedings and nothing transpired on that day. thereafter, nothing happened. the petitioner made a representation to the commissioner, 1st.....
Judgment:

Chandrakantaraj Urs, J.

1. This writ petition is disposed of by the following order at the stage of preliminary hearing after notice to respondents.

2. The petitioner is a tenant in premises bearing No. 32, S.D. Lane, Chickpet, Banglore. In this writ petition, he has prayed for the quashing of the order made by the 2nd respondent, IAC of Income-tax, dropping further proceedings under Chap. XX-A of the I.T. Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') in respect of the premises which is in his occupation.

3. It is averred that the petitioner had offered to his original landlord a sum of Rs. 4,41,000 as consideration for the premises and expressed his intention to purchase the same and entered into an agreement in that behalf. But the landlord instead of selling the same to the petitioner, sold it to the 4th respondents by a deed of sale in which the consideration has been shown as Rs. 2,49,000 only. The petitioner, therefore, brought this to the notice of the concerned authorities under the Act as a consequence of which proceedings were initiated under Chap. XX-A of the Act. The petitioner was notified of the acquisition proceedings commenced against respondent No. 4, as he was the tenant of the premises, in respect of which the proceedings had been commenced under s. 269D(1) of the Act. The petitioner was asked to appear before the IAC, 2nd respondent herein, by a letter dated February 3, 1979, in which he was asked to appear in person or through his representatives on February 21,1979. The petitioner appeared before the 2nd respondent, IAC, Acquisition Range, Bangalore. But his representative was informed that he would be informed later of further proceedings and nothing transpired on that day. Thereafter, nothing happened. The petitioner made a representation to the Commissioner, 1st respondent. Even then, nothing happened. Therefore, he made a representation to the CBDT, New Delhi. Even then the acquisition proceedings did into proceed further. The petitioner was surprised to receive the order impugned in spite of the assurances given by the Commissioner, 1st respondent, that the matter was being looked into. the petitioner contends that he is aggrieved by the order inasmuch as the acquisition which should have been gone through has not been completed.

4. Shri S. Vasantha Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, has contended :

(1) that he is aggrieved because he has not been heard before the impugned order at Ex. P was passed by the 2nd respondent;

(2) that the 2nd respondent is bound to give reasons for dropping the proceedings which he had commenced under s. 269B of the Act; and

(3) that he has a statutory right to be heard before any order is passed in terms of s. 269F of the Act.

5. I am of the view that the contentions advanced by the petitioner are not well founded. The purpose of Chap. XX-A of the Act is to the penalise transaction in immovable properties which have been grossly undervalued with the object of evading payment of tax on income by way of capital gains. The nexus in the proceedings exists only between the State on the one hand and the transferor and/or the transferee on the other. In this fact is borne in mind, it is easy to eliminate the interest of third persons, even though such third persons may have some kind of interest in the property either by way of filing objections which are specifically provided for under s. 269E(1) of the Act or by way of having furnished the information regarding under valuation to the concerned authorities for appropriate action. It is significant to notice that in terms of sub-s. (1) of s. 269F of the Act, the Competent Authority should fix a date and place for the hearing of the objections made under s. 269E of the Act against the proposed acquisition. Section 269E, in the turn, provides for objections against the acquisition of the immovable property in respect of which a notice has been published in the Official Gazette under sub-s. (1) of s. 269D of the Act by the transferor or the transferee or any other person referred to in clause (a) of sub-s. (2) of that section. Clause (a) of sub-s. (2) of s. 269D of the Act by the transferor or the transferee, the person in occupation of the property, if the transferee is not in occupation thereof, and on every person whom the Competent Authority knows to be interested in the property. In other words, it is a mandatory requirement before the Revenue can successfully conclude the proceedings initiated under s. 269D of the Act, that notice must of to the four classes of persons mentioned in clause (a) of sub-s. (2) of s. 269D of the Act.

6. It is not in dispute that the petitioner was served with a notice because he was the occupant of the premises which was sought to be acquired. It is pertinent to point out here that under the sub-clauses of s. 269D of the Act notice is not contemplated to person who are mere informants or informers who have passed on the information of under valuation of the property to the Department. Interested person to whom the reference is made in the aforementioned sub-clause has reference only to person who have interest in title to the property or in respect of the right to receive the compensation, if the acquisition is completed, culminating in the taking over of the property in accordance with an order passed under sub-s. (6) of s. 269F of the Act. If there is not going to be an acquisition then the occupant need not be heard. The occupant is evidently required to be noticed in order to put him on guard, that as a consequence of the acquisition his leasehold right will stand extinguished. Beyond that there is no other obligation on the part of the Competent Authority to hear the tenant of a person in occupation of the premises which is sought to be acquired.

7. For whatever reasons the Competent Authority decides not to proceed with the acquisition, it is not necessary to hear the tenant whose rights as a tenant vis a vis his landlord at a given point of time does not get in any way altered by the dropping of the proceedings.

8. The second contention that Ex. P suffers from the infirmity of not being a speaking order inasmuch as no reasons have been given for dropping the proceedings against respondent No. 4 is concerned, it should be only stated to be rejected. The proceedings are administrative in character, though they appear to be quasi-judicial. The decision taken to acquire is an administrative decision. If the decision is going to result in the deprivation or loss of property as in the case of compulsory acquisition of any kind, then, the occupants, the person having right, title and interest in the property, are bound to be heard before they are deprived of the property. But nobody need be heard if the Government in its wisdom abandons the acquisition proceedings. By not hearing before dropping the proceedings, no civil consequence is visited upon an occupant or an owner thereof. In that view of the matter, the 2nd respondent was not bound to give any reasons, much less furnish those reasons to the petitioner, who is a stranger, as pointed out earlier. I do not see any infirmity in Ex. P.

9. It is true as contended for the petitioner that the tenant has a right to be heard in terms of s. 269F of the Act only if the Department pursues the acquisition proceedings. If it abandons for whatever reasons, then it cannot be said that the right to be heard in question by the occupant by virtue of clause (a) of sub-s. (2) of s. 269D of Act subsists. Therefore, it is of no consequence even if a right is conferred, as that right is only a contingent right and not an absolute unqualified right.

10. For the reasons I have given above and in the light of the discussion as above, I am of the view that there is no lis between the petitioner herein and respondents Nos. 1 and 2. If the Department has erred in dropping the proceedings, it is not for this court to interfere at the instance of the petitioner who is really unconcerned with the acquisition proceedings except to the extent as already indicated. He has an agreement of sale, it is admitted, he has a suit pending for specific performance under that agreement. Therefore, he is in no way affected by the dropping of the proceedings. That is a matter which the court will adjudicate on the merits of the suit. I, therefore, see no reason why a rule should be issued in this case.

11. Any loss to the public revenue is a matter for the CBDT to be concerned with and not the petitioner.

12. It is accordingly dismissed without a rule being issued.


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