1. This case was posted before me today for orders, But, as agreed to by both sides, this case is treated as listed for final hearing today and is accordingly heard.
2. A house property bearing No. 307 situated at Someswara Extension, Tumkur City, was owned by respondent No. 3, who on October 17, 1982, entered into an agreement to sell the same to the petitioner. On July 22, 1983, respondent No. 3 executed a sale deed in her favour in terms of that agreement to sell and presented the same on that day before the Sub-Registrar, Tumkur (hereinafter referred to as the 'Sub-Registrar'), for registration. The petitioner claims that she has paid the balance of sale price to respondent No. 3 and the registration charges before the Sub-Registrar who has made those endorsements in the original document and notwithstanding all this, the Sub-Registrar had refused registration of the said sale deed on the ground that the vendor-respondent No. 3 had not produced before him a certificate under Section 230A of the I.T. Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') which has been challenged by her in an appeal before the District Registrar of the District and the same is still pending before him.
3. While prosecuting her appeal before the District Registrar, the petitioner made an application on December 30, 1983, before the ITO, Tumkur Circle, Tumkur (hereinafter referred to as the 'ITO'), for issue of a certificate under Section 230A in favour of respondent No. 3, who on February 18, 1984 (annexure A), rejected the same. In this petition under article 226 of the Constitution, the petitioner has challenged the order dated February 18, 1984 (annexure A) of the ITO, and has sought for a mandamus to him to issue that certificate.
4. Sri V.H. Upadhyaya, learned counsel for the petitioner, strenuously contends that the ITO had illegally and unreasonably refused to issue the certificate sought by the petitioner in the name of respondent No. 3. In support of his contention Sri Upadhyaya strongly relies on a ruling rendered by Varadarajan J. (as he then was) in Mrs. Helen Jayaraj v. Sub-Registrar of Mylapore : 139ITR942(Mad) .
5. Sri K. Srinivasan, learned senior standing counsel appearing for respondents Nos. 1 and 2, contends that an application for a certificate under Section 230A can be made by the owner and vendor of the property and that the application by the petitioner who was only a vendee was not maintainable and the order made by the ITO on that ground without specifically stating that as the reason was legal and valid.
6. Unfortunately, the ITO in his cryptic order had not given any reason for rejecting the application made by the petitioner much less the reason on which it is sought to be supported. But reading the order of the ITO in the context, it is clear that he has rejected the same taking the view that it was not maintainable under Section 230A of the Act. I, therefore, proceed to examine the question on that basis.
7. Admittedly, the property stood in the name of respondent No. 3, who has transferred the same the the petitioner. In her application before the ITO the petitioner sought for issue of a certificate under Section 230A of the Act in the name of respondent No. 3. Both these facts are not in dispute.
8. Section 230A of the Act, the true scope of which calls for examination, reads thus :
'230A. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, where any document required to be registered under the provisions of Clause (a) to Clause (e) of Sub-section (1) of Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (XVI of 1908), purports to transfer, assign, limit, or extinguish the right, title or interest of any person to or in any property valued at more than fifty thousand rupees, no registering officer appointed under that Act shall register any such document, unless the Income-tax Officer certifies that--
(a) such person has either paid or made satisfactory provision for payment of all existing liabilities under this Act, the Excess Profits Tax Act 1940 (XV of 1940), the Business Profits Tax Act, 1947 (XXI of 1947), the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 (XI of 1922), the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 (XXVII of 1957), the Expenditure-tax Act, 1957 (XXIX of 1957), the Gift-tax Act, 1958 (XVIII of 1958), the Super Profits Tax Act, 1963 (XIV of 1963) and the Companies (Profits) Surtax Act, 1964 (VII of 1964), or
(b) the registration of the document will not prejudicially affect the recovery of any existing liability under any of the aforesaid Act.
(2) The application for the certificate required under Sub-section (1) shall be made by the person referred to in that sub-section and shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed.
(3) The provisions of Sub-section (1) shall not apply in a case where the person referred to in that sub-section is any such institution, association or body, or belongs to any such class of institutions, associations or bodies, as the Board may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, notify in this behalf in the Official Gazettte '.
9. Whenever a person proposes to transfer, assign, limit or extinguish his right, title or interest in any property the value of which exceeds Rs. 50,000 which is compulsorily registrable under the Indian Registration Act of 1908, the registering authority is prohibited from registering such documents unless that person produces before him a certificate issued by the concerned ITO certifying that taxes due by him under that Act and other Acts referred to in that section, if any, have been paid or satisfactory arrangements for their payment have been made. The words 'such person' occurring in the section refers to the transferor or the person creating interest in favour of another. In the context, the words 'such person' cannot be read as any and every person comprehending both the 'transferor' and the 'transferee'. For reasons that are not far to seek, this section requires the ITO to issue a certificate only to the person that proposes to transfer or create an interest in favour of another and to no other person. If the legislature in its wisdom creates a right on the 'transferor' only, the court cannot create that right in favour of the 'transferee' also. Any such attempt will really amount to legislation in the guise of interpretation, which is impermissible. In my view, this construction of Section 230A also flows from the classic statement of Rowlatt J. in Cape Brandy Syndicate v. IRC  2 KB 403 , approved in a number of cases by our Supreme Court, in which the learned judge observed that 'in a taxing Act one has to look merely at what is clearly said. There is no room for any intendment. Nothing is to be read in and nothing is to be implied. One can only look fairly at the language.'
10. The form prescribed for making an application for issue of a certificate under Section 230A is consistent with the section. In any event, the form of application prescribed by Rules can neither extend nor abridge the scope and ambit of Section 230A of the Act.
11. On the above discussion, it follows that the application made by the petitioner under Section 230A of the Act before the ITO was not maintainable.
12. But, in Helen Jayaraj's case : 139ITR942(Mad) , Varadarajan, J. (as he then was), dealing with a case that is almost similar to the present case, has expressed that the petitioner can maintain her application under Section 230A of the Act in these words (947):
' ...Merely because a reference has been made in Sub-section (2) of Section 230A of the Act to the person referred to in Sub-section (1), namely, the person who purports to transfer, assign, etc., his interest in properties valued at more than fifty thousand rupees, the I.T. Department cannot, in my opinion, decline to issue a certificate in favour of the petitioner on the ground that the third respondent had objected to the same with the object of defeating the rights claimed by the petitioner under the document and also because the seventh respondent appears to have objected to the issuance of the certificate in favour of the petitioner. When the I.T. Department finds that the third respondent was not even an income-tax assessee and no arrears of any of the taxes mentioned in Clause (a) of Section 230A(1) of the Act was due from the third respondent, the I.T. Department should have issued a certificate to the petitioner after taking an overall picture of the matter and not be guided only by the words of Sub-section (i) of Section 230A. There is no positive law in the Act for the issuance of a certificate to a third party. Therefore, I am of the opinion that the I.T. Department has wrongly declined to issue a certificate under Section 230A of the Act in respect of the third respondent in favour of the petitioner.'
13. With respect to his Lordship, this conclusion runs counter to the plain language of the section, which I have earlier analysed. With respect, the second reason given by his Lordship that in the absence of a positive prohibition in the Act, a third party can seek for a certificate in the name of another person is not also sound. I, therefore, find it difficult to subscribe to the views expressed by Varadarajan J. in Helen Jayaraj's case : 139ITR942(Mad) to the contrary.
14. On the above discussion, I hold that the ITO was justified in refusing the application made by the petitioner, though he had not set out all these reasons in support of his finding.
15. Sri Upadhyaya seeks for a direction to the ITO to at least issue a certified copy of the certificate, if any, issued to respondent No. 3.
16. Sri Srinivasan, in my opinion, rightly submits that if the petitioner makes an application for a certified copy of the certificate, if any, issued to respondent No. 3, the ITO will examine and issue the same.
17. Whether the ITO has issued a certificate to respondent No. 3 is itself in doubt. So far, the petitioner has not made any application for a certified copy of the certificate, if any, issued to respondent No. 3. In this view, this court cannot issue a writ or direction sought by the petitioner. As and when the petitioner makes an application for a certified copy of the certificate, if any, issued to respondent No. 3, I have no doubt that the ITO will issue such a copy after collecting the necessary charges without unnecessarily driving the petitioner to another writ petition.
18. In the light of my above discussion, I hold that this writ petition is liable to be dismissed. I, therefore, dismiss this writ petition and discharge the rule issued in the case. But, in the circumstances of the case, I direct the parties to bear their own costs.