S. Obul Reddy, C.J. - This following question has been referred to this Court for its opinion under S. 64(1) of the Estate Duty Act at the instance of the Revenue :
'Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, marriage expenses of four daughters can be claimed as deduction from the share of the deceased in the joint family properties' ?
2. One Nookaiah died intestate on 22-7-1970, while remaining joint with five of his brothers as a Hindu Undivided family. On the death of Nookaiah, his share in the undivided family properties was 1/6 of 6/7 or 1/7. The deceased Nookaiah had four daughters and wife. The Tribunal was concerned only with the 13/84 share of the deceased Nookaiah. The case of the accountable person (widow of the deceased) was that before bringing to charge 13/84 share of the properties, marriage expenses of four daughters of the deceased were to be deducted on the ground that those expenses were a charge on the properties of the Hindu Undivided Family. This claim of the accountable persons was rejected by the Assistant Controller of Estate Duty and the Appellate Controller. The Tribunal following its earlier decision in E.D.A. No. 4 (Hyd.)/1972-73, dated 15-4-1974 allowed the claim made by the accountable person marriage expenses of the four daughters. The question now is whether the Tribunal was justified in allowing the claim to the extent of Rs. 12,000/- towards marriage expenses of the four daughters. The decision in E.D.C. 6 of 1975 was the subject matter of reference to this Court in Controller of Estate Duty, A.P. vs. G. Leelavathamma, 1977 Tax L.R. 1111. Two of the question that came up for consideration before this Court in that case were :-
1. Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Appellate Tribunal is correct in law in allowing deduction towards marriage and maintenance expenses of the unmarried daughter of the deceased from the estate passing on his dated ?
2. Whether there is material or basis for the Appellate Tribunal of Rs. one lakh for deduction towards marriage expenses of unmarried daughter of the deceased from the estate passing on his death ?
3. These two question were answered by the learned Judges saying that the Tribunal decided these questions only as regards the reasonableness of the quantum claimed towards marriage expenses in as far as the daughter was concerned. In that view, the learned Judges felt that no question of law arose out of the findings of the Tribunal in that behalf.
4. In this reference also, the Tribunal referred to the question of reasonableness of the amount provided for marriage expenses. The estate of the deceased in so far as the anscestral property was concerned was less that Rs. 44,000/-. It is for that reason that the Tribunal consluded that it would not be proper for the accountable person to claim deduction in sum of Rs. 40,000/- and, therefore, allowed a deduction of Rs. 12,000/- towards marriage expenses for the four daughters. Therefore, the question before the Tribunal was as to the reasonableness of the claim put forth by the accountable person. The Tribunal, on a consideration of the fact, held that it would be reasonable to fix of Rs. 12,000/- towards marriage expenses of the four daughters and directed that amount to be deducted to bring the estate of the deceased as liable to duty. The decision of the Tribunal was passed only as to the quantum to be allowed. No question of law is involved in this reference. We, therefore, confirm the finding of the Tribunal.
5. In the result, the question is answered in the affirmative and against the Revenue. No costs. Advocates fee Rs. 250/-.