Om Prakash, J.
1. At the instance of the Revenue, the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, has referred one question each in these references under Section 27(1) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957, for the opinion of this court. All the assessees are Hindu undivided families and they are partners in the firms, namely, Chinthamani and Brothers and Kastoor Chand Munnalal, through their kartas. They claimed exemption in respect of the value of their interest in the assets, belonging to the said firms, on the ground that the assets formed part of an industrial undertaking within the meaning of Section 5(1)(xxxii) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957.
2. Involving a common question, all these three references are consolidated and decided together by a common order.
3. The short question in these references is :
Whether the assets belonging to the firms in which the assessees are partners, formed part of an 'industrial undertaking' within the meaning of Section 5(1)(xxxii) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957. The facts found by the Tribunal are : that the firms in which the assessees were partners were engaged in dyeing and printing white cotton cloth and preparing saris therefrom. The exemption claimed by the assessees was denied by the Wealth-tax Officer on the ground that the assessees had no interest in the assets forming part of an 'industrial undertaking' within the meaning of Section 5(1)(xxxii) of the Wealth-tax Act. The Tribunal ultimately accepted the contention of the assessees.
4. The short question for consideration is : whether the firms engaged in the business of dyeing and printing of white cotton cloth and preparing saris therefrom were 'industrial undertakings' within the meaning of Section 5(1)(xxxii). Similar question came up before this court in the case of CWT v. Radhey Mohan Narain : 135ITR372(All) . Adverting to the meaning of the word 'process' as given in Websters' International Dictionary, vol. III, this court held as follows (p, 374) ;
'In processing, the original article need not lose its identity altogether but changes are brought into it. When a cloth is dyed, printed and cut into pieces, the original identity of the cloth is not lost but a change is brought about as a result of going through these different processes and the end product is different from the feed-in material.
The methods or techniques adopted to convert the plain white cloth into printed and dyed bed-spreads, scarves, and garments entitles the business to be treated as an industrial undertaking belonging to the firm of which the assessee is a partner. The assessee is, therefore, entitled to claim exemption with regard to the value of his interest in the undertaking under Section 5(1)(xxxii) of the Act.'
5. The activity of the firms in which the instant assessees were partners was similar to the activity of the firm, M/s. Radhey Mohan Narain Laxman Babu, which was involved in the aforesaid case. We fully agree with the view taken by this court in the case of Radhey Mohan Narain : 135ITR372(All) . Relying on the same, we hold that the two firms in which the assessees were partners, were 'industrial undertakings', as envisaged by Section 5(1)(xxxii) of the Act, and, therefore, the Tribunal rightly allowed the claim of exemption of the assessees.
6. Our answer, therefore, to the questions referred in these references is in the affirmative and in favour of the assessees. All the assessees are entitled to costs of Rs. 200 each.