1. This petition, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, is directed against the order dated October 20, 1974', passed by the Commissioner of Wealth-tax, Kanpur (hereinafter referred to as 'the Commissioner').
2. The petitioner, M/s. Babulal Jiwan Ram & Co., had been assessed to wealth-tax. The Wealth-tax Officer had levied a penalty on it for late submission of its return. It (the petitioner) had made an application to the Commissioner for waiving such penalty. The Commissioner had issued a show-cause notice to the petitioner. Therein he stated that after scrutiny of the records he observed that the wealth which had been assessed in the name of the Hindu undivided family, M/s. Babulal Jiwan Ram, also belonged to the petitioner-Hindu undivided family consisting of same coparceners and that hence the returns filed by the petitioner were not complete and were not also in good faith. The petitioner was called upon to give its explanation and was afforded an opportunity of personal hearing on September 20, 1974.
3. To the aforesaid show-cause notice the petitioner sent a reply in which it was content merely to say as follows :
'That there are no such facts discussed in the wealth-tax assessment order on the record of the petitioner and the observations made by your honour in aforesaid letter do not find any place in the order of the Wealth-tax Officer.'
4. The petitioner did not appear either in person or through counsel before the Commissioner on the date fixed for hearing.
5. In the impugned order, the Commissioner has stated that since the members of the petitioner-Hindu undivided family, M/s. Babulal Jiwan Ram & Co., and the members of the Hindu undivided family, Babulal Jiwan Ram, were the same persons, filing two separate returns in the names of these two Hindu undivided families could not be said to be in good faith. In that view the Commissioner rejected the petitioner's application under Section 18(2A) of the Act.
6. In this petition, Sri D.C. Chaturvedi, learned counsel for the petitioner,contended that the Commissioner was not justified in holding that filing oftwo returns in the names of M/s, Babulal Jiwan Ram & Co. and Babulal JiwanRam was not bona fide. Sri Chaturvedi submitted that the petitioner hadfiled two separate returns because there was some confusion in the minds ofthe income-tax authorities themselves whether certain property should beassessed to wealth-tax in the name of the Hindu undivided family or anassociation of persons.
7. In this petition, we are concerned only with the question whether the order of the Commissioner can be said to suffer from any error apparent on the face of the record. As stated earlier, the petitioner did not choose to avail itself of the opportunity to appear before the Commissioner and to show cause against his proposal to reject its application under Section 18(2A) of the Act. In reply to the show-cause notice, the petitioner did not even offer any explanation as to the circumstances in which two separate returns were filed by the same set of persons in the status of Hindu undivided family. AH that the petitioner said in its reply was that the wealth-tax assessment order did not disclose any of the facts stated in that show-cause notice.
8. In these circumstances, the view taken by the Commissioner that the petitioner did not act in good faith in filing two separate returns, cannot be said to suffer from any manifest error so as to call for interference in exercise of certiorari jurisdiction.
9. In the result, we dismiss this petition. But, in the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.