This is a writ petition under article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the recovery proceedings in respect of the assessment to agricultural income-tax for the Fasli year 1360 on the ground of the bar of limitation. The amount of tax and penalty sought to be recovered is Rs. 543-II-0. The assessment order was passed on January 31, 1954, but as the petitioner did not pay tax a penalty was imposed upon him presumably under the provisions of section 31 of the U.P. Agricultural Income-tax Act. According to the petitioner, the assessment order was made on January 31, 1954. Notice of demand in respect thereof was issued on March 18, 1954, and served on the petitioner on October 9, 1954. The petitioner says that having regard to the provisions of section 30 of the Agricultural Income-tax Act, the first installment of this tax demand became payable on November 9, 1954, and the second and final installment became payable on May 9, 1956. The petitioner says that recovery notice in respect of these amounts was issued on July 12, 1956, requiring payment to be made by July 19, 1956. In support of this averment the petitioner has filed annexure 'A' to his affidavit. I am by no means satisfied by having a look at annexure 'A' that it was issued on July 12, 1956. It looks as if some date is mentioned below the signature of Tahsildar, Basti, but that date is not easily decipherable and it cannot be said that the date is July 12, 1956. The year is completely omitted from the date below the signature of the Tahsildar. Assuming, however, that the date of the issue of this notice is July 12, 1956, I do not agree with learned counsel that the date of commencement of recovery proceedings is July 12, 1956, namely, the date of issue of this notice.
Sub-section (1) of section 32 of the U.P. Agricultural Income-tax Act is as follows :
'The Collector may, on the motion of the assessing authority, recover any sum............. where an assessee is in default............. as if it were an arrear of land revenue.'
It follows that the Collector has been empowered on the motion of the assessing authority to recover arrears of agricultural income-tax and penalty as if the same were an arrear of land revenue. Then there is another sub-section, sub-section (2) of section 32, which says that :
'No proceedings for the recovery of any sum payable under this Act shall be commenced after the expiration of one year from the date on which the last instalment... falls due.'
Learned counsel says that in this case as the second instalment fell due on May 9, 1955, the limitation for recovery proceedings expired on May 9, 1956, and the notice issued on July 12, 1956, was beyond time. It was the issue of this notice which he characterises as the commencement of recovery proceedings. To my mind, learned counsel is not right in this submission. Under sub-section (1) the Collector is authorised to recover the amount as if it were an arrear of land revenue. The authority which sets the Collector in motion is the assessing authority under the U.P. Agricultural Income-tax Act. From annexures 'III' and 'IV' to the counter affidavit it is found that the assessing authority made a report to the Collector on May 12, 1954, and on October 9, 1954, that there were arrears in respect of the agricultural income-tax due for 1360F and that steps may be taken for the realisation of the same. On May 13, 1954, and on October 9, 1954, the Collector directed that realisation of these dues may be made as arrears of land revenue. The commencement of proceedings for recovery of tax is the date of the report by the agricultural income-tax authority to the Collector requesting him to make the realisation. The language used in sub-section (2) of section 32 is the same as the language used in sub-section (7) of section 46 of the Income-tax Act. In the latter Act it is provided as follows :
'... no proceedings for the recovery of any sum payable under this Act shall be commenced after the expiration of one year from the last day of the financial year in which any demand is made under this Act.'
The commencement of recovery proceedings has been held to be from the date when the Income-tax Officer forwards a certificate to the Collector for recovery of the dues : vide Aruna Devi Jajodia v. Collector of Madras, C.M. George v. Income-tax Officer, Madras and Kashiram Agarwalla v. Collector of 24-Parganas. I am of the view that commencement of proceedings for recovery under section 32(2) of the U.P. Agricultural income-tax Act must bear the same meaning and have the same import, namely, that proceedings for recovery of agricultural income-tax should be deemed to commence from the date of the request made by the assessing authority under the U.P. Agricultural Income-tax Act to the Collector to take steps for realisation of the arrears of tax and other dues. The two Acts are in pari materia and the language used is exactly the same. In this view the proceedings for recovery were well within one year as contemplated in sub-section (2) of section 32 and recovery proceedings in this case cannot be held to be invalid as being out of time.
There is one other aspect of this matter which must be adverted to. As shown above, section 32(1) of the U.P. Agricultural Income-tax Act says that agricultural income-tax dues and penalties may be realised as if they were an arrear of land revenue. Section 288 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act lays down as follows :
'The provisions of this Act with regard to the recovery of arrears of revenue shall apply to all the arrears of revenue and sums of money recoverable as arrears of revenue due at the commencement of this Act.'
It follows that the procedure of the Collector for realisation of the agricultural income-tax shall be the procedure for the realisation of the arrears of land revenue which is provided for under the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act. Under sub-section (1) of section 280 of that Act it is provided as follows :
'As soon as an arrear of land revenue has become due a writ of demand may be issued by the Tahsildar on the defaulter calling upon him to pay the amount within a time to be specified.'
It follows that annexure 'A' to the affidavit accompanying the writ petition, which is a notice by the Tahsildar, is in fact a writ of demand under section 280(1) and is quite in order. It is, however, very different from saying that the date of this writ of demand is the date of the commencement of the recovery proceedings. This writ of demand is issued in the course of recovery proceedings but does not commence or initiate those proceedings. As stated earlier, those proceedings commence with the request by the assessing authority to the Collector to realise the amount.
There is no force in this writ petition. It is accordingly dismissed with costs.