Satish Chandra, J.
1. This is an application under Section 151, Civil Procedure Code, praying that the court may be pleased to recall its order dated March 31, 1970. On that day, the case was listed for orders with a report that the applicant had not filed the requisite number of paper-books in spite of the expiry of the time granted by the Registrar for that purpose. The applicant failed to file the requisite copies of the paper-book even on that day. He did not even appear in court on that day. For this reason, this Bench on order returned the reference unanswered.
2. The reference was under Section 66(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1922. That Act does not confer any power on the High Court to recall an order returning a reference unanswered. Rule 13A of Chapter XXVII of the rules of the court confers a discretion upon this court to return a reference unanswered, if the party concerned fails to prepare or cause to be prepared the paper-book within the time allowed by the Registrar for that purpose. Under that rule, an application in writing could have been made before the court for granting further time. Upon such an application, the court could have extended the time for the submission of the paper-book, But, the applicant did not appear in court on March 31, 1970, with the result that the question of extending the time did not arise.
3. The rules of the court do not confer any power upon the court to recall an order returning a reference unanswered. In the present case, the order returning the reference was not passed as a result of any party practising fraud upon the court or as a result of the court committing some mistake on its own. The non-appearance of the applicant and his default in filing the requisite number of paper books led to that order. In the present application, the applicant has furnished an explanation for his non-appearance and also for not filing the requisite number of paper books. But, the initial difficulty is whether the application is maintainable.
4. The application is headed under Section 151, Civil Procedure Code. We asked the learned counsel whether the Code of Civil Procedure applies to the advisory jurisdiction conferred upon this court by the Income-tax Act. We agree with the learned counsel that Section 151, Civil Procedure Code, is wholly inapplicable. There is no similar power given to the court by the rules of the court or by the Income-tax Act. In the circumstances, we fail to see any power in the court to recall its earlier order dated 31st March, 1970.
5. Under Sub-rule (2) Rule 3 of Part I of the rules of the court, the General Clauses Act applies to the interpretation of these rules. The learned counsel urged that Section 21 of the General Clauses Act would be attracted, because the order dated 31st March, 1970, was an administrative order of the court. In our opinion, the submission is misconceived. Though the order returning the reference unanswered was not an order answering the question on their merits, it was virtually an order dismissing the reference for non-prosecution. Such an order would be a judicial order having all the incidents and efficiencies of a judicial order. It would operate on the rights of the parties just as an order answering the question referred on merits. In our opinion, it cannot be said that the order dated 31st March, 1970, was a purely administrative order, so that Section 21, General Clause Act, may be attracted.
6. In the result, the application is rejected as incompetent.