Satish Chandra, C.J.
1. For the assessment year 1968-69 the assessee should have filed his return under the Wealth-tax Act, 1957, on or before June 30, 1968. The return was, however, filed on December 30, 1969. The WTO imposed penalty under Section 18(1)(a) of the W.T. Act, 1957. When the matter reached the Tribunal, it held that the law as it stood on April 1 of the assessment year, namely, April 1, 1968, was applicable in order to determine the quantum of the penalty imposable. At the instance of the department, the Tribunal has referred the question of law, namely, whether penalty under Section 18(1)(a) was leviable with regard to the provisions as they stood on April 1, 1968, or with reference to the provisions as they stood on April 1, 1969.
2. It may be mentioned that on April 1, 1969, the provisions of Section 18(1)(a) were amended.
3. In CWT v. Ram Narain Agrawal : 106ITR965(All) , it was held that the law as it stood on the date of the default, namely, on the last date when the return was due, is the law which is applicable. The return was due on or before June 30, 1968. Therefore, the law as it stood on that date would be applicable. Though we agree with the ultimate conclusion of the Tribunal, yet we dissent from the view that the law as it stood on April 1 of that year was applicable. The date of the beginning of the assesment year is, in our opinion, irrelevant because the taxable event is the date when the return was, in law, due.
4. We, therefore, answer the question referred to us by holding that the provisions of Section 18(1)(a) as they stood on June 30, 1968, would govern the question of imposition of penalty and its quantum. The assessee will be entitled to costs which are assessed at Rs. 200.