MANCHANDA J. - This is a case stated under section 27(1) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957. The question referred is :
'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the assets assessed in the hands of Gajanand belonged in law to the Hindu undivided family constituted by Gajanand and his mother and should have been assessed as suc ?'
The relevant facts are these : One Rameshwar Das had acquired some properties at a partition between him and his brothers. Rameshwar Das died in 1934 leaving behind his widow and his son, Gajanand. The assessee claimed before the revenue authorities that the property was owned by the Hindu undivided family consisting of Gajanand, his widowed mother and his wife. Gajanand had no issue. The Tribunal took the view that the property left by Rameshwar Das was owned by Gajanand in his status as an individual and was subject to wealth-tax in his hands. A reference under section 27(1) having been asked for, the aforesaid question has been referred for the opinion of this court.
A similar question under the Income-tax Act came up for consideration before a Bench of this court, of which one of us was a party, in Pratap Narain v. Commissioner of Income-tax (I.T.R.No. 161 of 1963 decided on 4th November, 1965), where there only existed a coparcener and his wife and it was held that they constituted a Hindu undivided family and the assessment was required to be made in the status. In the instant case, the position, if anything, is better as there is not only a coparcener and his wife but also a widowed mother. For the reasons given in Pratap Narains case, we would answer the reference in the affirmative and in favour of the assessee. The reference is answered accordingly. The department will pay the costs of the assessee, which we assess at Rs. 100. Counsels fee is assessed at Rs. 200.