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Sardar Bhagat Singh Pahal Vs. Commissioner of Income-tax, U. P. and Others. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Miscellaneous Writ No. 3260 of 1966 connected with Civil Miscellaneous Writs Nos. 3298-3301 of
Reported in[1968]70ITR342(All)
AppellantSardar Bhagat Singh Pahal
RespondentCommissioner of Income-tax, U. P. and Others.
Excerpt:
- - after considering the rates applied by the income-tax officer and the appellate assistant commissioner, be observed :i have carefully gone through the contentions raised by the assessee in the revision petitions as well as in then written arguments submitted thereafter. he states that, after having regard to the facts of the case as well as the nature and extent of the petitioners business, he was inclined to hold that the estimate of the income adopted by the appellate assistant commissioner was somewhat excessive. it is verified to the best of the deponents knowledge and belief......for the assessment year 1962-63. the petitioner challenged the assessments in appeal before the appellate assistant commissioner. before the appellate assistant commissioner, the contention of the petitioner was that the rate of profit applied by the income-tax officer the case of the labour contract business to the estimate of the income determined by him was excessive. the petitioner cited two cases which, it said, were comparable. a rate of 5 per cent. had been adopted in respect of the contracts in those cases. the appellate assistant commissioner found that one of the cases related to a petty earth work contract undertaken in the decoit invested area of the chambal project where the contractor found it difficult to obtain labour at normal rates and had consequently to pay higher.....
Judgment:

The petitioner was assessed to income-tax for the assessment years 1958-59 to 1962-63, by the Income-tax Officer, 'C-I' Ward Bombay The income from two sources of business, a cinema business and a labour contract business, was considered for the purpose of assessment, for all the years except the assessment year 1962-63, when the labour contract business was discontinued. As the petitioner did not produce any books of account in respect of either business, the Income-tax Officer estimated the income from each source, in respect of each assessment year, taking a net profit of 30 per cent. before allowance for depreciation in respect of the cinema business and a net profit of 12 1/2 per cent. in respect of the labour contract business, and made the several assessment. The income so assessed was Rs. 27,733 for the assessment year 1958-59, Rs. 61,100 for the assessment year 1959-60, Rs. 40,322 for the assessment year 1960-61, Rs. 20,262 for the assessment year 1961-62, and Rs. 28,595 for the assessment year 1962-63. The petitioner challenged the assessments in appeal before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. Before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, the contention of the petitioner was that the rate of profit applied by the Income-tax Officer the case of the labour contract business to the estimate of the income determined by him was excessive. The petitioner cited two cases which, it said, were comparable. A rate of 5 per cent. had been adopted in respect of the contracts in those cases. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner found that one of the cases related to a petty earth work contract undertaken in the decoit invested area of the Chambal Project where the contractor found it difficult to obtain labour at normal rates and had consequently to pay higher rates, and the other case was that of a building sub-contractor doing sub-contract work in Bombay. Considering the nature of the work carried on by the petitioner and the margin of profits disclosed by similar contractors the Appellate Assistant Commissioner reduced the rate of profit to 10 per cent. He also interfered with the income estimated by the Income-tax Officer and reduced it to the figure returned by the petitioner. As regards the cinema business, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner reduced the estimate of receipts determined by the Income-tax Officer. He also reduced the rate of profit to 25 per cent. The petitioner than applied in revision to the Commissioner of Income-tax, Bombay. Upon the request of the petitioner the cases were transferred to the Commissioner of Income-tax, Uttar Pradesh-1. During the pendency of the revision applications, the petitioner filed an affidavit and written arguments thereafter before the Commissioner. He also applied for a personal hearing. On May 11, 1966, the Commissioner disposed of the revision applications by a common order. After considering the rates applied by the Income-tax Officer and the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, be observed :

'I have carefully gone through the contentions raised by the assessee in the revision petitions as well as in then written arguments submitted thereafter. Having regard to all the facts of the case, the nature and the extent of the petitioners business, I am of the opinion that the estimate of income as adopted by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner is somewhat excessive. I would allow the following further reductions in the total income as determined by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner.

Assessment year

Relief allowed.

Rs.

1958-59

2,600

1959-60

4,000

1960-61

3,600

1961-62

6,300

1962-63

6,150

In the result, the petitions are allowed to the extent indicated above. The Income-tax Officer is directed to modify the assessments accordingly.'

The petitioner has filed the instant and the connected petitions for certiorari against the orders the Commissioner of Income-tax disposing of the revision applications.

The first contention of the petitioner is that despite his repeated requested for a personal hearing, he was given no opportunity for presenting his submissions orally and, therefore, the impugned orders are vitiated. The contention is without substance. Section 264 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, empowers the Commissioner to revise an order of an authority subordinate to him either of his own motion or on an application by the assessee for revision. The provision does not confer any right upon the assessee to a personal hearing and there is nothing in it to suggest the an assessee applying in revision is entitled to present his submissions orally before the Commissioner. Merely because the proceeding before the Commissioner in revision is a quasi-judicial proceeding, it does not imply that the party applying in revision has a right to be heard personally. That was the view taken by me in Babu Lal Kedia v. Income-tax Officer (Civil Misc. Writ No. 2816 of 1960 - decided on May 10, 1966) and I referred to the decision of this court in V. C. Maheshwari v. State of U. P. Consequently, the contention of the petitioner that the impugned orders are invalid because no opportunity was given by the Commissioner to the petitioner to be heard personally must be rejected.

The other contention of the petitioner is that the Commissioner relied upon material prejudicial to the petitioner without an opportunity to the petitioner to meet it. Upon a perusal of the impugned orders there is nothing to show that the Commissioner relied upon material which was prejudicial to the petitioner and which the petitioner had had no opportunity earlier to meet.

The petitioner then says that the orders are arbitrary and do not disclose the reasons upon which the revision applications have been dismissed. Now, it does appear from the impugned orders that the Commissioner considered the contentions raised by the petitioner and also the written arguments filed by him. He states that, after having regard to the facts of the case as well as the nature and extent of the petitioners business, he was inclined to hold that the estimate of the income adopted by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner was somewhat excessive. Accordingly, and upon those reasons, he reduced the total income. It is true that the language employed by the Commissioner is general in its terms but there is nothing to suggest that the Commissioner did not apply his mind to the facts before him. Then the affidavit filed by the petitioner gave certain details of the two business but it has not been verified properly. It is verified to the best of the deponents knowledge and belief. It is not possible to say which averment is true to his personal knowledge and which upon his belief. In the circumstances, I am unable to hold that the impugned orders are without jurisdiction or suffer from any manifest error of law.

The petition is accordingly dismissed with costs.

Civil Misc. Writ No. 3298 of 1966.

For the reasons given in my judgment of date in the connected Civil Misc. Writ No. 3260 of 1966, this petition is dismissed. There is no order as to costs.


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