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Sahu Govind Prasad Vs. Wealth-tax Officer and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Miscellaneous Writ Nos. 422 and 423 of 1976
Judge
Reported in(1980)17CTR(All)258; [1983]139ITR825(All)
ActsWealth Tax Act, 1957 - Sections 5(1) and 35; Finance (No. 2) Act, 1971
AppellantSahu Govind Prasad
RespondentWealth-tax Officer and ors.
Excerpt:
- - 6. both the petitioner as well as the revenue authorities took it for granted that the ornaments in question were jewellery......filed a revision petition before the commissioner and the same was also dismissed. thereafter, he filed the present writ petition under article 226 of the constitution.4. learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that since there were differences of opinion among various high courts on the question whether the definition of the term 'jewellery', given in the explanation added to section 5(1)(viii), would apply to the assessment year 1965-66, a period prior to its amendment by the finance (no. 2) act of 1971, the question was debatable and, hence, no rectification could validly be made under section 35. in our opinion, the question as formulated by learned counsel does not arise.5. the petitioner had himself in the return showed the possession of jewellery worth rs. 1,21,835. the wto.....
Judgment:

Satish Chandra, C.J.

1. For the year 1965-66, the petitioner filed return under the W.T. Act, 1957. By an assessment order dated February 26, 1971, the assessee was assessed on a total wealth of Rs. 4,62,401. In the return, the petitioner had indicated in the column meant for jewellery a sum of Rs. 1,21,835. Since the Supreme Court had, in CWT v. Arundhati Balkrishna : [1970]77ITR505(SC) , held that jewellery was liable to be excluded from assessment under the W.T. Act, the WTO allowed an exemption on the jewellery of the aforesaid amount shown as 'jewellery', under Section 5(1)(viii) of the W.T. Act.

2. Finance (No. 2) Act of 1971 amended Section 5(1)(viii) by introducing the phrase 'but not including jewellery'. The amendment was made retrospectively with effect from April 1, 1963.

3. Subsequently, the WTO issued a notice for rectification under Section 35 of the W.T. Act. He proposed to include Rs. 1,21,835 in the assessable wealth. The petitioner filed objections which were rejected and the aforesaid amount was added. The petitioner went up in appeal which was dismissed. He, then filed a revision petition before the Commissioner and the same was also dismissed. Thereafter, he filed the present writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

4. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that since there were differences of opinion among various High Courts on the question whether the definition of the term 'Jewellery', given in the Explanation added to Section 5(1)(viii), would apply to the assessment year 1965-66, a period prior to its amendment by the Finance (No. 2) Act of 1971, the question was debatable and, hence, no rectification could validly be made under Section 35. In our opinion, the question as formulated by learned counsel does not arise.

5. The petitioner had himself in the return showed the possession of jewellery worth Rs. 1,21,835. The WTO had accepted the fact that the petitioner was possessed of jewellery to that extent. Even in the present proceedings of rectification there has been no dispute that jewellery worth Rs. 1,21,835 was involved. The petitioner did not raise any doubt or dispute that the ornaments that he possessed were not jewellery as interpreted in common parlance or that the word 'Jewellery' is to be interpreted as in common parlance, and that the amendment as contemplated by the Finance (No. 2) Act of 1971, could not give an extended meaning to the word 'Jewellery' as used in the Explanation.

6. Both the petitioner as well as the Revenue authorities took it for granted that the ornaments in question were jewellery. The question of any difference of opinion is not applicable to the facts of the present case.

7. It has not been disputed before us that, in view of the retrospective amendment in the law, 'Jewellery' became liable to assessment under the W.T. Act, and in this situation the case was one of escapement from assessment. It was a case of a mistake apparent on the face of the record which can be rectified under Section 35 of me W.T. Act.

8. The petition, accordingly, fails and is dismissed with costs.


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