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In Re: Lakshmi Industries and Cold Storage Company (P) Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Application in Income-tax Reference No. 387 of 1977
Judge
Reported in[1980]124ITR828(All); [1981]5TAXMAN87(All)
ActsIncome Tax Act, 1961 - Sections 256
AppellantIn Re: Lakshmi Industries and Cold Storage Company (P) Ltd.
Appellant AdvocateS.P. Gupta, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateR.K. Gulati, Adv.
Cases ReferredDivisional Officer v. Raja Srinivasa Prasad Singh
Excerpt:
- - 2. it appears to us to be well established that every court and tribunal has inherent power to correct a mistake committed by it which has resulted in injustice to a party......order has been made on the ground that theassessee should not be made to suffer on account of the mistake committedby the office of the court, viz., by the name of counsel for the assessee notbeing shown in the cause list as a result of which the assessee could notbe heard in the matter. 2. it appears to us to be well established that every court and tribunal has inherent power to correct a mistake committed by it which has resulted in injustice to a party. (see sub-divisional officer v. raja srinivasa prasad singh : [1966]2scr970 ). in the present case, the assessee was deprived of its right of hearing on account of the mistake committed by the office of the court. this being so, the court can, in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction, recall that order. sri r. k. gulati, appearing.....
Judgment:

C.S.P. Singh, J.

1. This is an application for recalling our order dated18th October, 1979 Addl. CIT v. Lakshmi Industries & Cold Storage Co. : [1980]122ITR993(All) by which we had answered the reference madeat the instance of the Commissioner in favour of the Commissioner. Itappears that by an oversight, the office had not shown the name ofSri S. P. Gupta as counsel for the assesses, as a result of which noneappeared for the assesses, and the hearing took place ex parte. Theapplication for recalling the order has been made on the ground that theassessee should not be made to suffer on account of the mistake committedby the office of the court, viz., by the name of counsel for the assessee notbeing shown in the cause list as a result of which the assessee could notbe heard in the matter.

2. It appears to us to be well established that every court and Tribunal has inherent power to correct a mistake committed by it which has resulted in injustice to a party. (See Sub-Divisional Officer v. Raja Srinivasa Prasad Singh : [1966]2SCR970 ). In the present case, the assessee was deprived of its right of hearing on account of the mistake committed by the office of the court. This being so, the court can, in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction, recall that order. Sri R. K. Gulati, appearing on behalf of the department, contended that the order cannot be recalled in this case, for the reason that it has been passed on merits, and further that the jurisdiction which this court exercises is an advisory one, and once such advice has been given on a question of law referred to it, it cannot withdraw its opinion. It was also suggested that the Tribunal may have disposed of the appeal in conformity with the opinion given by this court, and the opinion given cannot be withdrawn on this consideration too. These contentions are unsound. The fact that the court's jurisdiction under Section 256 is advisory in nature, does not deprive it of its judicial character. It is incumbent on the court to give an opportunity of hearing to the opposite party, and if it does not do so, the order is vitiated, and becomes non est in the eye of law. Breach of the principle of natural justice results in an order which is a nullity whether it is passed by an administrative tribunal, judicial authority or a quasi-judicial authority, this principle is being of universal application irrespective of the nature and character of the jurisdiction exercised by a tribunal or court. The earlier order being a nullity for want of notice to the opposite party, the order of the Tribunal, if any, passed in pursuance of it would also crumble, for once the basis on which it has been passed goes it cannot continue. Mr. Gulati drew our attention to the decision in the case of Seth Mathuradas v. CIT , where the view had been taken that the court cannot review its decision given in a reference under Section 66 of the Indian I.T. Act, 1922. The order that we are passing is not an order reviewing our earlier order, but one recognising the infirmity in that order, and correcting the mistake committed by this court, in deciding the case without notice to the opposite party. The application is accordingly allowed, and the order dated 18th October, 1979 is recalled. The reference should now be listed for hearing before the appropriate Bench. There shall be no order as to costs.


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