Satish Chandra, C.J.
1. For the assessment years 1966-67 and 1967-68, the Tribunal has referred for our opinion the following question of law:
'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, when for the assessment years 1966-67 and 1967-68, the assessee had not filed a return of income in compliance with the notice under Section 139(2) as also a declaration in Form No. 12 as required in Section 184(7) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, it could have been allowed the benefit of continuance of registration ?'
2. From the question itself it is apparent that the assessee did not file a declaration in Form No. 12 nor did he file a return of income. The proviso to Section 184(7) requires a declaration in writing in the prescribed form that no change in the constitution of the firm or in the shares of partners has taken place, and unless this declaration is filed renewal cannot be effected. Renewal is not automatic. It has to be done after the requirements of law have been complied with by the assessee. The requirements are the filing of the declaration in Form No. 12 and filing of the return of income.
3. The filing of the return of income is equally mandatory. There is no substance in the plea raised on behalf of the assessee that filing of the declaration is to be done along with the return of income and if the return of income has not been filed, there is no necessity to file a declaration. The argument raised has to be rejected. In its true meaning Section 184(7) requires compliance of both the conditions. In the years in question the provision permitted the filing of declaration even before the filing of the return of income. As such, the provision cannot possibly be construed to mean that neither the return of income nor a declaration need be filed. The Tribunal, in our opinion, was justified in holding that the firm was not entitled to continuance of registration for the years in question and that they have been rightly refused the benefit of continuance of registration.
4. We, therefore, answer the question in the negative, in favour of the department and against the assessee. The Commissioner will be entitled to costs which are assessed at Rs. 200.