K. C. Agrawal, J. - At the instance of the Commissioner of Income tax, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has referred the following question for our opinion :-
'Whether after the Assessee voluntarily filed a revised return under S. 139 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, penalty is imposable under S. 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 on the basis that the Assessee furnished inaccurate particulars in the original return'
2. The relevant years in respect of which this question has been referred, are the A.Yrs. 1965-66 to 1967-68. The Assessee is a partner in the two firms called Messrs. Radhey Shyam Babu Ram and Messrs. Radhey Shyam Baijnath Prasad. The Assessee filed a return for the year 1965-66 on October 13, 1965. He thereafter filed a revised return in respect of this year on December 21, 1968. In this revised return, the net income shown by the Assessee was more than what was previously indicated in the original return filed on October 13, 1965. The same thing happened with respect to the Assessment Years 1966-67 and 1967-68. The original return for the year 1966-67 was filed on April 29, 1966, showing an income which was less than what was subsequently shown in the revised return filed on December 21, 1968. Similarly, for the Assessment Year 1967-68, the original return was filed on September 14, 1967. This was however, subsequently revised on January 23, 1968. The Income Tax Officer, having found that the Assessee was guilty of concealment, initiated penalty proceedings under S. 271(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Similar penalty proceedings were started in respect of all the three years. He referred the matter to the Inspecting Assistant Commissioner as the amount of penalty was likely to exceed Rs. 1,000/- under S. 274 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The Inspecting Assistant Commissioner thereafter found that the Assessee was guilty of concealment and imposed penalty in respect of all the three years. In doing so, he took into account the fact that the figures shown in the original returns were much less than those subsequently mentioned by the Assessee himself in the revised returns.
3. Aggrieved by the judgment of the Inspecting Assistant Commissioner, the Assessee preferred three appeals before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal differed with the view taken by the Inspecting Assistant Commissioner and having found the purposes of imposing penalty on the Assessee, held that penalty leviable in respect of The Assessment Years 1966-67 and 1967-68 could not be more than the minimum, i.e., Rs. 1,000/-. It was thereupon that the Commissioner of Income Tax filed an application under sub-S. (1) of S. 256 before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal for making a reference of the aforesaid question, as in the opinion of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, the question sought to be referred was one of law. The application filed by the Department was rejected. Thereafter on an application being filed under sub-S. (2) of S. 256 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the Appellate Tribunal was directed to draw up a statement of the case and to refer the question referred to above.
4. The question that arises for determination in this case is whether the penalty was imposable under S. 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act on the basis of the revised returns filed by the Assessee or on the original ones. This question has been the subject-matter of decision by this Court in a number of cases. The first decision is reported in Commissioner of Income Tax vs. Data Ram Satpal. It was subsequently followed in Commissioner of Income Tax Lucknow vs. Ram Achal Ram Sewak. The view taken by the Bench was that the relevant return for the purposes of S. 271 was the return filed originally and not any return filed subsequent thereto. This view was reiterated by following the same in the case of Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Lucknow vs. Krishana Subh Karan.
5. We accordingly hold that the relevant returns for the purposes of penalty proceedings is the original returns filed by the Assessee and not the revised returns subsequently filed. Accordingly we answer the question referred to us in the affirmative in favour of the Department and against the Assessee. The fee of the learned counsel for the Department is assessed at Rs. 200/-.