Satish Chandra, C.J. - For the assessment year 1970-71 the Income-tax Officer first granted registration to the petitioner firm M/s. Arora Brothers. Subsequently he cancelled it. The assessee went up in appeal and succeeded. The Income-tax Officer went up to the Tribunal. The Tribunal held that the petitioner firm was, under the circumstances, not entitled to registration. It allowed the departmental appeal. Against this order of the Tribunal the petitioner has come to this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.
2. At the stage of admission hearing learned counsel for the department raised a preliminary objection that the petition was not entertainable because the petitioner had an efficacious alternative remedy by way of a reference to this Court under section 226 of the Act. The Bench heard the counsel on this point and ultimately held that under the circumstances the preliminary objection was overruled. Thereafter the Bench admitted the petition.
3. On merits the position is that the accounting period relevant to the assessment year 1970-71 ended on 6th November, 1969. Avinash Chandra who was a minor and had been admitted to the benefit of the petitioner partnership firm attained majority on 11th September, 1969, that is to say, he became major within three months of the expiry of the accounting period. In view of section 30(7) of the Partnership Act, 1932 rights and liabilities of a minor continue as such till the expiry of six months from the date he attains majority. During this period of six months there is no change in the constitution of the firm. This view has been taken in several decisions of this Court. See : Commissioner of Income Tax Lucknow vs. National Medical Store, Gorakhpur, Commissioner of Income Tax Lucknow vs. Ballabh Dass Hari Dass Varanasi, and Commissioner of Income Tax vs. M/s. Mathura Prasad Anno Lal.
4. In view of this settled legal position it cannot be gainsaid that no change in the constitution of the petitioner firm did take place during the assessment year in question because of the attaining of majority by Avinash Chandra. The Tribunal committed an error of law in holding otherwise.
5. In the result the petition succeeds and is allowed. The impugned order of the Tribunal dated January 31, 1977 is quashed and the order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner restored. The petitioner would be entitled to costs.