G.P. Singh, C.J.
1. The question of law referred by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal in this reference is as follows :
'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the assessee-firm was entitled to renewal of registration under Section 184/ 186 for the two years under consideration ?'
2. The assessee-firm was granted registration for the assessment year 1967-68. Thereafter, the continuation of registration was granted till 1971-72. The ITO refused to grant continuation of registration for the assessment years 1972-73 and 1973-74. The ITO was of the view that the assessee-firm was not a separate entity but was a branch of another assessee, M/s. C. J. Patel & Co. The AAC and the Tribunal took a different view and held that the assessee-firm was entirely different from M/s. C. J. Patel & Co. AH the factors relevant on the question have been examined by the Tribunal. The Tribunal's finding that the assessee-firm is a separate entity is really a finding of fact and having been reached on appreciation of evidence, cannot really give rise to any question of law. It was argued before the Tribunal that the assessee-firm consisted mainly of ladies who are wives of the employees of M/s. C. J. Patel & Co. These ladies were examined and their statements were considered by the Tribunal. The Tribunal has pointed out that their statements disclosed full awareness of their relations with the assessee-firm's constitution and its assets and finances, and they could not be merely held to be name-lenders. It has further been pointed out that M/s. C. J. Patel & Co. did not derive any pecuniary benefit through the constitution of the assessee-firm and that it paid interest at 1 per cent. on the outstanding periodical balances to the assessee-firm. It was also pointed out that all the partners of the assessee-firm including the ladies made substantial withdrawals by drafts on the State Bank of India for their own personal requirements. Having regard to these facts and other facts, the Tribunal found in favour of the assessee. In our opinion, the Tribunal's finding cannot be assailed.
3. For the reasons stated above, our answer to the question referred is that the assessee-firm was entitled to the continuation of registrationunder Section 184/186 of the I.T. Act for the years 1972-73 and 1973-74. There will be no order as to costs of this reference.