Oza, Actg. C.J.
1. This reference has been made by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal at the instance of the Commissioner of Income-tax, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, for answering the question:
' Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal was correct in law in holding that the refund of Rs. 2,53,185 is not taxable as a trading receipt in the hands of the assessee company ?' ,
2. The facts stated in the reference are that the assessee is a private limited company engaged in the manufacture and sale of conductors, winding wire, armour taps, aluminium enamelled wires, etc. For the assessment year 1980-81, the previous year of the accounts of the company ended on June 30, 1979. The assessee company purchased aluminium from M/s. Hindustan Aluminium Corporation, Renukut, U.P., and supplied the products to the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board during the period June 24, 1975, to February 23, 1978. Hindustan Aluminium Corporation charged Central sales tax at the rate of 4% on these goods supplied to the assessee company. The assessee company debited this Central sales tax in its books of account arid the deduction for it was claimed and allowed in the relevant assessment years. There was some dispute as to the rate at which the Central sales tax could be charged as according to the Hindustan Aluminium Corporation, the contention was raised .that it could be charged at 2% and ultimately it appears that the Hindustan Aluminium Corporation succeeded and, therefore, they allowed rebate to the assessee company to the tune of Rs. 2,53,185 by way of credit note on account of excess charge of Central sales tax. This was shown for earlier years during the previous year relevant to the assessment year 1980-81. In the course of assessment, the assessee contended that the amount of Rs. 2,53,185 was not taxable as income under Section 41(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, because it was payable to the M. P. Electricity Board according to the agreement with them. The Inspecting Assistant Commissioner (Assessment) after considering the arguments of the assessee included this amount in the total income treating it to be a trading receipt liable to tax under Section 41(1) of the Act. Against this, an appeal was preferred to the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals), but he maintained the order passed by the Inspecting Assistant Commissioner and, thereafter, a second appeal was taken to the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal held that this money was not the money of the assessee company but was the money of the M.P. Electricity Board and, therefore, this could not be treated as a trading receipt in the hands of the company and, therefore, allowed the appeal and set aside the orders passed by the Inspecting Assistant Commissioner and the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals). Thereafter at the instance of the Revenue this reference has been made.
3. Learned counsel appearing for the Revenue contended that there is no material to indicate that this money was ever claimed by the M. P. Electricity Board nor has it been paid to the M.P. Electricity Board and it was contended that it is on this basis that the Income-tax Officer found that as this money has not been claimed by the M.P. Electricity Board, it is a trading receipt in the hands of the assessee and, therefore, added it to the income of the assessee in the relevant year. It was contended by the learned counsel, therefore, that the question of law that arises is as to whether the view taken by the Tribunal in accepting this amount as not a trading receipt in the hands of the assessee and, therefore, not taxable is correct: whereas learned counsel for the assessee contended that whether the money is a trading receipt or is the money of the M.P. Electricity Board lying in deposit with the assessee was the only question before the Tribunal and the Tribunal came to the conclusion that the money belongs to the M.P. Electricity Board and is not the money of the assessee and, therefore, is not a trading receipt, it could not be included for purposes of income-tax. This conclusion arrived at by the Tribunal is based on the material placed before it and on the interpretation of the agreement with the M. P. Electricity Board and the assessee and, therefore, this conclusion is a conclusion of fact and no question of law arises.
4. After considering the rival contentions, the Tribunal in its order observed:
' Looking to the aforesaid facts and the entirety of circumstances, it isclear that the appellant company was having no right or claim to the saidamount which really belongs to MPEB. So, the addition, if any, can bemade in the hands of the MPEB. The said amount is not income of theassessee in the year of account. '
5. This clearly indicates that the Tribunal arrived at this conclusion of fact on the basis of facts before the Tribunal and the circumstances which were before it. Apparently, therefore, the finding that the money is the money of the M.P. Electricity Board and the company has no right or claim on the said amount is a clear finding of fact. It is not disputed that while hearing a reference, this court cannot go into the findings of fact arrived at by the Tribunal and, therefore, as the finding of fact arrived at by the Tribunal is as stated above, the only question that can be considered is as to whether on these findings any question of law arises, particularly the question which has been referred to us. The question as has been worded only means that the money does not belong to the M. P. Electricity Board but is a trading receipt. As it has been stated in the question, is the Tribunal correct in holding that the refund of Rs. 2,53,185 is not taxable as a trading receipt Under these circumstances, in our opinion, no question of law arises as apparently if the Tribunal had found it to be a trading receipt and still not taxed it, it could be contended that having found this amount to be a trading receipt, a question of law arises whether it could be taxed in the hands of the assessee in a particular year but since the finding arrived at by the Tribunal is that this money is not the money of the assessee at all but is the money of the M. P. Electricity Board, no question of law arises.
6. Learned counsel for the Revenue contended that even if it is the money of the M. P. Electricity Board, if it is unclaimed money, ultimately it becomes a trading receipt in the hands of the assessee. Unfortunately, there is no finding that the M. P. Electricity Board has given up the claim on this money and, therefore, it has become an amount which is unclaimed. In fact, unfortunately, during the proceedings before the authorities, no attempt has been made to enquire as to whether the M. P. Electricity Board has claimed this amount or not. The agreement which has been before the Tribunal clearly lays down that this amount will be paid to the M. P. Electricity Board. Under these circumstances, unless this amount becomes not payable to the M.P. Electricity Board, no such contention can be raised.
7. Under the circumstances, as no question of law arises, the reference is rejected. Parties are directed to bear their own costs.