1. This is a consolidated reference for the assessment years 1960-61 and 1961-62 made by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal at the instance of the assessee. The following question of law has been referred for our answer :
' Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, and keeping in view the proviso to section 10(2)(vib) of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, the Tribunal was justified in rejecting the claim of the assessee for development rebate for the assessment years 1960-61 and 1961-62 on the cost of new road transport vehicles purchased before April 1, 1960?'
2. The assessee purchased new transport vehicles before 1st April, 1960, and claimed development rebate under section 10(2)(vib) of the Income-tax Act, 1922, for the assessment years 1960-61 and 1961-62. The claim for development rebate was refused by the income-tax authorities relying on the proviso which was added to the section by the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Act, 1960, with effect from 1st April, 1960. The proviso reads as follows :
'Provided further that no allowance under this clause shall be made in respect of any machinery or plant which consists of office appliances or road transport vehicles.'
3. In our opinion, the answer to the question must be in the affirmative. It is a general principle of the income-tax law that income-tax is charged according to the relevant Finance Act. The Finance Acts of 1960 and 1961 define the total income to mean total income as determined for the purpose of income-tax or super-tax, as the case may be, in accordance with the provisions of the Income-tax Act. By 'the Income-tax Act' is meant the Act as in force on 1st April of the assessment year : See Maharajah of Pithapuram v. Commissioner of Income-tax  13 ITR 221 and Kanga and Palkhivala, The Law and Practice of Income Tax, 7th edition, volume I, page 83. The proviso to section 10(2)(vib), by virtue of the Taxation Laws(Amendment) Act, 1960, was retrospectively added from 1st April, 1960. It was, therefore, in force throughout during both the assessment years. The language of the proviso is clear. It says that-- 'no allowance under this Clause shall ' be made in respect of any machinery or plant which consists of office appliances or road transport vehicles'. As the proviso was in force from 1st April, 1960, the income-tax authorities could not make any allowance in the shape of development rebate for road transport vehicles during the assessment years 1960-61 and 1961-62.
4. The argument of the learned counsel for the assessee is that development rebate should be allowed in respect of all vehicles which were purchased before 1st April, 1960, irrespective of the assessment year in which the rebate is claimed. We do not agree with this contention as it goes against the clear intention of Parliament. The proviso directs that no allowance shall be made in respect of road transport vehicles. The proviso was in force during the relevant assessment years from the very beginning and, therefore, no allowance for development rebate could be claimed by the assessee or allowed by the authorities. The view taken by us is supported by a decision of the Gujarat High Court in Maneklal Vallabhdas Parikh & Sons v. Commissioner of Income-tax : 72ITR637(Guj) .
5. Learned counsel for the assessee further argued that in case we do not construe the proviso as inapplicable to the vehicles purchased before 1st April, 1960, the result would be that the assessees adopting different previous years would be discriminated. The broad policy of Parliament is not to allow the rebate for road transport vehicles during the assessment years commencing from 1st April, 1960. The proviso applies uniformly to all assessees for the assessment years commencing from 1st April, 1960. Parliament has thus not discriminated between the assessees. Even assuming that on this construction some assessees will get the benefit of rebate and others will not in respect of vehicles purchased on the same date because of different previous years adopted by them, a matter on which we do not express any opinion, that would be an accident of the mode of accounting adopted by the assessees and Parliament cannot be blamed for. any discrimination. We may also point out that the validity of the proviso was upheld by the Supreme Court in Southern Roadways v. Union of India : 44ITR708(SC) .
6. For the reasons given above, we answer the question referred to us as follows :
'The Tribunal was justified in rejecting the claim of the assessee for development rebate for the assessment years 1960-61 and 1961-62.'
7. There shall be no order as to costs of this reference.