1. This appeal by the assessee is directed against the order of the Appellate Controller in respect of the estate of late Smt. Shantidevi passing on her death.
2. The first ground of appeal is general in nature and, therefore, calls for no consideration.
3. In the second, third and fourth grounds of appeal, the value of the house property being plot No. 4, Industrial Area, Sriganganagar, has been disputed. The deceased owned the above property. The accountable person showed the value of the above property in the statement of accounts at Rs. 1,98,000. The Assistant Controller adopted the value of this property at Rs. 2,96,000 on the basis of the report of the Valuation Officer to whom reference was made by the Controller. After considering the objections of the accountable person, the Appellate Controller has reduced the value of this property to Rs. 2,76,000. The assessee is aggrieved against the above valuation placed by the learned Appellate Controller. It has been submitted before us that this property was subject-matter of valuation in the case of the deceased under the Wealth-tax Act for the assessment year 1975 76 and the valuation date for this assessment year was 11-4-1975.
The date of death was 15-5-1975, i.e., after one month and 5 days of the valuation date in wealth-tax proceedings. It was, therefore, urged on behalf of the assessee that there could not be increase in value from Rs. 2,25,000 as on 11-4-1975 to Rs. 2,76,000 as on 15-5-1975, i.e., an increase of Rs. 51,000 in a period of one month. The learned departmental representative has supported the order of the Appellate Controller. We are inclined to accept the submissions made by the learned counsel of the assessee. When the property has been valued by the WTO at Rs. 2,25,000 on 11-4-1975, there cannot be a case of increase in the value thereof just after one month. Under the Wealth-tax Act, also, the fail-market value of the property has to be assessed as under the Estate Duty Act. Since the fair market value has been accepted by the revenue at Rs. 2,25,000 just one month before death for the purpose of wealth-tax proceedings, we do not see any justification to increase the value thereof for the purpose of the Estate Duty Act. We would, therefore, direct that the value of this property passing on the death of the deceased should be adopted at Rs. 2,25,000 as accepted by the revenue for the purpose of wealth-tax assessment for the assessment year 1975-76. To this extent, the order of the Appellate Controller is modified.
4. In the fifth ground of appeal, it has been stated that the Appellate Controller has erred in adopting the value of house at 23-C Block, at Sri Ganganagar at Is. 46,000 as against Rs 36,000 declared by the assessee.
5. The Assistant Controller estimated the value of this property at Rs. 56,000. The AAC has reduced the same at Rs. 46,000 as against Rs. 36,000 shown by the assessee. Here again it may be pointed out that under the Wealth-tax Act, the value of this property has been adopted by the WTO for the assessment year 1975-76 at Rs. 40,000. For the detailed reasons given earlier, in our opinion, it would be reasonable if the value adopted for wealth-tax purposes for the assessment year 1975-76, is also adopted for the purpose of the Estate Duty Act. We, therefore, direct the Assistant Controller to adopt the value of this property at Rs. 40,000. The order of the Appellate Controller is modified accordingly.
6. The last ground of appeal is that the Appellate Controller has erred in taking the value of agricultural land at Rs. 3,00,000 as against Rs. 2,76,000 declared by the assessee. This issue also does not require much discussion. Under the Wealth-tax Act, this property has been valued by the WTO for the assessment year 1975-76 at Rs. 3,00,000. It would, therefore, be reasonable to value this property at Rs. 3,00,000 for estate duty purposes as well. The Appellate Controller has valued it at Rs. 3,00,000 only. We, therefore, do not find any infirmity in the order of the Appellate Controller so far as this ground of appeal is concerned.