Per Shri F. C. Rustagi, Judicial Member - this is an appeal, preferred by the assessee Mr. Sudershan Kumar Jain, under the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 (the Act). The sum and substances of all the grounds raised is that the assessee should have been granted exemption under section 5(1) (iv) of the Act in respect of his half share in respect of two properties situated in Madhopuri being House Nos. B-VI-130 and B-VI-100.
2. The facts in the background of the issue are in short compass. The assessee owned half share in each of the two Houses B-VI 130 and B-VI-100 situated in Madhopuri, former opening in kucha No. 2 and the latter opening in kucha No. 1. Both these properties were valued separately at Rs. 80,500 and Rs. 64,000, respectively and the TO allowed the assessees claim of exemption under section 5(1) (iv) only in respect of property valued at Rs. 80,500, i.e. in a sum of Rs. 40,250. In other words, he did not accept the assessees claim in respect of Rs. 32,200 being half share of the assessee in respect of property No. B-VI-100.
3. When the action of the WTO came to be disputed by the assessee before the AAC, he confirmed the action of the WTO observing that these two properties were purchased in two parts firstly, secondly, two properties bore two different municipal numbers and thirdly, two properties were situated in different localities.
4. While disputing this action of the AAC, the learned counsel for the assessee Mr. Mohan Lal submitted that it is incorrect to say that the two properties are situated in different localities. Actually, both the properties are situated in Madhopuri. However, one of the opening is in kucha No. 1 whereas the other is in kucha No. 2. He, however, submitted that the two properties were undoubtedly acquired in two lots and bear different municipal numbers but he vehemently argued that both are properties annexed with each other and he made available for our perusal blue print of the same indicating wall to wall construction and commonness of courtyard and rooms, etc., He, however, submitted that reliance of the assessee on the case of Shiv Narain Chaudhari v. CWT  108 ITR 104 (All) is rightly placed and the two lower authorities were not justified in ignoring the said case, which supported the contention of the assessee.
5. The learned departmental representative Mr. M. P. Singh, on the other had, submitted that the two properties bore different numbers and the same pay house tax separately, beside which he relied on the orders of the two lower authorities.
6. After taking into consideration the rival submissions, we are unable to confirm the action of the AAC. There is no dispute about the fact that the two properties, though acquired separately in which the assessee held one half share each, were annexed wall to wall and have common courtyard and rooms which indicated that the property is one and the same. there is also no dispute about the fact that the properties being long enough, though situated in Madhopuri having two openings in Kucha Nos. 1 and 2 and that would not make the property being situated in different localities. Their Lordships of the Allahabad High court in the case of Shiv Narain chaudhari (supra) in identical case where two properties were connected by a common passage and had unity of structure, had held that the assessee was entitled t exemption under section 5(1) (iv) in respect of both the properties. They observed thus : "... The fact that different portions of the building were built in different years is not relevant in determining whether the different portions constitute one house. The fact that different portions bear different municipal numbers is relevant but not conclusive." (p. 105) Here under peculiar circumstances of the case that the two portions of the property were acquired differently at two stages by the assessee and the co-owners, being a property having common courtyard and common walls and unity of structure, simply because it came to acquire two municipal numbers and the two openings being in kucha Nos. 1 and 2 would not two residential houses for the purposes of exemption. The assessee therefore, on the basis of the facts of the instant case, is entitled to exemption and his claim is ordered to be allowed under section 5(1) (vi). Perusal of the blue prints show that it is one and the same property.
7. Since we have reversed the finding of the AAC, in the result, the assessees appeal is allowed.