The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
FALSHAW, J. - These are two petitions under section 66(3) of the Income-tax Act filed by Messrs. T. N. Swami and Company against the Commissioner of Income-tax, Delhi. It seems that appeals were filed by the petitioners against the order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner relating to the assessment years 1942-43 and 1943-44 before the Delhi Bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. The two appeals appeared to the Appellate Tribunal to be barred by time, but the assessee was given an opportunity to furnish facts or explanations which might have led the Appellate Tribunal to treat the appeals as filed within time, and when he did not do so, the appeals were dismissed in a short consolidated order dated the July 3, 1950. This order was communicated to the assessee by means of a certified copy which reached him on the July 24, 1950. The assessee then sough to have certain questions of law said to arise out of the order of the Tribunal referred to the High Court under Section 66 of the Income-tax Act and he, therefore, filed two applications under Section 66(1) before the Tribunal. These applications, however, were not filed until the September 29, 1950. The Tribunal did not consider that they had been filed within time and therefore dismissed them as time-barred. The present applications have accordingly been filed in this Court under Section 66(3) which specifically deals with the dismissal by the Tribunal of applications under Section 66(1) as barred by time.
The provisions of the Act regarding limitation for applications under Section 66(1) are contained in that sub-section and Section 67A. The relevant words of Section 66(1) are :-
'within sixty days of the date upon which he is served with notice of an order under sub-section (4) of Section 33, the assessee or the Commissioner may, * * *'
and Section 67A reads :-
'In computing the period of limitation prescribed for an appeal under this Act or for an application under Section 66, the day on which the order complained of was made, And the time requisite for obtaining a copy of such order, shall be excluded.'
It is clear that excluding the day on which the appellate order of the Tribunal was delivered, the July 3, 1950, the period of sixty days mentioned in Section 66(1) expired on the September 22, 1950, and the applications under Section 66(1) which were filed on the September 29, were therefore filed seven days after the prescribed period. The assessee, however, sought to extend to period of limitation by reason of the fact that he had applied on the September 20, for certified copies of the Tribunals order and these copies were actually supplied on the September 28. It was therefore provision of Section 67A which exclude the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the relevant order from the period of limitation for an application under Section 66. This contention,, however, was Income-tax that no time was required in this case for obtaining any certified copies of the appellate order of the Tribunal since the notice of the order of the Tribunal mentioned in Section 66 (1) was actually conveyed to the assessee by means of a certified copy.
It is conceded by the counsel for both parties that there is no reported decision directly in point. It is not disputed that no certified copy of the appellate order of the Tribunal needs to be filed along with an application under Section 66(1), but it is contended on behalf of the petitioner that this fact makes no difference to his right to exclude from the period of limitation the time taken in obtaining a certified copy, reliance being placed on the Full Bench decision of the Lahore v. Official Liquidators, Punjab Cotton Press Co. Ltd. 1. In that case a Letters Patent appeal was filed against the order of learned single Judge dealing with company matters, and it was held that although no copy of the order appealed against was required to be filed along with the appeal, the appellant was nevertheless entitled to the benefit of Section 12(2) of the Limitation Act. The reasoning underlying this decision is obvious, namely, that even if a litigant is not required to supply a certified copy of the order against which an appeal is to be filed, be is entitled to obtain a copy of the order for study with a view to deciding whether or not to file an appeal. It is clear, however, that that case differs from the present case on a point which goes to the root of the matter, namely, that in the present case the appellate order of the Tribunal was communicated to the petitioner by means of a certified copy, and therefore it is not open to him on any ground to say that he required any further certified copies of the order. The case might have been different if he had been required to file certified copy of the consolidated order along with each of his separate application. I therefore consider that the matter was quite correctly decided by the Tribunal and would dismiss the present applications with costs which I would asses at Rs. 100 for the two application taken together.
KAPUR J. - I agree.