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R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia Vs. Commissioner of Income-tax, SimlA. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberIncome-tax Reference No. 23 of 1958
Reported in[1962]45ITR588(P& H)
AppellantR. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia
RespondentCommissioner of Income-tax, SimlA.
Excerpt:
- sections 80 (2) & 89 & punjab motor vehicles rules, 1989, rules 85 & 80: [t.s. thakur, cj, jasbir singh & surya kant, jj] appeal against orders of state or regional transport authority imitation held, a stipulation regarding the period of limitation available for invoking the remedy shall have to be strictly construed. that is because any provision by way of limitation is in the nature of a restraint on the remedy provided under the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply.....mehar singh j. - this is a reference by the income-tax appellate tribunal (delhi bench), on an order from this court under sub-section (2) of section 66 of the indian income-tax act of 1922, of the following question :'whether, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the tribunal is correct in law in holding that the assessee firm (r. b. jodha mal kuthalia, abdullapur depot, simla) was not entitled to the benefit provided in section 25(3) or 25(4) of the income-tax act, in relation to the assessment in question ?'the hindu undivided family hakam mal tani mal were taxed under the income-tax act of 1918 on income from, among other sources, manufacture and sale of timber at abdullapur. the hindu undivided family, subsequently in the accounting year relevant to the assessment for 1934-35,.....
Judgment:

MEHAR SINGH J. - This is a reference by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (Delhi Bench), on an order from this court under sub-section (2) of section 66 of the Indian Income-tax Act of 1922, of the following question :

'Whether, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal is correct in law in holding that the assessee firm (R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur Depot, Simla) was not entitled to the benefit provided in section 25(3) or 25(4) of the Income-tax Act, in relation to the assessment in question ?'

The Hindu undivided family Hakam Mal Tani Mal were taxed under the Income-tax Act of 1918 on income from, among other sources, manufacture and sale of timber at Abdullapur. The Hindu undivided family, subsequently in the accounting year relevant to the assessment for 1934-35, converted itself into a partnership.

It appears that that partnership was orally dissolved, its business was divided up, and the business of the timber depots at Abdullapur fell to the share of R. B. Jodha Mal and Gajjan Mal Ram Parkash, who then formed a new partnership about the same, each having half share in the business. So far as the present reference is concerned, the only evidence of the dissolution of the pervious partnership and the creation of the new partnership between R. B. Jodha Mal and Gajjan Mal Ram Parkash in regard to the Abdullapur timber depots, is the deed of partnership entered into between the last named two on June 29, 1939. The material part of that deed, which has bearing on the question under consideration, reads :

'Whereas, we, the deponents, were partners and shareholders in firm of Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal, Simla, and all the partners of firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal understood and settled their accounts up to the 31st of March, 1939, on the 31st March, 1939, and all the partners have become separate from the 1st of April, 1939, and the business at Abdullapur in the name of firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal and R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia has fallen to our share to run which we have by means of an oral agreement constituted a separate partnership styled R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, from the 1st of April, 1939. Now the said oral agreement is being reduced to writing and we agree that - (then follow the terms and conditions of partnership with statement of shares of the partners in the business).'

It is apparent that this document came into existence some three months after the dissolution of the partnership firm Hakam Mal Tani Mal and the coming into existence of the new firm R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur.

The Income-tax (Amendment) Act (7 of 1939) came into force on April 1, 1939, and actually thus on the midnight of March 31, and April 1, 1939. The assessee firm, R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, in the assessment year 1943-44, for the accounting year 1942-43 claimed relief under section 25(3) and (4) of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, on the ground that the business had suffered tax under the Income-tax Act of 1918 and as the old firm ceased to carry on this business on March 31, 1939, and was succeeded to by the new firm, the assessee, on April 1, 1939, so it was entitled to relief under the said provision at the commencement of the Indian Income-tax (Amendment) Act of 1939. It wrote a letter on February 25, 1947, to the Income-tax Officer in these terms :

'The above business of the partnership suffered income-tax under the provisions of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1918, in the hands of Messrs. Hakam Mal Tani Mal, Simla. The partnership had been determined as on the 31st of March, 1943. The business has been as such either discontinued or succeeded to. As such, it is, therefore, prayed that effect to the provisions of section 25(3) or 25(4) may be given and no tax charged in respect of the above assessment year.'

The Income-tax Officer on this aspect of the matter says that :

'.... it has also been pointed out that the partnership was dissolved as on 31st of March, 1943, when a statement of assets and liabilities was prepared and apportionment of share capital between the two partners constituting this partnership was made; but this is neither registered nor decree in terms of this was obtained from a court of law.'

He disallowed this claim to the assessee firm. On appeal, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, on this aspect of the matter, came to the conclusion that :

'the Income-tax Officer has erred in holding that the appellant could not be entitled to any relief under section 25(3) or 25(4) since it had not been taxed under the Act of 1918. The relief is available to the person who at the commencement of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1939, carried on business which was charged to tax under the provisions of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1918. That relief is available at the time of succession. The question for consideration is whether under these circumstances mentioned above, the relief was admissible to the appellant or not. From the assessment order of 1939-40 in the case of Messrs. Hakam Mal Tani Mal, it will be seen that the four firms took over the running of business of Abdullapur depot with Lala Gajjan Mal as partner. It is on this date, namely, 1st April, 1939, that Messrs. Hakam Mal Tani Mal was succeeded by R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia. Therefore, it must be assumed that Messrs. Hakam Mal Tani Mal were carrying on business at the commencement of the Indian Income-tax (Amendment) Act of 1939 for the making over and taking over of business which took place on 1st April, 1939. It is altogether immaterial and not quite relevant that the accounts were closed on 31st March, 1939. I am of opinion, therefore, the succession took place on 1st March, 1939, and the parent firm of Messrs. Hakam Mal Tani Mal was entitled to relief under section 25(4). It is for the second time that succession again took place on 1st April, 1943. Relief under section 25(4) is not available in the case of second succession.'

On second appeal to the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Delhi Bench, the Tribunal after referring to the operative part of the deed of June 29, 1939, in regard to the partnership of the assessee firm, says that :

'it is recited in the deed (which is in Urdu) that the accounts of the parent firm up the 31st March, 1939, were looked into by all the partners on 31st March, 1939; that all the partners became separate from one another from 1st April, 1939; that all the business done in the name of Hakam Mal Tani Mal and of R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia at Abdullapur, fell to the share of Jodha Mal and Gajjan Mal, and that for carrying on that business, the two persons last mentioned brought into existence a separate firm orally, by name R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, on 1st April, 1939. Nothing can be clearer. The appellant firm came into existence only on 1st April, 1939, and the members of the parent firm separated only from that day. Therefore, the appellant firm succeeded to Abdullapur business only on 1st April, 1939. That business was in existence on 31st March, 1939. The Income-tax (Amendment) Act, 1939 (7 of 1939) came into force on 1st April, 1939. According to section 5(3) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), unless the contrary is expressed, a central Act shall be construed as coming into operation immediately on the expiration of the day preceding its commencement. Therefore, the Amendment Act came into operation at midnight of 31st March/1st April, 1949. It follows that the first succession to this business after the commencement of that Act was on 1st April, 1939, when the appellant firm came into being and took over the business. Any right or claim to relief under section 25(3) or section 25(4) accrued only then and not in relation to the assessment now under consideration.'

The Income-tax Appellate Tribunal dismissed the appeal of the assessee firm. Afterwards, it dismissed an application of the assessee firm to make a reference to the High Court and, as stated, the present reference has been made on an order from this court under section 66(2) of the Income-tax Act of 1922.

The question for consideration is rather brief and that is whether partners of firm Hakam Mal Tani Mal, described as the parent firm in the orders of the income-tax authorities, separated on March 31, 1939, or on April 1, 1939, for in the former case if the assessee firm succeeded to it before April 1, 1939, the answer to the question in the reference has to be in the affirmative and in the latter case, the answer must be in the negative. The department as also the assessee firm have for the decision of this question, relied solely upon the partnership deed, exhibit A, of June 29, 1939, between R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia and Gajjan Mal. The relevant part of that deed has already been reproduced above. On March 31, 1939, the partners of Hakam Mal Tani Mal settled their partnership accounts up to that date. Mere settlement of accounts obviously is not evidence of dissolution or separation of the partners of a partnership. There is no statement in separation of the partners of a partnership. There is no statement in exhibit A that firm Hakam Mal Tani Mal was dissolved or its partners separated on March, 31, 1939. No more is stated than this that on that date, they settled their accounts up to that date. Then follows the statement that :

'all the partners have become separate from the 1st of April, 1939, and the business at Abdullapur......... has fallen to our share to run which we have by means of an oral agreement constituted a separate partnership.......... ',

and in this statement, the separation of the partners of the parent firm, Hakam Mal Tani Mal, is in the clearest words shown to have taken place from April 1, 1939. In paragraph 200, at page 138 of Halsbury, second edition, it is stated that,

'expressions, such as from such a day or until such a day are equivocal, since they do not make it clear whether the inclusion or the exclusion of the day named, may be intended',

and it is earlier stated that,

'where there is room for doubt, the enactment or instrument ought to be so construed as to effectuate and not to defeat the intention of Parliament or of the parties, as the case may be.'

It has been contended that the intention of the parties in the present case was to dissolve the parent firm of Hakam Mal Tani Mal on March 31, 1939, and to bring into being the assessee firm on that very day. Yet in the partnership deed, exhibit A, the partners of the parent firm became separate from April 1, 1939. It being not clear, whether the intention of the parties in executing this deed was to include or to exclude April 1, 1939, it may be taken as favourably as can be in support of the claim of the assessee firm and said that the parties intended April 1, 1939, to be a day to be included in considering when the new partnership came into existence. This to the assessee firm is the most favourable interpretation of the partition deed. It has then been urged that on this reading of the partnership deed, the assessee firm must be taken to have come into existence on the midnight of March 31 and April 1, 1939, and the parent firm of Hakam Mal Tani Mal has to be taken to have come to an end or to have dissolved at the end of the day of March 31, 1939, that is to say, just before midnight of March 31 and April 1, 1939. It is a conceivable reading of the partnership deed that the partners of Hakam Mal Tani Mal became separate on the midnight of March 31 and April 1, 1939, but there is not one single word or indication in the partnership deed that firm Hakam Mal Tani Mal dissolved on March 1, 1939, or it came to an end on that day. The partnership deed stating clearly that the partners of that firm became separate from April 1, 1939, the most favourable reading of the deed to the assessee firm is this that they became separate on the midnight of March 31 and April 1, 1939. This, however is not helpful to the assessee firm at all because simultaneously the Income-tax (Amendment) Act of 1939 came into force. As the Act came into force, so the partners of Hakam Mal Tani Mal separated and there came into being a new firm. The new firm, the assessee firm, thus succeeded after the coming into force or at the most simultaneously with the coming into force of that Act. The parent firm of Hakam Mal Tani Mal thus was not dissolved or did not come to an end before that Act came into force. So, the answer given by the Tribunal to the question in the reference is correct in the circumstances and on the facts of this case. It has been pressed that the intention of the partners of the parent firm of Hakam Mal Tani Mal was to dissolve the parent firm on March 31, 1939, and to allow succession of the assessee firm immediately so as to enable it to have benefit of the Act of 1939. The other partners of the parent firm have not come forward with any statement. The partnership deed, exhibit A, embodies only a statement of two of those partners, and they have made a statement in it as favourable to themselves as possible, but, taking the statement on its face value, there is only one conclusion possible that the partners of the parent firm of Hakam Mal Tani Mal became separate from the midnight of March 31 and April 1, 1939, and simultaneously the Act of 1939 came into force. So the assessee firm cannot have the advantage of the provisions of the Act of 1939, because the firm, which suffered tax under the Income-tax Act of 1918, was when it came into force the parent firm Hakam Mal Tani Mal.

In this view, I would answer the reference in the affirmative that the decision of the Tribunal is correct. The assessee firm will bear costs of the opposite side in this reference.

GOSAIN J. - I have had the advantage of reading the judgment which my learned brother Mehar Singh J. has prepared for being delivered in this case, but I regret I cannot persuade myself to agree with the same.

I think, the only correct interpretation of the deed of partnership, dated 29th June, 1939, is that the previous firm of Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal, Simla, dissolved on 31st March, 1939, and the business in question fell to the share of Shri Jodha Mal Kuthalia and Messrs. Gajjan Mal Ram Parkash whose new partnership started with effect from 1st April, 1939, i.e., at midnight between 31st March, 1939 and 1st April, 1939. As and when the Income-tax (Amendment) Act (7 of 1939) came into force, the new partnership of Shri Jodha Mal Kuthalia on the one hand and Messrs. Gajjan Mal Ram Parkash on the other hand came into existence, and it must, in these circumstances, be found that the new partnership is entitled to the relief under section 25(4) of the Indian Income-tax Act. It is true that the partnership deed referred to above is not very artistically drafted and although it only says that :

'all the partners of firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal understood and settled their accounts up to the 31st of March, 1939, on the 31st of March, 1939',

and does not go further to say that the said partnership of firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal was actually dissolved on the said date, I have no doubt that the document read as a whole means this. When it is further said in the document that,

'all the partners have become separate from 1st April, 1939, and the business at Abdullapur in the name of firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal and R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia has fallen to our share to run which we have by means of an oral agreement, constituted a separate partnership styled R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, from the 1st of April, 1939.'

I have no doubt that the parties meant to say that all the partners of the previous firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal became separate with effect from the 1st April, 1939, and that the business of Abdullapur, in the name of the said firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal and R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, fell to the share of R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia and Messrs. Gajjan Mal Ram Parkash with effect from the same date, i.e. 1st April, 1939. '1st April, 1939', must be deemed to have started at midnight between 31st March, 1939, and 1st April, 1939, and the business at that particular moment must be deemed to be run by the new partnership which now claims the benefit of section 25(4) of the Indian Income-tax Act. In my judgment, we shall be straining the language of this document too far if we hold that the firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal continued functioning till 1st April, 1939, inclusive of the said date, and the new partnership came into existence either on the next date, i.e., 2nd April, 1939, or at any time after the midnight between the 31st March, 1939, and 1st April, 1939. The partnership deed is not a statute and has to be interpreted taking in view the intention of the parties and all the surrounding circumstances, and I have no doubt that the parties always intended that the new partnership should come into force from the commencement of the 1st April, 1939.

There is an important factor which supports this interpretation and that is that firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal made no claim at all for any relief under section 25(3) of the Indian Income-tax Act. If that firm had actually been in existence even for a minute on the 1st April, 1939, it would certainly have been entitled to claim relief under sub-section (3) of section 25 of the Act, but the fact that they did not make any such claim shows that they believed that they had no right to claim it as they had actually dissolved and ceased to be in existence before the commencement of 1st April, 1939, when the Income-tax (Amendment) Act (7 of 1939) came into force. I am definitely of the opinion that in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was not correct in law in holing that the assessee firm (R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur Depot, Simla), was not entitled to the benefit provided in section 25(3) or section 25(4) of the Indian Income-tax Act in relation to the assessment in question, and I would, therefore, answer the reference in the negative. The Commissioner of Income-tax will bear the costs of the assessee in this reference.

Since we differ in this case, it will be laid before the honourable the Chief Justice for being placed before a third learned judge for decision.

[The case then came before DULAT J.]

DULAT J. - This is a reference under section 66(2) of the Indian Income-tax Act of 1922 and the question referred for decision is stated thus by the Appellate Tribunal :

'Whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal is correct in law in holding that the assessee-firm (R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur Depot, Simla), was not entitled to the benefit provided in section 25(3) or 25(4) of the Income-tax Act, in relation to the assessment in question ?'

Under the Income-tax Act of 1918, tax was charged on the income of the year of assessment. This Act was later replaced by the present Act of 1922 under which tax is charged on the income of the year preceding the year of assessment. This resulted in double assessment for one year, as income for that year had been assessed under the old Act of 1918 and was again assessed under the new Act of 1922. To provide some relief against this apparent hardship, a provision was made in the new Act by section 25, sub-section (3), that if any business on which tax was charged under the Act of 1918 was discontinued then no tax will be payable for the period between the end of the previous year and the date of such discontinuance, and the assessee could further claim that the income of the previous year be deemed to have been the income of the broken period and in this manner claim a refund of the difference.

Later on in 1939, further relief was considered advisable in this connection so as to provide for not only a discontinuance of the business but also for succession, i.e., in such cases where a person went out of business leaving it to another person to carry it on. Sub-section (4) was, therefore, added to section 25 of the Act by amending Act VII of 1939 and this sub-section (4) ran thus :

'Where the person who was at the commencement of the Indian Income-tax (Amendment) Act, 1939, carrying on any business, profession or vocation on which tax was at any time charged under the provisions of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1918, is succeeded in such capacity by another person, the change not being merely a change in the constitution of a partnership, no tax shall be payable by the first mentioned person in respect of the income, profits and gains of the period between the end of the previous year and the date of such succession, and such person may further claim that the income, profits and gains of the previous year shall be deemed to have been the income, profits and gains of the said period. When any such claim is made, an assessment shall be made on the basis of the income, profits and gains of the said period, and, if an amount of tax has already been paid in respect of the income, profits and gains of the previous year exceeding the amount payable on the basis of such assessment, a refund shall be given of the difference.'

The question in this case mainly is whether the assessee in the present case is entitled to relief under sub-section (4).

A Hindu undivided family, styled Hakam Mal Tani Mal, was carrying on business and paid income-tax under the Act of 1918. In 1934, this undivided Hindu family constituted itself into a partnership consisting of the members of the joint Hindu family. There thus came to be five partners in this business one of whom was R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia. This partnership business continued till 31st March, 1939.

On 29th June, 1939, a document was written out recording the dissolution of the partnership orally effected on 31st March, 1939, and the document went on to say :

'Whereas we, the deponents, were partners and shareholders in the firm of Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal, Simla, and all the partners of firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal understood and settled their accounts up to the 31st of March, 1939, on the 31st of March, 1939, and all the partners have become separate from the 1st of April, 1939, and the business at Abdullapur in the name of firm Lala Hakam Mal Tani Mal and R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia has fallen to our share to run which we have by means of an oral agreement constituted a separate partnership styled R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, from the 1st of April, 1939. Now the said oral agreement is being reduced in writing and we agree..........'

The new partnership thus created and styled R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, was dissolved in March, 1943. On the ground of that dissolution, it was claimed by the assessee firm that it is entitled to relief either under section 25(3) or section 25(4) of the Income-tax Act because the business of the partnership, namely, R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, had either been discontinued from March, 1943, or it had been succeeded to by other persons within the meaning of section 25(4) of the Act. The claim, of course, was that the assessee firm R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, was carrying on business at the commencement of the Income-tax (Amendment) Act VII of 1939, and had subsequently either discontinued the business in 1943 or there had been a succession to the business in 1943.

The Income-tax Tribunal took the view that the assessee firm came into existence only on 1st April, 1939, while the amending Act VII of 1939 had come into force with effect from midnight between 31st March and 1st April, 1939, and in this way there was succession to the old business after the coming into force of the amending Act and it could not be said that the assessee firm was doing business at the time the amending Act had come into force. The Tribunal did not doubt the genuineness of the document of 29th June, 1939, but held on its interpretation that the previous firm was dissolved only on 1st April, 1939, and the new firm R. B. Jodha Mal Kuthalia, Abdullapur, had come into being only on that day and thus after and not before the amending Act of 1939. In this manner, the Tribunal concluded that the assessees case was not covered by the provisions contained in sub-section (4) of section 25 of the Income-tax Act nor by sub-section (3). The claim for relief was therefore negatived. It is to test the correctness of the Tribunals view in this respect that the present reference has been made.

This reference was first heard by Mehar Singh and Gosain JJ. but they differed on the interpretation of the document dated 29th June, 1939. Gosain J. held that the meaning of the recitals in that document was that the dissolution of the old firm Hakam Mal Tani Mal took place on the 31st March, 1939, and on that very day the new firm Rai Bahadur Jodha Mal Kuthalia came into existence and took over the business at Abdullapur and consequently that firm was doing business on the 1st April, 1939, when the amending Act came into force and the assessee firm was entitled to relief. Mehar Singh J. although agreeing that a possible interpretation of the document of 29th June, 1939, could be that the new firm had come into being at midnight between 31st March and 1st April, 1939, and thus simultaneously with the amending Act, declined to go further and held that it was not possible to say that the new firm was in existence before the amending Act.

There is little doubt that the language of the deed of the 29th June, 1939, was drafted in view of the amendment made by Act VII of 1939 and in spite of some vagueness about the precise wording, it is clear that the intention of the parties was to record the fact that the new partnership firm, Rai Bahadur Jodha Mal Kuthalia, had taken over the business at Abdullapur from the old firm with effect from 31st March, 1939, and that this succession was not to be considered a succession subsequent to the amending Act VII of 1939. The conduct of the parties is eloquent in this connection. Quite obviously, if the parties intended this particular succession to be one after the amending Act and thus covered by sub-section (4) of section 25 of the Income-tax Act, a claim for relief would have been made immediately. It is unthinkable to my mind that knowing the provisions of the Act contained in section 25(4), the parties concerned would not have claimed the relief if the succession mentioned in the document was a succession after the amendment of the Act. It is true that the document at one place says that the dissolution of the old firm took place on 31st March, 1939, and then goes on to say that the new firm started on 1st April, 1939, but these recitals have to be read in the light of the provisions in section 25, sub-section (4), which were known to the parties at that time and along with the conduct of the parties. Mehar Singh J., as I have already mentioned, was himself inclined to agree that according to the instrument of 29th June, 1939, the new firm may be deemed to have come into existence at midnight between 31st March and 1st April, but he was not persuaded that it could further be held that the firm was in existence before the amending Act VII of 1939 came into force as both events happened simultaneously. It is to be noticed in this connection that sub-section (4) of section 25 of the Income-tax Act affords relief to a person who was carrying on business at the commencement of the amending Act VII of 1939 and it is not necessary for him to show that he was carrying on business before the commencement of that Act and if the Act and the business started together, then it is, in my opinion, right to say that the business was in existence at the commencement of the Act. Actually, however, it is unnecessary to go into these nice calculations for here the language of the deed dated 29th June, 1939, considered with the conduct of the parties leaves no doubt that the intention was to bring into being the new firm before Act VII of 1939 and to postpone the claim for relief under sub-section (4) or sub-section (3) of section 25 till the business was either discontinued or succeeded to by another person. That is what precisely happened and the claim for relief was consequently made not in 1939 as it would have been in different circumstances but in 1943 when firm Rai Bahadur Jodha Mal Kuthalia was dissolved. I am, therefore, in agreement with the view expressed by Gosain J. that the case of the assessee firm falls within the terms of sub-section (4) of section 25 of the Income-tax Act and that the Income-tax Tribunal was wrong in holding that the assessee firm was not entitled to the benefit provided in section 25(3) or 25(4) of the Income-tax Act in relation to the assessment in dispute. The assessee will get the cost of the reference. Counsels fee Rs. 200.

Question answered in the negative.


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