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Col. His Highness Raja Sir Harindar Singh Brar Bans Bahadur of Faridkot State Vs. Commissioner of Wealth-tax - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWealth-tax Reference Nos. 1 to 3 and 7 of 1971 and 28 of 1975
Judge
Reported in[1982]133ITR52(P& H)
ActsDefence of India Rules, 1962 - Rule 126A to 126Z and 126H(2)
AppellantCol. His Highness Raja Sir Harindar Singh Brar Bans Bahadur of Faridkot State
RespondentCommissioner of Wealth-tax
Appellant Advocate K.C. Puri, Adv.
Respondent Advocate D.N. Awasthy and; B.K. Jhingan, Advs.
Cases ReferredCorporation of Calcutta v. Smt. PadmaDebi
Excerpt:
.....from the date when the parties concerned acquire knowledge of passing of the said order. - it has been contended that in view of the restrictions contained in the above-mentioned rules, the assessee was not at liberty todispose of the gold bullion if he so liked and, therefore, the prevailingmarket value could not be held to be the assessed value of the asset. we are unable to agree with this contention as well......assessment year 1966-67:'whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the value of gold bullion should be reduced to rs. 67,569 instead of rs. 1,32,705 for inclusion in the wealth of the assessee on the valuation date, i. e., april 12, 1966, relevant to the assessment year 1966-67 ?'6. the assessee, col. his highness raja sir harindar singh, raja of faridkot, was assessed to the net wealth under the w.t. act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as 'the act'). the market value of the gold bullion held by the assessee was assessed by the wto in each of the assessment years referred to above for the figure which has been mentioned in the question reproduced in the earlier part of the judgment. the wto rejected the assessee's contention about the market value of the gold bullion,.....
Judgment:

B.S. Dhillon, J.

1. This judgment will dispose of W.T. Refs. Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 7 of 1971 and No. 28 of 1975. Since a common question of law is involved in all the above-mentioned references, the same are being disposed of by a common judgment.

2. Three questions of law were referred to this court for its opinion inW.T. Refs. Nos. 1 and 3 of 1971 [Col. H. H. Sir Harinder Singh Brar BansBahadur v. CWT ], which pertain to the assessment year 1964-65. Questions Nos. 1 and 2 stand answered by an orderof the Bench dated 20th November, 1973. As regards question No. 3which is in the following terms, supplementary statement of the case wassent for :

'(3) Whether the valuation of gold could be taken at any value other than the rates fixed by the Gold Control Order ?'

3. In W.T. Refs. Nos. 2 and of 1971, which pertain to the assessment year 1965-66,' question No. 1 was answered by this court on 20th November, 1973, but regarding question No. 2, which is in the following terms, a supplementary statement of the case was sent for:

'Whether the valuation of gold could be taken at any value other than the rates fixed by the Gold Control Order ?'

4. Consequently, supplementary statement of the case has been sent by the Tribunal in all the four references.

5. Following question of law has been referred to this court for its opinion in W.T. Ref. No. 28 of 1975, which pertains to the assessment year 1966-67:

'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the value of gold bullion should be reduced to Rs. 67,569 instead of Rs. 1,32,705 for inclusion in the wealth of the assessee on the valuation date, i. e., April 12, 1966, relevant to the assessment year 1966-67 ?'

6. The assessee, Col. His Highness Raja Sir Harindar Singh, Raja of Faridkot, was assessed to the net wealth under the W.T. Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'). The market value of the gold bullion held by the assessee was assessed by the WTO in each of the assessment years referred to above for the figure which has been mentioned in the question reproduced in the earlier part of the judgment. The WTO rejected the assessee's contention about the market value of the gold bullion, The AAC rejected the appeal of the assessee. The Tribunal, although it granted relief to the assessee in relation to other items, upheld the assessment made by the WTO regarding the gold bullion. At the instance of the assessee, the questions of law, referred to in the earlier part of the judgment, have been referred to this court for its opinion.

7. As is clear from the supplementary statement of the case, the Defence of India Rules, 1962, were amended and Part XII-A which is headed the Gold Control, was added on 9th January, 1963. The said Part contained Rules 126A to 126Z. Rule 126H contained provisions putting restrictions on the possession and sale of gold. It has been contended by Shri Puri, the learned counsel for the assessee, that in view of the provisions of the Rules contained in Rule 126A to 126Z, the assessee was not in a position to dispose of the gold bullion in open market, and,therefore, the WTO erred in assessing the value of the gold bullion at themarket rate. It has been contended that in view of the restrictions contained in the above-mentioned Rules, the assessee was not at liberty todispose of the gold bullion if he so liked and, therefore, the prevailingmarket value could not be held to be the assessed value of the asset. Weare unable to agree with this contention. It is no doubt true that theprovisions of the Rules, referred to above, impose certain restrictions asregards the possession and dealings with gold and gold ornaments, butthere is no rule which prohibits the sale of the gold bullion if the same wasmade in accordance with the Rules. Every person in possession of thegold ornaments or gold bullion was supposed to furnish a return by aspecified date in accordance with the Rules. In view of the provisions ofthe proviso to Rule 126H(2)(b), any dealer could buy or otherwise acquire oraccept gold, not being ornaments, from any person if such gold has beenincluded in a declaration made by that person under Rule 126-1. It is nodoubt true that under the Rules the gold could only be sold to a licenseddealer but that would not entitle us to draw a conclusion that the assesseewas unable to encash the bullion which was in his possession, at the marketfate. The learned counsel for the assessee relied on a decision of theirLordships of the Supreme Court in Corporation of Calcutta v. Smt. PadmaDebi, : [1962]3SCR49 . This judgment has absolutely no relevance tothe point in issue in the present case. The contention of the learnedcounsel for the assessee that the market rate so published by the Government agencies during the relevant time, was the black market rate of thegold, is without any merit.

8. The only other contention raised by the learned counsel for the assessee is that the assessee's application made before the Tribunal when the case went back to it for sending the supplementary statement of the case, for summoning an official of the Finance Ministry for getting the information regarding the prevalent value of 24 ct. gold during, the relevant time has been wrongly rejected by the Tribunal. We are unable to agree with this contention as well. We do not find any relevance for summoning the said record. The Tribunal in pursuance of the directions of this court videorder dated 20th November, 1973, was asked to ascertain the material facts indicating whether the Board while permitting the purchase or sale of gold, placed any restrictions on its price and nothing else. That is clear from the Rules itself that if the assessee had declared the bullion in his declaration submitted under Rule 126-1, he could sell the gold to a licensed dealer at the market rate.

9. No other argument has boon raised before us.

10. For the reasons recorded above, question No. 3 in W.T. Refs, Nos. 1and 3 of 1971 and question No. 1 in W.T. Refs. Nos. 2 and 7 of 1971, areanswered in the negative, i. e., against the assessee and in favour of therevenue, and it is held that the value of the gold could be the marketvalue of the bullion as there had been no value fixed under the GoldControl Order. Question No. 1 in W.T. Ref. No. 28 of 1975 is alsoanswered in the negative, i. e, in favour of the revenue and against theassessec. No costs.


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