1. The Taxation Bar Association, Hoshiarpur, through its President, Shri Y.M. Mohindra, advocate, has filed this petition for the quashing of the order, dated 9/14th June, 1982, and 21st May, 1982, copies annexs. P-6 and P-7 to the petition.
2. Shri Harish Chander Aery, respondent No. 5, has been permitted to practice and appear as authorised income-tax practitioner. It is this permission of the authorities which has been challenged by the Taxation Bar Association on the ground that respondent No. 5 is not eligible to practice.
3. Notice of motion was issued to the respondents. Separate written statements on behalf of respondents Nos. 1 and 4, 2 and 5 have been filed.
4. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and find no merit in this petition. Section 288(2) of the I.T. Act, 1961, defines 'authorised representative'. The relevant clause, with which we are concerned, read as under :
'(vi) any person who has acquired such educational qualifications as the Board may prescribe for this purpose.'
5. Rule 51 of the I.T. Rules, 1962, specifies the qualification as required by Clause (vi) of Sub-section (2) of s, 288 reproduced above, and is in the following terms:
'51. A degree in Commerce or Law conferred by any of the following universities :
I. Indian Universities.
Any Indian University incorporated by any law for the time being in force.
II. Rangoon University.
III. English and Welsh Universities.
The Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield and Wales.
IV. Scottish Universities.
The Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrews.
V. Irish Universities.
The Universities of Dublin (Trinity College), the Queen's University, Belfast and the National University of Dublin.
VI. Pakistan Universities:
Any Pakistan University incorporated by any law for the time being in force.'
6. A bare perusal of the aforesaid rule would show that a person who possesses a degree in Commerce or Law conferred by any of the Universities mentioned therein, would satisfy the requirement of Clause (vi). What is sought to be argued by Mr. Sharma, learned counsel for the petitioner, is that respondent No. 5 does not possess a degree in law as he has only passed LL.B. (Academic) from the University of Kurukshetra and that the professional degree of three years obtained by regular students is the only degree equated to a degree of Law. It is further submitted by the learned counsel that the academic degree obtained as a private candidate does not even entitle a candidate to seek admission to LL. B. (Professional) Part III. It is on these grounds that the learned counsel submits that a degree of LL. B. (Academic) cannot be termed as a degree in law. We are afraid, we are unable to agree with the submission of the learned counsel. There can be no gainsaying that a degree of Law has been conferred on respondent No. 5. Rule 51 does not draw any distinction between a degree of law (Academic) and a degree of law (Professional). The only requirement of the rule is that a person should possess a degree in commerce or law. In this situation, as earlier observed, we are unable to agree with the learned counsel for the petitioner that respondent No. 5 is not entitled to practice before the I.T. authorities. Consequently, this petition is dismissed in limine.
7. The oral prayer made by the learned counsel for the petitioner for certifying this case to be a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court is declined.