S.S. Sodhi, J.
1. The short question which arises for determination here is 'whether in proceedings relating to the assessment year 1959-60, an application seeking a reference to the High Court could be made by the Addl. Commissioner of Income-tax? '
2. The reference here was sought under Section 256(1) of the I.T. Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 1961 Act'). The preliminary objection raised before the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal and sustained by it was that the application in the instant case lay under Section 66(1) of the Indian I.T. Act, 1922 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 1922 Act'), and consequently the Addl. Commissioner was not the competent authority to file it. It is this order which was sought to be challenged here.
3. There is no quarrel with the proposition that under the 1922 Act, it was only the Commissioner, who was competent to file the application seeking a reference to the High Court, whereas under the 1961 Act such an application can be filed by even the Addl. Commissioner.
4. It was the contention of the counsel for the petitioner that as the reference in this case had been sought after the coming into being of the 1961 Act, the reference made by the Addl. Commissioner must be treated to be valid as this was a matter relating to a procedure, in other words, the contention was that even in matters pertaining to pre-1961 assessments the procedure was to be governed by the 1961 Act, while the substantive law to be applied was that as contained in the 1922 Act.
5. There is a clear fallacy in the contention raised. Section 297(2)(c) of the 1961 Act clearly lays down that proceedings pending at the time of the commencement of the Act shall be continued and disposed of as if this Act had not been passed. When a reference is sought, as in the present case, it cannot but be construed as a continuation of the proceedings already pending in the case. There is thus no escape from the conclusion that the present case was covered by the provisions of the 1922 Act and it follows that the Addl. Commissioner was not competent to file an application seeking a reference and the impugned order was thus correct in law.
6. Counsel for the petitioner sought to rely upon National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation Ltd. v. CBDT : 84ITR376(Delhi) and Sterling Construction and Trading Co. v. ITO : 102ITR47(KAR) for the proposition that in the matter of procedure the provisions of the Act of 1961 would apply and it was only with regard to the substantive provisions of law that the 1922 Act would continue to apply. The authorities cited do act warrant any such interpretation. National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation's case : 84ITR376(Delhi) dealt with only the provisions of the 1961 Act, whereas in Sterling Construction and Trading Co.'s case  1102 ITR 47 the case related to the return for the period subsequent to 1962. Neither of these authorities are thus of any relevance to the controversy raised here.
7. The impugned order of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (annex. P-3) is, accordingly upheld and affirmed. This writ petition is hereby dismissed. There will, however, be no order as to costs.