1. A prayer has been made in this petition that the following two questions be'got referred to this court for its opinion:
'(1) Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal is right in holding that the statement of Shri Sushil Kumar recorded by the customs party on February 10, 1971, is a reliable piece of evidence ?
2. Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal is right in holding that the addition under Section 69A of the Income-tax Act on account of value of gold biscuits of Rs. 42,000 and seized by the customs authorities cannot be allowed deduction as a business loss?'
2. A similar prayer has been refused by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Amritsar Bench, Amritsar (hereinafter referred to as the 'Tribunal').
3. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the opinion that the first question sought to be referred is purely a questionof fact. It is on the facts and circumstances of the case that the Tribunal recorded a finding that the statement of Shri Sushil Kumar recorded by the customs party on February 10, 1971, was a reliable piece of evidence. In this view of the matter, it is not possible for us to give any direction as regards question No. 1, As regards question No. 2, we are unable to agree with the view of the Tribunal that the said question is a question of fact. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the opinion that the question whether the assessee was entitled to deduction as a business loss in view of the confiscation of the gold, is essentially a question of law. We, accordingly, partly allow this petition and direct the Tribunal to refer question No, 2 to this court for its opinion.
4. There will be no order as to costs.