The point requiring our consideration in this reference under section 66 of the Indian Income-tax Act is a very simple one. The facts briefly are that the assessees accounting year is April 15, 1951, to April 2, 1952. The assessee claimed deduction of a sum of Rs. 43,414 which, he said, represented losses sustained by him in doing forward business. The amount was paid by him by means of a cheque drawn on April 13, 1951, but dated April 16, 1951. The cheque was sent to the person through whom the loss had been incurred, namely, Messrs. Jawaharmal Sriram, and the cheque was actually cashed on the date which it bore, namely, April 16, 1951. Messrs. Jawaharmal Sriram had previously issued a receipt in full quittance on April 13, 1951. The question, therefore, arose whether the loss was sustained during the accounting year or not, and the question referred to this court by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (Delhi Bench) at the instance of the assessee was :
'Whether the Tribunal was justified in holding that the post-dated cheque for Rs. 43,414 payable on April 16, 1951, but accepted in full discharge of the liability by the creditor on April 13, 1951, was tantamount to payment by the assessee on April 13, 1951 ?'
The statement of the case shows that the assessee was keeping his accounts on the cash basis. It is, therefore, clear that the payment was made by him on the 16th and not on the 13th when the cheque was actually written down and handed over to Messrs. Jawaharmal Sriram. The fact that a receipt for this money was issued on the 13th of April does not make any difference. What we have to see in a case of this type is the date on which actual payment is made. The payment was made on the 16th and the cheque bore the date of the 16th of April, 1951. The cheque could not have been presented before the due date, and the receipt, which was issued by Messrs. Jawaharmal Sriram, was only a conditional quittance which would have been of no value, had the cheque not been cashed.
In this view of the matter, it is quite clear that the question referred to us by the Tribunal must be answered in the negative. The assessee will recover his costs which we assess at Rs. 100.
Question answered in the negative.