: Bhopinder Singh Dhillon, J. - For the asst. yr. 1962-63, the assessee was required to file the return of income by the extended date on 30-11-1962. The assessee, however, filed the return of income on 20-6-1963. For the delay of about seven months in the submission of the return of income, the ITO initiated penalty proceedings u/s 271(1)(a) of the IT Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and issued a show-cause notice to the assessee. In response to the show-cause notice, the assessee filed a written reply on 21-1-1969, wherein it was pleaded that the assessee had been applying for extension of time to file the return of income from time to time. The ITO did not accept the plea of the assessee and imposed a penalty of Rs. 10,5000 u/s 271(1)(a) of the Act.
2. The appeal filed by the assessee before the AAC was partly dismissed. The AAC reduced the amount of penalty to Rs. 9,000 as against Rs. 10,500.
3. The assessee filed a second appeal before the IT Appl. Tribunal, Amritsar Bench, (hereinafter referred to as the Tribunal). The Tribunal held that the fact that the assessee filed two applications for extension of time on 30-1-1963 and 29-3-1963, on the ground that he was ill and that his accountant had left the service, was found by the AAC to be factually correct. The Tribunal was of the opinion that the default on the part of the assessee in not furnishing the return of income beyond 30-1-1963, when he made the first application for extension of time, was not wilful or deliberate as the assessee had been keen to file the return and, therefore, applied for getting the extension of time. The Tribunal was of the view that this fact goes to prove the bonafides of the assessee. The Tribunal, therefore, held that the delay on the part of the assessee beyond 30-1-1963, was covered by reasonable cause and no penalty for this period could be imposed on the assessee. However, for the period from 1-12-1962, to 29-1-1963, the penalty was held to be inexcusable.
4. The Revenue approached the Tribunal with the prayer that the following question, which, according to the Revenue, is a question of law, be referred to this Court for its opinion :
'Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case the Tribunal is correct in holding that the default of late filing of the return is only for the period 1-12-1962 to 29-1-1963 ?'
The said application filed u/s 256(1) of the Act having been rejected, the Revenue has approached this Court with the prayer that the above mentioned question be got referred to this Court for its opinion.
5. After hearing the ld. counsel for the parties, we are of the opinion that there is no merit in this petition. The Tribunal on the facts and circumstances of the case, accepted the explanation offered by the assessee and came to the conclusion that the delay on the part of the assessee in filing the return of income beyond 30-1-1963, was without reasonable cause. The consideration of the fact by the Tribunal that the assessee did file applications for extension of time, cannot be held to be irrelevant. With a view to find out whether the default was without reasonable cause, all the attending circumstances of the case have to be taken into consideration. The Tribunal taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances of the case, came to the conclusion that the penalty was not excusable. Mr. Awasthy, ld. counsel for the Revenue, has cited T. Venkata Krishnaiah & Co. v. CIT, A. P. : 93ITR297(AP) and Bipin Bihari Das & Ors. v. The State of Bihar & Anr. : AIR1972Pat56 , to contend that late submission of application for the extension of time would not automatically entitle the assessee to extend the time for filing the return. We have no quarrel with this proposition. In the present case the Tribunal has not recorded a finding that mere submission of the applications by the assessee would automatically extend the last date for filing of the return. The Tribunal took into consideration the fact, that the assessee did make applications for extension of time, to be one of the relevant considerations to come to the conclusion that the explanation offered by the assessee for delayed filing of the return was good and it was for reasonable cause that he was unable to file the return within time.
6. For the reasons recorded above, there is no merit in this petition and the same is here by dismissed with no order as to costs.