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G. Ekambarappa and ors. Vs. Excess Profits Tax Officer, Bellary - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectOther Taxes
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1967SC1541; [1967]65ITR656(SC); [1967]3SCR864
ActsExcess Profit Tax Act, 1940 - Sections 15; General Clauses Act - Sections 3(19) and 6; State Reorganisation Act 1956 - Sections 119; Income tax Act; Indian Finance Act, 1939; Constitution of India
AppellantG. Ekambarappa and ors.
RespondentExcess Profits Tax Officer, Bellary
Cases ReferredState of Kerala v. N. Sami Iyer A.I.R.
Excerpt:
.....to have been repealed and respondent was not competent to take any proceedings for determining escaped income under section15 of excess profit tax act - high court rejected contention on ground that though act stood repealed liability to pay tax on the escaped profits continued by virtue of section 6 of the general clauses act - appeal before supreme court - cited section 6 of general clauses act applies even in case of a partial repeal or repeal of part of act - liability of appellants to tax arose immediately at end of the chargeable accounting period - held, notice issued under section 15 of act was legally valid and appellants representing original partner of firm was liable for profits which had escaped taxation - judgment of high court affirmed. - sections 2(10), 2(14), 2(21),..........court was that as from november 1, 1956 the act must be deemed to have been repealed so far as bellary district is concerned therefore the respondent was not competent to take any proceedings for determining the escaped income under s. 15 of that act. the high court rejected the contention on the ground that though the act stood repealed by reason of the inclusion of bellary district in mysore state the liability to pay tax on the escaped profits countinued by virtue of s. 6 of the general clauses act. 3. the question to be considered in this appeal is whether the appellants continued to be proceeded against under s. 15 of the act on the profit which had escaped taxation. 4. the present bellary district was a part of the old madras state which was a part 'a' state under the.....
Judgment:

Ramaswami, J.

1. This appeal is brought by special leave from the Judgment of the Mysore High Court dated March 20, 1962 dismissing writ petition No. 109 of 1960. The appellants had prayed therein for the grant of writ for quashing a notice dated January 16, 1960 issued by the respondent under s. 15 of the Excess Profit Tax Act 1940 (Act XV of 1940), hereinafter called the 'Act' calling upon the appellants to submit a return of the standard profit and the profits actually made during the chargable accounting period from October 30, 1943 to October 30, 1944 on the ground that the profits had been under assessed.

2. The appellants carried on a business constituting themselves into a partnership called ' Guduthur Thimmappa & Brothers in 1934. On the date of commencement of the business the Partners were G. Thimmappa, G. Ekambarppa and G. Padmmabhan each of the partners representing their respective joint families. The business of the firm was in Bellary town and the partners of the firm were residents of Bellary town during the period of the firm was carrying on business. The firm was dissolved on October 16, 1944. Thimmappa one of the partners died on April 13, 1955. For the chargeable accounting period from October 30, 1943 to April 30, 1944 the Excess Profit Tax Officer had taken steps to assess the 'escaped'profits of the firm. He issued the necessary notices to G. Padmanabhan and G. Ekambarappa as the partners of the dissolved firm. He also issued notice to G. M. Prabhu and G. Lakshimdevamma as the representatives of G. Thimmappa. The contention of the appellants before the High Court was that as from November 1, 1956 the Act must be deemed to have been repealed so far as Bellary district is concerned therefore the respondent was not competent to take any proceedings for determining the escaped income under s. 15 of that Act. The High Court rejected the contention on the ground that though the Act stood repealed by reason of the inclusion of Bellary district in Mysore State the liability to pay tax on the escaped profits countinued by virtue of s. 6 of the General Clauses Act.

3. The question to be considered in this appeal is whether the appellants continued to be proceeded against under s. 15 of the Act on the profit which had escaped taxation.

4. The present Bellary district was a part of the old Madras State which was a Part 'A' State under the constitution of India till its mereger with the Mysore State on October 1, 1953 which was a part 'B' State. The Mysore State continued to be a Part 'B' State till November 1, 1956. The Act extended when first promulgated to the territory of former British India. After the Constitution came into force s. 1(2) of the Act was adapted so as to extend the operation of the Act 'to the whole of India except Part 'B' States' by the Adaption of Laws Order, 1950. After the formation of new State in pursuance of the State Reorganisation Act 1956 (Act 37 of 1956) sub. s(2) of s. 1 of the Act was adapted by the President by Adaption of Laws (No. 3) Order 1956 dated December 31, 1956 section 1(2) of the Act as adapted read as follows :

'It extends to the whole of India except the territoris which immediately before the 1st November 1956 were comprised in Part 'B' state.'

5. The result of the adaptation was that all the provisions of the Act stood repealed so far as the district of Bellary was concerned with effect from December 31, 1956. It was contended on behalf of the appellants that it is not a case of repeal of the Act and so the provisions of s. 6 of the General Clauses Act could not be invoked to sustain the validity of the notice issued by the respondent under s. 15 of the Act. It was argued that so far as the Act was concerned the Adaptation of the Law order, 1956 only modified the provisions of s. 1(2) of the Act and did not repeal the Act as such and the effect of the modification was that the provisions of the Act were no longer applicable to the Bellary district which was comprised in the territory of Part'B' State of Mysore immediately before November 1956. In our opinion there is no justification for the argument put forward on behalf of the appellants. The result of the Adaptation of Laws Order 1956 so far as the Act was concerned was that the provision of that Act were no longer applicable or in force in Bellary district. To put it differently the Act was repealed so far as the area of Bellary district was concerned. Repeal of an Act means revocation or abogation of the Act and in our opinion s. 6 of the Central clauses Act applies even in the case of a partial repeal or repeal of Part of an Act section 6 of the General Clauses Act states :

'Effect of repeal. - Where this Act or any Central Act or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act repeals any enactment hitherto made or hereafter to be made then unless a different intention appears the repeal shall not -

. . . . . . . . . (c) affect any right privilege obligation or liability acquired accrud or incurred under any enactment so repealed; or

. . . . . . . . Section 3(19) of the Central Clauses Act defines an 'enactment'as including 'a Regulation and also as including any provision contained in any Act or in any such Regulation as aforesaid.'

6. The argument was also stressed on behalf of the appellants that even if s. 6(e) of the General Clauses Act was applicable there was no liability incurred or accrud' as there was no assessment of escaped profit before November 1, 1956 when the adaption was made. We do not think there is anty substance in this argument. The liability of the appellants to tax arose immediately at the end of the chargeabl accounting period and not merely at the time when it is quantified by assessment proceedings. It follows therefore that the notice issued under s. 15 of the Act was legally valid and the appellants representing the original partner of the firm continued to be liable to be proceeded against under that section for the profits which had escaped taxation. In Walance Brother and Co. Ltd v. Commissioner of Income tax 16 I.T.R. 240 the Judicial Committee expounded in clear item the scope of a tax liability under the Income tax Act. It was observed by the Judicial Committee as follows : ....... the rate of tax for the year of assessment may be fixed after the close of the close of the previous year and the assessment will necessarily be made after the close of that previous year But the liability to tax arises by virtue of the charging section alone, and it arises not later than the close of the previous year, though quantification of the amount payable is postponed.'

7. The same view has been expressed by this Court in Chatturam Horilram Ltd. v. C. I. T. : [1955]27ITR709(SC) in which the legal position was reviewed with regard to the question of charge to income tax. In that case the assessee company carrying on business in Chota Nagpur was assessed to tax for the year 1939-40 but the assessment was set aside by the Income tax Appellant Tribunal on March 28, 1942 on the ground that the Indian Finance Act, 1939 was not in forc during the assessment year 1939-40 in Cota Nagpur which was a partially excluded area. One June 30, 1942 a Regulation was promulgated by which the Indian Finance Act of 1939 was brought into force in Chota Nagpur retrospectively as from March 30, 1939. Thereupon the Income tax Officer made an order holding that the income of the assessee for the year 1939-40, had escaped assessment and issued to the assessee a notice under s. 34 of the Incoem-tax Act. The validity of he notice was questioned. It was held by this Court that though the Finance Act was not in force in that area in 1939-40, the income of the assessee was liable to tax in that year and therefore it had escaped ently of the passing of the Finance Act but until the Finance Act It was pointed out that the income was chargeable to tax independently of the passing of the Finance Act but until the Finance Act was passed no tax could be actually levied. The same principle was reitrated by this Court in Kalwa Devandattam v. Union of India : [1963]49ITR165(SC) . The question in that case was whether the liability of a Hindu undivided family arose before or after partition of the family. In that case this court speaking through Shah J. stated in clear terms thus :

'Under the Indian Income tax Act liability to pay income tax arises on the accrual of the income and not from the computation made by the taxing authorities in the course of assessment proceeding it arises at a point of time not later than the close of the year of account'.

8. The same view has been taken in a recent case by this Court in State of Kerala v. N. Sami Iyer A.I.R. 1966 S.C. 1415. In view of the principle expressed in these authorities we are of the opinion that the liability to pay excess profits tax accrued immediately at the end of the chargeable accounting period and that liability was preserved under s. 6(c) of the Green Clause Act even though the Act stood repealed so far as Bellarly district was concerned with effect from November 1, 1956.

9. Mr. Narsaraji contended in the alternative that on the combined operation of s. 53 of the Andhra Pradesh Act (Act 30 of 1953) and s. 119 of the State Reorganisation Act (Act 37 of 1956) all the provisions of the Excess Profits Tax Act, 1940 remaind in operation in Bllary district in spite of the Adaptation of Law Orders, 1956. Section 53 of the Andhra Pradesh Act states as follows :

'The Provisions of part II shall not be deemed to have effected any change in the territories to which any law in force immediately before the appointed day extends or applies and territorial references in any such law to the State Of Madras or of Mysore shall until otherwise provided by a competent Legislature or other competent authority, continue to have the same meaning.'

10. Section 119 of the State Reorganisation Act reads as follows :

'The provisions of Part II shall not be deemed to have effected any change in the territories to which any law in foroce immediately before the appointed day extends or applis and territorial reference in any such law to an existing State shall until otherwise provided by a competent Legislature or other competent authority be construed as meaning the territories within that State immediately before the appointed day.'

11. Section 120 of this Act states :

'For the purpose of facilitating the application of any law in relation to any of the States formed or territorially altered by the provisions of Part II the appropriate Government may before the expiration of one year from the appointed day by order make such adaptation and modification of the law whether by way of repeal or amendment as may be necessary or expedient and thereupon every such law shall have effect subject to the adaptations and modification so made until altered repealed or amended by a competent Legislature or other competent authority.

Explanation-In this section the expression 'appropriate Government' means -

(a) as respects any law relating to a matter enumerated in the Union List the Central Government and

(b) as respeeds any other law, -

(i) in its application to a Part A State the State Government and

(ii) in its application to a Part C State the Central Government.'

12. It was pointed out that the Act was in force in Bellary district when the Constitution came into force and the effect of s. 53 of the Andrah Pradesh Act was to continue the operation of that Act so far as Bellary district was concerned. The effect of s. 119 of the State Reorganisation Act was to preserve the territorial operation of law which was immediately in force before the date of the promulgation of that Act until such law was repealed by the Competent legislature or a competent legislative authority. There is gret force in the argument advanced by Mr. Narsaraju on this point. But it is not necessary for us to express any concluded opinion on this aspect of the case because we have already given reason for holding that the appeal must be dismissed on the ground that the Act stood repeated by reason of the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1956 and the liability to pay tax on escaped profits continued under s. 6 of the General Clauses Act.

13. We accordingly affirm the judgment of the Mysore High Court dated March 20, 1962 and dismiss this appeal with costs.

G. C.

14. Appeal dismissed


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