D.K. Kapur, J.
1. This is an application under section 256(2) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, seeking a reference to this court concerning the question whether the sum of Rs. 1,59,959 expended by the assessed was entitled to exemption under section 11 of the Income-tax Act, 1961. It may be mentioned that the assessed in this case is a charitable institution registered by the Commissioner under section 80G. It also appears that the object of the trust was to commemorate the services rendered by Sir Shri Ram to industry and it was entitled to apply donations and collections for charitable purposes including relief of the poor, education, research, medical relief and advancement of any other object of general public utility. One of the particular objects mentioned was to prepare and publish biographical and other research studies. In the course of its activity, the assessed was expending money for getting a biography of Sir Shri Ram prepared. In this particular year, the expenditure in this case was Rs. 27,951 for paper and Rs. 1,32,008 was given to the Shri Ram Centre for Industrial and Human Resources for the publication of the biography. The Department itself had allowed substantial amounts for the same purpose, i.e., the publication of the biography in three earlier assessment years 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1972-73.
2. The Tribunal has noted in its order that there was no change in law and it was unjust on the part of the Department to take a different view suddenly and levy heavy tax on the assessed when it was the same project going on for all this period.
3. It was observed by the Privy Council in Trustees of the Tribune Press v. CIT ( 7 ITR 415 (PC)), that whether an object was charitable was always a question of law. In that sense, it could be said that we would have to determine whether the expenditure in this case was of a charitable nature and hence a question of law arose.
4. However, when a particular charity has been recognised as such for several years and is carrying on the same object without any protest, it is not for the court to reopen the same point from time to time. In this case, for example, the trust has been recognised as an approved institution for a number of years. It has collected donations and has been expending the income for a particular purpose in accordance with the objects in its memorandum. No one has challenged earlier that it was a charitable institution but it is contended that the expenditure clearly made in accordance with its constitution is not a charitable expenditure. We fail to understand how this is possible. If the institution is charitable, the expenditure on one of its principal objects must also necessarily be charitable. We do not feel that we can call for a question in these circumstances and we would decline this application. No costs.