Subramonian Potti, J.
1. One Haji Hasan Yacoob Sait expired on March 31, 1962, and the petitioner is one of the heirs of the said Salt and is said to be as accountable person as defined in the E D. Act. The petitioner's case is that the deceased, Salt, was a business man who had various lines of business, The petitioner could not effectively control the business when he got into the management as legal heir. It is said that there was no senior member who could effectively manage the affairs of the deceased. The petitioner mentions the circumstances that made it difficult for him to manage the business of his late father and to account for estate duty. Reference is made in particular to the existence of various creditors. It was, according to the petitioner, because of the fact that the deceased was a shareholder of several companies and as such he could not properly value the properties, and similar other circumstances that made it difficult for the petitioner to assess the liability to estate duty. It is said that a sum of Rs. 45,000 has been paid towards estate duty. The petitioner, therefore, approached the CBDT under Section 69 of the E.D. Act. That section reads :
' Where by reason of the number of deaths upon which property has passed or of the complicated nature of the interests of different persons in property which had passed on death, or from any other cause, it is difficult to ascertain exactly the amount of estate duty payable in respect of any property or any interest therein or so to ascertain the same without undue expense in proportion to the value of the property or interest, the Board, on the application of any person accountable for the duty and upon his giving to the Board all the information in his power respecting the amount of the property and the several interests therein and other circumstances of the case, may by way of composition for all or any of the duties payable in respect of the property or interest and the various interests therein or any of them, assess such sure on the value of the property or interest, as having regard to the circumstances appears proper, and may accept payment of the sum so assessed in full payment of all claims for estate duty in respect of such property or interest, and shall give a certificate accordingly. '
2. Thereupon, Ex. P-3 impugned in this petition, was passed by the CBDT, mentioning that the Board declines to determine the estate duty in the above-mentioned case under Section 69 of the E.D. Act. Exhibit P-3, is no doubt, a communication by the Board, but it does not state the reasons for declining the petitioner's request. Section 69 of the Act enables a party to approach the Board with an application to seek composition of all or any of the duties payable in respect of the property or interest of the estate. It being a statutory duty, that is imposed under Section 69, refusal to exercise the duty by the Board must be for reasons relevant under Section 69. Such reasons have to be reflected in the order to be passed by the Board. In other words, it must be a speaking order, and must speak on matters relevant for refusal under Section 69. Exhibit P-3 does not mention the reasons but it merely says that the Board declines to determine the question. Such an order will not satisfy the requirements of Section 69. Therefore, Ex. P-3 is quashed and the CBDT is directed to look into the matter afresh and pass appropriate orders. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.