P. K. Banerjee, C.J. - This rule is directed against an order passed by the CWT u/s. 18(2A) before amendment of the WT Act and after amendment of s. 18B, whereby the petitioner was asked to pay penalty for failure, without reasonable cause, to furnish the return of net wealth u/s. 14(1) of the WT Act.
2. The facts leading to the proceedings is that the petitioner filed a return u/s. 14 for the period 1964-65 to 1967-68 on 24-7-1970 showing the estimated wealth at Rs. 1,80,250 for the asst. yr. 1964-65, Rs. 2,06,135 for the asst. yr. 1965-66, Rs. 2,15,197 for the asst. yr. 1966-67 and Rs. 2,40,560 for the asst. yr. 1967-68. The WTO assessed the taxable quantum for the asst. yr. 1964-65 at Rs. Nil, Rs. 84 for the asst. yr. 1965-66, Rs. 168 for asst. yr. 1966-67 and Rs. 268 for the asst. yr. 1967-68, totaling for all the three years at. Rs. 518. Thereafter, a proceeding was drawn up against the petitioner and notice was issued for penalty on account of late filing of the return. The petitioner filed written reply on 13-12-1972 but the respondent WTO, Jhalawar, rejected the said application and imposed a penalty for the year 1965-66 at Rs. 1300, for the asst. yr. 1966-67 at Rs. 2610 and for the year 1967-68 Rs. 4130, totaling to Rs. 8030 u/s. 18(1)(a) of the WT Act before amendment for the delay in filing the return by his order dt. 2/6-3-1974. It appears, in making the assessment, the penalty was fixed as if it was delay in filing the return on the date when the order was passed or on the date when the return was filed. This is patently wrong. The penalty, if any, could be fixed for the period of assessment year as may be fixed under the WT Act, as the case may be. Be that as it may, the order itself is not a speaking order. From these, it is very difficult to consider what led the WTO to pass the relevant order. As this is a quasi judicial proceeding the authority concerned must pass a speaking order. Not having passed a speaking order, the order cannot be sustained and must be set aside which I hereby do. The matter is remitted back to the competent authority for rehearing and decision in accordance with law. I have not decided the merits of the case at all. There will be no order as to costs.