K. Veeraswami, C.J.
1. This is to quash an order of the Income-tax Officer, City Circle II(1), Coimbatore, dated 28-2-1969. By that order he dismissed an application for registration in Form 11, as well as in Form 11-A, which were filed only on 3-3-1967, on behalf of the assesses firm. The occasion for the applications was that there was a change in the Constitution. The Income-tax Officer felt that in the absence of any sufficient cause shown, the applications having not been filed before the end of the previous year for the assessment year, in respect of which the registration was sought, they should be dismissed.
2. We are not inclined to issue a rule nisi. Our reasons are two-fold. One is the assessee undoubtedly has a right of revision to the Commissioner under the provisions of the Act and there is no reason why he cannot resort to It. That remedy is quite adequate. The second reason is that Sub-section (4) of Section 184 is mandatory and required that the application shall be made before the end of the previous year for the assessment year in respect of which registration was sought. The section has a proviso which gives a discretion to the Income-tax Officer to excuse the delay, but only If he is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for the delay. It follows that the applicant, who should have known that the applications were out of time, should satisfy the Income-tax Officer that there was sufficient cause for the delay. We do not think that having regard to the terms of the statutory provision which we just now read, the assessee can take up the stand that the Income-tax Officer before rejecting the applications, must give an opportunity to show cause. The position is that the applications having been filed out of time, it was incumbent on the assessee to show cause why the delay should be excused, not that it was Incumbent on the Income-tax Officer to call upon the assessee to show cause. Natural justice is not an abstract proposition, but follows closely the scheme of the statutory provision.
3. Our attention has, however, been Invited to Haji Md. Khalil Md. Farooq v. Income-tax Officer : 46ITR458(All) . That was a case under the old Act and the learned single Judge considered that natural justice required that the Income-tax Officer should give an opportunity to show cause why the application should not be dismissed. With respect, we are unable to share this view. As we said, the petitioner himself was the applicant and he is expected to know the law which makes it clear that if the application had not been made within the time specified, it could only be entertained if sufficient cause is shown for the delay to the satisfaction of the Income-tax Officer. The assessee cannot convert his default into an occasion for pleading natural justice asking for an opportunity. On that view, the petition is dismissed.