1. These petitions are directed against the Income-tax Officer for a writ of prohibition preventing him from proceeding further with the proceedings initiated by him under Section 34 of Income-tax Act.
2. The first complaint of the petitioner is that the reasons which satisfied the Commissioner for sanctioning the proceedings under Section 34 of the Act were not communicated to him, and, therefore, the proceedings are void.
The scheme of Section 34 of the Act is that, if the conditions of the main section are satisfied, a notice has to be issued to the assessee containing all or any of the requirements which may be included in a notice under Sub-section (2) of 3. 22. But before issuing the notice, the proviso requires that the officer should record his reasons for initiating action under Section 34 and obtain the sanction of the Commissioner who must be satisfied that the action under Section 34 was justified. There is no requirement in any of the provisions of the Act or any section laying down as a condition for the initiation of the proceedings that the reasons which Induced the Commissioner to accord sanction to proceed under Section 34 must also be communicated to the assessee. The requirement regarding the communication of the reasons to the Commissioner is, in our opinion, intended to safeguard the interests of the assessee against any hasty action on the part of the Income-tax Officer under Section 34 or an action without any justification. It is not intended by the proviso that the reason should be communicated to the assessee. The satisfaction mentioned is the satisfaction of the Commissioner, and the adequacy of the reasons is not a matter for consideration of thecourt, and it is not open to the assessee to agitate the question, that the reasons were inadequate to sanction the initiation of the proceedings under Section 34 by the Commissioner.
3. The second point taken is that, even before issuing the notice under the section, the Income-tax Officer must make up his mind that he is going to limit the assessment for a period of four years or eight years, and the notice Itself must clearly state the period for which reassessment would be made. We do not construe the section in the manner suggested. All that the section requires is that the notice must be issued and the assessment under Sub-section (3) of Section 34 is restricted to a period of four years in cases falling under Clause (b) of Section 34 & to eight years in cases falling under Clause (a) of Sub-section (1), Section 34. It is, therefore, inour opinion, not necessary in the notice itself at the initial stage to indicate whether the action is to be confined to a period of eight years or four years. After all the facts are investigated, it will be open to the Income-tax Officer to make up his mind, having regard to the findings reached by him, whether the assessment should be restricted to eight years or four years. It is not neces-sary for him even at the initial stage to indicate the period for which the assessment is going to be reconsidered.
4. These are the only two points that have been raised before us and we see no reason to issue a writ of prohibition as prayed for. The petitions are dismissed with costs in one, W. P. No. 63 of 1953, Rs. 250.