LEACH, C.J. - The Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Calcutta Bench, has referred to this Court for answer the following question :-
'Whether the income from agricultural land in Burma is covered within the definition given in Section 2 (1) (a) of the Indian Income-tax Act ?'
Section 2 (1) (a) reads as follows :-
'Agricultural income means any rent or revenue derived from land which is used for agricultural purposes, and is either assessed to land-revenue in British India or subject to a local rate assessed and collected by officers of the Crown as such.'
The assessee says that agricultural land in Burma is subject to a local rate assessed and collected by officers of the Burma Government who are officers of the Crown. That may be the case, but we cannot accept that officers of the Crown in Burma are officers of the Crown within the meaning of the Indian Income-tax Act. Agricultural income is exempt from income-tax in British Indian because it pays tax in another form to a Government in India and that tax is assessed and collected by officers of the Crown in British India. Exemption from income-tax of agricultural income can only mean exemption of agricultural income in British India.
The answer which we give to the question is that income from agricultural land in Burma is not covered by the definition given in Section 2 (1) (a) of the Act.
The assessee will pay the Commissioners costs Rs. 250.
The same question has been referred in Case Referred No. 19 of 1944 and consequently the same answer will be given. There will be no order as to costs here.
Reference answered accordingly.