1. It is with the greatest difficulty that I could extract a question of law of any sort in this case; but, if there is any, I suppose it is case; but, if there is any, I suppose it is this, as to whether under Section 23(2) of the Income-tax Act 'the person who made the return in the case of a firm means the identical person who made the original re-turn. Coommon sense would indicate that the only requisite is that the firm who made the return should, as a firm, have the notice properly delivered to them. That is a matter of general law and it is obviously a question of fact in most cases whether the notice was such as to reach the legal entity known as the firm. Here it was addressed to one of the partners and by the ordinary law and the specific provision of Section 63(2) of this very Act each partner is an agent for all the others in the firm. The question must be answered in this way: the assessee must pay the costs of this reference, Rs. 150 (Rupees One hundred and fifty).
2. I agree to the answer proposed by the learned Chief Justice. The question put to us by the referring authority is whether in the case of an unregistered firm a notice under Section 23(2) of the Income-tax Act should be served only on the member of the firm who made the return or whether under Section 63(2), of the Act it can be served on any member of the firm. There can be no doubt about the answer, and it must be in the affirmative. Notice can be served on any member as provided for in Section 63(2) and such service is good service. The word 'person' as pointed out by the Referring Officer, clearly includes a firm as provided by the General Clauses Act, 1897 : and when the return is made on behalf of the firm by a partner, it is the firm that is the person who makes the return, and any proper service on the firm as authorised by Section 63(2) will be a proper service.
3 I agree to the order proposed as to costs.