S.C. Ghose, C.J.
1. This appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated April 16, 1980--See : 130ITR790(Cal) passed by Salil K. Roy Chowdhury J., in an application made on behalf of a company (in liquidation). The said company,Haralal Harendra Lal Roy Estate Limited was a solvent company and, as pointed out by the learned trial judge, became insolvent due to laches of succeeding official liquidators in payment of income-tax dues by the company (in liquidation) when the demands were raised for the same. The entire income-tax dues of the company for the asesssment years 1956-57 to 1976-77 have been paid. But the interest for the delayed payment of the said income-tax liabilities was prayed to be condoned by the income-tax authority for the above-mentioned assessment years under Section 446(2) of the Companies Act, 1956.
2. The company held a large number of immovable properties, particularly house properties in Calcutta, which fetched by way of monthly rent a considerable sum of money. In the beginning, Mr. S.N. Bhattacharyya, since deceased, was appointed official liquidator of the company. By a subsequent order, the official receiver of this court was appointed the official liquidator of the company after the death of Mr. S.N. Bhattacharyya. By another order dated 17th December, 1962, the official receiver was discharged and the official liquidator of this court was appointed the official liquidator of the said company. Mr. Dhiren Dey, a member of the Bar, was appointed as special officer by an order dated 10th April, 1961, to frame a scheme of partition of the assets of the company amongst the con-ributories. The said special officer submitted a report to this courtt which was filed on the 31st July, 1961. By an order dated 23rd February, 1962, made by this court, the assets were allotted to the contributories of the company according to the said scheme and the income thereof was directed to be distributed to the respective contributories of the company as mentioned in the said order, except that certain properties were kept earmarked for meeting the liabilities of the company. Various attempts were made by the official liquidator to sell the properties in order to meet the liabilities of the company but due to the objections made by various contributories from time to time and also due to the inadequate prices offered for the same, such sale could not be held. The income by way of rent of the buildings belonging to the company was being distributed after meeting the expenses like corporation taxes, etc., to the contributories of the company in terms of the order of this court. In these circumstances, the income-tax demands raised from time to time could not be paid. Large amounts were found to have been defalcated by the officers and the employees of the official liquidator out of the rents collected from the tenants of the properties belonging to the company and, therefore, suits have been filed and criminal cases have been lodged against some of the employees of the said company. Subsequently, some of the properties were sold and a huge income-tax liability of the company (in liquidation) was paid off but the interest for delayed payment under Section 220(2) of the I.T. Act, 1961, could not be paid, which had amounted to quite a large sum of money, to be precise, a sum of Rs. 9,56,780. For the delayed payment of income-tax, the I.T. authorities were also responsible to a certain extent inasmuch as negotiations were going on for purchasing the Strand Road property of the company by the I.T. authorities in lieu of the entire debt including the income-tax dues and the interest payable by the company to the Revenue. But after quite a considerable time, the said negotiations fell through as the I.T. authorities were unwilling to purchase the said house. The present case, as has been held by the learned trial judge, is an unfortunate one and peculiar, inasmuch as for no fault of the contributories who are the only beneficiaries in the winding-up of the company most of the properties have been sold and large amounts of income-tax had to be paid, although belatedly. In the facts and circumstances of this case, as narrated by the learned trial judge in his judgment, the learned judge exercised his powers under Section 446(2) of the Companies Act, 1956, and disallowed the payment of interest due by the company (in liquidation) under Section 446(2) of the Companies Act, 1956. In the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, we do not find any reason to interfere with the judgment and order of the learned trial judge.
3. By reason of the premises, this appeal fails and is dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.
R.N. Pyne, J.