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Bokaro and Ramgur Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Income-tax - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberIncome-tax Reference No. 104 of 1964
Judge
Reported in[1969]74ITR334(Cal)
ActsIncome Tax Act, 1922 - Sections 30 and 31
AppellantBokaro and Ramgur Ltd.
RespondentCommissioner of Income-tax
Appellant AdvocateSanjib Chowdhury, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateB.L. Pal and ;Ajoy Mitter, Advs.
Cases ReferredChandra Bhan Gosain v. State of Orissa
Excerpt:
- .....the said three assessment orders. it was contended before the tribunal on further appeal that the appellateassistant commissioner has no power and authority to do so. the tribunal was unable to accept the said contention and observed : ' if an assessee files a number of cases for different years which come up for hearing on the same date, they are usually heard together and disposed of by a single order with the concurrence of the parties concerned for the sake of convenience.' 2. the tribunal also observed that, in those circumstances, the consent of the assessee was to be implied. on an application being made to the tribunal under section 66(1) of the indian income-tax act. 1922, the tribunal referred to this court the following question : ' whether, on the facts and in the.....
Judgment:

Sabyasachi Mukmarji, J.

1. In respect of assessment years 1946-47, 1947-48 and 1948-49 three different orders were passed by the Income-tax Officer. In respect of the said orders, appeals were preferred before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. It appears that the said appeals came up for hearing before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner on the 20th February, 1961, and 17th March, 1961, and the learned advocate on behalf of the assessee appeared before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner on the said dates and advanced one set of arguments in all the three cases. Thereafter, on the 19th March, 1962, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner by an order dealt with and disposed of the contention--and the points involved in the said three appeals relating to the said three assessment orders. It was contended before the Tribunal on further appeal that the AppellateAssistant Commissioner has no power and authority to do so. The Tribunal was unable to accept the said contention and observed :

' If an assessee files a number of cases for different years which come up for hearing on the same date, they are usually heard together and disposed of by a single order with the concurrence of the parties concerned for the sake of convenience.'

2. The Tribunal also observed that, in those circumstances, the consent of the assessee was to be implied. On an application being made to the Tribunal under Section 66(1) of the Indian Income-tax Act. 1922, the Tribunal referred to this court the following question :

' Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was justified in holding that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner was competent to pass one single order in the three appeals filed before him relating to the assessment years 1946-47, 1947-48 and 1948-49 ?'

3. Before us, Mr. Chowdhury, learned advocate for the assessee, contended that there is no such power under the Act to pass one consolidated order. According to him, such a composite order would be against the basic concept of the Income-tax Act. He also contended that such a composite order is against the scheme of the Act which provides for yearwise assessment and separate fees for appeal each year. According to him, there is no such power given to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner and as such the order that has been passed by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner is void and ultra vires his authority. Mr. Chowdhury also contended that, unlike the civil court, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, being a creature of statute, the limit of his authority and his power must be found within the statute and there is no scope for any inherent power which the civil court might have in some cases.

4. Sections 30 and 31 of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, provide for appeals and hearing of the appeals by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. There is no provision in the Act or in the Rules framed under the Act as to the manner and the form of the order to be passed. In our opinion, where there is no such procedure or term has been laid down the Tribunal or the authority who is enjoined to discharge certain functions given to it has the right to evolve its own procedure provided, however, firstly, such a procedure does not violate any of the rights given to the parties under the Act under which the said authority is created and, secondly, such a procedure is not against the principles of natural justice. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner, as such, evolved his own procedure of the manner of the disposal of this matter. In that view of the matter we are of the opinion that, in the facts and circumstances of this case, as it appears from the agreed statement of the case, that, for the convenience of the parties and with the concurrence of the parties, which can easily be inferred from the circumstances, therewas nothing wrong or contrary to any provision of the Act in disposing of the said appeals by one composite order. It is not the case here of the consolidation of appeals. So we are not really called upon in this case whether, in a particular case, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner has or has not the power to consolidate appeals relating to different years. Under the Act, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner has the authority and the right to dispose of the appeals and in passing the order there is no express prohibition or procedure laid down in respect thereto. In those circumstances, we are of the opinion that, in a particular case, with the concurrence of the parties and if the convenience of the case so required, there is no prohibition or bar on the Appellate Assistant Commissioner passing one consolidated order in respect of appeals for different years.

5. Mr. Chowdhury relied on the decision of Haji Zakeria Suleman v. Collector, Yeolmal, : AIR1963Bom233 . There a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court held that inherent powers can only be implied in the civil courts having general jurisdiction ; but, where special authorities are constituted under a special statute and for a special object, it is not possible to imply inherent powers in them. Kotval J. referred to a passage in Craies on Statute Law, 5th edition, page 105, to the following effect :

' If a statute is passed for the purpose of enabling something to be done, but omits to mention in terms some detail, which is of great importance (if not actually essential) to the proper and effectual performance of the work which the statute has in contemplation, the courts are at liberty to infer that the statute by implication empowers that detail to be carried out.'

6. There the court held that even though the C. P. and Berar Letting of Houses and Rent Control Order, 1949, does not contain any express provision, the Rent Controller has power to dismiss an application as well as to restore it if good cause exists. In our opinion, the ratio of the said decision does not help the applicant before us.

7. In our opinion, Sections 30 and 31 of the Income-tax Act, 1922, do not lay down any procedure to be followed in passing the order. In respect of that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner was entitled to evolve his own procedure provided, as mentioned before, the same did not violate the rights given to the parties under the Act or the principles of natural justice. This point really has never been raised and it has always been assumed that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner has the power and as such there is no direct authority on this point. But a reference may be made to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Chandra Bhan Gosain v. State of Orissa, : [1963]50ITR195(SC) . The Supreme Court referred to the case of Lajwanti Sial's case, S.L.P. (Civil) No. 673 of 1959where therewere a number of applications under Section 66(2) of the Income-tax Act for reference of the same question. There were in fact a number of separate references but were dealt with by one judgment from which an appeal to the Supreme Court arose and it was observed that the common judgment must be taken to have been delivered in each of the different cases.

8. Applying the same principle, it appears to us that, in the facts andcircumstances of this case, the composite order in respect of the three yea.rsmust be taken to have been passed in each of the appeals for three differentyears.

9. In that view of the matter we are of the opinion that the question referred to this court must be answered in the affirmative and in favour of the revenue and the assessee will pay costs of this reference.

10. Certified for two counsel.

Deb, J.

11. I agree.


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