The facts in this case are shortly as follows : The petitioner in this case is Sahasrangshu Kanta Acharya who is one of the two sons of the late Maharaj Kumar Sitagshu Kanta Acharya of Mymensingh, who died on or about June, 5, 1952, leaving him surviving the said two sons and his widow, Srimati Reba Acharya. In 1952, the Court of Wards took charge of the management of the estate and in July, 1955, the estate was released. On or about July 29, 1955, August 27, 1955, and October 22, 1955, assessment of income-tax was made for the years 1952-53, 1953-54 and 1954-55 respectively. The assessment orders are annexure 'A', 'A-1' and 'A-2' to the petition. The point to be noted is the peculiar fashion in which the assessment orders were made. The name of the assessee was given as 'successor-in-interest to the late Maharaj Kumar Sitangshu Kanta Acharya Bahadur.' No name was given there either of any executor or administrator or legal representative. In August, 1955, notice of demand was issued for the year 1952-53 and in December, 1955, notice of demand notices for 1953-54 and 1954-55 were issued. So far as the notice of demand is concerned, it appears that it was received by one H. C. Roy, constituted attorney for the petitioner. There after, an application was made under section 27 of the Income-tax Act which was rejected. Then certificate proceedings were started. The certificates were also issued in the name of the 'successors-in-interest' to the late Maharaj Kumar Sitangshu Kanta Acharya Bahadur. The notice under section 7 were issued and objections were preferred. The objection of the petitioner under section 9 has been rejected. An appeal was taken against that, but that also has been rejected. Hence this present application.
In my opinion, this application ought to succeed on the ground that an assessment cannot be made in this fashion against a person without naming him but describing the assessee as the 'successor-in-interest' of a dead person. It will be remembered from the assessment orders that the assessment was not made in the name of the deceased nor was the name of the executor or administrator or legal representative of the deceased mentioned. The provisions of section 24B of the Income-tax Act were not satisfied. Assessment order like this must be held to be invalid. Actually, Mr. Pal appearing for the respondent No. 3, has not argued that the assessment orders were made in accordance with the law, but he argued thus : He says that this application is under article 226 of the Constitution and we find that the petitioner here had notice of the infirmity a long time ago. It is argued that even during the period of pendency of the assessment proceedings, at least for some years, notice was received on behalf of the petitioner by his constituted attorney who did not object. It is only upon the demand notices having been issued that certain objections were put forward. According to Mr. Pal, if the petitioner had objected at the right time or appealed against the assessment orders, the infirmity could be detected and set right, while now it was too late being barred by limitation. According to Mr. Pal, this kind of conduct precludes the petitioner from getting relief in this jurisdiction. In my opinion, this is not a sufficient answer to this application. If a person finds that an assessment for income-tax is made, not against him but against a wrong person. I do not see why he is bound to assist the revenue authorities by bringing the matter to their notice within the period of limitation. Taxation of a citizen should be made strictly in accordance with law and there does not seen to be any bounden duty on the part of the taxpayer to point out the infirmities of the revenue authorities, in time to save limitation.
That being so, these assessment orders and certificate proceedings taken thereon cannot be supported and must be quashed. The result, therefore, is that this rule is made absolute and the impugned assessment orders being annexures 'A', 'A-1' and 'A-2' to the petition, all the certificates issue on the basis thereof and the certificate proceedings are all quashed by a writ in the nature of certiorari. There will be no orders as to costs.
The security furnished by the petitioner shall now be refunded.