Decided on March 08,1982



S.K. Chander, Accountant Member - (1.) THIS appeal by the assessee is directed against the order of the AAC dated 19-3-1980. The issue in this appeal is whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the AAC was justified in treating the birds as not animals and denying the assessee exemption available under Section 2(e) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 ("the Act"). The assessment year involved is 1976-77.
(2.) This appeal was fixed after due notice to the parties but when the appeal was called on for hearing, there was no response from the appellant though revenue-respondent was present. Therefore, by virtue of powers vested in us under Rule 24 of the Appellate Tribunal Rules, 1963, the appeal was heard exparte and is being disposed of on merits. The assessee is an individual. For the assessment year 1976-77 which is under appeal, he filed the return of net wealth on 24-11-1973 declaring net wealth of Rs. 63,491 in response to a notice under Section 17 of the Act issued by the WTO. Before the WTO a claim was made that the assessee was entitled to exemption of his one-half share in the value of birds and share in an orchard. The WTO disposed of this claim by pointing out that the assessee's case was similar to that of Smt. Birinder Kaur, who was also a partner in the firm working under the name and style of Empire Farm, Chandigarh, of which the assessee was a partner. Therefore, for the reasons given in that case he disallowed the exemption.
(3.) THE AAC, following the reasons given in the appellate order in the case of Smt. Birinder Kaur, dismissed the appeal of the assessee. THE appeal has been dismissed on the ground that the exemption claimed under Section 2(c)(2)(i) is not admissible to the assessee because birds with regard to which the exemption was claimed cannot be construed to be included in the word "animals" used in this clause which grants exemption.;

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