XYZ Vs. THIRD WEALTH TAX OFFICER
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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D.V. Junnarkar, Accountant Member -
(1.) IN these appeals, the asses-see has disputed the penalties levied by the WTO under Section 18(1)(c) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 ('the Act'), as sustained by the AAG for the five years under consideration.
(2.) The facts in brief are that the assessee filed original returns of wealth on 4-9-1968, 29-6-1969, 30-6-1970, 30-6-1971 and 30-6-1972, respectively, admitting jewellery worth Rs. 57,550. The assessments were completed for these five years valuing the jewellery at Rs. 58,244 and Rs. 58,166 for the first two years and at the figures declared by the assessee for the last three years under consideration. In the meanwhile, the assessment for the year 1976-77 came up for consideration, during the course of which, at the instance of the WTO, the assessee got the jewellery valued. According to the assessee's valuer, the value of the jewellery was Rs. 95,131 for the first two years and Rs. 1,24,702 for the last three years, which the assessee had shown in her returns of wealth for the five assessment years under consideration, which were reopened in the meanwhile. In the assessment proceedings, the WTO accepted the value of the jewellery as declared by the assessee as per the valuer's report. After completion of the reassessment proceedings, the WTO proceeded to levy penalties, under Section 18(1), equivalent to the difference in the value of the jewellery as assessed in the original assessments and the value of the jewellery as assessed in the reassessment proceedings.
The assessee objected before the AAC both on merits and on legalities of the penalties levied by the WTO. Having failed before the AAC, the assessee appealed before the Tribunal.
(3.) DURING the course of the hearing it was submitted that the assessee had not concealed any particulars of her wealth in the original proceedings. She had declared her jewellery itemwise in the original proceedings. She had declared the value of this jewellery as in the past. She got the jewellery revalued on 1-10-1976 for the relevant valuation dates at the instance of the WTO. In the first place, the learned counsel for the assessee has pleaded before us that such subsequent revaluation of the jewellery does not justify reopening of the assessment. The reassessment proceedings, thus, were bad in law. On the top of it, the levy of the penalty was totally erroneous. In support, the counsel for the assessee has relied on the Tribunal, Bombay Bench 'B' decision in WT Appeal No. 78 (All.)of 1981 in the case of Ajaypat Singhania v. WTO decided on 30-11-1981, to which decision both of them were parties. Further, he relied on the Tribunal, Bombay Bench 'B' decision in WT Appeal No. 514 (Bom.) of 1979 decided on 24-11-1980 and the Tribunal, Delhi Bench 'D' decision in IT Appeal No. 124 (Delhi) of 1977-78 decided on 29-4-1978. In all these appeals in identical circumstances, the three Benches had held that the respective assessees were not liable to penalties under Section 18(1)(c) or Section 271(1)(c) of the Income-tax Act. Reliance is also placed on the Bombay High Court decision in the case of Tulsidas Kilachand. D.R. Chawla  122 ITR 458 to the effect that a subsequent valuation does not justify the reopening. Further reliance is also placed on the Kerala High Court decision in the case of CIT v. Sankarsons & Co.  85 ITR 627 and the Punjab and Haryana High Court decision in case of Addl. CIT v. Karnail Singh V. Kalaran  94 ITR 505. On behalf of the revenue, the learned departmental representative has relied on the Allahabad High Court decision in the case of CIT v. Chiranji Lal Shanti Swamp  130 ITR 651 and CIT v. Rupabani Theatres (P.) Ltd.  130 ITR 747 (Cal.). The case law stated by the two parties relates to the burden of proof regarding concealment in the case where the Explanation to Section 18(1)(c) is applicable.;
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