P K BAJPAIE HUF Vs. WEALTH TAX OFFICER
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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Anand Prakash, Accountant Member -
(1.) THROUGH these appeals the assessee has challenged the combined order of the Commissioner passed in terms of Sub-section (2) of Section 25 of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957 ('the Act') in respect of the assessment years 1973-74 and 1974-75 setting aside the assessment orders passed by the WTO in respect of these years and directing him to frame them afresh in accordance with the facts of the case and the law after giving due opportunity to the assessee for representing his case.
(2.) The facts bearing on the controversy may be noted. The assessee is a HUF. Its valuation dates for the aforesaid two years are 31-3-1973 and 31-3-1974, respectively. 'The family's wealth consists, inter alia, of several houses two of which are situated at Gurusaday Road bearing Nos. 1A and 1B, Gurusaday Road, Calcutta. The WTO referred to the Valuation Officer the valuation of the properties Nos. 1A and IB, Gurusaday Road, vide his letter dated 29-7-1978 in terms of Section 16A of the Act. The WTO requested the Valuation Officer in this letter that the valuation of the aforesaid two houses may be made for wealth-tax assessment purposes for the assessment years 1973-74 to 1978-79. He indicated in the said letter that both the aforesaid properties have been valued by the assessee at Rs. 3,59,100 up to the assessment year 1972-73. He wanted the opinion of the valuer because, according to the WTO, the value of the said properties, as declared by the assessee, was, according to him, grossly undervalued. Further details of the properties in question were given by the WTO in the above letter wherein it was, inter alia, pointed out that the property at 1 A, Gurusaday Road had an area of 30 cottahs and 9 chataks, that it had an old building on it which was otherwise well maintained, that with effect from 28-9-1976 the said building stood leased out to Aarkay Investment Centre Ltd. for a period of 5 years commencing from 1-7-1976 with option on the part of the lessee to renew the lease agreement for a further period of 5 years and that the lease rent had been fixed at Rs. 4,000 per month. The WTO further indicated in the said letter that while valuing the property location of the property and reversionary interest in the property after expiry of the lease term of 10 years may also be taken into consideration. In respect of the property IB, Gurusaday Road, it was stated by the WTO that its area was approximately 18 cottahs, that there was a small old outhouse constructed on it which was used by the gardeners and darwans, etc. and that the vacant land was being used by the assessee as a garden having vegetables, fruits and flowers.
The Valuation Officer submitted his valuation report with regard to IB, Gurusaday Road, on 30-11-1978. The valuation report of the other property at No. 1A, Gurusaday Road, had not been submitted by him till 4-1-1979, i.e., the date on which the assessment orders in question were passed by the WTO. The said report was submitted by the Valuation Officer on 21-2-1979.
(3.) THE WTO, while completing the assessments in the case of the assessee-family on 4-1-1979, adopted the same figure of valuation for 1B, Gurusaday Road, as was reported by the Valuation Officer. With regard to the property at No. 1A, Gurusaday Road, however, he worked out the valuation in the following manner in the assessment order for the assessment year 1973-74.
THE said valuation was repeated by him in his assessment order for the assessment year 1974-75.;
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