Decided on April 20,1937



The applicant Hazarilal has been convicted under Secs. 182, 193 and 196, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced in the aggregate to one years rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs. 1,000. - (1.)
(2.) The Income-tax Officer issued a notice to Hazarilal under Sec. 22(2) of the Indian Income-tax Act requiring him to furnish a return, in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner, of his total income during the previous year. Hazarilal submitted the return Ex. P. 1 duly verified and dated 14-5-34 showing his total income for the year as Rs. 896-4-6. The Income-tax Officer did not accept this return as correct and issued notices to Hazarilal under Secs. 22(4) and 23(2) of the Act, calling upon him (i) to produces his account (ii) to attend at the Income-tax officers office to produce or to cause to be there produced any evidence on which he relied in support of his return. Hazarilal appeared before the Income-tax Officer on 16-6-34 when he amended the return so as to show his total income for the year as Rs. 754-7-9 and he produced his accounts and also certain statements which the Income-tax Officer demanded. The Income-tax Officer came to conclusion that these accounts were false and Hazarilal was eventually assessed to an income of Rs. 8,000. Hazarilal was prosecuted on a complaint by the Income-tax Officer. There are three charges. The first is that on 14-5-34 he gave information to the Income-tax Officer intending thereby to cause him to exempt him from payment of income-tax and thereby committed an offence under Sec. 182 of the Indian Penal Code. It has been contended that the offence, if any, was one under Sec. 177 of the Indian Penal Code read with Sec. 52 of the Income-tax Act and that in the absence of the Assistant Commissioners sanction, the convicti on cannot stand. Sec. 52 of the Income-tax Act provides that if a person makes a statement in a verification mentioned in certain sections of the Act which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false, or does not believe to be true, he shall be deemed to have committed the offence described in Sec. 177 of the Indian Penal Code. The return submitted by Hazarilal consisted of a statement of his total income during the previous year and appended to that statement was a verification clause. Sec. 52 of the Income-tax Act deals only with a false statement in the verification clause and does not cover a false statement in the statement of income to which the verification clause is attached.
(3.) IN Sundarams Law of INcome-tax in INdia, third edition, page 947, it is stated that the provisions in Sec. 52 is without prejudice to that in Sec. 476 of the Criminal Procedure Code under which a Court can direct a prosecution in respect of the offences mentioned in that section and committed before the Court, and that all the Officers, Assistant Commissioners and Commissioners are evidently Courts for this purpose. It was held in Re Nataraja Iyer and IN re Punamchand Maneklal that an INcome-tax Officer is a revenue Court, and Subhedar, A.J.C., took the view in Criminal Revision No. 193 of 1933, that it is open to the INcome-tax Officer to act under Sec. 476 Criminal Procedure Code, and made a complaint of the offence committed before him. I think there is no doubt that this view is correct.;

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