C K WADHA Vs. COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
COMMISSIONER OF INCOME-TAX
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Sankar Prasad Mitra, J. -
(1.) In this petition the only point urged before me relates to the retention by the tax authorities of books of accounts and other documents of the petitioner under Section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961. It is alleged that these books and documents were seized in September, 1965. The seizure admittedly was in pursuance of the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 132. And it would be necessary to consider in this application the provisions of Sub-sections (8), (10) and (12) of the said section. These sub-sections are as follows:
"(8) The books of account or other documents seized under Sub-section (1) shall not be retained by the authorised officer for a period exceeding one hundred and eighty days from the date of the seizure unless the reasons for retaining the same are recorded by him in writing and the approval of the Commissioner for such retention is obtained ....... (10) If a person legally entitled to the books of account or other documents seized under Sub-section (1) objects for any reason to the approval given by the Commissioner under Sub-section (8), he may make an application to the Board stating therein the reasons for such objection and requesting for the return of the books of account or other documents. (12) On receipt of the application under Sub-section (10) the Board . . . may, after giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders as it thinks fit."
(2.) From the provisions set out above, it is apparent that unless at least the approval of the Commissioner is communicated to the person whose books and documents are seized he cannot exercise the rights conferred on him by Sub-section (10). A similar, view was taken by T. K. Basu J. in Matter No. 204 of 1966 (Mahabir Prosad Poddar v. Commissioner of Income- tax, Since in a judgment delivered on the 9th January, 1970, with which I respectfully agree.
(3.) In the instant case, the approval of the Commissioner dated the 29th September, 1966, was forwarded to the petitioner for his information. This approval was upto the 30th of April, 1967. The petitioner's contention is that he is not aware of any other subsequent approvals.;
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