Decided on September 25,1973

Assam Co Operative Apex Bank Limited Appellant


SEN.J. - (1.) THESE applications under Article 226 of the Constitution by the petitioner, Assam Co -operative Apex Bank Ltd., are directed against an order dated April 19, 1969, passed by the Commissioner of Income -tax, Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland, holding that the Government securities in question were not trading assets of the bank and that the income arising therefrom as interest was not business income and accordingly not exempt under Section 81(i) of the Income -tax Act.
(2.) THE Income -tax Officer, A -ward, Shillong, has passed assessment orders and had also issued demand notices for assessment years 1954 -55 and 1957 -58 to 1966 -67 on the petitioner, against which the petitioner filed revision applications before the Commissioner of Income -tax, whereupon the Commissioner, after hearing the parties, passed the aforesaid impugned order. Mr. G. K. Talukdar, the learned standing counsel for the department, made a preliminary submission that these applications did not lie, in view of the fact that an alternative remedy was open to the petitioner, which the petitioner did not exhaust. The learned standing counsel further submitted that the Income -tax Act is a self -contained Act and that the remedies available thereunder should first be availed of before the petitioner could seek relief under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The learned standing counsel invited our attention to Champalal Binani v. Commissioner of Income -tax : [1970]76ITR692(SC) , where their Lordships have held (page 695) : '.....the Income -tax Act provides a complete and self -contained machinery for obtaining relief against improper action taken by the departmental authorities, and normally the party feeling himself aggrieved by such action cannot be permitted to refuse to have recourse to that machinery and to approach the High Court directly against the action. .....Where the party feeling aggrieved by an order of an authority under the Income -tax Act has an adequate alternative remedy which he may resort to against the improper action of the authority and he does not avail himself of that remedy the High Court will require a strong case to be made out for entertaining a petition for a writ. Where the aggrieved party has an alternative remedy the High Court would be slow to entertain a petition challenging an order of a taxing authority which is, ex facie, with jurisdiction.'
(3.) NO doubt, the order of the Commissioner is within his jurisdiction and competence, but in view of the fact that no appeal, revision or review lies under the Income -tax Act against that order, this application under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be dismissed on the ground that the petitioner did not exhaust the statutory remedies which would have been open to him.;

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