Decided on November 15,1950



- (1.) THERE are two matters before us. The first (Civil Reference No. 10 of 1949) is a reference under Section 66 (1) of the Indian Income-tax Act by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, bombay, in the order of reference the following question of law has been referred for our decision: "whether the order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, Delhi, refusing to condone the delay and rejecting the appeals as time barred on the date of their hearing was an order passed under Section 31 or under Section 30, Clause (2) of the Income tax Act?"
(2.) THIS reference was made upon an application by Diwan Chand-Atma Ram, a firm of Simla, in which it was prayed that three questions be referred to the High Court under Section 66 (1), of the income-tax Act, In the application seven questions in all were formulated but the prayer clause referred only to three. The Income-tax Appellate Tribunal took the view that there was in reality only one question of law arising in the matter and that the other two questions were merely corrollaries to the first question, it, therefore, referred only one question namely, the one cited above for our decision. Messrs. Diwan Chand-Atma Ram were dissatisfied with this reference and have made an application to this Court (Civil Misc. 59 of 1950) in which they ask for a direction to the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal to state all the seven questions which were set out in the original application of the petitioners and also in the present application.
(3.) THE manner in which this application arose was briefly as follows. The petitioners (Messrs. Diwan Chand Atma Ram) presented three appeals to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner of income-tax against three different orders of the Income-tax Officer. These orders were (1) an order of regular assessment under Section 23 (3) of the Income-tax Act, (2) an order under section 25a of the Act and (3) an order under Section 2g-A, of the Act. These appeals were all bent by post and reached Date on 20-2-46. They were addressed to the Appellate Assistant commissioner of Income-tax at the address known to the petitioners. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner had in the meantime shifted his office and the new address was apparently not known to the petitioners. The packet containing the appeals could not be delivered on the 20th of February and was brought back to the post office by the postman. It was entrusted to another postman on the following day but this postman also could not deliver the packet. Finally on 22-2-46 the packet was delivered at the new address and the Appellate assistant Commissioner of Income-tax sent a notice to the petitioners informing them of the date of hearing. The appeals should have been presented on the 20th of February 1946 and as the packet containing the appeals was not delivered until the 22nd, the appeals were barred by time. When the matter came up before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner on the date fixed he declined to extend the time and dismissed the appeals as barred by time. An appeal against this order of dismissal was preferred to the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal took the view that the appeals had been dismissed under Section 30, and no order under Section 30 of the act was appealable. Upon this the petitioners applied to the Tribunal for stating a question of law under Section 66 (1) of the Act and the reference and the petition before us then followed.;

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