S. K. Das, J. -
(1.)For the assessment year 1946-47 the appellant Homi Jehangir Gheesta was assessed to income-tax on a total income of Rs. 87,500 under S. 23(3) of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922. The circumstances in which he was so assessed were the following.
(2.)The appellant's case was that M. H. Sanjana, maternal grandfather of the appellant, died on or about May 10, 1920. There was litigation between his widow Cursetbai and Bai Jerbanoo, Sanjana's daughter by his first wife, about the validity of a will left by Sanjana. Bai Jerbanoo was the appellant's mother. The litigation was compromised and the appellant's mother got one-third share in the estate left by Sanjana the total value of which estate was about Rs. 9,88,000. Bai Jerbanoo died in 1933, leaving her husband Jehangirji (appellant's father), her son Homi (appellant) and a daughter named Aloo. It was stated, though there was no evidence thereof, that Bai Jerbanoo left an estate worth about Rs. 2,10,000 when she died. The appellant was a minor at the time of his mother's death. He had two uncles then, Phirozeshaw and Kaikhusroo. Phirozeshaw was the eldest member of the family. On his mother's death the appellant's share of the estate was Rs. 70,000. Phirozeshaw took charge of it and made investments. He died on December 12, 1945. Kaikhusroo, younger brother of Phirozeshaw and one of the executors of his will, took charge of the estate of Phirozeshaw. When he opened a safe belonging to Phirozeshaw he found a packet with the name of the appellant on it. That packet contained high denomination currency notes of the value of Rs. 87,500. On January 24, 1946, the appellant tendered those notes for encashment and made a declaration which was then necessary and in that declaration he said:
"Legacy from my mother who dies in 1933 when I was minor and money whereof was invested from time to time by my father and late uncle Phirozeshaw who recently died."
When the appellant received a notice from the Income-tax Officer to submit a return of his income for the relevant year, he submitted a return showing "nil" income. When asked about the high denomination notes which he had encashed, he said in a letter dated January 7, 1947, that his uncle Phirozeshaw who used to manage his estate during his minority handed over to him and his father the sum of Rs. 87,500 sometime before his (i.e., Phirozeshaw's) death in 1945. This was a story different from the one later given, about the opening of the safe by Kaikhusroo after Phirozeshaw's death and the finding of a packet there in the name of the appellant. The appellant also filed an affidavit before the Income-tax Officer on September 29, 1949, which also contained contradictory statements. On a consideration of all the materials before him, the Income-tax Officer did not accept the case of the appellant but came to the conclusion that the true nature of the receipt of Rs. 87,500 was not disclosed. He treated the amount as appellant's income from some source not disclosed and assessed him accordingly.
(3.)The appellant preferred an appeal to the Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax. At the appellate stage the statements of the appellant's father and uncle were taken by the Income-tax Officer, D-II Ward, Bombay and a further statement of the appellant's uncle Kaikhusroo was taken by the appellate authority. That authority came to the same conclusion as the Income-tax Officer had come to.