ALIPURDUAR TEA CO LTD Vs. AGRICULTURAL INCOME TAX OFFICER
LAWS(CAL)-1976-1-18
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on January 06,1976

ALIPURDUAR TEA CO. LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
AGRICULTURAL INCOME-TAX OFFICER Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Sabyasachi Mukharji, J. - (1.)This application under Article 226 of the Constitution relates to assessment for the assessment years 1955-56 and 1956-57 under the Bangal Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1944. The petitioner is a company which carries on the business of manufacture and sale of tea. Under Rule 8 of the Income-tax Rules, 1962, where an assessee himself grows tea leaves and manufactures tea, 60% of the income and/or profit on sale during the relevant assessment year is taxable as representing agricultural income under the Bengal Agricultural Income-tax Act and the balance representing income from manufacturing process of tea is taxable as business income under the Indian Income-tax Act. For the assessment years 1955-56 and 1956-57, the Agricultural Income-tax Officer, Jalpaiguri, being respondent No. 1, passed two separate orders both dated 25th July, 1960, and computed the agricultural income of the petitioner-company at Rs. 3,71,128 and Rs. 97,844, respectively, for the said assessment years based upon the certified copies of the corresponding assessment orders made under the provisions of the Income-tax Act. Being aggrieved by the orders of assessment made under the provisions of the Income-tax Act the petitioner preferred appeals before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax, Range Jalpaiguri. The said Appellate Assistant Commissioner by his order dated 10th January, 1967, which was received by the petitioner on the 8th March, 1967, had modified the said assessment. Thereafter, the petitioner made an application on the 28th March, 1968, before respondent No. 1 requesting him to revise the orders dated 25th July, 1960, as per the decision contained in the order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax. The respondent No. 1 declined to do so on the ground that his power to modify or revise the assessment was only limited up to a period of four years from the date of the order of assessment. Thereafter, the petitioner preferred appeals before the Assistant Commissioner of Agricultural Income-tax. The Assistant Commissioner of Agricultural Income-tax by his order dated 13th September, 1968, rejected the appeal on the ground that no appeal lay against the order passed by the Agricultural Income-tax Officer under Section 39 of the Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1944. Thereafter, the petitioner made revision applications to the Commissioner of Agricultural Income-tax on 11th October, 1968, praying, inter alia, that orders be passed directing respondent No. 1 to give effect to the order of the appellate authority made under the provisions of the Income-tax Act for the assessment years 1955-56 and 1956-57. The said applications have been kept pending and have not been disposed of. This rule is directed against the failure on the part of respondent No. 3 to dispose of the said two revision applications directing the respondent No. 1, namely. Agricultural Income-tax Officer, Range I, to give relief to the petitioner on the basis of assessment orders passed by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax for the relevant assessment years.
(2.)Under the scheme of the Bengal Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1944, agricultural income arising out of manufacture of tea cannot be computed without assessment of the business income of the assessee being made under the provisions of the Indian Income-tax Act. For the purpose of agricultural income-tax, certified copies of the orders of the income-tax authorities are conclusive evidence of the contents of such orders. In this connection, reference may be made to the provisions of Section 8 of the Bengal Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1944, which deals with the computation of tax on mixed income. Sub-section (3) of Section 8 at the relevant time provided as follows :
" For the purpose of the assessment of agricultural income-tax under this section or any rule made thereunder a certified copy of an order of an assessment under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, or a certified copy of an order of any appellate or revising authority or of the High Court or of the Supreme Court altering or amending such order of assessment under the provisions of that Act shall be conclusive evidence of the contents of such order."

(3.)Section 37 of the said Act deals with tht power of revision of the Commissioner and under Sub-section (2) of Section 37 the power of revision is limited to one year from the date of the order. Section 39 deals with rectification of mistake and the said power is limited to a period of four years from the date of the order to be rectified. For implementing the Act, rules have been framed and Rule 8 of the Bengal Agricultural Income-tax Rules, 1944, provides as follows :
"8. (1) The Agricultural Income-tax Officer after he is satisfied on examination of the accounts of a company earning income which is partially agricultural income assessable under the Act and partially income chargeable under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, or otherwise that the tax payable by the company has been or will be duly paid shall, on application made to him in this behalf by the principal officer of such company, grant the applicant a certificate in Form 2 specifying therein the percentage of the total agricultural income of the company to the aggregate of the income chargeable under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, as ascertained for the purpose of assessment of income-tax under the said Act and the total agricultural income. (2) Every application for a certificate under Sub-rule (1) shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the final order assessing the company to income-tax under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922."

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