Kerala H.C : n the facts and in the circumstances of the case, can the amount covered by the eleven certificates be recovered from the legal representatives of the deceased assessee ?

High Court Of Kerala

CIT & Ors. vs. T.K. Shahal Hasan Musaliar

Sections 159, 222, 224(2)

Asst. Years 1950-51 1951-52, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1956-57

S. Sankarasubban & Kum. A. Lekshmikutty, JJ.

W.A. Nos. 829 & 868 of 1990

6th September, 2000

Counsel Appeared

P.K. Ravindranatha Menon & N.R.K. Nair, for the Appellant : V. Ramachandran & Harun Al Rasheed, for the Respondent

JUDGMENT

S. SANKARASUBBAN, J. :

Both these writ appeals are filed against the judgment in O.P. No. 10606 of 1985 [reported at T.K. Shahal Hassan Musaliar vs. CBDT & Ors. (1991) 189 ITR 534 (Ker) : TC 52R.535]. While W.A. No. 829 of 1990 is filed by the respondents in the original petition, the other writ appeal, W.A. No. 868 of 1990 is filed by the petitioner in the original petition.

Petitioner in the original petition, O.P. No. 10606 of 1985, is one T.K. Shahal Hassan Musaliar. He is one of the sons and legal representatives of late A. Thangal Kunju Musaliar. Thangal Kunju Musaliar died on 19th Feb., 1966. He was an assessee under the Travancore IT Act and on its repeal under the Indian IT Act. The income-tax liabilities of the late Thangal Kunju Musaliar for the asst. yrs. 1119 and 1120 M.E. were settled as per proceedings of the Ministry of Finance Government of India by order No. 74(29)II/57, dt. 25th Sept., 1957, and for the asst. yrs. 1950-51 to 1956-57 by the Central Board of Revenue. As per the two settlements, a sum of Rs. 9,15,458 was fixed by the Central Board of Revenue as amount due as per the settlement, dt. 25th Sept., 1957, and as per the settlement dt. 24th Oct., 1957, tae tax due was fixed at Rs. 22,90,863. Thus, a total amount outstanding was determined at Rs. 32,06,321. As per the terms, tax quantified/computed in respect of the settlement dt. 25th Sept., 1957, was to be paid before 31st March, 1959, and that in respect of the second settlement dt. 24th Oct., 1957, before 25th March, 1960. The settlement provided for payment of interest at 6 per cent per annum in the event of failure to liquidate/clear the tax liability as per the terms of the settlements. Copies of the settlements are produced and marked as Exts. P1 and P2.

According to the petitioner, no penalty could be imposed or prosecution launched as per the settlements. Petitioner contends that during the lifetime of Thangal Kunju Musaliar, he had remitted a sum of Rs. 10,51,407 and on the date of his death, the subsisting tax liability as per the settlements was Rs. 21,54,914. After the death of Thangal Kunju Musaliar, the IT authorities initiated recovery proceedings against the petitioner and other legal representatives of Thangal Kunju Musaliar alleging non-compliance of the terms of the settlements as agreed to by the deceased. Neither the petitioner nor his co-heirs were aware of the alleged outstanding tax liability. The recovery proceedings initiated against the petitioner and others were challenged before this Court by filing original petitions as not enforceable against the petitioner and the other legal representatives. The original petitions were dismissed. Against that writ appeals were filed as W.A. Nos. 492 to 495 and 497 to 506 of 1967. The writ appeals were also disposed of by a Division Bench of this Court. The Division Bench held that out of the 22 certificates, 11 certificates which were issued after the death of Thangal Kunju Musaliar was unenforceable ‘Petitioner took up the matter before the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court disposed of the matter confirming the judgment of the High Court. Subsequent to the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Department was coercing the petitioner by bringing the properties to sale. Thereafter, the petitioner was compelled to pay Rs. 20,000 per month towards the amount due under the settlements. According to the petitioner, as per the said arrangement, the petitioner and others were making payments at the rate of Rs. 20,000 per month from December, 1973. The total amount paid towards tax liabilities of the deceased defaulter comes to Rs. 39,07,175. Ext. P3 is the statement showing the details of payments made towards the statutory dues. Petitioner then refers to Ext. P4 letter dt. 7th May, 1983. Ext. P4 gives the details of amount due from the assessee. According to the petitioner, he was not informed about the arrears. But he contends that he had completely remitted the taxes due as per the records of the Department and in addition he had paid amounts which appear to have been appropriated towards interest chargeable. Apart from the amount claimed as interest, an amount of Rs. 15,42,020 was claimed towards penalty imposed. According to the petitioner, the demand made by the TRO was in respect of interest and the penalty imposed, as the entire amount of tax had admittedly been paid leaving a large surplus which has to be refunded to the petitioner. The demand shown was not enforceable. In the two settlements effected by Thangal Kunju Musaliar, interest at 6 per cent was stipulated. Petitioner submits that no penalty is payable. However, it is the case of the petitioner that certificates have been issued in the name of the petitioner and fresh demands were raised. Copy of the demand is produced as Ext. P7. Original petition is filed for a prohibition forbearing the third respondent—The ITO, A-Ward, Quilon, from recovering any amount in pursuance of the recovery proceedings initiated under Ext. P7, to call for the records of the case leading to the issue of Ext. P7 notice and to quash the same and to direct the respondents to refund the balance amount.

A counter-affidavit has been filed by the second respondent-CIT. In para. 3 of the counter-affidavit, it is contended that the present proceedings are either covered or deemed to be covered by the earlier decision of this Court in Isha Beevi vs. TRO (1971) 80 ITR 82 (Ker) : TC 52R.701 and by the decision of the Supreme Court in Isha Beevi vs. TRO 1975 CTR (SC) 300 : (1975) 101 ITR 449 (SC) : TC 52R.696. In 1968, the demand was for an amount of Rs. 50,42,970.34. The above demand did not take in the amount of Rs. 8,55,000 paid by the assessee before his death. The amount of Rs. 50,42,970.34 comprising of the balance tax, penalty and interest upto 31st Dec., 1965, could not and should be subjected to any challenge in these proceedings. The assessee is bound by the principles of res judicata and this Court should be disinclined to consider anyone of the contentions. In para 8 of the counter- affidavit, it is stated that the subsequent certificates issued pursuant to the demands for the interest accrued subsequent to 31st Dec., 1965, cannot also be challenged in these proceedings. There is no warrant to confine the proceedings to the signatory to the settlements. It is further contended that under the guise of a challenge against Ext. P7 and that too after a lapse of 7 years for which no explanation has been offered, the assessee was directly or indirectly precluded from challenging in this proceeding the settlements arrived at thirty years ago and hence, it was prayed that the original petition may be dismissed.

A counter-affidavit has been filed by the additional fourth respondent. In para. 3 of the counter-affidavit, it is stated that it is not correct to say that this Court had held these certificates to be invalid and what is actually held was that while the attachment in pursuance of these certificates was valid further action in pursuance of the order of attachment should be in accordance with law. The counter-affidavit also denied regarding the contention raised by the petitioner that he had paid the amount.

The original petition came up for hearing before Radhakrishna Menon, J. The learned Judge formulated the following questions which arise for consideration: (i) On the facts and in the circumstances of the case, can the amount covered by the eleven certificates be recovered from the legal representatives of the deceased assessee ?, (ii) Whether the judgment in Original Petition No. 2287 and connected original petitions of 1968 (confirmed by the Division Bench and the Supreme Court operates as res judicata between the parties, and (iii) whether, on the facts and circumstances of the case, could it be said that the proceedings initiated for recovery of the tax dues of late Thangal Kunju Musaliar from his legal representatives are barred by limitation ? The learned Judge, after referring to the decisions in Isha Beevi vs. TRO (1971) 80 ITR 82 (Ker) : TC 52R.701 and Isha Beevi vs. TRO 1975 CTR (SC) 300 : (1975) 101 ITR 449 (SC) : TC 52R.696, held as follows. “It is in this background that questions as to whether the 11 certificates (in dispute) which were issued after the death of Thangal Kunju Musaliar can be corrected by substituting the names of the legal representatives in the place of the deceased-assessee and enforced against the legal representatives requires to be considered”. The learned Judge took the view that it is not the case of the Revenue that these proceedings were preceded by a declaration that the legal representatives, inasmuch as they failed to pay the tax dues of the deceased assessee, in terms of the demand notice under s. 156 served on them after the death of the assessee, are the assessees in default. The argument of counsel for the Revenue that the corrected certificates can be treated as fresh certificates was rejected. So far as the second point was considered, the learned Judge held that the judgment in the writ petition confirmed by the Division Bench and by the Supreme Court would amount to res judicata under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India. Question No. 3 was with regard to limitation, which was also rejected. Thus, the original petition was allowed declaring that the 11 certificates in dispute were not enforceable. It is against the above judgment that these two writ appeals have been filed. The Department has filed the writ appeal against the finding of the learned Judge that no amount can be recovered on the basis of the corrected certificates, while the petitioner has filed the writ appeal against the finding that the earlier proceedings act as res judicata.

8. Before we proceed to consider the rival contentions, let us have a view of the past litigation relevant for this purpose between the parties. The legal heirs of Thangal Kunju Musaliar had filed original petitions challenging the order dt. 10th June, 1968, of the Additional Personal Assistant to the District Collector, Quilon, functioning as TRO, attaching the immovable properties scheduled to the order by prohibiting the legal heirs from transferring or otherwise dealing with them under r. 48 of the Second Schedule to the IT Act, 1961, on the basis of the 22 certificates covering a total amount of Rs. 50,42,970.34. Some of the certificates were issued under s. 222(1) of the IT Act, 1961. The original petitions filed challenging the above order of attachment were dismissed by the learned single Judge. Against the writ appeals were filed before the Division Bench. The writ appeals were disposed of by judgment dt. 30th Sept., 1969, by a Division Bench consisting of P.T. Raman Nair, C.J. and Mathew, J. The contention taken in the writ petitions is as follows : (1) Since the arrears included arrears due under the Tranvancore IT Act, they could be recovered only under the provisions of that Act and, therefore, the proceedings for attachment under the IT Act, 1961, for the recovery of arrears due under the Travancore IT Act are bad. (2) Out of the 22 certificates, 11 certificates were issued only after the death of Thangal Kunju Musaliar, mentioning him as the assessee and, therefore, they were invalid under s. 66(3) of the Travancore IT Act and s. 221 of the IT Act, 1961. (3) By the gift deeds executed by Thangal Kunju Musaliar in favour of his wives and children, the title to the properties comprised in them passed to the donees and, therefore, the Revenue cannot attach the properties. The Division Bench considered these questions and gave the following findings. The Additional Personal Assistant to the Collector, being a TRO within the meaning of s. 2(44) of the IT Act, 1961, is an authority constituted under s. 221 of the IT Act, 1961, to recover arrears of income-tax due under that Act and, therefore, he is the corresponding authority referred to in the proviso to s. 13(1) of the Indian Finance Act, 1950, and is competent to take proceedings to recover the arrears of tax due under the Travancore IT Act. Regarding the question of validity of the 11 certificates, the Division Bench held as follows : “These provisions imply that the certificate must be against a defaulter who is alive-they make provision only for recovery on the defaulter’s death after the issue of the certificate. We, therefore, hold that the TRO cannot proceed to recover the amounts specified in these certificates in pursuance of the attachment”. The Division Bench further held that the attachment would not become invalid merely because the decree amount is reduced in an appeal preferred from it. It further held thus: “In other words, the amounts covered by these certificates cannot be recovered in pursuance of the attachment. We express no opinion on the question whether these certificates could be corrected or whether fresh certificates for the amounts could be issued and the properties attached in pursuance thereof”. Regarding the question of gift, the Division Bench held that that is a matter which can be raised by filing a claim before the concerned authority. Finally, the Division Bench held as follows : “In the result, we declare that the claim enforceable under Exhibit P-1 attachment will not include the arrears of income-tax specified in the 11 certificates which were issued after the death of Thangal Kunju Musaliar, and modify the order of the learned Judge to this extent. Subject to the modification indicated, we dismiss the writ appeals”. Thus, by the judgment, the Division Bench allowed to recover the amount pursuant to the attachment except the amount under the 11 invalid certificates.

9. The legal representatives filed appeals before the Supreme Court as Civil Appeal Nos. 1489 and connected appeals of 1971. These appeals were disposed by judgment dt. 5th Sept., 1975, and those reported in Isha Beevi vs. TRO 1975 CTR (SC) 300 : (1975) 101 ITR 499 (SC) : TC 52R.696. At p. 453 of the report, the Supreme Court held as follows : “The grievance of the appellants, however, is that the TRO had no jurisdiction whatsoever to start tax recovery proceedings against them. They have, therefore, asked for writs of prohibition. The existence of an alternative remedy is not generally a bar to the issuance of such a writ or order. But, in order to substantiate a right to obtain a writ of prohibition from a High Court or from this Court, an applicant has to demonstrate total absence of jurisdiction to proceed on the part of the officer or authority complained against”. Again at p. 456 of the report, it was held as follows : “Hence, even if the “Peishkar” was the competent officer under the Travancore IT Act, the duties of the Peishkar as the Recovery Officer, would, by operation of the above-mentioned provisions of law, automatically devolve upon the Collector or an Additional Collector or upon such officer as may be empowered by the State Government by a special or general notification in the Official Gazette ‘to effect recovery of land revenue or other public demand’ under any law relating to land revenue or other public demand. The appellants, not having raised the question at any earlier stage that the Additional Personal Assistant to the Collector was not an officer so authorised, cannot do so in appeal to this Court. However, we leave it open to them to take such an objection, which really raises a question of fact as to whether the required notification was or was not made, before the TRO himself. If such an objection had been taken there or even in the High Court, the relevant notification may have been produced. We are unable to see any flaw in the reasoning adopted by the High Court”. The next question that was considered was regarding the lumping together of demands which were legal as well as those could not, according to the assessee, be covered by provision of law. The Supreme Court held as follows : “The High Court had held that 11 out of 22 certificates, which had been issued after the death of T.K. Musaliar, were not legal. To that extent the demands against property attached could be said to be not covered by required certificates. Nevertheless, neither had any property been sold nor any action taken against the person of any of the appellants. The authorities relied upon by the appellants related only to either sales of properties for recovering amounts which were larger than those which were legally recoverable or arrest of the judgment-debtor in execution of dues. The cases before us are those of attachment only. If any part of the property is illegally or unjustifiably attached, it does not really affect the jurisdiction of the TRO to proceed to deal with an objection under r. 11. The High Court has held that the appellants can file all their objections under r. 11 in Sch. 2 of the 1961 Act”. In the last paragraph, the Supreme Court held as follows : “It has been stated on behalf of the Department that it has no objection to the application of the procedure laid down in the Travancore Act for recovery of such dues against the appellants as are realisable from the assets of the deceased. In view of this concession, it is unnecessary for us to deal with the question whether there was any additional burden or disadvantage imposed upon the appellants by the procedure in the 1961, Act. In view of this concession, the TRO will only use the procedure in the Travancore Act so far as it is possible to apply it”.

10. The present original petition was filed nearly 10 years after the judgment was pronounced by the Supreme Court. The challenge in the original petition is mainly against Ext. P7. Ext. P7 is issued under r. 53 of the Second Schedule to the IT Act, 1961. It is a notice to defaulter for settling a sale proclamation. The notice states as follows :”Whereas in execution of certificate No. (see attached) dated forwarded by the ITO (list attached) the undersigned has ordered the sale of the undermentioned immovable property. “You are hereby informed that the 20th day of July, 1976, has been fixed for drawing up the proclamation of sale and settling the terms thereof. You are requested to bring to the notice of the undersigned any encumbrances, charges, claims or liabilities attaching to the said properties or any portion thereof”. Along with Ext. P7, it can be seen that the certificates for recovery are attached. As soon as Ext. P7 was obtained, petitioner preferred representation before the CBDT, New Delhi. There, he has voiced a complaint that excess amount has been paid and he is not liable to pay any penalty. Petitioner sent a letter to the ITO, Quilon, on 18th Sept., 1985. A reply was given by the ITO, Quilon. In that reply, it is stated thus: “Recovery action has been reported to only against the properties which were owned by the deceased debtor. Hence, there is nothing illegal about it. You will also note that in the place of those defective certificates mentioned in the High Court order proper certificates have been issued subsequently and these have never been challenged”. Many grounds are stated in the original petition challenging Ext. P7. One of the contentions taken is that the tax liability under the Act had been fully paid and it is not open to the respondent to initiate proceedings for the collection of penalty and interest under the said Act. As per the judgment of this Court, penalties and interest as per the 11 certificates issued after the death of Thangal Kunju Musaliar could not be enforced. As per the judgment of the Supreme Court dt. 5th Sept., 1975, the respondent could initiate recovery proceedings under the Travancore IT Act.

A counter-affidavit was filed by the CIT. In the counter-affidavit it is stated thus : “It is true that the entire tax demands as per the two settlements have been collected. What remains to be collected is the interest payable for delayed payment of the settled demand and penalties…… Immunity from penalty and prosecution against the deceased was available as per cl. (8) of the settlement…..” The prayers in the original petition are to quash Ext.P7 and to quash the entire proceedings by the issue of a writ of certiorari and for a mandamus directing the respondents to refund the balance amount already paid.

In the writ appeal filed by the Department, the contention taken by the Department is that in the earlier proceedings, the petitioner did not challenge the recovery of tax on the ground that no fresh demand under s. 156 was made. Since this contention was not raised earlier, according to the Department, it cannot be raised in these proceedings on the ground of might and ought. In the writ appeal filed by the legal representatives, the main ground taken is that the Department cannot recover the amount covered by the 11 certificates in dispute in any manner or by any proceedings from the legal representatives. Further, it is stated that the learned single Judge should have held that only the procedure under the Travancore IT Act should have been applied. According to us, the entire question for decision in these cases lies in a narrow campus. Petitioner approached this Court earlier when orders of attachment were passed. Those orders of attachment were passed when amounts were not paid under the two settlements executed by Thangal Kunju Musaliar to the Department. Those orders of attachment were challenged on three specific grounds, which can be seen from the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court. Petitioner did not succeed except on one ground. This Court held that the 11 certificates issued in the name of the assessee after his death were invalid. The contention regarding the incompetency of the officer, who issued the certificates and the contention that the gifts were not accepted by this Court and in appeal before the Supreme Court, the findings of this court were upheld. The Supreme Court upheld also the findings regarding the invalidity of the 11 certificates. In the last part of the judgment of the Supreme Court on a concession made on behalf of the Revenue, the Supreme Court held that the TRO will only use the procedure in the Travancore IT Act so far as it is possible to apply it. Thus, after the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Department was allowed to continue the proceedings against the petitioner. The only restriction was that the amounts under the 11 certificates which were invalidated could not be recovered on the basis of the attachment orders issued and as far as possible, the procedure under the Travancore IT Act should be applied with regard to the liability under the Travancore IT Act. It is now the admitted fact that Ext. P7 proclamation of sale contains amounts covered under the certificates, which were found to be invalid by this Court as well as by the Supreme Court.

Learned counsel for the Revenue Shri P.K. Ravindranatha Menon contends that this Court and the Supreme Court never held that the amount covered under the invalid certificates cannot at all to be recovered from the petitioner. But this Court only held that the certificates were invalid and hence, on the basis of those certificates, the amount under it cannot be recovered. According to the learned counsel, immediately after the judgment of this Court, those

11 certificates were corrected by using the power under s. 224(2) of the IT Act, 1961. Learned counsel also pointed out to the reference made by the Division Bench of this Court wherein it is stated that “we express no opinion on the question whether these certificate could be corrected or whether fresh certificates for the amounts were to be issued and the properties attached in pursuance thereof and hence, the earlier decision do not stand in the way of the Department taking steps for recovery of the amount. On the other hand, learned counsel for the petitioner Shri V. Ramchandran contended that there is a definite finding by the earlier decision of this Court that the 11 certificates were invalid. This was on the ground that these certificates were issued in the name of the assessee, after he was dead. According to him, the power under s. 224(2) of the Income-tax cannot be used for enforcing the certificates against the petitioner in the original petition.

After hearing counsel on both sides, we agree with the findings of the learned single Judge. The learned single Judge has taken the view that since the legal representatives were not defaulters and that relevant certificates were not issued before the death of the assessee, the Department cannot recover the amount under those certificates by amending the names of the parties in the certificates. According to us, the exercise of power made by the Department in these cases cannot be accepted as valid in law. The Department contended that it has got power to correct the certificates under s. 224(2) of the IT Act. Sec. 224(2) of the IT Act only enables the ITO to withdraw or correct any clerical or arithmetical mistake in the certificate by sending an intimation to the TRO.

According to us in the facts and circumstances of the cases, it cannot be said that what was corrected was clerical error. It is true that if there is a mistake in the name of a person, that can be corrected. But that correction can be made only if that person is liable under law. As has been described in the judgment of the learned single Judge, so far as the legal representatives are concerned, the provisions under ss. 159, 220 to 222 and 285 of the Second Schedule are relevant. Sec. 159(1) of the IT Act provides that where a person dies, his legal representative shall be liable to pay any sum which the deceased would have been liable to pay if he had not died, in the like manner and to the same extent as the deceased. Sec. 220 of the IT Act is a section regarding collection and recovery of tax. This section says that if the liability to pay tax other than advance tax arises, notice under s. 156 shall be issued within 35 days. Under s. 156 of the IT Act, when any tax, interest, penalty, fine or any other sum is payable in consequence of any order passed under the IT Act, the ITO shall serve upon the assessee a notice of demand in the prescribed form specifying the sum so payable. If the amount is not paid as per notice of demand, then consequence will follow. Thus, it can be seen that serving of demand notice is sine qua non for the recovery of the amount. Sec. 220(4) of the IT Act says that if the amount is not paid within the limit under sub-s. (1) or extended under sub-s. (3), as the case may be, at the place and to the person mentioned in the said notice the assessee shall be deemed to be in default. Under s. 222(1) of the IT Act, certificate is issued for recovery of the amount. It is in this context that s. 224(2) of the IT Act appears for which power is given to correct the mistake. Thus, it can be seen that certificates can be issued in the name of the person only if the assessee is in default as per s. 220 (4) of the IT Act. Rule 85 of Sch. II of the Act deals with a situation where a defaulter dies. It says that if at any time after the issue of the certificate by the ITO to the TRO the defaulter dies, the proceedings under this Schedule (except arrest and detention) may be continued against the legal representative of the defaulter, and the provisions of this Schedule shall apply as if the legal representatives were the defaulter. Rule 85 can be resorted to only when the certificate is issued in the name of the assessee/defaulter and he is alive at that time. Subsequent to the issue of the certificate, if the defaulter dies, then the demand can be proceeded against his legal representatives. So far as the present case is concerned, before the issue of the certificates for recovery, the defaulter died. In the case of the 11 certificates, the procedure under r. 85 cannot be resorted to. Rule 85 applies only when the defaulter dies after the issue of the certificates. The liability of a person to pay tax arises only when he becomes an assessee under s. 159 of the Act. So far as the present case is concerned, with regard to the 11 certificates, there has been no demand against the legal representatives. Hence, they cannot be said to be defaulters.

The same view has been taken by the Madras High Court in the decisions in Mahboob Bi vs. TRO (1974) 93 ITR 127 (Mad) : TC 52R.913, Addl. ITO vs. Alfred (1962) 44 ITR 442 (Mad) : TC 44R.342, Addl. ITO vs. T.M.K. Abdul Kassim (1962) 46 ITR 149 (Mad) : TC 52R.907 and the Mysore High Court in Raja Pid Naik vs. Agrl. ITO (1968) 69 ITR 401 (Mys) : TC 52R.905. Thus, we agree with the learned single Judge that Ext. P7 insofar as it contains the amount under the 11 certificates, which were corrected under s. 224(2) of the IT Act is not valid and the amount under those certificates cannot be recovered.

But the petitioner is not satisfied by the declaration that the 11 certificates are invalid. According to the petitioner, the entire proceedings are illegal and Ext. P7 has to be quashed in toto. In this context, it is pertinent to note that at the time when the attachment order was issued, he challenged the same on certain specific grounds in the previous litigation that ended in the judgment of the Supreme Court. According to us the contentions which were not raised in those proceedings regarding the validity of the recovery proceedings cannot be raised here. So far as the valid certificates are concerned, demands were issued to the deceased, Thangal Kunju Musaliar and he has not raised any contention challenging the same. The grounds in the original petition regarding the payment in amount, according to us, are to be considered by the recovery authority itself. It is not for this Court to go into the correctness or otherwise of the amount. The conditions in the settlements were not challenged in the previous proceedings. We don’t know how the recovery will be barred by limitation insofar as this Court had declared earlier that the attachment proceedings were valid. The only argument, which the petitioner can put forward is that on account of the concession before the Supreme Court, the Revenue can proceed with only under the Tranvancore IT Act. It is not clear from the counter-affidavit of the respondents whether the recovery proceedings are under the Travancore IT Act. Nothing has been brought to our notice by the petitioner that the proceedings now initiated for sale are at variance with the Travancore IT Act. Anyhow, we make it clear that the proceedings for recovery should be made only on the basis of the concession given by the Supreme Court. Learned counsel for the petitioner then submitted that if the entire accounts are scrutinised by the respondents, it will be found that no further amount is liable to be paid by the petitioner and the legal heirs of Thangal Kunju Musaliar. Of course, the Revenue authorities can look into those contentions and verify that the entire amount has been paid or not. The petitioner can file a further statement before the authorities as to how according to him, the entire amount has been paid. If such a statement is filed, the respondents will look into it and pass appropriate orders. Such a statement shall be filed within a period of two months from today and orders shall be passed within two months thereafter. Till orders are passed, further proceedings for realisation of the amount will not be taken. Hence, we dispose of the writ appeals as follows : (1) Under Ext. P7, the properties cannot be sold for the recovery of the amount covered by the 11 certificates, which were held to be invalid earlier by this Court and by the Supreme Court by merely correcting the names of persons, (2) The Department shall proceed with under the Travancore IT Act. (3) In case the petitioner or other legal heirs of Thangal Kunju Musaliar file statement regarding the amount paid towards discharge of the arrears within two months, the respondents shall look into the same and pass appropriate orders within two months thereafter. Till orders are passed the recovery proceedings shall not be proceeded with.

[Citation : 247 ITR 395]

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