09 May 1956
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 56 of 1954






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/05/1956


CITATION:  1956 AIR  604            1956 SCR  577

ACT:        Indian Income Tax Act, 1922 (Act XI of 1922), ss. 26-A,  59,        Rules  2 and 6 framed under s. 59-Word ’personally’  in  the        Rules Whether excludes a duly authorised agent from  signing        an application on behalf of the partner under s.  26-A-Rules        2 and 6-Whether ultra vires the rule-making authority-Indian        Income  Tax  Act, 1922 -Whether exhaustive  of  the  matters        dealt with therein.

HEADNOTE:        Rules 2 and 6 of the Rules framed under s. 59 of the  Indian        Income Tax Act provide that an application for  registration        of  a  firm  under s. 26-A of the Act  and  for  renewal  of        registration certificate "shall be signed personally by  all        the parties".        Held that the word ’personally’ in the Income Tax Rules,  as        framed  under  s. 59 of the Income Tax Act would  exclude  a        duly  authorised  agent of a partner of a  firm  signing  an        application  on behalf of the partner under s. 26-A  of  the        Income Tax Act.        (2)  That Rules 2 and 6 are not ultra vires the  rule-making        authority.        To  decide the question whether on its  true  interpretation        the Indian Income Tax Act intended that an application under        s.  26-A  should  be signed by the  partner  personally,  or        whether  it could be signed by his agent on his  behalf  the        Court  must have regard not only to the language of s.  26-A        but also Lo the character of the legislation, the scheme  of        the  Act  and  the  nature of the  right  conferred  by  the        section.        The   Indian  Income  Tax  Act  is  a  self-contained   code        exhaustive  of  the  matters dealt  with  therein,  and  its        provisions show an intention to depart from the common rule,        qui  facit per alium tacit per se.  Its intention  again  is        that a firm should be given benefit of s. 23(5)(a), only  if        it  is  registered.  under s. 26-A in  accordance  with  the        conditions  laid down in that section and the rules  -framed        thereunder.   And as those rules require the application  to        be  signed  by the partner in person, the  signature  by  an        agent on his behalf is invalid.        Commissioner  of Agricultural Income-tax v.  Keshab  Chandra



      Mandal, ([1950] S.C.R. 435), relied upon.        commissioner   of  Income-tax v. Subba Rao,  ([1947]  I.L.R.        Mad. 167) approved.        Other case-law referred to.        75        578

JUDGMENT:        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeals Nos. 56 & 57  of        1954.        Appeal  from the judgment and order dated the 25th day v  of        March 1951 of the Madras High Court in Case Referred Nos. 32        of 1948 and 31 of 1950.        K.S.  Krishnaswami Iyengar, (K.  R. Choudhry, with him)  for        the appellants.        G.N. Joshi and P. G. Gokhale, for, the respondent.        1956.  May 9. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by        VENKATARAMA  AYYAR  J.-The  appellant is a  firm  which  was        constituted under a deed of partnership dated 10-2-1941, and        consists of two partners, Subba Rao and Hariprasada Rao.  On        21-3-1942 it was registered under section 26-A of the Indian        IncomeTax Act No. XI of 1922, hereinafter referred to as the        Act, for the assessment year 1942.  Sometime thereafter, one        of the partners, Subba Rao, is stated to have left on a long        pilgrimage,  and  the affairs of the partnership  were  then        managed  by  Hariprasada Rao as his agent  under  a  general        power-of-attorney  dated  1-7-1940.   Hariprasada  Rao  then        applied  under  rules  2 and 6 of  the  rules  framed  under        section  59  of  the Act, for renewal  of  the  registration        certificate  for the year 1942-43, and the  application  was        signed by him for himself and again as the attorney of Subba        Rao.    Those   rules  provide  that  an   application   for        registration  of a firm under section ’26-A and for  renewal        of  registration certificate "shall be signed personally  by        all  the  partners"’.  The Income-tax Officer  rejected  the        application  for  renewal  on the ground  that  it  was  not        personally  signed  by one of the partners, Subba  Rao,  and        that  the signature of Hariprasada Rao as his agent was  not        valid The order was taken in appeal, and was ultimately  the        subject of a reference under section 66(1) of the Act to the        High Court of Madras, which held that the word  "personally"        in rule 6 required that the partner        579        should himself sign the application, and that the principles        of  agency  under  the  -general  law  were  exclude.  (Vide        Commissioner of Income-tax v. Subba Rao(1)).        While these proceedings were pending, Hariprasada Rao  filed        the  two  applications,  out of which  the  present  appeals        arise,  for renewal of the registration certificate for  the        assessment  years  1943-44 and 1944-45.  Both of  them  were        signed by him for himself and as attorney for Subba Rao.  At        the  hearing  of these petitions the appellant,  apart  from        maintaining  that  rules  2 and 6 did  not,  on  their  true        construction,  exclude signature by an agent on behalf of  a        partner,   raised  a  further  contention  that  the   rules        themselves  were  ultra vires the powers of  the  rulemaking        authority.   The  Income-tax Officer  overruled  both  these        contentions,  and rejected the applications, and his  orders        were   confirmed  on  appeal  by  the  Appellate   Assistant        commissioner   and   then   by   the   Appellate   Tribunal.        Thereafter,  on  the  application  of  the  appellant,   the        Tribunal  referred the following questions for the  decision        of the High Court:



      "(1) Whether the word ’personally’ in the Income-tax  Rules,        as  framed  under  section 59 of the  Income-tax  Act  would        exclude a duly authorised agent of a partner from signing an        application  on behalf of the partner under section 26-A  of        the Income-tax Act?        (2)If   the  answer  to  the  above  question  is   in   the        affirmative, whether rules 2 and 6 are ultra vires the  rule        making authority?"        The reference was heard by Satyanarayana Rao and  Viswanatha        Sastry,  JJ.   Following  the decision  in  Commissioner  of        Income-tax v. Subba Rao(1), they answered the first question        in  the affirmative.  On the second question, however,  they        differed.   Satyanarayana Rao, J. held that the  rules  were        ultra  vires, and that the applications were in  order,  and        ought  to have been granted.  Viswanatha Sastry, J.  was  of        the  contrary  opinion, and held that the rules  were  intra        vires, and that the applications were properly        (1)  I.L R. (1947) Mad. 167; 1946 I.T.R. 232.        580        rejected as not being in accordance with them.  The  learned        Judges, however, granted a certificate under section 66-A of        the Act, and that is how the appeals come before us.        The  first  question  whether the  word  "personally"  would        exclude  signature by an authorised agent on behalf  of  the        partner  was answered in the affirmative by the Madras  High        Court  in Commissioner of Incometax v. Subba  Rao(1).   This        was one of the decisions quoted with approval by this  Court        in Commissioner of Agricultural Income-tax v. Keshab Chandra        Mandal(2),  where  the question was whether  a  rule  framed        under  the  Bengal  Agricultural  Income-tax  Act  that  the        declaration in the return should be signed by the individual        himself  required that he should sign it personally, and  it        was  held  that it did so require.  Sri K.  S.  Krishnaswami        Ayyangar,  learned counsel for the appellant, did  not  urge        any grounds for differing from the above conclusion, and  we        must  therefore hold, in agreement with the views  expressed        in  the above decisions, that the signature which  is  pres-        cribed by the rules is that of the partner himself, and that        they  are  not  complied with by the agent  signing  on  his        behalf.        Then  we  come  to  the  second  question-and  that  is  the        substantial  question that arises for our  determination  in        this appeal-whether rules 2 and 6 are ultra Vires the  rule-        making authority.  The argument of the appellant in  support        of its contention that the rules are ultra Vires may thus be        stated:  Under the common law of England, a person  has  the        right to do through an agent whatever he can do himself, and        that right has also been conferred on him in this country by        section  2 of the Powers-of-Attorney Act VII of 1882,  which        runs as follows:        "The  donee  of a power-of-attorney may, if he  thinks  fit,        execute or do any assurance, instrument or thing in and with        his own name and signature, and his own seal, where  sealing        is required, by the authority of the donor of the power; and        every assurance,        (1)  I.L.R. 1947 Mad. 167:1946 I.T.R. 232.        (2)  [1950] S.C.R. 435.        581        instrument  and  thing  so executed and done,  shall  be  as        effectual  in law as if it had been executed or done by  the        donee  of the power in the name, and with the signature  and        seal, of the donor thereof        "This  section  applies  to  powers-of-attorney  created  by        instruments  executed either before or after this Act  comes        into force".



      Section  26-A of the Act confers on a partner the  right  to        apply for registration of the firm, and that right could  be        ’exercised both under the common law and under section 2  of        the Powers-of-Attorney Act through an authorised agent.  The        sovereign legislature might, if it so chooses, abrogate  the        rule  of common law, and repeal section 2 of the  Powers-of-        Attorney  Act,.  and  enact  that  the  application  to   be        presented under section 26-A should be signed by the partner        himself and not by any other person; but it has not done  so        either   expressly   or  by  necessary   implication,   and,        therefore,  the application which was signed by  Hariprasada        Rao  is as good as if it had been signed by Subba Rao.   The        Rules no doubt require that the signature should be that  of        the partner and not that of’ his agent.  But in  prohibiting        what would be lawful under the section, the Rules go  beyond        the ambit of the authority conferred by section 26-A on  the        rule-making authority, which is limited to framing Rules for        giving  effect to the principles laid down in  the  statute.        They  are  therefore  ultra  vires.   In  the   alternative,        assuming that the mandate given to the rule-Making authority        under  section 26-A is of sufficient amplitude to  authorise        the making of the Rules in question, even then, they must be        held  to  be  ultra  vires,  as  they  have  the  effect  of        abrogating the common law and of repealing section 2 of  the        Powers-of-Attorney  Act, which confer on a person the  right        to  act  through  an agent, and  that  being  a  legislative        function cannot be delegated to a rule-making authority. and        section  26-A, if it is to be construed as  conferring  such        power  on  an  outside authority, must  be  struck  down  as        constituting   an   unconstitutional   delegation   by   the        legislature of its legislative function.        582        It  is the correctness of these contentions, that now  falls        to be considered.        According  to  the law of England-and that is also  the  law        under the Indian Contract Act, 1872-"every person who is sui        juris  has  a  right to appoint an  agent  for  any  purpose        whatever  and  that  be can do so when he  is  exercising  a        statutory right no less than when he is exercising any other        right".   Per Stirling, J. in Jackson and Co. v. Napper:  In        re Schmidts’ Trade-Mark(1).  This rule is subject to certain        well-known  exceptions  as when the act to be  performed  is        personal in character, or is annexed to a public office,  or        to  an  office involving fiduciary obligations.   But  apart        from such exceptions, the law is well settled that  whatever        a person can do himself, he can do through an agent.  It has        accordingly  been held that "at common law., when  a  person        authorizes  another  to sign for him, the signature  of  the        person so signing is the signature of the person authorizing        it".  Per Blackburn, J. in The Queen V. Justices Of Kent(").        The  appellant  is therefore right in  his  contention  that        unless  the statute itself enacts otherwise, an  application        which a partner has to sign would be in order and. valid, if        it is signed by his authorised agent.  The question then  is        whether there is anything in the Act, which requires that an        application under section 26-A should be signed by the party        personally.        Section 26-A is as follows:        "(I)  Application  may be made to the Incometax  Officer  on        behalf  of  any  firm, constituted under  an  instrument  of        partnership   specifying  the  individual  shares   of   the        partners, for registration for the purposes of this Act  and        of any other enactment for the time being in force  relating        to income-tax or super-tax.        (2)  The  application  shall  be  made  by  such  person  or



      persons,   and  at  such  times  and  shall   contain   such        particulars  and shall be in such form, and be  verified  in        such manner, as may be prescribed; and it shall        (1) [1887] 35 Ch.  D. 162, 172.        (2) [1872-73] L.R. 8 Q.B. 305, 307.                           583        be  dealt with by the Income-tax Officer in such  manner  as        may be prescribed".        The  section does not, it should be noted, provide that  the        application for registration should be signed by the partner        personally, and it is this that forms the foundation of  the        contention  of the appellant that the right which  a  person        has under the general law and under section 2 of the Powers-        of-Attorney  Act to act through an agent has not been  taken        away  or abridged by the section.  He relies in  support  of        his contention on the following rules of construction:        (1)  Statutes  which  encroach on the rights  of  a  subject        should  be  interpreted if possible so as  to  respect  such        rights.  [Vide Maxwell on Interpretation of  Statutes,  10th        Edition,  page  285; Craies on Statute  Law,,  5th  Edition,        pages  Ill to 114).  The law is thus stated by Lord  Justice        Bowen in In re Cuno: Mansfield v.  Mansfield(1):        "In the construction of statutes, you must not construe  the        words so as to take away rights which already existed before        the  statute was passed, unless you have plain  words  which        indicate that such was the intention of the legislature".        (2)In  the  absence of clear and  unambiguous  language,  an        intention to alter the existing law should not be imputed to        the  legislature. (Vide Craies on Statute Law, 5th  Edition,        pages 114 and 115).        (3)The   law  does  not  favour  repeal  of  a  statute   by        implication,  and  therefore a later statute should  not  be        construed as repealing an earlier one without express  words        or by necessary implication. (Vide Maxwell on Interpretation        of  Statutes,  10th Edition, page 170;.  Craies  on  Statute        Law, 5th Edition, page. 337).        "If it is possible", observed Farwell, J., "it is my duty so        to  read the section as not to effect an implied  repeal  of        the earlier Act": Be Chance(2).        "Unless  two  Acts are so plainly repugnant to  each  other,        that  effect  cannot be given to both at the  same  time,  a        repeal will not be implied".  Per A. L. Smith, J. in  Kutner        v. Phillips(3).        (1)  [1890] 43 Ch.  D. 12, 17.        (2) [1936] 1 Ch. 266, 270.                        (8) [1891] 2 Q.B. 267, 272.        584        In the light of these principles, -it is contended that  the        true  scope of section 26-A is that it confers a right on  a        partner  to register the firm, and leaves the modus  of  the        exercise  thereof to be regulated by the existing  law,  and        that,  therefore,  far from showing an intention  either  to        alter  the  general law as to the right of a person  to  act        through  his agent or to repeal section 2 of the  Powers-of-        Attorney  Act,  the  section  depends  on  their   continued        operation for its implementation.        Now, the rules of construction on which the appellant relies        are well-established.  But then, it should not be overlooked        that  they are only aids to ascertain the true intention  of        the  legislature  as  expressed in  the  statute.,  and  the        question ultimately is, what in the context do the words  of        the enactment mean?  The following passage from Crawford  on        "The Construction of Statutes", 1940 Edition, page 454 cited        by  the  appellant  may  be usefully  referred  to  in  this        connection:



      "Why should a statute be subjected to a strict or a  liberal        construction, as the case may be?  The only answer that  can        possibly  be  correct is because the  type  of  construction        utilized gives effect to the legislative intent.   Sometimes        a  liberal  construction must be used in order to  make  the        legislative   intent  effective.,  and  sometimes   such   a        construction will defeat the intent of the legislature.   If        this  is  the  proper  conception  concerning  the  rule  of        construction  to be adhered to, then a strict or  a  liberal        construction is simply a means by which the scope of a  sta-        tute  is  extended  or restricted in  order  to  convey  the        legislative  meaning.  If this is the proper position to  be        accorded strict and liberal constructions, it would make  no        difference whether the statute involved was penal, criminal,        remedial or in derogation of common right, as a  distinction        based upon this classification would then mean nothing".        That being the correct position, the question is whether  on        its  true  interpretation,  the  statute  intended  that  an        application  under  section 26-A should be’  signed  by  the        partner personally, or whether it could        585        be signed by his agent on his behalf To decide that, we must        have  regard  not only to the language of section  26-A  but        also to the character of the legislation, the scheme of  the        Act  and the nature of the right conferred by  the  section.        The  Act is, as stated in the preamble, one  to  consolidate        and  amend  the  law relating to income-tax.   The  rule  of        construction to be applied to such a statute is thus  stated        by Lord Herschell in Bank of England v: Vagliano(1):        "I  think  the  proper course is in the  first  instance  to        examine the language of the statute, and to ask what is  its        ,  natural  meaning,  uninfluenced  by  any   considerations        derived from the previous state of the law and not to  start        with  inquiring  how the law previously  stood,’  and  then,        assuming  that  it  was  probably  "intended  to  leave   it        unaltered............................"        We  must  therefore construe the provisions  of  the  Indian        Income-tax  Act  as forming a code complete  in  itself  and        exhaustive  of the matters dealt with therein, and  ascerta-        in what their true scope is.        Turning  then  to the provisions of  the  Act,  considerable        light is thrown on their true import by the decision of this        Court  in Commissioner of Agricultural Income-tax v.  Keshab        Chandra  Mandal(2).   There,  the question  was  as  to  the        meaning  of  Rule I 1 framed under the  Bengal  Agricultural        Income-tax  Act, 1944 read with Form No. 5,  which  required        that the declaration in the return should be signed "in  the        case  of an individual, by the individual himself".  It  was        held  by  this Court on a review of the  provisions  of  the        statute  that the intention of the legislature as  expressed        therein  was to exclude the common law rule, qui  facit  per        alium facit per se, and the declaration to be valid must  be        signed  by  the assessee personally.  It is argued  for  the        appellant  that Commissioner of Agricultural  Income-tax  v.        Keshab  Chandra  Mandal(2)  was  a  decision  only  on   the        interpretation  of Rule No. 11 and not on its validity,  and        that  the question whether the rule was ultra vires  or  not        was not in issue.  That is so, but the materiality of the        (1) [1891] A.C. 107, 141.       (2) [1950] S.C.R. 435,        76        586        decision  to the present controversy lies in this  that  the        interpretation  which  was  put  on  Rule  11  as  requiring        personal  signature was based on the conclusion  which  this        Court reached on a consideration of the relevant  provisions



      of the Bengal Agricultural Income-tax Act that the intention        of the legislature was to exclude the rule of the common law        on the subject.  Now, the provisions of the Bengal Act which        were construed in Commissioner of Agricultural Income-tax v.        Keshab   Chandra  Mandal(1)  as  indicative  of  the   above        intention,  are  identical in terms with  the  corresponding        provisions  in the Indian Income-tax Act, and are, in  fact,        based on them and it would therefore be logical to  construe        the latter as expressing an intention to discard the rule of        common law on the subject.        The  relevant provisions of the Bengal Agricultural  Income-        tax Act may now be noticed.  Section 25(1) of the Bengal Act        provides  that if. the Income-tax Officer is  not  satisfied        that the return made is correct and complete, he may require        the  assessee by notice either to attend at  the  Income-tax        office or-to produce or cause to be produced any evidence on        which  he might rely.  This corresponds to section 23(2)  of        the  ’Indian  Income-tax Act.  The point to  be  noted  with        reference  to  this section is that it contains  an  express        provision for production of evidence by the assessee through        his  agent,  a  provision  which  would  have  been   wholly        unnecessary  if  the  common  law  was  intended  to  apply.        Sections  35 and 36 of the Bengal Act contain provisions  as        to  who can represent the assessee and in what  proceedings,        and they follow section 61 of the Indian Income-tax Act  and        form  a code complete in themselves.  Then again,  both  the        Bengal  Act  and  the Indian  Income-tax  Act  provide  that        certain   provisions  of  the  Civil  Procedure   Code   are        applicable to the proceedings under the Act.  The provisions        of Order 3 of the Civil Procedure Code enacting that parties        may  appear and act through recognised agents are not  among        them.   To  cut  the discussion short,  the  effect  of  the        provisions of the        (1)  [1950] S.C.R. 435.        587        Bengal   Act   is  thus  summarized   in   Commissioner   of        Agricultural Income-tax v. Keshab Chandra Manda‘(1):        "The  omission  of  a  definition  of  the  word  ’sign’  as        including  a  signature by an agent,  the  permission  under        section 25 for production of evidence by an agent and  under        sections  35  and  58 for attendance by  an  agent  and  the        omission of any provision in the Act applying the provisions        of  the Code of Civil Procedure relating to the signing  and        verification of pleadings to the signing and verification of        the  return while expressly adopting the provisions of  that        Code   relating  to  the  attendance  and   examination   of        witnesses, production of documents and issuing of commission        for examination and for service of notices under sections 41        and  60 respectively, cannot be regarded as  wholly  without        significance".        This reasoning applies with equal force to the provisions of        the  Indian  Income-tax  Act, and goes far  to  support  the        contention  of  the respondent that the common  law  is  not        intended to apply to proceedings under the Act.        Another  factor  material  for  the  determination  of  this        question is the nature of the right conferred by section 26-        A.   Under  the  common  law of England, a  firm  is  not  a        juristic  person,  the firm name being  only  a  compendious        expression  to designate the various  partners  constituting        it.   But,  as  pointed  out  by  this  Court  in  Dulichand        Laxminarayan  v.  Commissioner  of  Income-tax,   Nagpur(2),        inroads  have been made by statute s into  this  conception,        and  firms have been regarded as distinct entities  for  the        purpose  of  those statutes.  One of those statutes  is  the        Indian  IncomeTax Act, which treats the firm as a  unit  for



      purposes of taxation.  Thus, under section 3 of the Act  the        charge  is  imposed  on  the total income  of  a  firm,  the        partners  as such being out of the picture, and  accordingly        under  section 23 of the Act, the assessment will be on  the        firm  on  its  total  profits.   Section  23(5)  enacts   an        exception to this in the case of firms registered under  the        Act, and provides that,        "(a)........ the sum payable by the firm itseIf shall        (1) [1950] S.C.R. 435.        (2) A.I.R. 1956 S.C. 354.        588        not  be determined but the total income of each  partner  of        the firm, including therein his share of its income, profits        and  gains of the previous year, shall be assessed  and  the        sum payable by him on the basis of such assessment shall  be        determined".        Thus,  if a firm is registered, it ceases to be a  unit  for        purposes of taxation and the profits earned by it are taken,        in  accordance with the general law of partnership, to  have        been  earned by the individual partners according  to  their        shares,  and  they  are taxed  on  their  individual  income        including  their share of profits.  The advantages  of  this        provision are obvious.  The rate of tax chargeable will  not        be  on the higher scale provided for incomes on  the  higher        levels  but  on  the lower one at which the  income  of  the        individual   partner  is  chargeable.   Thus,   registration        confers  on the partners a benefit to which they  would  not        have  been entitled but for section 26-A, and such  a  right        being  a  creature of the statute, can ’be claimed  only  in        accordance  with the statute which confers it, and a  person        who  seeks  relief  under section 26-A  must  bring  himself        strictly within its terms before he can claim the benefit of        it.   In other words, the right is regulated solely  by  the        terms  of  the  statute, and it would be  repugnant  to  the        character of such a right to add to those terms by reference        to other laws.  The statute must be construed as  exhaustive        in regard to the conditions under which it can be claimed.        Thus,  considering  the  question  with  reference  to   the        character of the legislation, the scheme of the statute  and        the  nature  of  the right conferred by  section  26-A,  the        conclusion is irresistible that rules of common law were not        intended  to  be  saved, and that the  right  to  apply  for        registration.  under  that  section  is  to  be   determined        exclusively  by  reference to the  prescriptions  laid  down        therein.   If that is the true construction, in  authorising        the rule-making authority to frame rules as to who can apply        for  registration under section 26-A, and when and how,  the        -statute  has.  merely directed that authority  to  fill  in        details  in the field of legislation occupied by it, and  it        is  not  denied that Rules a and 6 are  within  the  mandate        conferred        580        by  the  section.  In this view, section 59 (5) of  the  Act        which  enacts that "Rules made under this section  shall  be        published in the official Gazette, and shall thereupon  have        effect as if enacted in this Act" directly applies, and  the        vires   of   the  Rules  is  beyond  question.    Vide   the        observations of Lord Herschell in Institute of Patent Agents        v. Lockwood(1).        Then,  there  is the contention of the  appellant  that  the        Rules in question are repugnant to section 2 of the  Powers-        of-Attorney Act VII of 1882, and are therefore ultra  wires.        In  addition  to the reasons given above in support  of  the        conclusion that the rule of the common law was not  intended        to operate in the field occupied by section 26-A, there is a



      further  and  a more compelling reason why  this  contention        should  not be accepted.  It is that there is, in  fact,  no        conflict  between  the  two statutory  provisions.   To  un-        derstand  the scope of section 2 of the Powers-of  Attorney.        Act,  it  is  necessary  to refer to  the  history  of  this        legislation.   Under  the common law of  England,  an  agent        having  authority to execute an instrument must sign in  the        name  of the principal if he is to be bound.  If  the  agent        signs the deed in his name albeit as agent, he is the person        who  is  regarded  as  party to the  document  and  not  the        principal..,  It  is the agent alone that  can  enforce  the        deed,  and it is be that will be liable on it.  Vide  In  re        International  Contract  Company(2);  Schack  v.  Antony(3),        Halsbury’s Laws of England, 3rd Edition, Volume 1, page 217,        and  Bowstead on Agency, 10th Edition, page 93.   To  remove        the  hardships  resulting from this state of  the  law,  the        Conveyancing and Law of Property Act, 1881 (44 and 45, Vict,        Chapter 41) enacted section 46, which is as follows:        "(1) The donee of a power,of attorney may, if he thinks  fit        execute  or  do any assurance, instrument, or thing  in  and        with  his  own name and signature and his  own  seal,  where        sealing  is required, by the authority of the donor  of  the        power;  and  every  assurance,  instrument,  and  thing   so        executed and done shall be        (1) [1894] A.C. 347, 351.     (2) [1871] 6 Ch.  App. 525.                     (3) I M. & S. 573; 105 E. R. 214.        590        as  effectual  in  law, to all intents, as if  it  had  been        executed  or done by the donee of the power in the name  and        with the signature and seal of the donor thereof        (2)  This  section applies to powers of attorney created  by        instruments executed either before or after the commencement        of this Act".        The  Indian  Legislature  immediately  followed  suit,   and        enacted the Powers-of-Attorney Act VII of 1882 incorporating        in  section  2  therein word for word,  section  46  of  the        English  Act.  The object of this section is  to  effectuate        instruments executed by an agent but not in accordance  with        the  rule  of  the  common law and  the  enactment  is  more        procedural than substantive.  It does not confer on a person        a  right  to act through agents.  It  presupposes  that  the        agent  has the authority to act on behalf of the  principal,        and protects acts done by him in exercise of that  authority        but  in his own name.  But where the question is as  to  the        existence  or the validity of authority, the section has  no        operation.  Thus., the fields occupied by the two enactments        are  wholly  distinct.   Section 26-A says  that  a  partner        cannot  delegate  the  exercise of  his  rights  under  that        section  to an agent.  Section 2 of  the  Powers-of-Attorney        Act  says  that  if  there can be and,  in  fact  there  is,        delegation,  it  can  be exercised in  the  manner  provided        therein.   There is accordingly no conflict between the  two        sections, and no question of repeal arises.        To  sum  up, the Indian Income-tax Act is a  self  contained        code  exhaustive of the matters dealt with therein, and  its        provisions  show  an intention to depart  from-  the  common        rule, qui facit per alium facit per se.  Its intention again        is that a firm should be given benefit of section 23(5) (a),        only  if it is registered under section 26-A  in  accordance        with the conditions laid down in that section and the  rules        framed   thereunder.   And  as  those  rules   require   the        application  to  be  signed by the partner  in  person,  the        signature by an agent on his behalf is invalid.        In  the view which we have taken, the further queson  raised        by the appellant that the power to repeal



      591        a law being a legislative function, can be exercised only by        the  legislature  duly constituted and not  by  any  outside        authority,  and  that the delegation of such a power  to  an        outside  authority is unconstitutional., does not arise  for        decision.        In  the  result., we agree with Viswanatha Sastry,  J.  that        rules  2 and 6 are intravires the powers of the  rule-making        authority, and dismiss the appeals with costs.