08 December 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Writ Petition (Civil) 124 of 1964






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/12/1964


CITATION:  1965 AIR 1387            1965 SCR  (2) 355  CITATOR INFO :  RF         1967 SC1176  (9)  R          1969 SC  59  (3)  R          1972 SC1061  (99,171,174)  R          1972 SC2119  (3)  RF         1981 SC1269  (3)

ACT: Wealth-tax Act, 1957 (No. 27 of 1957), s. 3-Hindu  undivided families made chargeable to wealth tax-Section whether ultra vires-Constitution of India, Seventh Schedule, List 1, Entry 86.

HEADNOTE: The appellants who were Hindu undivided families  challenged the  levy of wealth tax on them on the ground that s.  3  of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957, in so far as it brought to  charge Hindu  undivided families was ultra vires being  beyond  the terms of Entry 86 in List 1. Their writ petitions before the High  Court  having  been rejected,  but  a  certificate  of fitness  having been granted, they appealed to  the  Supreme Court. The  contentions  urged by the appellants were :  (1)  Hindu undivided families were not mentioned as possible  assessees in  Entry 86 and groups of individuals were not  covered  by the   word  ’individuals’  used  therein.  (2)   Individuals constituting a Hindu undivided family could not be subjected to  the tax because the coparceners are a  fluctuating  body and  their  shares in the capital assets of the  family  are liable  to  increase or decrease and  cannot  be  definitely predicated  for  the  accounting  year  as  a  whole  unless partition  is  made.  (3)  Entry 86 had  to  be  read  in  a restrictive manner because unlike Entry 82 it specified  the assessable   entities,  and  by  separately   referring   to companies  it introduced a limitation on the  denotation  of the  word  ’individuals’. (4) In  income-tax  legislation  a distinction  had always been maintained between  individuals and Hindu undivided families and the same must be deemed  to have been observed in framing Entry 86. HELD : The impugned section was valid because Parliament was



competent  to  legislate  in  respect  of  Hindu   undivided families under Entry 86. (i)The  word  ’individuals’ in Entry 86 takes in  its  sweep groups  of individuals like Hindu undivided  families.   The Constitution-makers were fully aware that the Hindu citizens of the country normally form Hindu undivided families and if the object was to levy taxes on the capital value of  assets it   is  inconceivable  that  the  word  ’individuals’   was introduced  in the Entry with the object of  excluding  from its  scope  such a large and extensive area which  would  be covered by Hindu undivided families. [364 B-C] Case-law referred to. Commissioner of Income-tax, Madhya Pradesh & Bhopal v. Sodra Devi;  Damayanti  Sahni v. Commissioner  of  Income-tax,  32 I.T.R. 615, relied on. (ii)Groups of individuals the capital value of whose  assets would  be  subjected  to the payment of  wealth  tax,  would naturally  be groups of individuals who form a unit and  who own  the said assets together.  The fact that the rights  of individuals   constituting  the  group  are  liable  to   be decreased or increased does not make any difference when the question is whether the word ’individuals’ is wide enough to include groups of individuals. [361 F-G] (iii)The Entries in the legislative Lists must be given  the widest interpretation; they must not be read in a narrow and restricted sense. [359 D] 356 United  Provinces  v.  Mst.  Atiqa Begum  and  Ors.,  [1940] F.C.R. 110, relied on. There  is  nothing in the context of Entry 86 which  can  be said  to introduce an element of restriction  or  limitation while interpreting the word ’individuals’. [360 A-E) It  is  true that Entry 82 is couched in  wider  terms  than Entry 86.  This is natural because what Entry 82 purports to do is to recognise the legislative competence of  Parliament to levy taxes on income, the only limitation being that  the income must be other than agricultural income.  Since  Entry 86  refers  to taxes on the capital value  of  asset-,,  the Constitution makers must have thought that it was  necessary to  specify  whose  assets should be subject  to  the  taxes contemplated   by   the  Entry.   Each  Entry  has   to   be independently interpreted, and a restrictive  interpretation of  Entry 86 would not be justified because of the words  of Entry 82. [360 D-E] Nor   would  a  restrictive  interpretation  of   the   word ’individuals’ be justified on the ground that companies  had not  been included within that term in the Entry.  Since  it was intended to tax the capital of companies it was  thought desirable  to  specify companies as a matter  of  precaution along with individuals. [360 F] (iv) Legislative  history showing that the  taxing  statutes drew a distinction between ’individuals’ and Hindu undivided families cannot afford any material assistance in construing Entry  86.   Occurring  in  an  organic  document  like  the Constitution  the  word ’individuals’ need  not  necessarily receive the same construction as in taxing statutes. [362 F- G] Navinchandra  Mafatlal  v. The Commissioner  of  Income-tax, Bombay  City, [1955]1 S.C.R. 829 and Navnitlal C. Javeri  v. K.  K. Sen, Appellate Assistant Commissioner of  Income-tax, Bombay, [1965] 1 S.C.R. 909 referred to.




CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeals Nos. 124 to 129 of 1964. Appeals from the judgment and decree dated March 23, 1961 of the  Allahabad High Court in Civil Misc.  Writs  Nos.  2127, 2128 and 2980 to 2983 of 1959. N.   C.  Chatterjee and J. B.  Agarwala, for the  appellants (in C.   A. Nos. 124 and 125 of 1964). A.   V. Viswanatha Sastri and J. P. Goyal, for the appellant (in C.A. No. 126/1964). J.   P. Goyal, for the appellants (in C. A. Nos. 127 to  129 of 1964). S.   V.  Gupte, Solicitor-General, R, Ganapathy Iyer, R.  H. Dhebar  and B. R. G. K. Achar, for the respondents  (in  all the appeals) The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Gajendragadkar, C. J. The common question of law which  this group  of  six appeals raises for our  decision  is  whether section  3  of  the Wealth-Tax Act, 1957 (No.  27  of  1957) (hereinafter  called ’the Act) in so far as it  purports  to levy a charge of wealth tax in respect of the net wealth  of a Hindu undivided family at the 357 specified  rate,  is valid.  The  respective  appellants  in these  appeals who constitute Hindu undivided families  were charged  under s. 3 and they challenged the validity of  the said  charge on the ground that the said section  was  ultra vires.   The writ petitions filed by these  appellants  were heard  by  a  Special  Bench of  the  Allahabad  High  Court consisting of Gurtu, Upadhya, and Jagdish Sahai, JJ.   Gurtu and Jagdish Sahai, JJ. have rejected the appellants’ conten- tion and have upheld the validity of the impugned provision. According  to  Jagdish Sahai, J., the  impugned  section  is intra  vires, because Parliament had legislative  competence to enact the said provision under Entry 86 in List 1 of  the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.  Gurtu, J. who  agreed with  the  said conclusion, however sustained  the  impugned provision under Entry 97 in List 1 read with Art. 248 of the Constitution.   Upadhya,  J. held that neither of  the  said provisions conferred legislative competence on Parliament to enact  the  impugned  provision,  and so,  he  came  to  the conclusion that, the said provision was ultra vires and  the charge   levied  against  the  appellants  was,   therefore, invalid.  In accordance with the majority decision, the writ petitions filed by the respective appellants were dismissed. The  appellants then applied for and  obtained  certificates from  the said High Court, and it is with  the  certificates issued in their favour that they have come to this Court  in appeal. The Act was passed in 1957 to provide for the levy of wealth tax.   Section  3 of the Act provides that  subject  to  the other  provisions  contained  in this Act,  there  shall  be charged for every financial year commencing on and from  the first day of April, 1957, a tax (hereinafter referred to  as wealth-tax)   in   respect  of  the  net   wealth   on   the corresponding  valuation  date of  every  individual,  Hindu undivided family and company at the rate or rates  specified in  the  Schedule.   The  three  Constitutional   provisions relevant  to the decision of the point raised before  us  in these appeals may now be set out. Entry 86 in List 1 deals with taxes on the capital value  of the  assets, exclusive of agricultural land, of  individuals and companies; taxes on the capital of companies.  Entry  97 in  the said List refers to any other matter not  enumerated in  List II or List III including any tax not  mentioned  in



either of those Lists.  Article 248 -reads thus :-               "(1)  Parliament has exclusive power  to  make               any  law  with  respect  to  any  matter   not               enumerated  in  the Concurrent List  or  State               List. 358 .lm15 (2)Such  power  shall include the power of  making  any  law imposing a tax not mentioned in either of those Lists". The  appellants contend that the word "individuals" used  in Entry 86 cannot take in Hindu undivided families.  The taxes which  Parliament is empowered to levy under this Entry  can be  levied  only  on  individuals  and  not  on  groups   of individuals,  and  on companies.  A Hindu  undivided  family consists  of  different  coparceners  who  are,  no   doubt, individuals, but inasmuch as the impugned provision purports to levy wealth tax on the capital value of the assets of the Hindu  undivided families as such, the tax is not levied  on individuals,  but on groups of individuals, and,  therefore, is  outside the scope of Entry 86.  The  appellants  further urge  that if the Hindu undivided families are  outside  the scope  of Entry 86, they cannot be subjected to the levy  of wealth  tax  under  Entry 97, because  Entry  97  refers  to matters  other  than those specified in Entries 1 to  96  in List  1  as well as those enumerated in Lists  II  and  III. Since   wealth  tax  is  a  matter  which  is   specifically enumerated in Entry 86 of List 1, Entry 97 cannot be held to take in the said tax in respect of Hindu undivided families. In regard to Art. 248, the appellants’ argument is that  the said article must be read together with Entry 97 in List  1. and  if  wealth tax in respect of the capital value  of  the assets of Hindu undivided families is outside both Entry  86 and  Entry 97, the residuary power of legislation  conferred on  Parliament by Art. 248 cannot be invoked in  respect  of the tax imposed on the capital value of the assets of  Hindu undivided  families by the impugned provision.  That is  how the  validity of the impugned provision has been  challenged before us. On  the other hand, the respondent, the Wealth Tax  Officer, seeks  to  sustain the validity of  the  impugned  provision primarily  under Entry 86 in List 1. It is contended on  his behalf that the word "individuals" used in Entry 86 is  wide enough to take within its sweep groups of individuals and as such, Hindu undivided families fall within the scope of  the area covered by Entry 86.  In the alternative, it is  argued that Entry 97 which is a residuary entry, would take in  all matters not enumerated in List II or List III including  any tax  not mentioned in either of those Lists.   According  to the  respondent,  the word "matter" mentioned  in  Entry  97 cannot take in taxes specified in Entry 86, but it refers to the  subject-matter in respect of which Parliament seeks  to make  a law under Entry 97.  The subject-matter of  the  tax imposed by 359 the impugned provision is the capital value of the assets of a Hindu undivided family and if that is held not included in Entry  86,  it  would fall within the  scope  of  Entry  97, because  it satisfies the requirement specified by the  said Entry,  namely,  that the said matter should not  have  been enumerated  in List 11 or List 111.  In regard to Art.  248, the  respondent’s case is that this article  prescribes  the residuary  power of legislation conferred on Parliament  and must  be read independently of the Lists.  In  other  words, even  if  the  impugned provision  cannot  be  sustained  by reference  to Entry 86 or Entry 97 in List 1, the  power  of



Parliament to levy the tax imposed by the impugned provision can,  nevertheless, be claimed under the provisions of  Art. 248.   That,  in its broad outlines, is the  nature  of  the controversy between the parties in the present appeals. Logically,  the  first question to consider is  whether  the impugned  provision can be referred to Entry 86 or not.   In construing the word "individuals" used in the said Entry, it is necessary to remember that the relevant words used in the Entries  of  the Seventh Schedule must  receive  the  widest interpretation.  As Gwyer, C.J., has observed in The  United Provinces  v. Mst.  Atiqa Begum and Others(1), "none of  the items  in the Lists is to be read in a narrow or  restricted sense,  and that each general word should be held to  extend to all ancillary or subsidiary matters which can fairly  and reasonably be said to be comprehended in it. I deprecate any attempt to enumerate in advance all the matters which are to be  included under any of the more general descriptions;  it will be sufficient and much wiser to determine each case  as and when it comes before the Court". Another rule of construction which is also  well-established is that it may not be reasonable to import any limitation in interpreting  a particular Entry in the lists  by  comparing the  said  Entry or contrasting it with any other  Entry  in that very List.  While the Court is determining the scope of the  area  covered  by a particular Entry,  the  Court  must interpret  the relevant words in the Entry in a natural  way and give the said words the widest interpretation.  What the Entries purport to do is to describe the area of legislative competence  of the different legislative bodies, and so,  it would be unreasonable to approach the task of interpretation in a narrow or restrictive manner. (1) [1940] F. C. R. 110, 134 3Sup./65 - 7 360 The appellants no doubt contrast Entry 86 with Entry 82  and contend  that  the said contrast brings out  an  element  of limitation  or  restriction  which  should  be  imported  in construing  Entry  86.  Entry 82 refers to taxes  on  income other  than agricultural income.  The argument is  that  the power  to  levy  taxes  on  income  is  not  conditioned  by reference  to individuals or companies; it is  an  unlimited extensive  power.  In contrast with this Entry, it is  urged that limitation is introduced by Entry 86, because it  seeks to  confer power to levy taxes on the capital value  of  the assets  of  individuals and companies.   The  assessees  are indicated by this Entry, and that that itself introduces  an element  of  limitation.  ’Me appellants  attempt  to  place their  case alternatively by emphasising the fact  that  the word  "individuals"  in the context cannot  mean  companies, because  companies are separately and distinctly  mentioned; that again, it is said, introduces an element of  limitation ,on    the   denotation   of   the    word    "individuals". "Individuals’,  therefore, must mean individuals and  cannot mean  groups  of individuals, that is  the  main  contention raised  by  the appellants.  We are not  impressed  by  this argument.   It is true that Entry 82 does not refer  to  the assessees,  and that is natural because what it purports  to do is to recognise the legislative competence of  Parliament to levy taxes on income, the only limitation being that  the income must be other than agricultural income.  Since  Entry 86  refers to taxes on the capital value of the assets,  the Constitution-makers must have thought that it was  necessary to  specify  whose  assets should be subject  to  the  taxes contemplated by the Entry, and that explains why individuals and   companies   are  mentioned.    Since   companies   are



specifically  mentioned  along with individuals, it  may  be permissible to contend that companies in the context are not included  in  the word "individuals", or it may  perhaps  be that  since  Entry  86  wanted to  specify  that  the  taxes leviable  under  it have to be taxes on the capital  of  the companies, it was thought desirable that companies should be specified as a matter of precaution along with  individuals. However  that may be, it is not easy to understand  why  the word  "individuals"  cannot  take in  its  sweep  groups  of individuals  like Hindu undivided families.  The use of  the word  "individuals"  in  the plural is not  of  any  special significance, because under S. 13 (2) of the General Clauses Act,  1897  (No. 10 of 1897), words in  the  singular  shall include the plural, and vice versa. The basic assumption on which the appellants’ argument rests is  that  the  Constitution-makers  wanted  to  exclude  the capital value of the assets of Hindu undivided families from taxes.  That is why 361 their contention is that the impugned provision would not be sustained either under Entry 86 or under Entry 97 of List  1 or  even  under Art. 248.  It is difficult  to  accept  this argument.   On the face of it, -it is impossible  to  assume that while thinking of levying taxes on the capital value of assets,  Hindu undivided families could possible  have  been intended  to  be  left out.  We can  think  of  no  rational justification  for  making  any such  assumption.   In  this connection, it is significant that on the appellants’  case, the capital value of the assets of Hindu undivided  families would never become the subject-matter of wealth tax.   Hindu undivided  families, it is urged, are groups of  individuals and,  therefore, should be outside Entry 86 and  individuals who  constitute such Hindu undivided families could  not  be subjected  to  the  levy of the tax,  because  the  body  of coparceners who constitute such Hindu undivided families  is a fluctuating body and their shares in the capital assets of their respective families are liable to increase or decrease and cannot be definitely predicated for the accounting  year as  a whole, unless partition is made.  Prima facie, such  a position appears to be plainly inconsistent with the  scheme of  Entry  86  and  it cannot  be  upheld  unless  the  word "individuals" is reasonably incapable of including groups of individuals. It  is true that when tax is levied on the capital value  of the,  assets  of Hindu undivided families, in  a  sense  the assets of individual coparceners are aggregated, and on  the aggregate value a tax is levied; but how the taxes should be levied and at what rate, is a matter for the legislature  to decide; that consideration cannot enter into the  discussion of  the  legislative competence of Parliament to  enact  the law.   It  is hardly necessary to emphasise that  groups  of individuals,  the  capital value of whose  assets  would  be subjected  to the payment of wealth tax, would naturally  be groups  of individuals who form a unit and who own the  said assets   together.   The  fact  that  the  rights   of   the individuals  constituting]  the  group  are  liable  to   be decreased or increased does not make any difference when  we are  dealing  with  the  question as  to  whether  the  word "individuals"   in   wide  enough  to  include   groups   of individuals.  We do not see anything in the context of Entry 86 which can be said to introduce an element of  restriction or  limitation  while interpreting the  word  "individuals". Ordinarily,  individuals  would be treated as such  and  the capital  value of their separate assets would be taxed;  but if  individuals  form  groups and such  groups  own  capital



assets,  it is difficult to see why the power to levy  taxes on  such  capital assets should be held to  be  outside  the scope of Entry 86. 362 It is, however, urged that in interpreting the word "indivi- duals",  it  would  be relevant to  take  into  account  the legislative  history of tax legislation.  Section 3  of  the Indian  Income-tax  Act, 1922 (No.  XI of 1922)  is  pressed into  service  for the purpose of this argument.   The  said section  provides,  inter alia, that where any  Central  Act enacts that income-tax shall be charged for any year at  any rate,  tax  at that rate shall be charged for that  year  in accordance with the provisions of this Act in respect of the total income of the previous year of every individual, Hindu undivided  family, company or local authority, and of  every firm and other association of persons or the partners of the firm  or the members of the association  individually.   The argument is that s. 3 recognises that the word  "individual" would  not  include Hindu undivided family, and  so.   Hindu undivided family has been separately mentioned by it.  It is pointed out that this distinction between an individual  and a  Hindu  undivided family has been recognised even  in  the earlier  Income-tax Acts.  Section 3(7) of Act 11  of  1886, for  instance, defines a ’person’ as including a firm and  a Hindu  undivided  family; and S. 5 (i) (f) of the  said  Act which  provides  for exceptions to the charging  section  4, refers to any income which a person enjoys as a member of  a company, or of a firm, or of a Hindu undivided family,  when the  company,  or the firm, or the family is liable  to  the tax.  Basing themselves on the distinction which is made  by the  Income-tax  Acts  between an  individual  and  a  Hindu undivided  family,  the  appellants contend  that  the  word "individuals"  should  not be interpreted to  include  Hindu undivided family. Assuming  that the legislative history in the matter of  tax legislation supports the distinction between individuals and Hindu  undivided  families,  we  do not  see  how  the  said consideration   can   have  a  material   bearing   on   the construction of the word "individuals" in Entry 86.  The tax legislation  may,  for convenience or other  valid  reasons, have  made  a  distinction  between  individuals  and  Hindu undivided  families;  but  it would  not  be  legitimate  to suggest that the word "individuals" occurring in an  organic document like the Constitution must necessarily receive  the same  construction.   Take, for  instance,  the  traditional concept of income as recognised by the tax law.  It has been held   by  this  Court  in  Navinchandra  Mafatlal  v.   The Commissioner  of  Income tax Bombay City(1), that  the  said traditional concept of income cannot introduce consideration of restriction or limitation in (1) [1955] 1 S.C.R. 829,857. 363 interpreting the word "income" in Entry 54 in List 1 of  the Seventh Schedule to the Government of India Act, 1935, which corresponds to Entry 82 in List 1 of the Seventh Schedule to the  Constitution.   In that case, the validity of  the  tax levied  on  capital gains was impeached on the  ground  that capital gains cannot be regarded as income, and so, Entry 54 did  not justify the levy of the tax on capital  gains.   In rejecting  this  contention, this Court held that  the  word "income"  occurring  in  Entry 54 must  receive  the  widest interpretation  and  could,  therefore,  be  interpreted  to include  a capital gain.  In holding that the word  "income" included  capital  gain, this Court observed that  the  said conclusion  was  reached  not  because  of  any  legislative



practice  either in India or in the United States or in  the Commonwealth of Australia, but "because such was the  normal concept  and  connotation  of  the  ordinary  English   word ’income’.   Its natural meaning embraces -my profit or  gain which is actually received". Similarly,  in Navnitlal C. Javeri v. K. K.  Sen,  Appellate Assistant  Commissioner of Income-tax, Bombay(1), when  this Court  had  occasion  to consider the  validity  of  section 12(IB) read with s. 2 (6A) (e) of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922  (No.  11 of 1922) as it stood in  1955;  the  question which  was  raised  for  its decision  was  whether  it  was competent  to  Parliament  to treat a  loan  advanced  to  a shareholder  of a company as his income.  In  answering  the said  question  in favour of the  impugned  provision,  this Court observed that "though Parliament cannot choose to  tax as income an item which in no rational sense can be regarded as  a citizen’s income, it would, nevertheless be  competent to  Parliament  to  levy a tax on a  loan  received  by  the shareholder  if  it was satisfied that the said  loan  could rationally be construed as his income.  In considering  this question,  however, it would be inappropriate to  apply  the test  traditionally  prescribed  by the  Income-tax  Act  as such".   Therefore  we  do not think  that  the  legislative history  in  the  matter  of  the  denotation  of  the  word "individuals"  on  which  the appellants  rely,  can  really afford  any  material  assistance  in  construing  the  word "individuals" in Entry 86. Reverting  then to Entry 86, the question which we  have  to ask   ourselves  is  whether  on  a  fair   and   reasonable construction,  the word "individuals" in the context of  the Entry  can legitimately be narrowed down to  individuals  as such  and  not  to include groups of  individuals.   If  the object  of making the Entry is to enable Parliament to  levy taxes on the capital value of the assets, (1)  [1965] 1 S.C.R. 909 364 how  can  it  be  said  to  be  reasonable  to  introduce  a limitation  on the denotation of the word "individuals"  and to  say that taxes could not be levied on the capital  value of the assets which belong to groups of individuals.  If the individuals  constitute  themselves into a  group  and  such group owns capital assets, it is not easy. to understand why the  value of such assets should not be included within  the legislative  field covered by Entry 86.   The  Constitution- makers  were  fully aware that the Hindu  citizens  of  this country  normally form Hindu undivided families and  if  the object was to levy taxes on the capital value of the assets, it   is  inconceivable  that  the  word  "individuals"   was introduced  in the Entry with the object of  excluding  from its  scope  such a large and extensive area which  would  be covered  by  Hindu undivided families.  We  are,  therefore, satisfied  that  the  impugned  section  is  valid,  because Parliament  was competent to legislate in respect  of  Hindu undivided families under Entry 86. This question has been considered by several High Courts and the reported decisions show consensus in judicial opinion in favour of the construction of Entry 86 which we have adopted (vide Mahavirprasad Badridas v. M. S. Yagnik, Second Wealth- tax  Officer,  C-11  Ward, Bombay(1)  (Bombay  High  Court’s decision); N. V. Subramanian v. Wealth Tax Officer, Eluru(2) (Andhra  Pradesh High Court’s decision-single Judge  Bench); P.  Ramabhadra  Raju v. Union of India (8)  (Andhra  Pradesh High  Court’s decision-Division Bench);  Sarjerao  Appasaheb Shitole v. Wealth Tax Officer, A. Ward, Belgaum (4 ) (Mysore High  Court’s  decision);  and  Rajah  Sir,  M.  A.  Muthiah



Chettiar v. Wealth Tax Officer, Special Investigation Circle ’A’, Madras(5) ( Madras High Court’s decision).  We ought to add that these reported decisions show that the validity  of the impugned provision was challenged before the High Courts on  the  ground  that  the  Hindu  undivided  family  is  an association  and  as such, the capital value of  its  assets could  not be taxed under Entry 86.  That  naturally  raised the  question about the true legal character and  status  of Hindu  undivided family, and the contention that  they  were associations has been rejected.  Since that argument has not been pressed before us, we have not thought it necessary  to consider it. Before  we  part  with these appeals, we  may  refer  to  an earlier   decision   of  this  Court  in  which   the   word "individual"  fell  to be considered.   In  Commissioner  of Income-tax, Madhya Pradesh & (1)  37 I.T.R. 191 (3) 45 I.T.R. II 8       (5) 53 I.T.R. 504. (2)  40 I.T.R. 567. (4)  52 I.T.R. 372. 365 Bhopal  v.  Sodra Devi; Damayanti Sahni v.  Commissioner  of Income-tax,(1) the question which arose for the decision  of this  Court had relation to the construction of s. 16(3)  of the Indian Income-tax- Act, 1922.  That sub-section provides that in computing the total income of any individual for the purpose  of  assessment, there shall be included  the  items specified in clauses (a) and (b).  What is the denotation of the word "individual" was one of the points which had to  be considered   in  that  case.   According  to  the   majority decision, though the word "individual" is narrower than  the word "Assessee", it does not mean only a human being, but is wide  enough to include a group of persons forming  a  unit. "It has been held", observed Bhagwati, J. who spoke for  the majority, "that the word ’individual’ includes a corporation created  by a statute, e.g., a university or a bar  council, or trustees of a baronetcy trust incorporated by a Baronetcy Act.   It would also include a minor or a person of  unsound mind".   We are referring to this case only for the  purpose of  showing  that the word "individual" was  interpreted  by this Court as including a group of persons forming a unit. Since  we have come to the conclusion that Entry  86  covers cases  of  Hindu  undivided families, it  follows  that  the impugned  provision  is valid under the said  Entry  itself. That  being  so, it is unnecessary to consider  whether  the validity  of the impugned provision can be  sustained  under Entry 97 or under Art. 248 of the Constitution. The  result  is,  the appeals fail and  are  dismissed  with costs. Appeals dismissed. (1) 32 I.T.R. 615. 366