M. Fathima Beevi, J.
1. The petitioner who has been assessed to income-tax for the years 1972-73 to 1974-75 made an application before the Settlement Commission for relief. The assessments had been challenged by filing appeals. The total arrears amount to Rs. 4,69,505. The second respondent, the Tax Recovery Officer had issued notices of demand. The petitioner was a partner of a firm which has been dissolved. It is the case of the petitioner that a substantial amount has been paid by the petitioner towards the arrears of tax and, therefore, the recovery proceedings during the pendency of the settlement proceedings cannot be sustained. The petitioner has prayed for issuing an appropriate writ or direction quashing exhibits P-4 to P-8 notices and exhibits P-10 to P-13 and directing the respondents not to recover the tax pending disposal of the application before the Settlement Commission.
2. Notice has been taken on behalf of the respondents and both sides are
3. The pendency of the application before the Settlement Commission does not operate as a stay of collection. The liability as per the assessments subsists. There is, therefore, no illegality in issuing the demand and the challenge against the same is not sustainable. The only relief the petitioner is entitled to in the circumstances of the case is regarding the mode of payment of the arrears of tax.
4. In the light of the submissions made and having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, I consider it proper to direct the petitioner to pay 50 per cent. of the arrears demanded within six weeks from this date and the balance within a further period of three months. Subject to this condition, further steps in pursuance of the demand are to be kept in abeyance.
5. The original petition is disposed of with the above directions.