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44. Appearance before wealth-tax authorities by authorised representatives.

(1) Any assessee who is entitled to or required to attend before any wealth- tax authority or the Appellate Tribunal in connection with any proceeding under this Act, except where he is required under this Act to attend in person, may attend by a person who would be entitled to represent him before any income-tax authority or the Appellate Tribunal under section 288 of the Income-tax Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1)—

(i)   no person who has been convicted of an offence connected with any wealth-tax proceeding or on whom a penalty has been imposed under this Act other than a penalty imposed on him under clause (i) or clause (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 18 shall be qualified to represent an assessee under sub-section (1) for such time as the 18[Chief Commissioner or Commissioner] may by order determine;
19(ii)   if any person who is not a legal practitioner or a chartered accountant, is found guilty of misconduct in connection with any wealth-tax proceeding by the prescribed authority, the prescribed authority may direct that he shall thenceforth be disqualified to represent an assessee under sub-section (1);
(iii)   no person not qualified to represent an assessee under the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 (11 of 1922), the Estate Duty Act, 1953 (34 of 1953), the Expenditure-tax Act, 1957 (29 of 1957), or the Gift-tax Act, 1958 (18 of 1958), shall be entitled to appear on behalf of any assessee under this Act:

Provided that any order or direction under clause (i) or clause (ii) shall be subject to the following conditions, namely :—

(a)   no such order or direction shall be made in respect of any person unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard;
(b)   any person against whom any such order or direction is made may, within one month of the making of the order or direction, appeal to the Board to have the order or direction cancelled; and
(c)   no such order or direction shall take effect until the expiration of one month from the making thereof, or, where an appeal has been preferred, until the disposal of the appeal.]
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