1. This is a petition under Section 32(6), Assam Sales Tax Act, of 1947 (Act 17 of 1947) directed against an order of the Commissioner of Taxes, Assam, dated 7-2-51, by which he held the petition before him as time
barred under Section 32(4), Assam Sales Tax Act, 1947.
2. The learned Commissioner points out that the appeal against which the petition was made was disposed of by the Assistant Commissioner on 20-9-50 and that the petition before him should have been filed within 60 days from the date of the order after excluding the time taken for obtaining copies; the copies were applied for, for the first time on 20-11-50 and they were, according to the petitioner, obtained by him on 4-1-51, but in spite of the fact that the petitioner was in possession of the copies on 4-1-51, he did not file the petition before him in January 1951; he elected to file the petition on 2-2-51.
3. Mr. Brahmin for the petitioner contends that the learned Commissioner has computed the period of limitation erroneously and that the period of 60 days prescribed by Section 32(2) began to run from the date of the service of the appellate order; that if 60 days are computed from the date of the service of the appellate order which, he alleges, was effected on 20-10-50, the petition presented to the Commissioner of Taxes would be within time. In support of his contention, he has referred us to two cases--one reported in--'Muthiah Chettiar v. Commr. of Income Tax', AIR 1951 Mad 204 (A). The facts of that case are clearly distinguishable from the facts before us. The Division Bench of the Madras High Court was dealing with a case under Section 33A(2), Income Tax Act, 1922. Apart from that, the order before the learned Judges was not an appellate order, but an original order. So far as an appeal against an original order is concerned, the period of limitation undoubtedly begins to run from the date of the service of the order, but not so in the case of an appellate order with which we are concerned in the present case. So far as an appellate order is concerned, the provision as to limitation is contained in Section 32(2), Assam Sales Act, which, unlike Section 30 says that the period of limitation is to begin from the date of the order.
4. Mr. Brahmin has also referred us to another case decided by the Patna High Court reported in--'Bujhawan Sah Ramnath v. Province of Bihar', Indian Sales Tax Cases, Volume I, 1938-1950. There again the order in question was an original order, and not an appellate order. We are unable to apply the principle of the decisions of the Madras and the Bihar High Courts to appellate orders. The Assam Sales Tax Act expressly provides for a period of limitation from an appellate order as being 60 days which are to be computed from the date of the order, and not from the date of the service of the order.
5. We can only interfere with the order of the Commissioner holding that the petition before him as time-barred, under the provisions of Section 32(6) of the Act, but we are not satisfied that the decision of the Commissioner is erroneous. We think the decision of the Commissioner is right. Accordingly, we reject this petition.
6. The petition is dismissed with costs. Hearing fee assessed at Rs. 51/-. The Rule is discharged.
7. I agree.