1. The petitioner was an assessee under the Karnataka Sales Tax Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), for the period between 1st January, 1973, and 31st December, 1973. The Commercial Tax Officer, XI Circle, who was the assessing officer, issued a notice to the petitioner to show cause as to why penalty should not be levied under the provisions of section 12B of the Act.
2. In response to the said notice, the petitioner filed his representation before the said officer. The assessing officer thereafter passed an order, which is impugned in this writ petition. The said order reads as follows :
'The assessee has not filed monthly statements of their turnover for the period from 1st January, 1973, to 31st December, 1973. The consolidated return of turnover for the year is filed on 30th January, 1974. But the tax due of Rs. 8,535.17 for the year as per the return of turnover filed is paid on 6th March, 1974, is against the provisions of the above section and rule.
Hence, a notice proposing the levy by way of penalty 1 1/2 times the above tax was served on the dealer on 16th May, 1974, for which they have filed objections stating that they have filed all the returns in time and there is no lapse on their part in this respect. But the assessee in silent about the date of payment of the tax involved.
Hence the proposed levy is confirmed and the penalty due as per the above section is Rs. 12,802.75. Issue final demand notice for the same as per Rules.'
3. It is seen from the order of the respondent (Commercial Tax Officer) extracted above, that no reason has been given by him as to why he levied the maximum penalty permissible under law. It is needless to say that such an order should contain reasons in support of the order. Because the order in question is not a speaking order, it is liable to be quashed. Hence it is quashed.
4. The Commercial Tax Officer is at liberty to pass a fresh order in accordance with law.
5. The petition is accordingly allowed. No costs.
6. The Government Advocate is permitted to file his memo of appearance within ten days.
7. Petition allowed.