Somnath Iyer, J.
1. These three writ petitions are directed against assessment made by the Commercial Tax Officer of escaped turnover which he purported to make under section 12-A of the Mysore Sales Tax Act. The turnover related to arecanuts, and the petitioner was not the and purchaser. Under the seventh entry in the Third Schedule to the Mysore Sales Tax Act, in respect of the turnover relating to arecanuts, sales tax is payable only at the purchase point by the first or earliest of successive dealers liable to tax under the Act. Since the petitioner was not the first purchaser within the meaning of that entry, he was not the person liable to pay the tax with respect to the purchase made by him. But the Commercial Tax Officer was of the opinion that since the registered dealer from whom the petitioner made the purchase had entered into a composition under section 17 and had paid a certain sum of money in lieu of the amount of tax payable by him, and so he was not liable to pay any tax, the petitioner who made the purchase from him became the first purchaser, and so became liable to pay the tax.
2. But it is clear that this view taken by the Commercial Tax Officer is plainly unsupportable. The composition permitted under section 17 does not obliterate the fact that the composition fee paid by him is a substitute for the tax which he would have otherwise become liable to pay. The amount paid by him in that way is nevertheless tax paid by him, and, in the cases before us the composition fee so paid by that registered dealer is in truth and reality the tax which he was liable to pay and which he paid in that form. However that may be, the fact remains that he was, notwithstanding the composition, the first purchaser, and so was liable to pay the tax. The composition does not transform the person who purchased from him into a first purchaser, and the seller continues to be the first purchaser notwithstanding the composition.
3. So we allow these writ petitions and we set aside the orders made the Commercial Tax Officer. The petitioner will get his costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100, one set.
4. Petitions allowed.