Alladi Kuppuswami, Ag.C.J.
1. These seven tax revision cases have been preferred against the orders of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal in T.A. Nos. 342, 338, 340, 344, 346, 348 and 350 of 1976 respectively for the assessment years 1963-64 to 1969-70.
2. The main question for consideration in all these revision cases, which arise out of a common judgment of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, rendered in a batch of appeals, is whether the petitioner was only a broker acting on behalf of M/s. Sudarsan Oil Mills and Saibaba Ginning Factory, or whether he was doing business himself buying and selling groundnut and cotton-seeds, etc.
3. The petitioner was not a taxpayer prior to 31st October, 1969, and was not even a registered dealer. In the course of a search conducted on 31st October, 1969, the authorities recovered 10 account books and six bundles of account slips from the residence of the petitioner. The above material disclosed the business dealings carried on by the petitioner during the assessment years 1963 to 1969.
4. After consideration of the material available in the account slips and account books, the assessing authority came to the conclusion that the petitioner was liable to be assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act. The petitioner admitted before the assessing authority that the jottings in the account books and account slips were in his handwriting, but pleaded that those notes related to the dealings in respect of M/s. Sudarsan Oil Mills and Saibaba Ginning Factory. Tadpatri, that he is a broker of the said factory and that there was no sale or purchase transaction by him. He did not let in any evidence whatsoever to establish his above claim. The assessing authority therefore rejected his plea and held that he was liable to pay sales tax and also penalty as he had failed to submit his return and get himself assessed.
5. On appeal the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Kurnool, confirmed the Assessment, but allowed some reliefs in respect of the penalty levied. Thereafter the petitioner preferred appeals to the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, Hyderabad. The Tribunal went carefully through the various account slips and the account books and agreed with the conclusion of the Commissioner that the nothings represent transactions of sale and purchase and the petitioner did not satisfy the authorities that he was acting only as a broker. In regard to the quantum in some cases the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal held that the assessing authority was in error in including certain amounts in the turnover and deleted then from the total turnover and gave some relief. In the result, the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal confirmed the order of the Assistant Commissioner in some cases and gave some relief in other cases. The petitioner has preferred these revision cases as stated earlier as against the decision of the Tribunal in T.A. Nos. 338, 340, 342, 344, 346, 348 and 350 of 1976.
6. Sri I. Venkatanarayana reiterated the contention that the petitioner was only a broker and the transactions which were noted in the account slips and account books were not transactions of sale and purchase by the petitioner for himself. We have gone through the order of the Tribunal. The Tribunal has given cogent reasons for coming to the conclusion that they represent individual transactions of sale and purchase by the petitioner and, in particular, the Tribunal referred to the fact that there was no entry at all regarding any commission being paid or received by the petitioner. The inference is one of fact and we therefore see no error of law to justify any interference in these revision cases.
7. Sri Venkatanarayana next submitted that the burden lay upon the department to show that the transactions were liable to tax under the Sales Tax Act and the Tribunal erred in holding that the burden lay upon the petitioner. To justify his contention that he is not liable to tax, he relied upon a decision of the Supreme Court in Parimisetti Seetharamamma v. Commissioner of Income-tax : 57ITR532(SC) , which relates to the provisions of the Income-tax Act. In particular the learned counsel drew our attention to the observation of the Supreme Court in the said decision, where it was stated that 'in all cases in which a receipt is sought to be taxed as income, the burden lies upon the department to prove that it is within the taxing provision'. We are unable to see how this decision is of any assistance to the petitioner. In the instant case, the department is not merely relying upon the mere fact of receipt of some cash but on the entries contained in the account slips and account books. After consideration of the nature of the entries, the department came to the conclusion that they represent transactions of sale and purchase. These entries were again scrutinised by the Appellate Tribunal and it also came to the same conclusion. Therefore the decision relied upon by the petitioner's learned counsel has no application. On the other hand, as observed by Sri Venkatarama Aiyar, J., in Govindarajulu Mudaliar v. Commissioner of Income-tax : 34ITR807(SC) , it is well-settled that where an assessee fails to prove satisfactorily the source and nature of certain amount of cash received during the accounting year, the Income-tax Officer is entitled to draw the inference that the receipts are of an assessable nature. On the same analogy, the petitioner who came forward with a definite case that the transactions represented by the entries in the account slips and account books are the brokerage transactions, failed to establish his case. Even the principal, for whom the petitioner claims to have worked, does not say that the nothings in the account slips and account books represent such transactions. In such an event, the authorities were entitled to infer that the transactions amounted to sale and purchase, especially when it was admitted that he petitioner was dealing in such commodities. The next contention that was raised was that in respect of groundnuts it was not shown that the petitioner was the last purchaser. Once it is held that the transaction is one of purchase, the burden lies upon the petitioner to show that he subsequently sold the groundnuts to a third party within the State and, therefore, he cannot be said to be the last purchaser within the State. This he failed to do. The Tribunal was therefore right in holding that the petitioner was the last purchaser.
8. In the result, the revision cases are dismissed. No costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100 in each
9. Petitions dismissed.