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East India Sandal Oil Industries Vs. the State of Andhra Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Revision Case No. 69 of 1979
Judge
Reported in[1983]54STC88(AP)
ActsCentral Sales Tax Act, 1956
AppellantEast India Sandal Oil Industries
RespondentThe State of Andhra Pradesh
Appellant AdvocateS. Dasaratharama Reddi, ;S.R. Ashok and ;V. Madanmohan, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateThe Government Pleader for Commercial Taxes
Excerpt:
.....sales tax act, 1956 - certain quantity of oil sold at delhi and subsequently exported to russia - commercial tax officer (cto) decided it was inter-state sale thus liable to be taxed - appellate assistant commissioner (aac) stated that said transaction was sale in course of export outside india and not liable to be taxed and remanded back case to cto - cto subsequently reversed aac's order - cto not competent to reverse final order of aac in light of subsequent precedent laid down by apex court - held, cto if aggrieved with order of aac he could have appealed against it or appropriate authority would have revised it but cto not competent to reverse aac's final order. - - it further appeal to the tribunal also failed. 5. the learned government pleader contends that the aforesaid..........he further observed : 'the assessing authority is not justified in treating these sales as inter-state sales leviable to tax under the c.s.t. act, 1956, as the above transactions in question are sales in the course of export outside india.' having said so, he remanded the case back to the assessing authority, with the following directions : 'i remand the case back to assessing authority to peruse the above statements with the account books again and pass a fresh order.' 2. before the assessing authority could pass order in pursuance of this order, the supreme court rendered its decision in mod. serajuddin v. state of orissa : air1975sc1564 on 16th april, 1975. applying the principle of this decision, the commercial tax officer held that the sales in question are not sales in the course.....
Judgment:

Jeevan Reddy, J.

1. The petitioner is a manufacturer of sandalwood oil. The assessment year concerned herein is 1970-71. During the said assessment year the petitioner sold certain quantity of oil to a dealer at Delhi, who ultimately exported the same to Russia. The Commercial Tax Officer held that it was an inter-State sale, and not a sale in the course of export, and accordingly, rejected the petitioner's plea for exemption. On appeal, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner held, by his order dated 23rd March, 1974, that 'these sales are outside the purview of the Central Sales Tax Act; that the property in the goods sold passed only on delivery of the documents after the goods joined the export stream; that, the sales by the assessee and the export of the goods were so interconnected as to justify the inference that the sales and the export were integrally connected and that, therefore, the transactions were sales in the course of export out of India ............'. He further observed : 'the assessing authority is not justified in treating these sales as inter-State sales leviable to tax under the C.S.T. Act, 1956, as the above transactions in question are sales in the course of export outside India.' Having said so, he remanded the case back to the assessing authority, with the following directions :

'I remand the case back to assessing authority to peruse the above statements with the account books again and pass a fresh order.'

2. Before the assessing authority could pass order in pursuance of this order, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Mod. Serajuddin v. State of Orissa : AIR1975SC1564 on 16th April, 1975. Applying the principle of this decision, the Commercial Tax Officer held that the sales in question are not sales in the course of export, but that, they are merely inter-State sales, liable to be taxed under the Central Sales Tax Act. Against this order, the petitioner preferred an appeal again to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, but with no effect. It further appeal to the Tribunal also failed. Hence this tax revision case.

3. The first contention urged by Mr. S. Dasaratharama Reddi, the learned counsel for the petitioner, is that in this case the order of the appellate authority dated 23rd March, 1974, had become final and all that was left to the assessing authority under the said order was to comply with the direction therein and work out the tax due, if any. He contends that it was not open to the Commercial Tax Officer to ignore the findings of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner which had become final, and hold that the transactions in question are inter-State sales, applying the principle of the subsequently rendered decision of the Supreme Court. He contends that if the order of the appellate authority dated 23rd March, 1974, was wrong, the appropriate authority could have revised it, or an appeal could have been preferred against that order by the department. In the absence of either, and when that order has become final, it has to be implemented and obeyed, he argues. We are inclined to agree with the learned counsel.

4. Under his order dated 23rd March, 1974, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner had recorded a definite and clear finding that the transactions in question are sales in the course of export and therefore exempt from taxability under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. He held that they are not inter-State sales. It is not a case where the matter was remanded for fresh decision. In other words, the question whether the transactions are inter-State sales, or whether they are sales in the course of export, was not left open for being decided by the Commercial Tax Officer. That question was already concluded by the appellate authority, and the remand was merely to work out the details, or to determine the tax on the basis of the findings in the appellate order. Once the said order had become final, it was not open to the Commercial Tax Officer, to ignore the same and still hold that the transactions are inter-State sales, in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court, even assuming that the findings of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner were wrong in law. The decision of the Supreme Court was not rendered in the case of this assessee, nor in respect of this assessment and it does not, therefore, disturb or affect the finality and the binding nature of the appellate order.

5. The learned Government Pleader contends that the aforesaid appellate order dated 23rd March, 1974, was itself bad, being contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court in Mod. Serajuddin v. State of Orissa : AIR1975SC1564 , and that therefore, it was not binding upon the Commercial Tax Officer. We cannot accede to this contention for the reason that that order, right or wrong, had become final, and as we have observed above, if the department was aggrieved with it, it could have either filed an appeal before the Tribunal, or the appropriate authority could have revised the same according to law. Not having done that, it is not open to the department at this stage to ignore the said order.

6. We may also mention that the decision of this Court in Nabi Oil Mills v. Commercial Tax Officer [1977] 40 STC 118 clearly accords with out view.

7. In view of our above finding, it is not necessary to consider the second contention urged by Mr. Dasaratharama Reddi that, as a fact, the sales in question are sales in the course of export.

8. The tax revision case is, accordingly, allowed; but, in the circumstances, without costs. The order of the Commercial Tax Officer dated 15th March, 1976, is set aside. He shall now implement, and take steps in accordance with the directions contained in the appellate order dated 23rd March, 1974. Advocate's fee Rs. 250.


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