B.J. Divan, C.J.
1. This writ petition can be disposed of on a very narrow point. The disputed turnover is an item of Rs. 96,188. It is alleged that this turnover is in connection with 556 bags of kernel in the course of inter-State trade and the assessee claimed exemption from tax under the State Act, viz., the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, on the said turnover of Rs. 96,188.
2. The Commercial Tax Officer, the assessing authority, rejected the claim on the ground that the assessee did not submit monthly returns under the Central Sales Tax Act and also that at the time of final check of accounts they did not file any list showing the inter-State sales of groundnut. The contentions of the assessee were that the allegations of the assessing authority were absolutely false, that they did not file monthly returns and also failed to pay the tax under the Central Sales Tax Act under a bona fide misapprehension, that they were liable to pay the same and that they also submitted a detailed statement at the time of the final check of accounts. They further contended before the Assistant Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, at the time of the appeal, that in the case of purchase and sale of the goods during the very same year, according to the orders of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, Hyderabad, in T.A. No. 381/65 decided on 6th June, 1966, the assessing authority himself must afford the benefit of refund to the assessee by exempting the turnover from the tax, without there being any application on the part of the assessee for refund. At the time of the hearing of the appeal before the Assistant Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, it was urged by the representative of the assessee, by filing a statement showing the inter-State sales of groundnut during 1967-68, that the refund should automatically be granted. The appellate authority, i. e., the Assistant Commissioner, forwarded this detailed statement to the assessing authority stating 'the assessing authority is directed to grant refund of the State tax admissible to the appellant in respect of the inter-State sales of groundnut kernel according to law after scrutinising the transactions. The assessment on this turnover of Rs. 96,188 is set aside and remanded to the assessing authority for fresh disposal according to the directions given above and according to law'.
3. This order was passed by the Assistant Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, as the appellate authority, on 4th November, 1969. When the proceedings went back to the Commercial Tax Officer, the assessing authority, by his order dated 30th June, 1972, the Commercial Tax Officer held that the correct turnover under the Central Sales Tax Act worked out to Rs. 92,319.31 and the appropriate refund was given so far as the State sales tax was concerned. The Deputy Commissioner by his proceedings dated 5th March, 1975, proposed to initiate revision proceedings under Section 20 of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act in respect of the order passed by the Commercial Tax Officer on 30th June, 1972. It is clear from the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act that the Deputy Commissioner has power to exercise revisional jurisdiction over the orders of the Assistant Commissioner as well as the orders passed by the Commercial Tax Officer. But, in the instant case, so long as the order of the Assistant Commissioner dated 4th November, 1969, was not set aside, it was not open to the Deputy Commissioner to revise the order of the Commercial Tax Officer passed on 30th June, 1972. It may be pointed out that under the provisions of the State Sales Tax Act, the period of limitation of four years for exercising the power would start from 23rd December, 1970, on which date the order of the Assistant Commissioner passed on 4th November, 1969, was communicated to the assessee. Since the period of four years had expired at the time when the Deputy Commissioner proposed to initiate revision proceedings on 5th March, 1975, it is obvious that the order of the Assistant Commissioner passed on 4th November, 1969, had become final. The Commercial Tax Officer was bound to carry out the directions given to him by the Assistant Commissioner and, so long as the order of the Assistant Commissioner is not set aside, it cannot be said that there is any illegality or irregularity committed by the Commercial Tax Officer in passing the order of 30th June, 1972.
4. It is true that as a result of the amendment to the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, by Act No. 4 of 1974, which gave retrospective effect to the amendment with effect from 1st October, 1958, the refund which was claimed by the assessee, in the instant case, might not have been admissible. But, it cannot be said that when the Commercial Tax Officer, under the directions of the Assistant Commissioner, after working out the necessary figures, granted refund to the assessee, he was acting illegally or irregularly. He was merely doing what he was bound to do under law, viz., carry out the directions of the Assistant Commissioner. Illegality, if any, in this connection, in view of the retrospective amendment, would be in the order of the Assistant Commissioner, but since after the lapse of four years from 23rd December, 1970, that order was no longer revisable by the Deputy Commissioner, it is obvious that there cannot be said to be any illegality or irregularity in the order passed by the Commercial Tax Officer in pursuance of the directions given to him by the Assistant Commissioner. Under these circumstances, even though retrospective effect has been given to the amendment to Section 6 by the Andhra Pradesh Act No. 4 of 1974, it cannot be said that there was any illegality or there was any irregularity so far as the order passed by the Commercial Tax Officer was concerned. Therefore, the Deputy Commissioner had no jurisdiction to initiate revision proceedings against the order of the Commercial Tax Officer passed on 30th June, 1972.
5. We, therefore, allow this writ petition, quash and set aside the notice dated 5th Match, 1975, which has been impugned in the present proceedings and issue a writ restraining the first respondent herein from acting in pursuance of the said notice or entertaining any revision proceedings under the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act in respect of this disputed item.
6. The writ petition is accordingly allowed as above with costs. Adovcate's fee Rs. 150.