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The State of Andhra Pradesh Vs. Rangisetti Veeranna Raju and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Revision Case No. 3 of 1977
Judge
Reported in[1979]44STC151(AP)
AppellantThe State of Andhra Pradesh
RespondentRangisetti Veeranna Raju and ors.
Appellant AdvocateGovernment Pleader for Commercial Taxes
Respondent AdvocateP. Venkatarama Reddi, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....much less under section 4 contemplates issuing a notification inviting objections. when the legislature has chosen to exclude principles of natural justice, the court cannot introduce rule of audi alteram partem and render statutory provisions unworkable. in such a case, maxim, expressum facit cessare tacitum (when there is express mention of certain things, then anything not mentioned is excluded) would apply. section 7: [v.v.s. rao, n.v. ramana & p.s. narayana, jj] levy of market fee element of quid pro quo - held, levying fees and tax are two forms of exercise of sttaes taxing power. there is no quid pro quo between tax payer and public authority as tax is a part of common burden. it is also well settled that fee is charge for special service or a benefit given to a class..........to be decided in the light of that decision. there was no ambiguity or difficulty felt by the assessing authority. it may be that the legislature was contemplating to amend the said section of the act in the light of the high court's decision. what all the deputy commissioner wanted was to stop disposal of all these cases until the state legislature amended the act. he requested the revenue board only to direct stopping of assessments in all such cases. by no stretch of imagination could it be said a clarification issued by the board of revenue on any question referred to it. it has no more status than an administrative instruction to stop consideration of all these cases until the legislature amended the material provisions.7. therefore, agreeing with the conclusion of the tribunal,.....
Judgment:

A. Sambasiva Rao, Ag. C.J.

1. The only question that falls for consideration and decision in this tax revision case is whether a particular direction issued by the Board of Revenue is a clarification given by it on a question referred to it within the meaning of Section 14(6) of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act.

2. For the assessment year 1966-67, the assessment was made on 17th November, 1970. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner, in appeal by the assessee, set aside the assessment and remanded the matter by his order dated 18th July, 1972. After remand, the assessing authority made assessment on 16th May, 1973.

3. It is now seen that this latter assessment was made six years, one month and fifteen days after the closure of the assessment year 1966-67 on 31st March, 1967. According to the requirements of law, this assessment must be completed within four years. However, the period taken for disposal of the appeal must be excluded. That is to say, the time, which elapsed between 17th November, 1970, and 18th July, 1972, which is the date of the appellate order, must be excluded, i.e., only one year, eight months and one day. Even if that period is excluded, still, the period is over four years by five months and fourteen days. In order to get over this difficulty, the department relied on a reference to the Board of Revenue made by the Deputy Commissioner and the direction given by the Board on that representation on 17th January, 1970. The assessment is in regard to jaggery. This Court rendered a decision in Irri Veera Raju v. Commercial Tax Officer [1967] 20 S.T.C. 501. dealing with Section 11 of the Act: According to that decision, some reliefs were to be given to the dealers in jaggery. The A.P. Legislature was contemplating an amendment. Therefore, the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes addressed a communication to the Board of Revenue saying that the legislature was contemplating an amendment, but, if, in the meanwhile, all these assessments are completed, the aforesaid decision of the High Court will have to be followed under which reliefs will have to be given to all the dealers. He was afraid that he would be flooded with appeals by the department. After the legislature amended Section 11 in the light of the High. Court's decision, he felt incapable or unable to deal with so many appeals that might arise and, therefore, sought an opinion of the Board of Revenue. The Board then gave a direction, which reads:

In the circumstances stated in the reference cited, the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Kakinada, is requested to keep the assessments of dealers in jaggery pending until further orders.

4. After the amendment was made by the legislature, the Board vacated this direction on 5th August, 1970. This period of six months and eighteen days is sought to be deducted from the four years, five months and fourteen days taken by the assessing authority to assess the respondent, and this exclusion is claimed under Sub-section (6) of Section 14 of the Act. That sub-section reads as follows:

It shall be lawful for the Board of Revenue to direct, by general or special order, any assessing authority to defer assessment in respect of any class of goods or any class of dealers pending clarification by it of any question referred to it, if such question has direct bearing on such assessment. The period between the date of such direction and the date on which such clarification has been received shall be excluded in computing the period of four years or six years, as the case may be, specified in this section for the purpose of making the assessment.

5. The Tribunal held that the order issued by the Board of Revenue on 17th January, 1970, and which it rescinded on 5th August, 1970, is not a clarification within the meaning of Section 14(6) of the Act and does not, therefore, save the limitation of this particular assessment.

6. We are in complete accord with this view. What the Board of Revenue gave was only an administrative direction. No clarification was sought and, in fact, could be sought from the Board of Revenue. The legal position was settled by the decision of the High Court. All the relevant cases will have to be decided in the light of that decision. There was no ambiguity or difficulty felt by the assessing authority. It may be that the legislature was contemplating to amend the said section of the Act in the light of the High Court's decision. What all the Deputy Commissioner wanted was to stop disposal of all these cases until the State Legislature amended the Act. He requested the Revenue Board only to direct stopping of assessments in all such cases. By no stretch of imagination could it be said a clarification issued by the Board of Revenue on any question referred to it. It has no more status than an administrative instruction to stop consideration of all these cases until the legislature amended the material provisions.

7. Therefore, agreeing with the conclusion of the Tribunal, we dismiss this tax revision case with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 200.


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