Chandra Reddy, C.J.
1. The question posed by this revision case is whether Section 12-A(6) of the Madras General Sales Tax Act is confined to orders passed on merits under Section 12-A(4) of that Act and does not apply to appeals dismissed for default.
2. The facts of this case lie within narrow bounds and may be stated as follows : Tax Appeal No. 388 of 1957 was dismissed for default on the 27th December, 1957, as the appellant was absent and no proper application for adjournment was filed. A subsequent application to restore it was dismissed on the 31 st January, 1958, by the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal as it was thought that satisfactory reasons were not adduced for the absence of the appellant on the 27th December, 1957.
3. Thereupon the application giving rise to this revision case was presented before the Tribunal. The Tribunal dismissed the application in the view that Section 12-A (6) is attracted only to orders passed by the Tribunal under Section 12-A(4) on merits. It is this view of the Tribunal that is challenged before us in this revision case.
4. To appreciate the points arising in this petition it is necessary to look at the terms of Section 12-A (4) and 12-A (6) in so far as they are relevant for this inquiry.
5. Section 12-A (4) : 'The Appellate Tribunal shall, after giving both parties to the appeal a reasonable opportunity of being heard pass such order thereon as it thinks fit.
6. Section 12-A(6)(a): 'The Appellate Tribunal may, on the application either of the dealer or of the Deputy Commissioner, review any order passed by it under Sub-section (4) on the basis of facts which were not before it when it passed the order.'
7. It is clear from the language of Section 12-A (6) (a) that power is conferred on the Appellate Tribunal to review any order passed by it under Sub-section (4) provided it is established that there are certain facts which were not available to the Tribunal when it passed that order. This sub-section does not restrict the power of the Tribunal to orders passed on merits as the words used are 'review any order', which, in our opinion, are wide words and take in an order passed dismissing an appeal for default. Sub-section (4) says that after giving both parties to the appeal a reasonable opportunity, the Tribunal could pass such orders as it thinks fit. We feel that there is no justification for reading a restriction into Sub-section (6)(a). In our considered judgment, the powers vested in the Tribunal are comprehensive enough to include the power to review even an order passed dismissing an appeal for default. It follows that the Tribunal can review its own order dismissing the appeal for default, the only pre-requisite being that certain new facts which were not available to the Tribunal at the material time are placed before it.
8. In the result, the revision case is allowed and the order of the Tribunal dismissing the petition in limine is set aside. The Tribunal will restore the application to its file and consider it on merits. There will be no order as to costs.