M.L. Chaturvedi, J.
1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for the quashing of an assessment order dated the 30th May 1958 and a demand notice dated the 2nd Tune 1958 issued by the Sales-tax Officer of Bulandshahr.
2. The main contention of the learned counsel in this writ petition is that the Sales-tax Officer was not authorised under Section 21 of the U. P. Sales-tax Act to assess the petitioner. The contention is that previously a tax had been assessed on the petitioner in which the entire turnover was included, but at that time the Sales Tax Officer did not hold that the petitioner should be assessed on the entire turn-over, because he accepted the books of account of the petitioner which showed that part of the turn-over was concerning goods which the petitioner had purchased in the State.
Subsequently, by the impugned order he held that the entire turn-over of the petitioner was liable to assessment to sales-tax because the entire goods were purchased by the petitioner outside U. P. He arrived at a definite finding, after consideration of all the circumstances, that part of the turn-over which was said to have been purchased from Hukum Chand was in fact not purchased from Hukum Chand as Hukum Chand's name was used only in order to avoid payment of Income-tax, though the entire business was of the petitioner.
The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that it was not open to the Sales Tax Officer to arrive at this finding of fact and to reassess the petitioner under Section 21 of the U. P. Sales Tax Act. We do not propose to enter into the question whether it was open to the Sales Tax Officer to re-assess the petitioner under Section 21 on the finding of fact that he has arrived at. This is a point which the Sales-tax Officer had jurisdiction to decide and which he has decided.
The petitioner can go up in appeal against that order and it will be open to him to challenge before the appellate Court the correctness of the decision of the Sales-tax Officer. Another remedy is thus clearly open to the petitioner and this cannot be said to be a case where any question of jurisdiction is involved. The Sales Tax Officer, as well as the Judge Appeals, have full jurisdiction to decide the question that has been raised before us in this petition.
3. The learned counsel then contended that an appeal would not be an adequate remedy be-cause the Judge Appeals has no jurisdiction to stay the recovery of the sales-tax from the petitioner. We do not think that simply because sales-tax would have to be deposited by the petitioner, it can be a conclusive ground by itself to show that no adequate remedy is provided by the statute while providing a right of appeal. Sales-tax is generally charged by the dealers from the customers and it is generally that very amount which is required by the Sales Tax Officer to be deposited as sales-tax.
Further, the amount of sales-tax is very much less than the entire profits of the business of a particular dealer. In the instant case, the total turn-over exceeds Rs. 12,00,000/- and the additional sum that is being demanded from the petitioner as sales-tax is a sum of Rs. 17,388/6/6. A dealer of the status of the petitioner is not likely to suffer any substantial harm by the deposit of this amount with the Sales Tax Officer during the period his appeal is pending before the Judge Appeals.
4. The learned counsel drew our attention to certain observations of their Lordships of the Supreme Court made in the case of Himmatlal Hiralal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1954 SC 403. The observation on which reliance has been placed is reported at page 406, and it is to the effect that the remedy provided by the Sales-tax Act was of an onerous and burdensome character and it was necessary for the assessee to deposit the whole of the tax and that such a provision can hardly be described as an adequate alternative remedy.
This is only one part of the observation, but the observation has to be taken in connection with the facts of the case before their Lordships. The case was one in which the vires of certain provisions of the Central Provinces and Berar Sales-tax Act was questioned. The Supreme Court came to the conclusion that certain provisions of the Act were ultra vires the legislature and it then observed that the imposition of the sales-tax on appellant was without the authority of law.
The State Government was threatening the use of coercive machinery to realise such amount from the appellant and the threatened course was held to be an infrige,ment of the fundamental right of the appellant under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. The position there was that the impost was held to be an illegal one under an enactment which was an invalid piece of legislation. The recovery of such an amount was held to interfere with the fundamental right of the petitioner to carry on his trade.
The facts of the case before their Lordships of the Supreme Court, therefore, were very different from the facts of the case before us, because it is not the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner in this case that any provision of the 'Sales-tax Act is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution or that it is an invalid piece of legislation. The whole argument is that on a proper interpretation of Section 21 of the Sales-tax Act it was not open to the Sales Tax Officer to assess the petitioner a second time. This is a question of pure interpretation of a provision of law and the principle laid down by their Lordships of the Supreme Court does not apply to this case.
If we accept the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner, the position will be that in every case of an agreement under the Sales Tax Act, where a question of law is raised, the assessee will be held to have a right to approach this Court with a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution on the ground that his fundamental right has been infringed. He will thus be in a position to pass by at least two Courts, namely, the Judge Appeals and the Judge Revisions and come direct to this Court with a petition under Article 226. We do not think that this Court is bound to entertain a petition under Article 226 praying for the quashing of an assessment order merely on theground that a question of law arises. We accordingly reject this petition.