Brijlal Gupta, J.
1. This is a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.
2. The petitioner is a dealer in food-grains. On 29th January, 1957, he got himself registered under Section 8-A of the U. P. Sales Tax Act. On 31st January, 1957, he made an application for the grant of an exemption certificate for relieving him from liability for payment of sales tax on his turnover of food-grains. It was accompanied by an exemption fee of Rs. 18 only. Upon inquiry, the Sales Tax Officer made an estimate of his turnover at Rs. 25,000, and held that he was liable for payment of an exemption fee of Rs. 150 by order dated 18th September, 1957. As the petitioner had already deposited a sum of Rs. 18, the Sales Tax Officer required him to deposit the balance of Rs. 132 within sixteen days of the receipt of the order.
3. The petitioner was not satisfied with the estimate of his turnover and the amount of exemption fee thereon, and filed a revision application before the Judge (Revisions). He also made an application to the Sales Tax Officer that meanwhile the realisation of the balance of Rs. 132 may be stayed. The application was rejected on or about 14th December, 1957, and ultimately the revision was also dismissed. On 9th January, 1958, the petitioner was notified by the Sales Tax Officer that if he did not pay Rs. 132 within the next three days, his exemption certificate would be liable to be cancelled, The petitioner ignored this notice,
4. In due course, by reason of the omission of the petitioner to deposit the sum of Rs. 132 or even to appear before the Sales Tax Officer, he, by order dated 15th December, 1958, determined the sales tax payable by the petitioner in the sum of Rs. 468-12-0, under Rule 23. He, however, by the same order gave option to the petitioner that if he still deposited Rs. 132, the balance of the exemption fee plus a sum of Rs. 37-8-0 as penalty by the 31st December, 1958, he will not be required to pay sales tax in the sum of Rs. 468-12-0.
5. The petitioner deposited the amount of Rs. 132 on the 30th December, 1958, but did not deposit the penalty amounting to Rs. 37-8-0. Thus the petitioner persistently omitted to comply with the condition upon which alone he was exonerated from the payment of sales tax. The Sales Tax Officer is now proceeding to realise the amount of sales tax, namely Rs. 468-75 nP. The petitioner has come up to this Court and has asked for a writ of mandamus restraining the Sales Tax Officer from recovering Rs. 468-75 nP. from the petitioner.
6. The only point taken by learned counsel for the petitioner is that the sum of Rs. 37-8-0 was a penalty, and having regard to the provisions of Section I5-A of the U. P. Sales Tax Act, penalty could not be levied without the prior sanction of the Commissioner, Sales Tax, and without notice to the petitioner. I see no force at all in this point.
7. The provision for levy of exemption fee in lieu of sales tax is in the nature of a concession, and is not the vested right of the petitioner. Accordingly if the petitioner wanted to take advantage of payment of exemption fee instead of sales tax, he should have fully complied with the provisions of the rules and the orders made thereunder with regard to the admissibility of exemption fee. When the petitioner failed to deposit the balance of Rs. 132 in pursuance of the earlier order of the Sales Tax Officer dated 18th September, 1957, determining the amount of exemption fee payable by him, he forfeited the concession which was allowed to him to pay exemption fee in lieu of sales tax.
8. It appears that upon a representation made by the dealers, the Government, by D. 0. No. ST-4I02/X-I097/I958, dated 8th November, 1958, made a further concession in favour of dealers, who had for some reason or other not paid the exemption fee within the time within which it was required to be paid. This concession was conditional upon the payment of a certain amount by way of a compounding fee. To characterise this 'compounding fee' as a ' penalty' appears to me to be a misnomer. This compounding fee was by way of giving the defaulting dealer a locus penitentiae in the matter. If the dealer did not take advantage of even this further concession the dealer is himself to blame. There was nothing illegal at all in the Government granting a further; concession on condition of payment of a small sum of money, which the Government characterised as 'penalty', but which, as I have pointed out, can be properly described only as a 'compounding fee'.
9. To this 'compounding fee' or 'penalty', the provisions of Section 15-A of the Act have no application at all. Accordingly, in order to require the dealer to pay this compounding fee, it was not necessary to obtain the previous approval of the Commissioner, nor was it necessary to issue a notice to the petitioner as required by Section 15-A.
10. If the petitioner was minded to take advantage of the concession by way of exemption fee, he should have complied with the condition of deposit of the further amount. Not having done so, under the provisions of the rules, he became liable for payment of sales tax, which, as I have already pointed out, amounted to Rs. 468-75 nP. As the petitioner admittedly did not pay this amount, it was inevitable that recovery proceedings in respect of this amount should have followed upon the framing of the assessment order.
11. I, therefore, see no force in this writ petition, which I reject.