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Udhamal Vs. Sales Tax Officer and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Apeal Nos. 402 and 403 of 1961 and 153 of 1962
Judge
Reported in[1966]17STC633(All)
AppellantUdhamal
RespondentSales Tax Officer and anr.
Appellant AdvocateJ.N. Chatterji, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
- - the legislature can make it retrospective also and that is precisely what it has done by enacting section 288 of the act in respect of the matters mentioned there in......a request to the revenue authorities for the recovery of those arrears of sales tax as arrears of land revenue. the tahsildar concerned took steps under section 279 of the u. p. zamindari abolition and land reforms act (hereinafter referred to as the u.p.z.a. act) to make the recoveries.3. by means of the writ petitions giving rise to these special appeals, the proceedings taken by the tahsildar were challenged on the following two grounds : -1. that the recovery of arrears of sales tax could not be made under the provisions of the u.p.z.a. act.2. that the collector alone could take steps for the recovery of the arrears as land revenue and inasmuch as the tahsildar and not the collector had started proceedings, the same were void.4. neither of the two grounds appealed to the learned.....
Judgment:

Jagdish Sahai, J.

1. The same question of law and fact is involved in all these three cases. We arc, therefore, disposing of them by means of a common judgment.

2. The appellants in all the three cases are assessees from whom arrears of sales tax were due. The Sales Tax Officer made a request to the revenue authorities for the recovery of those arrears of sales tax as arrears of land revenue. The Tahsildar concerned took steps under Section 279 of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act (hereinafter referred to as the U.P.Z.A. Act) to make the recoveries.

3. By means of the writ petitions giving rise to these special appeals, the proceedings taken by the Tahsildar were challenged on the following two grounds : -

1. That the recovery of arrears of sales tax could not be made under the provisions of the U.P.Z.A. Act.

2. That the Collector alone could take steps for the recovery of the arrears as land revenue and inasmuch as the Tahsildar and not the Collector had started proceedings, the same were void.

4. Neither of the two grounds appealed to the learned single Judge, who dismissed the writ petitions.

5. The submissions made before the learned single Judge have been repeated before us by Mr. J. N. Chatterji, the learned counsel for the appellants. Mr. Chatterji contends that Section 279 of the U.P.Z.A. Act deals with the recovery of arrears of land revenue only and not arrears of sales tax. Consequently no proceedings for the recovery of arrears of sales tax could take place, under the provisions of Section 279 of the U.P.Z.A. Act. The submission is made by ignoring the provisions of Section 8(8) of the Sales Tax Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and Rule 50 of the rules framed under that Act.

6. Section 8(8) of the Act reads :-

8. (8) Any tax or other dues payable to the State Government under the Act, or any amount of money which a person is required to pay to the assessing authority under Sub-section (3) or for which he is personally liable to the assessing authority under Sub-section (6) shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue.'

7. Rule 50 reads :

Where the tax assessed has not been paid by the assessee within the period fixed in that behalf, it may be collected as an arrear of land revenue.

8. Both of these provisions make the arrears of sales tax recoverable as arrears of land revenue. Consequently their recovery under Section 279 of the U.P.Z.A. Act is justified. The view that we are taking finds support from the decision of this Court in Padrauna Raj Krishna Sugar Works Ltd. v. Land Reforms Commissioner, U. P., Lucknow and Ors., 1962 A.L.J. 616. That was a case where a certificate had been issued under Section 46 of the Income-tax Act for recovery of income-tax dues. It was observed in that case as follows:-

In view of what I have said above and specially because of the language of Section 279 of they Act it is clear that the provisions of that section do not apply in terms to the cases of recovery of miscellaneous dues as arrears of land revenue. The liability for the recovery of these dues as arrears of land revenue is created by the special Acts under which those amounts are assessed or become due. Thus in the case of income-tax by virtue of the provisions of Section 46 of the Income-tax Act, the Income-tax Officer can have the arrears of income-tax recovered as arrears of land revenue. Once a certificate has been sent to the Collector under Section 46(2) of the Act the same is realizable in the manner provided by the Land Revenue Laws prevailing in the State in which the recovery is to be made.

9. Mr. Chatterji next contended that the only provision under which recovery could be-made under the U.P.Z.A. Act was Section 288 of that Act. The submission is based upon a misconception of that provision which reads as follows :-

The provisions of this Act with regard to the recovery of arrears of revenue shall apply to all arrears of revenue and sums of money recoverable as arrears of revenue due at the commencement of this Act.

10. All that this provision means is that even those amounts which became due as arrears of land revenue before the enforcement of the U.P.Z.A. Act can be realised under the provisions of that Act. It was necessary for such a provision to have been introduced because normally the provisions of an Act are not retrospective. Inasmuch as the Legislature wanted that even for the recovery of arrears of land revenue or sums that were sought to be recovered as land revenue, but had not been recovered on the date of the enforcement of the U.P.Z.A. Act, the machinery provided by the Act should be used they enacted Section 288, U.P.Z.A. Act. We find support for our view from the decision of this Court in Padrauna Raj Krishna Sugar Works Ltd. v. Land Reforms Commissioner, U.P., Lucknow and Ors. 1962 A.L.J. 616 where it was observed :

In my judgment the plain meanings of the words used therein would indicate that that section was enacted to make recoveries of arrears of land revenue which had already become due before the commencement of the Act and the liability for the payment of which had not arisen under the Act, to be recovered by the machinery provided by the Act. Normally an Act is prospective in its application. The Legislature can make it retrospective also and that is precisely what it has done by enacting Section 288 of the Act in respect of the matters mentioned there in.

11. Mr. Chatterji concluded his submission on the first question by submitting that the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890, would exclude the operation of the U.P.Z.A. Act and consequently the recovery of arrears of sales tax would have to be made under that Act and not under the U.P.Z.A. Act. Beyond making a bald submission that the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act would exclude the operation of the U.P.Z.A. Act, Mr. Chatterji has not been able to show how and why the former would exclude the operation of the latter. In the first place the U.P.Z.A. Act is the later Act and if there is any inconsistency between the two, it is the later Act which would prevail. Secondly, while making the submission Mr. Chatterji ignores the provisions of Section 7 of the Revenue Recovery Act which reads :

Nothing in the foregoing sections shall be construed-

(a) to impair any security provided by, or affect the provisions of, any other enactment for the time being in force for the recovery of land revenue or of sums recoverable as arrears of land revenue, or

(b) to authorise the arrest of any person for the recovery of any tax payable to the corporation, commissioner, committee, board, council or person having authority over a municipality under any enactment for the time being in force.

12. It is clear that this section preserves and does not affect the continuity or enforceability of similar provisions in any enactment for the recovery of sums recoverable as arrears of land revenue. In other words, the provisions relating to recovery of arrears of land revenue in the Revenue Recovery Act and the U.P.Z.A. Act are not mutually exclusive.

13. The second submission of the learned counsel is fully met by the letter (annexure I) filed by the petitioner himself. This letter was addressed by the Sales Tax Officer to the Collector, Varanasi, to recover the arrears of sales tax from the appellant as arrears of land revenue. It was not addressed to the Tahsildar. The Collector directed the Tahsildar to take proceedings for recovery of the arrears of sales tax as arrears of land revenue and the Tahsildar issued annexure II. The Collector could issue such direction to the Tahsildar and the latter could take the various steps for the recovery of the amount under the provisions of the U.P.Z.A. Act. There is, therefore, no substance in the second submission of the learned counsel also.

14. No other submission has been made before us.

15. These appeals are devoid of all merits. They are accordingly dismissed with costs.


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