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Basantlal and Co. Vs. Commissioner of Sales Tax - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax;Constitution
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Miscellaneous Case No. 1624 of 1956
Judge
Reported in[1963]14STC395(All)
AppellantBasantlal and Co.
RespondentCommissioner of Sales Tax
Appellant AdvocateK.B. Garg and ;V.P. Tiwari, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
- - in the course of fresh assessment the assessee filed accounts but they were disbelieved by the sales tax officer and he assessed it on the basis of best judgment......the appellate court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals on the ground that the additional judge (appeals) of kanpur range at agra had not been validly appointed ?(2) whether the materials on the record were such as to justify the assessment of the applicants on turnover during the years 1950-51, 1951-52 and 1952-53 as determined in the orders passed on the application for revision ?2. the questions have been referred at the instance of the assessee who carried on business in bricks, agricultural implements, iron goods, paints etc. the question referred is for the assessment years 1950-51, 1951-52, 1952-53. the assessee did not produce any account books and did not appear before the sales tax officer during the assessment proceedings and the sales tax officer assessed it in.....
Judgment:

M.C. Desai, C.J.

1. The Judge (Revisions) referred to this Court under Section 11(1) the following questions for its opinion.

(1) Whether the appellate court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals on the ground that the Additional Judge (Appeals) of Kanpur Range at Agra had not been validly appointed ?

(2) Whether the materials on the record were such as to justify the assessment of the applicants on turnover during the years 1950-51, 1951-52 and 1952-53 as determined in the orders passed on the application for revision ?

2. The questions have been referred at the instance of the assessee who carried on business in bricks, agricultural implements, iron goods, paints etc. The question referred is for the assessment years 1950-51, 1951-52, 1952-53. The assessee did not produce any account books and did not appear before the Sales Tax Officer during the assessment proceedings and the Sales Tax Officer assessed it in default. Later the assessment order was set aside on appeal and the Sales Tax Officer was directed to make a fresh assessment. In the course of fresh assessment the assessee filed accounts but they were disbelieved by the Sales Tax Officer and he assessed it on the basis of best judgment. He took in each year the closing stock of the materials and thought that the turnover would be of the value of about four times the value of the closing stock. The assessee preferred appeals against the assessment orders and they were heard by the Additional Judge (Appeals), Kanpur, and. were dismissed by him. The assessee then preferred revision applications under Section 10 and the Judge (Revisions) reduced the multiple to about three. Then at its instance it has referred the questions.

3. The objection of the assessee to the jurisdiction exercised by the Additional Judge (Appeals) seems to be that an Additional Judge (Appeals) has no right to hear an appeal. Under Section 9 of the Sales Tax Act an appeal lies to an authority prescribed by the State Government. Under Rule 65 the State Government have prescribed that an appeal will lie to Judge (Appeals). Judge (Appeals) is defined in Rule 2(e) to mean any person appointed as such. It has not been shown that the officer who disposed of the appeals of the assessee as Additional Judge (Appeals), Kanpur, was not appointed as Judge (Appeals). The assessee contended that he had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals simply because he was designated as Additional Judge (Appeals). 'Judge (Appeals)' referred to in Rule 65 as an authority to which an appeal can lie includes a number of Judges (Appeals). The only requirement is that they should all be authorised by the State Government to perform duties in exercise of the powers of an appellate authority under the Act. There is no restriction on the State Government's powers to authorise more than one person to perform the duties in exercise of the powers of an appellate authority. Therefore, the State Government could appoint two or more persons as Judges (Appeals) and any one of them would be competent to hear the appeals. The question must, therefore, be answered in the negative. Actually this question does not arise out of the order passed by the Judge (Revisions) under Section 10. It was not raised before him in revision and he could not refer it to this Court under Section 11(1). He had no jurisdiction to refer to this Court a question not raised before him in revision and, consequently, not arising out of the order passed by him in revision.

4. Coming to question No. (2), we must hold that in the absence of correct accounts and other data produced by the assessee, the value of the closing stock of the materials was evidence from which its turnover could be inferred. There is a connection between the turnover and the value of the stock as conceded by the assessee's counsel himself. He conceded that ordinarily a dealer would keep in stock materials which it expects to sell in a month. A dealer undoubtedly keeps in stock materials depending in quantity on the materials that it hopes to sell in a certain period. To say that the value of the stock depends upon the annual turnover means that the annual turnover is related to the stock. It is some multiple of the value of the stock. The multiple may vary from dealer to dealer, but there does-exist some multiple in the case of every dealer. The multiple selected by the Judge (Appeals) in the present case cannot be said to be so arbitrary and exorbitant that we must hold that it is unjustified. The question is, therefore, answered in the affirmative.

5. We direct that copies of this judgment shall be sent under the seal of the Court and the signature of the Registrar to the Judge (Revisions) and to the Commissioner of Sales Tax, U.P., as required by Section 11(6) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act.

6. The Commissioner, Sales Tax, shall get his costs of this reference, which we assess at Rs. 100.


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