D.M. Chandrashekhar, J.
1. These three references under Section 11(1) of the U. P. Sales Tax Act are at the instance of the same assessee and relate to three different years, namely, 1969-70, 1970-71 and 1971-72.
2. The common question referred to this court in all the three refer ences is :
Whether, on the facts and circumstances of the case, remand order to the appellate authority was justified ?
3. The material facts in all three references are briefly these :
4. The assessee's books of account for all the three years were rejected by the Sales Tax Officer on several grounds. One of such grounds was that the turnover of the assessee in each of the assessment year was dispropor tionately small in relation to the stocks of goods held by the assessee in the respective years. It is not necessary to set out the other grounds on which the account books were rejected by the Sales Tax Officer because the Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) has not accepted those grounds in the appeals preferred by the assessee. However, the Assistant Commis sioner (Appeals) agreed with the view taken by the Sales Tax Officer that the books of account had to be rejected on account of such disproportion between the stocks and the turnover in each of the three years. He remanded the cases to the Sales Tax Officer making the following observations :
It was, therefore, obligatory on their part to make enquiries as con templated in the aforesaid decision of the Honourable High Court, which has not been done. I am, therefore, satisfied that all these three assessment orders be set aside and the case be sent back to the Sales Tax Officer for making enquiries in the light of the observations of the Honourable High Court. In case no material showing the understatement of the turnover is found as a result of enquiries, I have no doubt that following the deci sion of the Honourable High Court the turnover declared by the appellant shall be accepted by the assessing authority.
5. Feeling aggrieved by the order of the Assistant Commissioner (Appeals) remanding the cases to the Sales Tax Officer, the assessee went up in revi sion. The Judge (Revisions) was of the view that the directions given by the Assistant Commissioner (Appeals) to the Sales Tax Officer were vague and hence the appellate orders of the Assistant Commissioner should be set aside and that he should be required to give proper directions which could be understood by the Sales Tax Officer to whom the Assistant. Commissioner had remanded the cases. The Judge (Revisions) also directed the Assistant Commissioner to consider whether under Rule 68(8) of the U.P. Sales Tax Rules the Appellate Assistant Commissioner should not himself call for further information from the parties for deciding the appeals.
6. In Shambhu Raton Shailendra Kumar v. Commissioner of Sales Tax 1972 U.P.T.C. 326, this court held that the mere circumstance of the turnover of an assessee being disproportionate to the stocks held by him, would not be a ground for rejecting his books of account. Their Lordships observed thus :
The only ground which prevailed with those authorities was that the turnover of the assessee appeared to be inadequate. That by itself is not a ground for rejecting the assessee's account books. When the assessee's turnover appears to be inadequate, it might give an indication to the assessing authority that the turnover may not have been correctly record ed in the account books. In such an event the assessing authority is expected to go deeper into the account books and to find out some positive and concrete material showing the understatement of the turnover. But in the absence of any positive material, the account books cannot be rejected merely on the ground that they do not disclose adequate turn over. Fall in the turnover may be due to several reasons and not neces sarily due to suppression of sales.
7. The Assistant Commissioner (Appeals) appears to have understood the aforesaid observations as enabling him to give a direction to the Sales Tax Officer to find out some new grounds for rejecting the books of account. This view of the Assistant Commissioner is wholly unsustain able. If the grounds on which the Sales Tax Officer had rejected the books of account are not sustainable, the Assistant Commissioner cannot remand the case to the Sales Tax Officer to find out whether there are other grounds for rejecting the books of account. In that view of the matter the order of remand by the Assistant Commissioner was wholly unjustifi able. It follows that the remand of the appeal by the Judge (Revisions) to the Assistant Commissioner to give more intelligible directions to the Sales Tax Officer was equally unsustainable.
8. In the light of the aforesaid discussion our answer to the common question referred to us in these three cases is in favour of the assessee and is as follows:
On the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the order of the Judge (Revisions) remanding the case to the appellate authority was not justified.
9. The assessee shall get his costs from the revenue in one set and Advocate's fee Rs. 100.