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Chhotey Lal Bishwanath Vs. Sales Tax Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSales Tax References Nos. 441 to 443-A of 1967
Judge
Reported in[1970]26STC237(All)
AppellantChhotey Lal Bishwanath
RespondentSales Tax Officer
Appellant AdvocateB.L. Gupta and ;Ashok Gupta, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
Excerpt:
- - the matter is left entirely to the discretion of the judge (revisions). in a case like the present one where a detailed and prolonged enquiry was called for, a remand to the sales tax officer was quite proper. we are, therefore, satisfied that the order of remand passed by the judge (revisions) was within his jurisdiction and was otherwise justified on the facts and circumstances of the case......j.1. this and the connected references under the u.p. sales tax act have been submitted by the judge (revisions), sales tax, u.p., lucknow, at the instance of m/s. chhotey lal bishwanath of barabanki for the opinion of this court on the following two common questions of law :(1) whether under the circumstances of the case remand of these four cases was justified being in conformity with law ?(2) whether after remand when the entire case had been reopened, could such a direction be given to the assessing officer to entertain this additional ground at the time of re-scrutiny ?2. the assessee is a dealer in food-grains, oil-seeds and gur. the assess ment years involved are 1959-60 and 1960-61. for the two assessment years in question, the assessee claimed that besides carrying on.....
Judgment:

R.L. Gulati, J.

1. This and the connected references under the U.P. Sales Tax Act have been submitted by the Judge (Revisions), Sales Tax, U.P., Lucknow, at the instance of M/s. Chhotey Lal Bishwanath of Barabanki for the opinion of this court on the following two common questions of law :

(1) Whether under the circumstances of the case remand of these four cases was justified being in conformity with law ?

(2) Whether after remand when the entire case had been reopened, could such a direction be given to the assessing officer to entertain this additional ground at the time of re-scrutiny ?

2. The assessee is a dealer in food-grains, oil-seeds and gur. The assess ment years involved are 1959-60 and 1960-61. For the two assessment years in question, the assessee claimed that besides carrying on business on his own behalf he had also acted as a purchasing agent and in that capacity had supplied goods worth Rs. 1,14,229.60 to the U.P. principals and goods worth Rs. 5,21,313.73 to the ex-U.P. principals in the year 1959-60 and similarly had supplied goods worth Rs. 1,24,640.41 and Rs. 3,58,212.82 to his U.P. and ex-U.P. principals respectively in the assessment year 1960-61. He claimed that he was not liable to tax either under the U.P. Sales Tax Act or under the Central Sales Tax Act in respect of the supplies made by him as purchasing agent. This claim of the assessee was not accepted by the Sales Tax Officer who included in his turnover liable to tax under the U.P. Sales Tax Act the value of goods supplied to the U.P. principals and in his taxable turnover liable to tax under the Central Sales Tax Act the value of supplies made to the ex-U.P. principals. The assessee then filed four different appeals-two in respect of each year-one under the U.P. Sales Tax Act and the other under the Central Sales Tax Act. The appellate authority accepted his contention and allowed the appeals holding that the assessee had in fact acted as a purchasing agent and he, therefore, excluded from the taxable turnover the amounts relating to the supplies made by him in that capacity.

3. The Commissioner of Sales Tax, Lucknow, was aggrieved with the Order of the appellate authority and he preferred four revision petitions before the Judge (Revisions), Sales Tax, Lucknow. The Judge (Revisions) allowed the revision petitions and remanded the matter to the Sales Tax Officer for fresh assessments. The assessee applied for a reference under Section 11(1) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act and, as stated earlier, the Judge (Revisions) has submitted these references to this court.

4. The contention of the assessee is that the Judge (Revisions) was not justified in law in remanding the cases to the Sales Tax Officer inasmuch as the appellate authority had examined the matter thoroughly and had referred to all the relevant materials.

5. Now turning to the Order passed by the Judge (Revisions) under Section 10 of the Act it appears that he came to the conclusion that the appellate authority had not examined the matter from a proper perspective. According to him the proper angle from which the cases should have been examined was as to whether the supplies had been made by the assessee after purchasing goods from the market or had been made out of his own stock. In the former case, the assessee could be said to have acted as a purchasing agent but in the latter case he would be acting as an outright seller. It also appears from the order of the Judge (Revisions) that on this contention having been raised before the Judge (Revisions), it was contended on behalf of the assessee that all the relevant material was in his possession from which each and every transaction could be co-related to the purchases made by him against specific orders received from the principals. The Judge (Revisions), however, felt that in order to verify the details with regard to the data in the possession of the assessee, it was necessary to remand the cases to the Sales Tax Officer. He, therefore, remanded the matter to the Sales Tax Officer with a specific direction as to the nature of the enquiry that was to be made.

6. Admittedly, during the two assessment years in question the assessee was carrying on his own business and was maintaining a godown where he kept his own stock and it was just possible that the assessee might have made some supplies to his principals out of his own stock. The appellate authority had merely scrutinised the various letters and telegrams received by the assessee showing that a large number of orders were being placed upon him by his principals for supplies of goods. But unless the matter was examined from the angle indicated by the Judge (Revisions) it could not be said that all the supplies made by the assessee were in his capacity as a purchasing agent. The inquiry indicated by the Judge (Revisions), in our opinion, was relevant and necessary. That being the position, it was open to the Judge (Revisions) to conduct the enquiry and verification himself or to remand the matter to a subordinate authority. Section 10 of the Act which defines the scope of the jurisdiction of the Judge (Revisions) does not lay down the circumstances under which a remand order can be passed. The matter is left entirely to the discretion of the Judge (Revisions). In a case like the present one where a detailed and prolonged enquiry was called for, a remand to the Sales Tax Officer was quite proper. We are, therefore, satisfied that the Order of remand passed by the Judge (Revisions) was within his jurisdiction and was otherwise justified on the facts and circumstances of the case. That answers question No. (1).

7. As regards question No. (2), it appears that a contention was raised on behalf of the department that the assessee was acting as a commission agent on behalf of the selling dealers also. This contention was sought to be supported by the circumstance that the assessee did not pay full price to the dealers from whom he made purchases. In his remand order the Judge (Revisions) directed the Sales Tax Officer to examine that aspect of the matter also. The assessee's contention is that the Judge (Revisions) was not competent to entertain this new plea raised by the department. We find no substance in this contention either. The only question which arose before the Judge (Revisions) was as to whether in respect of the turnover in dispute the assessee acted as a purchasing agent or not. Such a question had various aspects one of which could be as to whether the assessee acted as a selling agent on behalf of the sellers. The fact that the assessee charged commission from the selling dealers does indicate that he might have acted as a commission agent on behalf of the selling dealers and that the supplies made by him to his principals might have been in his capacity as the selling agent of the selling dealers. If he was found to have acted as a commission agent on behalf of the sellers, he could not claim exemption as a purchasing agent. In that event he could be taxed as a dealer. It cannot, therefore, be said that this was an altogether new question. In our opinion, it was merely another face of the question which the Judge (Revisions) was called upon to examine.

8. In the circumstances, we answer both the questions in the affirma tive, in favour of the department and against the assessee. The assessee shall pay to the Commissioner of Sales Tax, U.P., Lucknow, the costs of these references which we assess at Rs. 100. There shall be one set of costs only.


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