C. S. P. Singh, J. - The petitioner is carrying on the business of purchase and sale of potatoes. It applied for registration under the U.P. Sales Tax Act, 1948, on 8-4-74. On the same day, an application for registration was also moved under section 7(2) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. This application was made in form A. While giving other particulars required in the form, the petitioner mentioned compressor and parts, Ammonia receiver, full machinery of Ice-candy and Ice-plant, Ammonia pipe and Ammonia cylinder for the manufacture and sale of Ice and cream. As respect goods for use in the generation or distribution of electricity, it mentioned generating set and its parts. A copy of the application moved by the petitioner is (Annexure CAI to the petition). Registration was granted to the petitioner under the U.P. Sales Tax Act vide order 11-4-1974 and this registration was made operative from 8-1-1974. Subsequently, the petitioner purchased a generating set from M/s. Eskay Engineering Company, Delhi and also other electrical goods for the manufacture of Ice and Ice-cream. Although registration had been granted to the petitioner under the U.P. Sales Tax Act, on order for registration had been issued to the petitioner at the time when the aforesaid purchases were made. On 14-5-1974, the petitioner applied for provisional registration under sec. 8-B of the U.P. Sales Tax Act. This was granted on 18-6-1974, and the registration certificate was made operative with effect from 14-5-1974 i.e. the date of making of the application. Subsequently, on the 21st June, 1974 the petitioner received registration certificate under section 7(2) of the Central Sales Tax Act which was made operative from 14-5-1974. The reasons for the grant of the registration certificate effective from 14th May, 1974 are incorporated in the order of the Sales Tax Officer dated 13.6.1974 (Annexure II to the petition). The petitioner has impugned this order on the ground that the registration certificate should have been made effective from the date of the application.
2. Counsel for the petitioner has urged that the application moved by the petitioner was not defective and all the necessary details required therein were complied. This being so, there was no reason for making the registration effective from 14th May, 1974. Section 7 enjoins on every dealer liable to pay tax under the Act to apply for registration. Section 7(2) makes it incumbent on every dealer liable to pay tax under the sales tax law of the appropriate State to apply for registration notwithstanding that he is not liable to pay tax under the Central Act. Section 7(3) enjoins on the Sales Tax Authority to grant the certificate of registration in case it is satisfied that the application is in conformity with the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder. Rules have been made under section 7 known as the Central Sales Tax (Registration and Turnover) Rules 1957. Rule 4(1) deals with the procedure for the grant of the registration. Rule 5(2) empowers the appropriate authority to reject the application in case the particulars contained in the application are incorrect or incomplete. There is a proviso added to this Rule, which prescribes an opportunity to be given to the applicant of being heard in the matter and for correcting or completing the particular or complying with the requirements of Rule 4(3). The Sales Tax Officer in the impugned order has found that inasmuch as the Ammonia compressor and the generating set were not required for the production of potatoes, as such registration could not be granted to the petitioner. In the concluding portion of the order, however, registration was granted to the petitioner with effect from 14-5-1974. The latter part of the order of Sales Tax Officer is inconsistent with the earlier part. If the Sales Tax Officer was of the view that the machineries were not required for the production of potatoes, no question at all arose of granting any registration to the petitioner. It is also not clear as to why the Sales Tax Officer chose to grant the certificate from 14-5-1974. The only reason for choosing this date appears to be that the petitioner had applied for a provisional registration under section 8-B of the U.P. Sales Tax Act on 14th May 1974. This was wholly an irrelevant date for the purpose of granting registration under the Central Sales Tax Act. The application for registration, as has been noticed earlier is Annexure C-A1 to the counter-affidavit. In item 16 of that application, the petitioner has mentioned the compressor and its parts etc. as being required for the manufacture of goods, and the goods to be manufactured are shown as Ice candy and Ice-cream. It also appears that on the 11th April 1974, the Sales Tax Officer took the statement of the petitioner. That statement is (Annexure CA-11 to the counter-affidavit). In that statement, it was clearly mentioned that the equipment which the dealer proposed to purchase was for the Ice-plant. It was nowhere stated that the machinery would be required for the purpose of potatoes. The view of the Sales Tax Officer that the plant etc. would be required for production potatoes is based on no material on record, and on a complete misreading and mis-appreciation of the application for registration and the statement of the petitioner.
3. The Standing Counsel has urged that no registration could have been granted to the petitioner inasmuch as the business for which the plant was sought to be purchased was not in existence, and Form A indicated that the registration could only be granted in respect of a running business which required new machinery. Form A is not very happily worded, but it has got to be read in the context of section 7 Rules 4 and 5 of the Registration Rules. All that is required by sec. 7 is that the person applying for registration should be liable to pay sales tax under the law of the appropriate States. There is no dispute that the petitioner had already been registered under the U.P. Sales Tax Act, and was doing business. Thus he was under liability to pay tax under the U.P. Sales Tax Law. As such, the requirements of section 7(2) were satisfied. The world 'dealer' has been defined in section 2(b) of the Central Act as meaning 'any person who carries on the business of buying or selling goods.' The petitioner was undoubtedly carrying on the business of buying or selling potatoes. Thus, all the requirement of section 7(2) were complied, and the petitioner could appropriately make an application for registration. It was not necessary that the application for registration should have been moved only after the petitioner had set up the new business of Ice-cream.
4. The other question that now remains is as to the date from which the registration certificate should have been made effective. The Central Sales Tax Act does not mention the date from which the certificate takes effect. It is, however, well settled that a person cannot be made to suffer on account of laches or delay on the part of public authorities. The petitioner had made the application for registration on 8-4-1974. That application was complete in all respects, and no defect had been found or pointed out to us in that application. The mere fact that the Sales Tax Officer did not pass the order immediately cannot possibly be a ground for making the registration effective from the date of the order. Any other view would inflict unnecessary hardship on a dealer for no fault of his, in case orders are not passed expeditiously on his application by the appropriate authority. The Orissa High Court in the case of Subhas Chandra Ghose vs. State of Orissa (1970) 26 STC 211, has taken the same view. The Punjab High Court in the case of Chandra Industries vs. The Punjab State and others, (1972) 29 STC 558 in respect of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948 is of similar opinion. There is hardly any dispute that this principle applies to registration under the U.P. Sales Tax Act.
5. The writ petition is accordingly allowed with costs. The order of the Sales Tax Officer in so far it grants registration effective from 14-5-1974 is set aside. The registration certificate shall be deemed to take effect from 8-4-1974.