C. S. P. Singh, J. - The Additional Judge (Revisions) Sales Tax, Bareilly Range, Bareilly has under section 11(1) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act, referred the following question for our opinion -
'Whether there was any material for the rejection of the assessees account books and assessing it at Rs. 15,000/-'
2. The dispute in the present case relates to the year 1964-65. The assessee dealt in non-ferrous metal during this year. He returned a turnover of Rs. 50,952.00 in respect of non-ferrous metal. It appears that during the assessment year in question, two surveys were made of the assessees premises, one on 26th October, 1964 and the other on 28th March, 1965. When the surveying officer visited the premises, the account books were not shown by the assessee. The Assistant Sales Tax Officer accepted the book version of the assessees turnover in non-ferrous metal but added to that turnover an amount of Rs. 15,000/-as represented sales of brasswares in Uttar Pradesh. The addition was made by the Assistant Sales Tax Officer on the ground that the assessee had failed to show his books to the surveying officer, and that the assessee had in the last year disclosed a turnover of Rs. 4,000/- as sales of brasswares in respect of which an estimate was made at Rs. 8,000/-. On appeal, the Assistant Commissioner held that inasmuch as the Assistant Sales Tax Officer had accepted the assessees book version in respect of the sales of non-ferrous metal, he erred in rejecting the account books, solely on the ground that they had not been shown to the surveying officer. He also held that the mere fact that the assessee had business in brasswares in the last year, could not be a ground for rejection of the account books of the present year or addition of any turnover in respect of brassware business. On appeal by the Department, the Judge (Revisions) Sales Tax held that the fact that the assessee had failed to show his account books to the surveying officer, was a relevant circumstance for rejection of the account books, and the mere fact that the account books had been accepted by the Assistant Sales Tax Officer in respect of sales of non-ferrous metal was not decisive of the matter. Taking into account the fact that the assessee had in past been assessed on the sales of brasswares he allowed the revision partly and fixed the turnover of brasswares at Rs. 8,000/-.
3. Counsel contended that the facts and circumstances relied upon by the Revising Authority for allowing the revision were wholly irrelevant, and as such there was no material in the eye of law to sustain the finding of the revising authority. Inspection of the premises of a dealer are made under section 13 of the Act. Section 13(2) of the Act empowers the surveying officer to inspect the books of the assessee. In the event of the assessee not cooperating with the surveying officer by not permitting inspection of the books, the Act makes provisions for penal action. But the mere fact that the assessee did not cooperate with the surveying officer cannot lead to the result that the account books maintained by him are not reliable especially when they were accepted in respect of non-ferrous metal. There must be some material apart from these circumstances for rejecting the account books. The fact that the assessee had done business of a particular kind in a previous year cannot by itself form the basis for rejection of account books, on the ground that the assessee must have carried on the old business in the assessment year in question. Each assessment year is a unit by itself, and there cannot be any legal presumption that the business carried on by an assessee in the succeeding year. The additions in the assessees turnover had been made on the assumption that the old business was carried on in the year in question. In order to draw such an inference, some objective fact apart from the past conduct of the assessee must exist in the assessment year in question to indicate that the assessee had been conducting the old business. In the present case, no such circumstances exist.
4. There does not appear to be any legal, relevant or admissible material on the basis of which the account books of the assessee were rejected. We, therefore, answer the question in the negative, against the department and in favour of the assessee. The assessee is entitled to its costs which we assess at Rs. 100/-.