C. S. P. Singh, J. - The Additional Revising Authority, Sales Tax, Allahabad has referred the following question for our opinion :
'Whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, there was legal justification for rejecting the dealers accounts books and for making best judgment assessment for the year 1966-67 ?'
The dealer does business in ornaments and bullion and disclosed a taxable turnover of Rs. 80,622.81 for the year 1966-67, Rs. 82,540.92 for the year 1968-69 and Rs. 96,440.55 for the year 1969-70. The turnover was enhanced to Rs. 1,20,000/-, 1,10,000/- and 1,60,000/- by the Sales Tax Officer after rejecting the account books. The appeal filed by the dealer failed as also did a revision.
2. The Revising Authority rejected the account books of the dealer inter alia on the ground that they had not been accepted in the past. As respects the turnover, it held that the turnover fixed by the Sales Tax Officer appeared to be correct considering the past history of the dealer. It was also pointed out by the Revising Authority that the stock admitted by the dealer at the time of the survey dated 7.6.1969 and 17.2.1970 for the year 1960-70 also supported the turnover determined by the S.T.O. In the present case we are concerned with the question as to whether the account books of the dealer were rightly rejected, and as a consequence best judgment assessment was properly made. We will thus confine ourselves only to the question as to whether the ground for rejection of the account books was legally justified. The Standing counsel tried to persuade us that the Revising Authority has rejected the account books not solely on the basis that they had been rejected in the past years, but has accepted the other reasons given by the Assessing Authority, for the rejection of the account books . It is not however possible to read the order that way. The Revising Authority in its judgment does not state that it was adopting the reasons given by the Sales Tax Officer for rejecting the account books. It only states as a matter of fact, that the Sales Tax Officer had given detailed reasons for rejecting the account books. In case the Revising Authority had chosen to adopt the same reasoning it would have said so specifically in the order. We thus, in this reference have to decide as to whether the ground given for rejection of the account books is correct. In the statement of case submitted to us it has been stated that revision petitions of the assessee for assessment years 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-65 had been allowed and the account books accepted. This being so, the past record of the assessee, was that his account books had been consistently accepted in the previous years. In view of this, the very basis for rejection of the account books by the Revising Authority disappears, and as such the Revising Authority could not in the years in question reject the account books solely on the basis of the history, as the past history of the assessee was that account books had been accepted.
3. We accordingly answer the question referred in the negative, in favour of the assessee and against the Department. The assessee is entitled to his costs which we assess at Rs. 100/-.