R.R. Rastogi, J.
1. The petitioner is a company with its head office at Calcutta. It has two branches in U. P. one at Allahabad and the other at Bareilly. The Allahabad office is declared as the main office for the purposes of sales tax. The monthly return for the month of April, 1976, should have been filed and sales tax thereon paid by 31st May, 1976. The demand draft for sales tax in respect of the said month which amounted to Rs. 8,29,129 was despatched from the petitioner's head office at Calcutta on 25th May, 1976, by registered post. It was received by the petitioner's office at Allahabad on 2nd June, 1976 and was deposited in the sales tax office on the same day. For April, 1977, the return of sales tax should have been filed and the tax due should have been deposited by 31st May, 1977. It was however deposited on 4th June, 1977, because the draft was despatched by the petitioner's head office at Calcutta on 24th May, 1977. According to the petitioner the delay was caused on account of postal strike. The Sales Tax Officer demanded interest in respect of both these returns for the delay at the rate of 2 per cent per month and for the whole month in respect of each of these two months. The petitioner was willing to pay interest for the actual period of delay. According to it interest could be charged under Section 7(1-B) of the U. P. Sales Tax Act for the actual period of delay only. The petitioner now prays for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing respondent No. 2 to charge interest under Section 7(1-B) for the default of the part of the month, that is, for the actual days of delay and not for the whole of the month.
2. The controversy in the petition thus is whether under Section 7(1-B) interest can be charged for the actual period of delay, in case it is less than a month or for the whole of the month. The relevant provision reads as under :
7. (1-B) Where as a consequence of the date for the submission of return being extended under Sub-section (1) on the application of any person, the deposit of tax under Sub-section (1-A) is deferred, there shall be payable interest at the rate of two per cent for every month or part thereof on such deposit from the date immediately following the last date prescribed for the submission of the return.
3. Our attention has been invited by the learned counsel for the petitioner to a decision of a single Judge of this Court in Commissioner of Sales Tax v. Rishipal Krishna Gopal, Roorkee 1981 UPTC 468. In that case the expression for every month or part thereof occurring in Section 8(1) of the Act had come up for consideration. The view taken was :
This expression means that interest is to be charged at the rate of two per cent for every completed month as also for the part of the month. For instance, if the delay is of five months and 4 days, interest is to be charged not only for the period of 5 months but also for the further four days. Part of the month does not mean that in case the delay is of a few days only, then interest is to be charged for one full month.
4. We are inclined to take same view in the instant case and hold that in case the delay is of a part of month only, interest at two per cent can be charged for that period of delay and not for one full month. In the instant case in respect of the return for the month of April, 1976, there is delay of two days and in respect of the return for the month of April, 1977, there is delay of four days. The petitioner has paid interest for the actual period of default. In view of what has been held above the petitioner is liable to pay interest only for the actual days of default and not for the whole month. The petitioner is thus entitled to issue a writ of mandamus to the Sales Tax Officer, Allahabad, respondent No. 2, to the effect that he should not charge interest for the whole month in respect of the aforesaid default.
5. The petitioner hence succeeds and is allowed in part. The respondent No. 2 is directed that he should not charge interest for the whole of the month in respect of which there was default. Interest under Section 7(1-B) will be chargeable only for the actual period of default. There shall be no order as to costs.