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Commissioner of Sales Tax Vs. Hira Mills - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case Number Miscellaneous Civil Case No. 333 of 1976.
Judge
Reported in[1980]46STC338(MP)
AppellantCommissioner of Sales Tax
RespondentHira Mills
Appellant Advocate K.L. Goyal, Government Adv.
Respondent Advocate L.P. Bhargava, Adv.
Excerpt:
- indian penal code, 1890.sections 307 & 324: [lokeshwar singh panta & b.sudershan reddy,jj] assault proof - appellant allegedly dealt sickle blow to deceased - testimony of eye-witnesses showed that sudden altercation ensued between appellant and deceased - no evidence to indicate any previous enmity between parties - single blow of sickle had been inflicted by appellant on back of deceased - incised wound allegedly inflicted by appellant - however opinion of doctor proved that deceased had not died due to direct result of said injury held, appellant is therefore liable to be convicted under section 324 of i.p.c., sentence of 3 years imprisonment reduced to period undergone by appellant considering mental agony suffered by him.....from the date specified in the notification under sub-section (1) of section 3, no suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted or commenced or if pending shall be proceeded with against the industrial undertaking during the period in which it remains a relief undertaking, any law, usage, custom, contract, instrument, decree, order, award, settlement or other provisions whatsoever notwithstanding:provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any legal proceeding under any of the laws specified in the schedule.explanation.-'legal proceeding' means any proceeding under any law before any court, tribunal, authority or arbitrator started on a petition, plaint, memorandum of appeal, application for review, revision or reference or for the execution of a decree or an.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.K. Vijayvargiya, J.

1. By this reference under Section 44 of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act the Board of Revenue has referred the following questions of law arising out of the order of the Board for the opinion of this Court :

(1) Whether the proceeding to impose penalty under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, 'is a proceeding to which Section 4 of the M. P. Sahayata Upakram (Vishesh Upabandha) Adhiniyam, 1965, applies ?

(2) Whether on the facts and circumstances of the case, the proceeding for imposing a penalty under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, instituted against M/s. Hira Mills Pvt. Ltd., Ujjain, by notice dated 16th September, 1965, i.e., before the issue of the first notification under Section 3 of the said Adhiniyam could not have been proceeded with to its conclusion after the issue of the notice ?

2. The facts giving rise to this reference as set out in the statement of the case are as follows : A proceeding for imposing the penalty under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, was initiated by a notice dated 16th September, 1965, against the assessee, M/s. Hira Mills, Ujjain, on the ground that the assessee had imported certain items of goods at concessional rates after furnishing C forms ; that out of the goods so imported some were not at all specified in the registration certificate and some were specified but were not raw materials. After hearing the assessee a penalty of Rs. 15,000 was imposed by the assessing officer on 9th November, 1970. The appeal preferred by the assessee was dismissed summarily because no payment against the demands so created was made by the assessee. The assessee filed a second appeal before the Board of Revenue and the Board held that in view of the provisions of the M. P. Sahayata Upakram (Vishesh Upabandha) Adhiniyam, 1965 (Act No. 25 of 1965) (hereinafter referred to as the Act), no proceeding for imposing a penalty could have been taken to its conclusion and that the period during which it remained pending will not count in the computation of limitation. At the instance of the Commissioner of Sales Tax the Board of Revenue has referred the aforesaid questions of law for the opinion of this Court.

3. Section 4 of the Act is as follows :

4. (1) As from the date specified in the notification under Sub-section (1) of Section 3, no suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted or commenced or if pending shall be proceeded with against the industrial undertaking during the period in which it remains a relief undertaking, any law, usage, custom, contract, instrument, decree, order, award, settlement or other provisions whatsoever notwithstanding:

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any legal proceeding under any of the laws specified in the schedule.

Explanation.-'Legal proceeding' means any proceeding under any law before any court, tribunal, authority or arbitrator started on a petition, plaint, memorandum of appeal, application for review, revision or reference or for the execution of a decree or an application or a petition for any other purpose.

(2) The period, during which any suit or legal proceeding cannot be instituted or commenced because of the provisions of Sub-section (1), shall be excluded in computing the period of limitation, prescribed by the Limitation Act, 1963 (36 of 1963), or any other law for the time being in force for such suit or legal proceeding.

It is not in dispute that at the relevant time the assessee continued to remain a relief undertaking under the provisions of the Act. The only question that arises for consideration is whether a penalty proceeding initiated under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act is a legal proceeding within the meaning of Section 4(1) of the Act. In order to attract the provisions of Section 4 of the Act the proceeding has got to be a legal proceeding as defined by the Act. The term 'legal proceeding' has been defined by the explanation to Section 4 of the Act. It means any proceeding under any law before any court, tribunal, authority or arbitrator started on a petition, plaint, memorandum of appeal, application for review, revision or reference or for the execution of a decree or an application or a petition for any other purpose. The definition of 'legal proceeding' is exhaustive. It is not disputed that a penalty proceeding under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act is not started on a petition, plaint, memorandum of appeal, application for review, revision or reference or for the execution of a decree or an application or a petition for any other purpose. In the circumstances it is difficult to appreciate how a proceeding for initiation of penalty under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act can be said to be a legal proceeding as defined under Section 4(1) of the Act.

4. The learned counsel for the assessee contended that the definition of the term 'legal proceeding' as given in the explanation is not exhaustive and it will include a proceeding initiated under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act. The contention cannot be upheld. The term 'legal proceeding' has been given a special meaning by the explanation to Section 4 of the Act and there is no scope for giving it an extended meaning. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the learned Member of the Board of Revenue was not justified in holding that the proceeding for initiation of penalty under Section 10A of the Central Sales Tax Act is a legal proceeding and, therefore, the same could not be proceeded with against the assessee during the period in which it remained a relief undertaking under the provisions of Section 4 of the Act.

5. As a result of the discussion aforesaid our answers to the two questions referred to us are in the negative and against the assessee. In the circumstances of the case the parties shall bear their own costs of this reference.


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