R.N. Misra, J.
1. The Member, Orissa Sales Tax Tribunal, has stated this case and has referred the following question for opinion of the court upon a direction by this Court on an application of the assessee under Section 24(2) of the Orissa Sales Tax Act. The question referred is :
Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the assessee has the option to furnish any one of the following informations as mentioned in form D, namely :
(i) Purchase order No. and date ;
(ii) Purchase as per bill/cash memo No. and date ; and
(iii) Supply under chalan No. and date with regard to his sales to the Government in order to obtain the benefit of the concessional rate of tax as envisaged under Section 8(1)(b) of the Central Sales Tax Act ?
2. The assessee is a manufacturer of paper and effects, inter alia, supplies to Government. In respect of its supplies to Government concerns, claim for concessional rate of tax as provided under Section 8(1) of the Central Sales Tax Act was laid in the assessment year 1965-66 and D forms were produced in support of the claim for concessional rate. In the forms produced by the assessee the purchase order No. and date had been furnished. According to the Sales Tax Officer, the forms had not been duly filled up and therefore the assessee did not become entitled to the concessional rate. That view was upheld in the first appeal as also by the Tribunal.
3. Form D is in 3 columns labelled as 'counterfoil', 'duplicate' and 'original'. The contents are, however, the same in each column. For convenience, we extract one column of form D :
FORM OF CERTIFICATE FOR MAKING GOVERNMENT PURCHASES.
[See Rule 12(1)]
(To be used when making purchases by Government not being a registered dealer.)Central Government/Name of the State Government...Name of issuing ministry/department...Name and address of office of issue...To... *(Seller)...Certified that the goods**ordered for in our purchase order No...date...purchased from you as per bill/cash memo stated below* supplied under your chalan No...date...are purchased by or on behalf of the Government of...Date... Signature...Designation of the authorised officer of the Government. Seal of the duly authorised officer of the Government.*Particulars of bill/cash memo.Date... No... Amount...*** Name and address of the seller with name of the State.*Strike out whichever is not applicable.(Note :-To be retained by the selling dealer).
4. Admittedly, in the D forms filed by the assessee the purchase order No. and date have been given. The learned standing counsel on verification of the record accepts this as a fact. The Tribunal has also recorded a finding to that effect. The question is whether the other two columns should be filled up and unless they are filled up the form would not be an appropriate one. We are inclined to agree with Mr. D. P. Mohanty for the assessee that these are 3 alternates and filling up of any one in an appropriate way satisfies the requirement of law. It was open to the assessee to supply the purchase order number with date or indicate bill/cash memo, as applicable with particulars or indicate the chalan No. and date of supply. Particulars in any of the columns would easily be co-related with the transaction and it cannot be said, when one of the columns has been appropriately filled up and the other two have been struck off, that the form is not complete. As the assessee had produced forms which had complete information of the first column, merely because the other columns had not been filled up the forms produced by the assessee could not be rejected. The forms were complete ones in accordance with law. Once this view is taken, the assessee's claim for concessional rate should have been accepted.
5. We would answer the question referred to us by saying that, on the facts of the case, the assessee had the option to furnish any one of the following informations in the D form, namely:
(i) Purchase order No. and date ;
(ii) Purchase as per bill/cash memo No. and date; and
(iii) Supply under chalan No. and date.
Therefore, in the instant case, the assessee was entitled to the benefit of the concessional rate as envisaged under Section 8(1)(b) of the Central Sales Tax Act.
6. The assessee succeeds. We would, however, make no order for costs.
N.K. Das, J.
7. I agree.