1. This is a petition for reviewing the order in T.R.C. No. 45 of 1963 dated 2nd June, 1964. That decision is in Mathai v. State of Kerala 1964 K.L.T. 483.
2. A few facts are necessary to understand the scope of this petition. The assessee was a licensee under Section 9 of the General Sales Tax Act, 1125. For the year 1955-56 he submitted a return showing a gross turnover of Rs. 3,03,766-11-6 and claimed exemption on the whole of the turnover on the ground that he is a mere commission agent. Exemption was granted by the Sales Tax Officer and by an order dated 15th February, 1957, it was found that no sales tax was payable for the year and a licence fee of Rs. 500 was imposed on him. More than three years after the close of the assessment year 1955-56, that is, after 31st March, 1959, notice was issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax, South Zone, Quilon, on the assessee purporting to act under Section 15(1) of the General Sales Tax Act, 1125. This notice was served on the assessee on 16th February, 1960. There is no case that the notice was even issued before 31st March, 1959. Notwithstanding the objection taken by the assessee, the Deputy Commissioner, South Zone, Quilon, assessed the petitioner on the entire turnover of Rs. 3,03,766-11-6. The assessee challenged that order before the Tribunal. The Tribunal set aside the order passed by the Deputy Commissioner on 5th March, 1960, as well as the order passed by the Sales Tax Officer on 15th February, 1957, and directed the Sales Tax Officer to deal with the matter afresh. The Sales Tax Officer thereafter assessed the petitioner in the tax revision case on the turnover mentioned above. Appeals taken by the petitioner against that assessment before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner and the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal turned futile and hence it was that tax revision case, 45 of 1963, was taken before this Court.
3. We took the view in the decision in T.R.C. No. 45 of 1963 that the orders assessing the petitioner to sales tax were unsustainable and so set them aside. In the concluding part of the judgment in that case we observed as follows:-
In view of the fact that all orders prior to the date of the order of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal were vacated by the Appellate Tribunal, we think that any fresh assessment by the Sales Tax Officer must be governed by Rule 33(1). If that be so, the assessment must have been completed on or before the 31st March, 1959. The assessment in this case is long after and, therefore, cannot be sustained. We therefore set aside the orders of assessment passed by the Sales Tax Officer and confirmed by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner and by the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal and restore the original order of the Sales Tax Officer dated 15th Feburary, 1957.
4. This passage is perhaps misleading and we find that it has been understood in a manner that was not intended. All that was meant was, though the passage is capable of being understood otherwise, that an order having been passed on 15th February, 1957, in relation to the year 1955-56 exempting the entire turnover, turnover for the year had escaped assessment (assuming it was taxable) and that no steps could have been taken after 31st March, 1959 (after the lapse of three years from the close of the year of assessment) for assessing that turnover. This is so provided in Rule 33(1) of the General Sales Tax Rules. So the action taken by the Deputy Commissioner, South Zone, Quilon, after 31st March, 1959, which resulted in the service of notice on the assessee on 16th February, 1960, was clearly without jurisdiction and the assessment orders in the tax revision case and which followed could not stand. We therefore rightly set aside the orders. Apart from the clarification which we have made in this order, we do not think that the decision in T.R.C. No. 45 of 1963 1964 K.L.T. 483 calls for interference. We therefore dismiss this petition but without any order as to costs.