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State of Kerala and ors. Vs. P.T. Sankaran Nair - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.S. No. 23 of 1974
Judge
Reported in[1980]45STC258(Ker)
AppellantState of Kerala and ors.
RespondentP.T. Sankaran Nair
Appellant AdvocateThe Government Pleader
Respondent AdvocateV. Rama Shenoi; and R. Raya Shenoi, Advs.
Excerpt:
- - the grant of the specific relief of injunction is discretionary and civil courts should not interfere with the functioning of the authorities constituted under the taxing statutes except in cases where it is very clearly brought out that there is an attempted abuse of their powers by such authorities or a colourable exercise of such powers for purposes not warranted by the statute. such being the position, the lower court was clearly in error in granting the injunction prayed for by the plaintiff......of certain amounts of sales tax collected from the plaintiff by the sales tax department for the assessment years 1958-59, 1959-60 and 1960-61 on the basis of assessment orders which had been subsequently set aside by the appellate authorities. the plaint was later amended by incorporating an additional prayer for restraining the sales tax department of the state from making any fresh assessments against the plaintiff for the aforesaid three years. the court below refused the prayer for refund of the amounts of sales tax already collected in view of the specific provision contained in section 4(1)(i) of the kerala sales tax (levy and validation) act, 1965, that no suit or other proceeding shall be maintained or continued in any court, tribunal or other authority for the refund of any.....
Judgment:

V. Balakrishna Eradi, J.

1. The State has preferred this appeal against the judgment and decree of the Subordinate Judge, Tellicherry, in O.S. No. 50 of 1969. That is a suit instituted by the respondent herein against the State Government and three of its officers. The relief that was originally prayed for in the suit was for refund of certain amounts of sales tax collected from the plaintiff by the sales tax department for the assessment years 1958-59, 1959-60 and 1960-61 on the basis of assessment orders which had been subsequently set aside by the appellate authorities. The plaint was later amended by incorporating an additional prayer for restraining the sales tax department of the State from making any fresh assessments against the plaintiff for the aforesaid three years. The court below refused the prayer for refund of the amounts of sales tax already collected in view of the specific provision contained in Section 4(1)(i) of the Kerala Sales Tax (Levy and Validation) Act, 1965, that no suit or other proceeding shall be maintained or continued in any court, tribunal or other authority for the refund of any sales tax paid on the purchase of copra pursuant to assessment made under the General Sales Tax Act. As regards the plaintiff's prayer for injunction, the lower court took the view that the original orders of assessment in respect of the three concerned years stood validated and revived by virtue of the provisions of Act 4 of 1965, and that, in such circumstances, the department cannot be permitted to have a fresh assessment on the assessee. On this reasoning, the lower court has issued a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from making fresh assessments on the turnover of the plaintiff covered by the original assessments of sales tax made for the years 1958-59, 1959-60 and 1960-61. It is against the said decree granting the perpetual injunction that the State has come up with this appeal to this Court.

2. We have no hesitation in upholding the contention of the appellants that the lower court has acted illegally and wholly without jurisdiction in granting the plaintiff's prayer for perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from making any fresh assessments to sales tax on the plaintiff's turnover for the years 1958-59 to 1960-61. The General Sales Tax Act is a self-contained code and elaborate provisions are contained therein conferring on the assesses the right to pursue remedies by way of appeal, revision, etc., to a hierarchy of authorities for obtaining redress against any illegal or incorrect assessments. The grant of the specific relief of injunction is discretionary and civil courts should not interfere with the functioning of the authorities constituted under the taxing statutes except in cases where it is very clearly brought out that there is an attempted abuse of their powers by such authorities or a colourable exercise of such powers for purposes not warranted by the statute. In the present case, there is absolutely no such circumstance brought out in the evidence. Such being the position, the lower court was clearly in error in granting the injunction prayed for by the plaintiff.

3. The decree and judgment of the court below are therefore set aside and the suit O.S. No. 50 of 1969 will stand dismissed. The appellant will get its costs from the respondent in the appeal. The parties will bear their respective costs in the lower court.

4. Declared in Open Court on this the 12th day of January, 1979.


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