P. Unnikrishna Kurup, J.
1. This tax revision has been filed by the assessee, a merchant dealing in grocery, cashew, copra, coconuts, etc. The revision relates to the assessment years 1961-62 to 1964-65. The Sales Tax Officer, Tellicherry, issued a pre-assessment notice to the assessee for the years 1961-62, 1962-63, 1963-64 and 1964-65 on 18th March, 1965, under Section 12 of the General Sales Tax Act, 1125. The notice directed the assessee to file its objections to the proposals contained in the notice within 3 days. The assessee's case is that he received the notice only on 27th March, 1965, and he hastened to the authorities with a request for extension of time but was informed that the assessment had been made on 27th March, 1965, itself. He then filed an appeal before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner which was dismissed. The matter was taken up before the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal and it was contended that since a reasonable opportunity had not been given to him to represent his case before the assessment, the order of assessment was illegal and liable to be set aside. The Appellate Tribunal held that the notice had been issued on 18th March, 1965, and the assessment was completed only on 27th March, 1965, and therefore the assessee had been given reasonable opportunity for making the representations.
2. The assessee's learned Counsel submitted that the pre-assessment notice had been received by him only on 27th March, 1965, and by the time he applied for extension of time he came to know that the assessment had been made on a best of judgment basis on 27th March, 1965, itself. It is well-settled that in making a best judgment assessment the assessing authority discharges a quasi-judicial function and that a reasonable opportunity should be provided to the assessee to meet the proposals of the officer making the best judgment assessment. In this case, though the pre-assessment notice is seen to have been issued on 18th March, 1965, the assessee received it only on 27th March, 1965. He has made a definite averment of this fact and neither the Appellate Assistant Commissioner nor the Appellate Tribunal has thought it fit to deny the allegation. Before us also, the counsel for the State was unable to say whether the notice had been served on the assessee earlier than on 27th March, 1965. In these circumstances it is clear that the pre-assessment notice reached the assessee only on 27th March, 1965. The assessment was made on the same date so that the assessee had no reasonable opportunity to make his representations.
3. The assessment order is therefore illegal and we accordingly set aside the order of assessment and direct a fresh assessment to be made after giving the assessee a reasonable opportunity to put forward his contentions. The revision is allowed. But in the circumstances there will be no order regarding costs.