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Commercial Taxes Officer Vs. Chhaganmal Bastimal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Civil Sales Tax Reference No. 15 of 1968
Judge
Reported in[1970]25STC341(Raj); 1969()WLN393
AppellantCommercial Taxes Officer
RespondentChhaganmal Bastimal
Appellant Advocate Rajnarain, Additional Government Adv.
Respondent Advocate J.K. Jain, Adv.
Cases ReferredAndhra Pradesh v. Bhikaji Dadabhai
Excerpt:
.....- section 14(2)--civil procedure code--section 115 and rajasthan tenancy act--section 230 revenue board--revisional jurisdiction of.;section 115 c.p.c confers only limited jurisdiction on the high court and even the high court cannot exercise revisional jurisdiction in matters which do not strictly fall under that section and the same observations must apply with regard to the exercise of jurisdiction by the board of revenue either under section 115 c.p.c. or section 230 of the rajasthan tenancy act. they surely do not in any way enlarge its jurisdiction under the rajasthan sales tax act. - - 29 of 1954) (hereinafter called the act) as it stood before 2nd may, 1969, as the assessee had failed to pay within the time allowed to it the amount of tax assessed on it. 3. the relevant..........refer the following question of law arising out of its order dated 19th march, 1964:-whether the board of revenue was competent to entertain the assessee's revision from the order of the sales tax officer, ajmer, even though the assessee could have appealed from that order under section 13 of the rajasthan sales tax act and no appeal had been filed by it2. the statement of case shows that the assistant commercial and sales tax officer, ajmer, imposed a penalty of rs. 500 on the assessee under section 16(1)(b) of the rajasthan sales tax act, 1954 (act no. 29 of 1954) (hereinafter called the act) as it stood before 2nd may, 1969, as the assessee had failed to pay within the time allowed to it the amount of tax assessed on it. the assessee did not file any appeal from the order imposing.....
Judgment:

D.M. Bhandari, C.J.

1. By order dated 22nd December, 1967, this court directed the Board of Revenue, Rajasthan, to draw up a statement of the case and refer the following question of law arising out of its order dated 19th March, 1964:-

Whether the Board of Revenue was competent to entertain the assessee's revision from the order of the Sales Tax Officer, Ajmer, even though the assessee could have appealed from that order under Section 13 of the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act and no appeal had been filed by it

2. The statement of case shows that the Assistant Commercial and Sales Tax Officer, Ajmer, imposed a penalty of Rs. 500 on the assessee under Section 16(1)(b) of the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act, 1954 (Act No. 29 of 1954) (hereinafter called the Act) as it stood before 2nd May, 1969, as the assessee had failed to pay within the time allowed to it the amount of tax assessed on it. The assessee did not file any appeal from the order imposing penalty and filed a revision application before the Board of Revenue under Section 14(2) of the Act. An objection was taken on behalf of the State that in view of the second proviso to Section 14(2) of the Act, the revision application could not be entertained. The Board of Revenue took the view that the revision was competent as the Assistant Commercial and Sales Tax Officer, Ajmer, had no jurisdiction to impose any penalty on the assessee. It was also observed by the Board of Revenue that the Board being the highest court having jurisdiction in the matter could exercise its revisional power in any fit case and the case before the Board of Revenue was such a case.

3. The relevant provision to be considered for answering the question is Sub-section (2) of Section 14 of the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act which runs as follows :

(2) The Board of Revenue may on application for revision of an order (not being an order passed under the proviso to Sub-section (3) of Section 11) by a dealer under this Act, made within six months of the date of the order, call for the record of the proceedings in which the order complained against was passed and after examining the record, subject to the provisions of this Act, pass such order not prejudicial to the assessee, as it thinks fit :

Provided that an order declining to interfere shall be deemed not prejudicial to the assessee :

Provided further that no revision under this Sub-section shall be entertained upon the application of a dealer-

(a) if he could have appealed under Section 13 and no appeal has been filed by him, or

(b) if an appeal is pending before the appellate authority : Provided also that the Board of Revenue may admit an application for revision after the said period of six months if it is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient cause for not making the application within the said period.

The second proviso clearly bars entertainment of any revision in case in which the dealer could have appealed under Section 13 and no appeal has been filed by him. This proviso restricts the jurisdiction of the Board of Revenue in entertaining revision applications and must be obeyed. The view taken by the Board of Revenue that no appeal could have been filed by the assessee against the order of the Assistant Commercial and Sales Tax Officer, Ajmer, imposing the penalty as it was not appealable under Section 13 on the ground that the said officer had no jurisdiction to impose the penalty is not correct. Section 13 of the Act relates to appeals and it provides that any person objecting to an order of penalty may appeal to the appellate authority. The question whether the said authority had jurisdiction to impose the penalty or not can be agitated in appeal, and it is not the law that no appeal is maintainable because the authority had no jurisdiction to impose the penalty. Section 13 does not contain any such condition. In this connection we may refer to the case of Commissioner of Income-tax, Andhra Pradesh v. Bhikaji Dadabhai & Co. [1961] 42 I.T.R. 123, wherein it has been pointed out by the Supreme Court while discussing the provisions of the Indian Income-tax Act that 'even if the Income-tax Officer committed an error in passing the order imposing penalty because the conditions necessary for invoking that jurisdiction were absent, an appeal against his order on the ground that he was not competent to pass the order did lie to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner is under the Act constituted an appellate authority against certain orders of the Income-tax Officer, and exercise of that jurisdiction is not made conditional upon the competence of the Income-tax Officer to pass the orders made appealable.

4. We may also point out that simply because the Board of Revenue has been constituted as an authority which can call for the record of any proceedings under the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act it has not acquired jurisdiction to go beyond the powers conferred upon it in entertaining the revision application. The Board of Revenue exercises limited jurisdiction under the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act and that jurisdiction is to be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Act and it cannot travel beyond the provisions of the Act to invest itself with any authority to interfere in an order in which interference has not been provided under the provisions of the Act.

5. The Board of Revenue has referred to Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 230 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act and observed that while interpreting Section 14, these two sections must not be lost sight of. These sections have no application in this case. Moreover, Section 115, Civil Procedure Code, confers only limited jurisdiction on the High Court and even the High Court cannot exercise revisional jurisdiction in matters which do not strictly fall under that section and the same observations must apply with regard to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Board of Revenue either under Section 115, Civil Procedure Code, or Section 230 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act. They surely do not in any way enlarge its jurisdiction under the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act.

6. Learned counsel for the assessee has pointed out that he had filed an appeal also before the Appellate Authority, Commercial Taxes Department,. Ajmer, against the order of the Assistant Commercial and Sales Tax Officer, Ajmer, after the revision application had been filed. It is for the assessee to pursue the appeal. But so far as the Board of Revenue is concerned, it has no jurisdiction to revise the order of the Assistant Commercial and Sales Tax Officer, Ajmer, under Section 14 of the Act.

7. In this view of the matter, the question is answered in the negative. No order as to costs.


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