1. This is a petition to revise the order of the Tamil Nadu Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal (Additional Bench), Coimbatore, dated 19th December, 1978. It is unfortunate that neither the Appellate Assistant Commissioner nor the Tribunal paid attention to the real controversy between the parties and the specific statutory provisions which have to be applied. The assessee purchased timber and bamboos from the forest department in respect of coupe taken from the forest department and the value paid by the assessee to the forest department was Rs. 90,525. They incurred transport and extraction charges of Rs. 2,00,990.56. The assessee used the timber and the bamboos in the manufacture of rayon silk. The question that came to be considered by the authorities was whether this sum of Rs. 90,525 or Rs. 2,00,990.56 was liable to be taxed. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner's order refers to section 7-A of the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959, and point out that what the assessee purchased was not firewood but pulp wood and, therefore, it was liable to pay tax under section 7-A of the Act. The order does not refer to the provisions of section 7-A and does not show how, under those provisions, the assessee could be made liable. The matter is worse with regard to the order of the Tribunal. Nowhere in the order of the Tribunal there is any reference to section 7-A at all. The Tribunal simply states that the assessee had paid a sum of Rs. 90,525 to the forest department as the actual value of the coupe and it incurred an expenditure of Rs. 2,00,990.56 by way of transport and extraction charges and the assessee was liable to pay sales tax on the total of these two amounts. Why, how and under what provision of law these two amounts are liable to tax has not been made clear by the Tribunal. It is under these circumstances, we think, we have no option but to set aside the order of the Tribunal and remand the matter to the Tribunal for fresh consideration in the light of the controversy raised by the parties and particularly the objection to the order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner taken by the assessee in the grounds of appeal before the Tribunal.
2. Before doing so, we have to point out one thing with which there cannot be any controversy. As we pointed out already, out of the two amounts referred to earlier, Rs. 90,525 respectively the amount paid by the assessee to the forest department and the other amount of Rs. 2,00,990.56 represents the transport and extraction charges incurred by the assessee. It was not the case of the department that any part of this amount was paid to the forest department or formed part of the consideration for obtaining the coupe in question. So long as this Rs. 2,00,990.56 was not paid by the assessee to the forest department as consideration for obtaining the coupe and remained only as expenditure incurred by the assessee, this amount cannot come within the scope of the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959, at all as a turnover liable to tax, whether as sales turnover or as purchase turnover. Consequently, we make it clear that the remand is only with reference to the other amount of Rs. 90,525 and the sum of Rs. 2,00,990.56 cannot be made subject to any tax whatever in view of the fact that the amount is outside the scope of the Act itself. Under these circumstances, the revision is allowed and the order of the Tribunal is set aside, subject to the qualification mentioned above and the matter is remanded to the Tribunal with a direction that the Tribunal should consider the question regarding the liability to tax of the value of the coupe, namely, Rs. 90,525, with reference to the controversy raised by the parties and, in particular, the stand taken by the assessee in the grounds of appeal before the Tribunal. There will be no order as to costs.
3. Petition allowed.