1. The assessee in this case is a dealer in timber. In the year 1974-75, it was found that he had collected a total sales tax of Rs. 1,066 at 5 per cent on second sales of timber effected to the Executive Engineer, Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board, Thanjavur, in violation of the provisions of section 22. The assessing officer, therefore, levied a penalty of Rs. 1,066, equal to the excess tax collected under section 22. That order levying penalty was challenged before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, but without success. The assessee thereafter took the matter before the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal also upheld the levy of penalty. The order of the Tribunal is now under challenged in this revision.
2. Section 22(1) says that no registered dealer shall make any collection by way of tax or purporting to be by way of tax under the Act except in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder. Sub-section (2) of section 22 provides that if any registered dealer collects any amount by way of tax or purporting to be by way of tax in contravention of sub-section (1), the assessing authority may, after giving a reasonable opportunity to the dealer of being heard, impose upon him a penalty of a sum not exceeding one and a half times of such amount. A sum of Rs. 1,066 is found to have been collected as sales tax on the assessee's sales turnover of timber. Timber is assessable only at a single point, that point being the first sale in the State. In this case, there is no dispute that the assessee is a second seller and therefore, the sales by the assessee is not taxable. The assessee, is, therefore, not entitled to collect sales tax from his purchaser. Though the assessee is not entitled to collect sales tax on his second sales of timber, he has collected sales tax on the second sales to the extent of Rs. 1,066 and this is contrary to the provisions of the Act. The assessee in this case put forward a defence that as the Act enables him to pass on the sales tax which he has paid to his seller to the purchaser, he has passed on the amount of sales tax which he has paid at the time of his purchase, to his purchaser and therefore, that cannot be taken to be a collection in violation of the provisions of the Act. But, a perusal of the assessment file indicates that the assessee has collected sales tax on his sales turnover and the net collection is not the amount of tax which he has paid on his purchases. Apart from that, the Tribunal also has found specifically in its order that the appellant (petitioner) has collected tax on his sale value of the goods at 5 per cent. If the assessee has, in addition to the sale value of the timber sold, collected the exact amount which he has paid on the value of the timber as sales tax at the time of his purchase it would have been a different matter. But, here he has collected sales tax on his sales turnover and therefore, his plea that he is passing on the sales tax, which he has paid on his purchases, to his purchaser is not at all tenable. Since the assessee is found to have collected sales tax on his sales turnover, which is contrary to the provisions of the Act and which is specifically prohibited under section 22(1) and which is made a ground for levying penalty under section 22(2). The order of the assessing officer, levying penalty on the assessee, which has been upheld by the Tribunal, does not call for any interference. The revision is therefore dismissed. There will, however, be no order as to costs.