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Venkateswara Commercials and Plastics (P.) Ltd. Vs. the State of Tamil Nadu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case Number Writ Petition No. 494 of 1974
Judge
Reported in[1975]35STC598(Mad)
AppellantVenkateswara Commercials and Plastics (P.) Ltd.
RespondentThe State of Tamil Nadu
Appellant Advocate K. Srinivasan and ; K.C. Rajappa, Advs.
Respondent Advocate K. Venkataswami, Additional Government Pleader No. 1
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- - a revision filed to the deputy commissioner of commercial taxes, madras division, was unsuccessful......apply for registration is not also acceptable. it is seen from sections 7(1) and 10a that every dealer liable to pay tax under the act shall make an application for registration to such authority as may be prescribed, and if he is not a registered dealer, he is liable for prosecution. in effect, it requries that no dealer shall carry on business in inter-state sales or purchases unless he is a registered dealer. it necessarily follows that he must be entitled to apply for and get himself registered even before he enters into transactions of purchase and sale in inter-state sales. we are, therefore, unable to agree that the petitioner, in order to be entitled for registration, should have actually commenced business in the sense of already entered into a transaction of sale or purchase.....
Judgment:

V. Ramaswami, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Board of Revenue in BP. RT. No. 4982 of 1973 dated 28th December, 1973, by which the Board has confirmed an order of cancellation of the registration granted to the petitioner under Section 7(1) of the Central Sales Tax Act. The petitioner is a private limited company incorporated under the Companies Act on 28th May, 1970. They filed an application for registration on 22nd October, 1970, under Section 7(1) of the Central Sales Tax Act. The certificate applied for was granted on 12th November, 1970. On 21st October, 1971, the Assistant Commercial Tax Officer, T. Nagar, issued a notice to the petitioner proposing to cancel the registration granted on the ground that the certificate had been granted even before the petitioner had commenced his business and called upon him to show cause why the certificate should not be cancelled. On 9th November, 1971, the petitioner sent a reply objecting to the cancellation. On 10th November, 1971, after consideration of the objections, the Assistant Commercial Tax Officer cancelled the registration certificate granted to the petitioner. A revision filed to the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Madras Division, was unsuccessful. Thereafter, the petitioner preferred a further revision to the Board of Revenue. The Board of Revenue dismissed that application on three main grounds. Firstly, it stated that in column 12 of the application for registration, the petitioner had stated that they had commenced their business on 1st June, 1970, while actually they were only constructing the factory and had not commenced the business. Secondly, Section 7(1) enables only a dealer who Is liable to pay taxes under the Central Sales Tax Act to apply for registration and that though the petitioner submitted a return in form A for 1970-71 for an estimated turnover of Rs. 20,000, and they were provisionally assessed to tax of Rs. 600, that assessment was under the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, and that the petitioner was not assessed under the Central Sales Tax Act. Further, as the petitioner had no turnover during the year 1970-71, they submitted a nil return in form A-l reporting a nil turnover and, accordingly, the assessment order was passed for a nil turnover. In those circumstances, it cannot be considered that the petitioner is a person liable to pay tax within the meaning of Section 7(1) in order to enable them to file an application for registration. Thirdly, the petitioner had not commenced any business at all and for the purpose of applying Section 7(1), the commencement of business is a condition precedent.

2. The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that under Section 7(4)(b), registration could be cancelled only on the ground that the dealer had ceased to carry on business or had ceased to be liable to pay the tax under the Central Sales Tax Act and the words 'for any other sufficient reason' in that section had to be construed ejusdem generis and, therefore, none of the grounds on which the Board cancelled the registration would come within the provision. We are unable to agree with this submission of the learned counsel. It cannot be stated that only in cases where it originally carried on business and thereafter ceased to carry on business or it ceased to be liable to pay tax alone, registration could be cancelled. The words 'for any other sufficient reason' are very wide and comprehensive. The earlier grounds mentioned in the section are neither categories nor species of any generic reason so as to warrant the interpretation and understanding of the words 'other sufficient reason' in a restricted sense.

3. The use of the word 'sufficient' indicates that it is not to be understood in any restricted sense and any sufficient reason would suffice. The word 'other' is used only to distinguish the two reasons specifically mentioned in the earlier part in the section from other sufficient reason. We are of the view that in addition to cancellation on the ground of ceasing to carry on business or ceasing to be liable to pay tax, the registration could also be cancelled for any other sufficient reason.

4. The next question that falls for consideration is as to whether, on the reasons given by the Board, the cancellation of the registration could be justified. We are unable to agree that there was any mis-statement in column 12 of the application for registration. In that column, the petitioner had stated that the business in respect of which the application was made was first started on 1st June, 1970. As we have already noted, the petitioner is a private limited company and it was incorporated on 28th May, 1970. The certificate of commencement of business is not required under the Companies Act in respect of a private limited company. It shall therefore be deemed to have commenced business on the date when it was incorporated. Accordingly, the statement that it commenced business on 1st June 1970, could not be treated as any mis-statement. What the learned counsel for the revenue wants to contend is that column 12 deals with commencement of business with respect to the Central Sales Tax Act. We are unable to understand this argument of the learned counsel. There could not be any two commencements of the same business, one for the purpose of the Companies Act and the other for the purpose of the Central Sales Tax Act. What the learned counsel for the revenue means by saying so is that unless at least one transaction of sale is effected, there is no commencement. We cannot agree. A dealer can be going on purchasing and he may not be liable to pay tax. Still, he would have commenced business. That is what has happened in this case. The petitioner has purchased machinery from outside dealers. The reasoning of the Board that unless a person actually becomes 'liable to pay tax' under the Central Sales Tax Act, he could not apply for registration is not also acceptable. It is seen from Sections 7(1) and 10A that every dealer liable to pay tax under the Act shall make an application for registration to such authority as may be prescribed, and if he is not a registered dealer, he is liable for prosecution. In effect, it requries that no dealer shall carry on business in inter-State sales or purchases unless he is a registered dealer. It necessarily follows that he must be entitled to apply for and get himself registered even before he enters into transactions of purchase and sale in inter-State sales. We are, therefore, unable to agree that the petitioner, in order to be entitled for registration, should have actually commenced business in the sense of already entered into a transaction of sale or purchase before he applied for registration.

5. The result is the order of the Board of Revenue confirming those of the Assistant Commercial Tax Officer and the Deputy Commissioner of Commerical Taxes is liable to be set aside and it is accordingly set aside and the rule nisi is made absolute, with costs, counsel's fee Rs. 150.


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