Decided on March 10,1966



Somnath Iyer, J. - (1.)The petitioner before us in these two cases is a company known as the Mysore Kirloskar Limited which is a manufacturer of agricultural implements and other machine tools. This company was carrying on a business in the sale of agricultural implements in the Gadag and Hubli areas, in which, at the relevant point of time, the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1953 (Bombay Act III of 1953) was operating. After these two areas became part of the new State of Mysore under the States Reorganisation Act, the Commercial Tax Officer functioning under the Mysore Sales Tax Act, 1957, issued notices intimating the petitioner that he proposed to commence proceedings under sub-sections (6) and (7) of section 14 of the Bombay Sales Tax Act in Writ Petition No. 308 of 1964 and under sub-sections (6) and (7) of section 14 and section 15 of that Act in Writ Petition No. 309 of 1964. In Writ Petition No. 308 of 1964 which relates to the Gadag area, the petitioner was informed that since he had failed to register himself as a dealer under the Bombay Sales Tax Act although he was liable to pay the tax in respect of the period to which the notice related, it was proposed to make a best judgment assessment of the tax due by the petitioner and to impose a penalty on him under sub-section (7) of section 14 of wilful failure to apply for registration. The notice under section 15 intimated the petitioner that it was proposed to assess his escaped turnover. The period to which both of these notices related was the period between 1st November, 1956, and 30th September, 1957.
(2.)By these notices, the petitioner was called upon to produce his accounts by the dates specified in these notices. The petitioner thereupon pointed out to the concerned Commercial Tax Officer that the proceedings which were proposed to be commenced had become time barred. The Commercial Tax Officer, however, maintained that he could continue the proceedings and so, the petitioner asks us to quash the notices issued by the Commercial Tax Officer and to stop further proceedings by appropriate writs and directions.
(3.)The incompetence on the part of the Commercial Tax Officer to commence the impugned proceedings is sought to be deduced from section 15 of the Bombay Sales Tax Act which authorises the assessment of an escaped turnover within five years of the end of the year to which the turnover relates in the one case and within three years from that date in the other. It was contended that what the Commercial Tax Officer proposed to do in each of these two cases was to assess the turnover of the petitioner which was supposed to have escaped assessment and that since the periods with which we are concerned ended on 30th September, 1957, the notices issued by the Commercial Tax Officer in the year 1964 were issued too late, and were, therefore, beyond his competence.

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