Decided on February 20,1963

Sales Tax Officer, Specl. Circle, Cannanore Respondents


- (1.)In this writ petition, Mr. Rama Shenoi, learned counsel for the petitioner, challenges the order of assessment passed, no doubt, for the second time, by the concerned Sales Tax Officer for the year 1956-57 evidenced by Ext. P3. It is seen that the assessment is to be made under the provisions of the. Madras. General Sales Tax Act for the year in question. There was originally an order of assessment for the same year made by the assessing authority on 24-3-1958. That order was taken up in appeal before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. The said officer set aside the assessment by order dated 18-11-1958 mainly on the ground that the order has been passed in violation of the principles of natural justice. If that is so, it follows that the approach made by the assessing authority again for the purpose of making an order of fresh assessment cannot be said to be correct.
(2.)After the matter went back to the assessing authority the latter issued what he calls a pre assessment notice, Ext. P1 dated 7-4-1960. The various matters which should be indicated in the pre assessment notice and especially that the assessing authority must clearly inform the party concerned the basis which he proposes to adopt for the purpose of making a best judgment assessment are laid down by several decisions of this court but those decisions were not available to the assessing authority when he issued the pre assessment notice, Ext. P1. It is only on that ground that the baldness of the pre assessment notice can be explained in this case. No doubt, a pre assessment notice, Ext. P1, was issued. Ext. P1 after pointing out what according to the officer are various defects found in the account books of the petitioner ultimately winds up by saying that the assessing authority proposes to make an assessment on a best judgment basis and calls upon the petitioner to file his objections before him at 10 A.M. on 18-4-1960 in his office at Tellicherry supported by books of account and there is also a threat that if the party fails in complying with this order the turnover will be determined as proposed in the pre assessment notice.
(3.)The petitioner did appear on 18-4-1960 as intimated in the pre assessment notice, Ext. P1, and the petitioner also says that he appeared on the date with all the books of account maintained for the purpose of his business and he filed objections, Ext. P2.

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