(1.) A common question arises for decision in these cases; and it is whether the power of revision under S.15 of the General Sales Tax Act, 1125 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) can be used to assess escaped turnover after the period of three years prescribed under R.33 of the General Sales Tax R.1950 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) for assessment of escaped turnover. S.15(3) fixes a period of four years from the date on which the order of assessment was communicated to the assessee, for exercise of the revisional power.
(2.) In O. P. 3988, the petitioner is a dealer in rubber. For the year 1960-61. the petitioner made a return, showing a total sale turnover of Rs. 11,45,012.47, and he claimed exemption for a sum of Rs. 8,49,146.52, on the ground that it represented inter State sales, and for the balance of Rs. 2,95,865.95, on the ground that he was not the first seller in the State in respect of that part of the turnover. The petitioner's claim was accepted by the assessing authority; and he passed an order on 13-11-1962, declaring that the petitioner was not liable to tax. The Deputy Commissioner found out that the petitioner's claim that he was not the first seller in respect of the turnover of Rs. 2,95,865.95 was false, and issued notice on 9-4-1965 under S.15(1) of the Act, to show cause why the order of assessment should not be revised and the aforesaid turnover charged to tax. The petitioner maintained that he was not the first seller; and he also contended that, in the light of the decisions of this Court in Ninan v. The State of Kerala ( 1965 KLT 1107 ) and Sarvothama Srinivasa Shenoy v. Deputy Commissioner of Agricultural Income tax and Sales tax, Kozhikode ( 1965 KLT 304 ), the power of revision cannot be exercised beyond the period of three years prescribed by R.23 of the Rules, and that the proposed proceedings were, therefore, time barred. The Deputy Commissioner overruled the petitioner's objection; and passed an order on 30-5-1966, revising the assessment, and charging tax on the turnover of Rs. 2,95, 865.95.
(3.) In O. P. 4137, the petitioner is the owner of an oil mill, who buys copra, produces oil therefrom and sells oil and cake. For the year 1961-62, he returned the turnover of the purchase of copra as Rs. 38,752.13. The assessing authority did not accept the return; and he passed an order of assessment on 20-9-1962, fixing the purchase turnover of copra at 48,440.16, and charging 2% tax thereon. This was a gross error. He should have determined the turnover in accordance with the notification No. HI-14364!57!RD-2 dated 25-3-1958. Under the Act, copra is taxable at the point of last purchase in the State, and oil and cake are taxable on sales. The above notification granted an exemption on the sale of coconut oil and cake to the extent of the price of copra purchased during the assessment year, and necessary to produce the said oil and cake. In other words, the assessment must be on the total purchase turnover of copra, plus the total sale turnover of oil and cake, minus the purchase, price of copra during that year and necessary to produce the said oil and cake. The assessing authority failed to take into account the turnover in respect of sale of oil and cake, when making the assessment. On detecting this mistake, the Deputy Commissioner issued a notice on 22-8-1966 to the petitioner under S.15(1) of the Act to how cause why the assessment should not be revised by recomputing the turnover in accordance with law, and assessed accordingly. The petitioner objected to the proposed proceedings on the ground of limitation. The Deputy Commissioner overruled his objection, and passed an order on 17-9-1966, revising the order of assessment, and determining the turnover and tax payable by the petitioner according to law. Under this order, the taxable turnover was fixed at Rs. 65,058.82.;