Decided on June 11,2010

Smt. Asima Hazra Appellant
Commissioner Of Sales Tax West Bengal And Anr. Respondents


DIPAK CHAKRABORTI, J. - (1.) THE Petitioner is a manufacturer of industrial fans, namely, axial flow fans, trough fans, cold air fans, hot air fans and such other air blowing machineries. These items, as claimed by the Petitioner, are commercially used as machineries in tea processing industries and food processing industries and in similar other allied industries. According to the Petitioner, the items in question fall within the meaning of "machinery for tea industry and/or machinery for food and food processing industries including flour mills" as covered by serial Nos. (i) and (ii) of entry 54B in Part I of Schedule C to the West Bengal Value Added Tax Act, 2003 (in short, "the VAT Act"). It has been submitted in this petition that the Petitioner received a notice on May 26, 2008 purportedly issued under Section 66 of the VAT Act by the Sales Tax Officer, Central Section, directing her to produce party -wise purchase statements, copies of returns and challans, bank statements pertaining to the periods 2005 -06, 2006 -07 and 2007 -08.
(2.) It has been submitted in this petition that the Petitioner duly complied with the said direction. Subsequently, the officers from the Bureau of Investigation visited the Petitioner's place of business and seized some books of account and records on July 22, 2008 pertaining to the periods 2005 -06, 2006 -07, 2007 -08 and 2008 -09. During the course of examination of books of account which followed thereafter, it was opined by the officers of Bureau of Investigation that the items in question were exigible to tax at 12.5 per cent and hence was directed to pay the difference of tax. On compulsion, as claimed by the Petitioner, Rs. 1,50,000 had to be paid by the Petitioner in between August and September 2008.
(3.) ON November 24, 2008, the Petitioner moved a petition under Section 102 of the VAT Act before the Commissioner of Sales Tax, West Bengal, Respondent No. 1, seeking clarification as to the appropriate rate of tax on the items in question being manufactured and sold by her. By an order dated March 4, 2009, Respondent No. 1 opined that the items in question would fall within the meaning of Schedule CA to the VAT Act as an unspecified item and would attract tax at 12.5 per cent.;

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