DEB KUMAR CHAKRABORTI, J. -
(1.) THIS is an application under section 8 of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act, 1987, wherein the petitioner, Mr. Jameerul Hasan, the proprietor of M/s. Continental Leather Corporation of 2/1E, Miazan Ostagar Lane, Kolkata 700 017, has assailed the assessment order dated June 22, 2001 in respect of fourth quarter ending on March 31, 1999, passed by the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Colootala Charge, the appellate order dated May 20, 2003, passed by the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Dharmatala Circle and the revisional order dated July 28, 2009 passed by the learned Member, West Bengal Commercial Taxes Appellate and Revisional Board.
(2.) Mr. A. M. Gangopadhyay, learned advocate of the petitioner appearing with Mr. J. M. Mukherjee, learned advocate and Mr. N.K. Kundu, learned advocate, has submitted that the petitioner's firm is registered under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, as a cent -per cent export oriented unit (EOU) by the council for leather exports. Learned advocate has drawn our attention to annexure B of the petition whereas a copy of such certificate bearing No.
CLE/ERO/REGN/LG/60408 is enclosed. The certificate is found renewed up to March 31, 2001. Learned advocate has also filed a copy of certificate of recognition as export house issued by the Directorate -General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. The petitioner is a manufacturer -exporter of leather goods, namely, bags, wallets, jackets, etc. As a registered dealer under the West Bengal Sales Tax Act, 1994, the petitioner was assessed under section 45(1) of the WBST Act, 1994 in respect of fourth quarter ending on March 31,1999 on June 22, 2001. Since the petitioner failed to reconcile the differences of sales figures as per returns with books of accounts and final accounts, the assessing authority rejected the books of accounts and calculated gross turnover at Rs. 4,97,98,357 and allowed deduction of Rs. 4,45,24,296 on account of export. The assessing officer also levied purchase tax of Rs. 5,47,837.26, interest of Rs. 62,048 and imposed penalty of Rs. 2,000. An additional demand of Rs. 15,21,661 was raised and the demand notice in form 30 was issued. Learned advocate has argued that reasonable opportunities were not allowed to the petitioner to reconcile the difference. Moreover, the petitioner is not liable to pay purchase tax under rule 66(2) of the WBST Rules, 1995. Being aggrieved against the impugned assessment order the petitioner filed appeal petition before respondent No. 2, the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Dharmatala Circle (in short, "D. C. CT. DH"). The appellate authority confirmed the assessment order on the ground that the petitioner failed to reconcile the difference and also held that the petitioner is liable to pay purchase tax being failed to satisfy norms of 100 per cent EOU, by making local sales. The learned advocate has argued that the observation of the appellate authority is not correct since no authority other than the council for leather exports can decide the change in the character of an EOU. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a revision application before the West Bengal Commercial Taxes Appellate and Revisional Board (in short, "the Board"). Learned Member of the Board also confirmed the order of the authority below on the same grounds as assigned by the appellate authority.
(3.) The learned advocate of the petitioner has claimed that the accountant of the firm was sick at the time of assessment. As such it was not possible for the petitioner to reconcile the differences in the figures. Now, the learned advocate has filed a reconciliation statement before this Tribunal along with xerox copy of bills cancelled and the corresponding confirmation letters for cancellation. Learned advocate has also cited the decision of the honourable apex court in the case of Steel Authority of India Ltd. v. Sales Tax Officer, Rourkela I Circle,  16 VST 181 (SQ;, 54 STA 86 and has argued that since the appellate and revisional authority did not examine the issues properly, both the orders are liable for set aside.
Mr. A K. Nath, learned State Representative, has opposed the contentions of the learned advocate of the petitioner and has relied on the assessment, appellate and revisional orders passed by the appropriate authorities.;