Decided on June 18,2010

Hassan Tannery Appellant


M. Seetharama Murti, Chairman - (1.)THIS is a second appeal assailing the orders dated 28 -08 -2000 of the Appellate Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Kakinada, at Visakhapatnam ('ADC' for short) made in Appeal No. VZM 1/1999 -2000 whereby the ADC had dismissed the first appeal and confirmed the orders dated 28.01.1999 of the Commercial Tax Officer, (South) Vizianagaram Circle (for short, 'CTO') in G.I. No. 6931/1997 -98 under the A.P. General Sales Tax Act, 1957 (for short 'Act') for the year 1997 -98. The facts leading to the present appeal and the facts of the case of the appellants, in brief, are as follows: "The appellant were registered dealers in hides and skins and were regular assesses on the rolls of the CTO. The CTO had provisionally assessed the appellants for the year 1997 -98 on gross and net turnovers of Rs. 38,74,154/ - and Rs. 4,58,020/ - respectively and raised a tax demand of Rs. 58,185/ -. The demand notice was duly served on the appellants. However, the appellants did not pay the demanded amount of disputed tax. Therefore, the CTO had levied penal interest at a flat rate of 30% on the tax due for the period from 26.10.1998. The penal interest was levied in accordance with the provision under Section 16(3) of the Act. Aggrieved of the said orders of the CTO the appellants had preferred a first appeal before the ADC. However, the ADC had dismissed the said appeal."
(2.)AGGRIEVED of the said orders of the ADC, the appellants had preferred the instant appeal and urged, apart from the usual grounds, the following grounds of appeal: - [1] The action taken by the assessing authority is against the Principles of Natural justice and the said action violated the contents of G.O.Ms. No. 1059, Revenue dated 27.07.1982. According to the said GO the assessing authority was restrained from taking up the matter when the matter was sub -judice before the higher authorities. [2] Aggrieved of the provisional assessment orders of the CTO the appellants had preferred an appeal before the ADC along with the stay application. However, the prayer for grant of stay was rejected by the ADC and hence the appellants had filed revision petitions before the Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, (Legal), A.P. at Hyderabad ('JC' for short). Therefore, the orders passed by the ADC are not justifiable. The interest levied by the assessing authority is contrary to law and against the Principles of Natural Justice.
Arguments of the learned AR and the learned SR were heard. The learned AR mainly contended as follows: "The lower authorities levied interest at a flat rate of 30% as per terms of sub -section 3(a) of Section 16, without having regard to the number of the days of delay in paying the tax that was demanded. The said action of the assessing authority is illegal and contrary to law. The assessing authority had failed to follow the instructions of the higher authorities in Memo No. 13300/CT.II(1)/2004 -1 dated 08.06.2004." The learned SR supported the impugned orders.

(3.)NOW the points for determination are -
(1) Whether the impugned orders levying penal interest @ 30% on the tax due can be sustained under facts and law?

(2) To what relief?

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