Decided on March 25,1998

Prime Impex Ltd Appellant
Commercial Tax Officer Park Street Charge Respondents


L.N.Ray (Chairman) - (1.) THE grievance of the applicant No. 1 (company) in this application under Section 8 of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act, 1987 in the nature of one under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is that respondent No. 1 made an ex parte order of assessment on January 16, 1998 for the period from April 1, 1997 to December 31, 1997 under the West Bengal Sales Tax Act, 1994 (in short, "the 1994 Act"). On March 12, 1998 the company filed an appeal as well as an application for stay of the order of assessment before respondent No. 2, Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, South Circle. The company received an intimation dated March 14, 1998 from Deutsche Bank, Shakespeare Sarani Branch, Calcutta (proforma respondent No. 1) to the effect that the company's current account No. 4002465000 had been attached under the orders of respondents on March 12, 1998. Although no such formal intimation was received from Allahabad Bank, 7, Red Cross Place Branch, Calcutta (proforma respondent No. 2), the applicants came to know that the accounts held by them with that Bank had also been similarly attached on the same date. Such attachments of bank accounts have allegedly stalled business transactions of the applicants. The order of assessment is challenged, inter alia, as unjustified and bad in law for want of reasonable opportunity. The attachments of the bank accounts are also challenged as invalid and otiose, because it was done during pendency of the stay application. Though in the application (paragraph 22) the actions of the respondents are said to be violative of articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 265 of the Constitution of India, no submission was made at the time of hearing in respect of alleged violation of articles 19(1)(g) and 265.
(2.) APPLICATION was finally heard without exchange of affidavits, because both the parties wanted to argue the matter and none of them wanted time for filing affidavit -in -opposition or affidavit -in -reply. The applicants have challenged the order of assessment dated January 16, 1998 and also attachment of the bank accounts effected on March 12, 1998.
(3.) THE learned State Representatives appearing for respondents objected to entertaining the application on the ground that appeal is the appropriate remedy in respect of order of assessment, and the applicant -company has already availed of that remedy. While the appeal is pending the present application is not maintainable. Mr. M.L. Bhattacharyya appearing for the applicants submitted that the order of assessment is challenged on the ground of denial of opportunity of being heard which emanates from Article 14 of the Constitution. The orders of attachment of bank accounts are also challenged in the application. Hence, according to Mr. Bhattacharyya, the application is maintainable.;

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