Decided on February 25,2009

A.L. Iron And Steels Pvt. Ltd. And Anr. Appellant
Sales Tax Officer And Anr. Respondents


Pradipta Ray, Chairman - (1.) IN this application the Petitioners have challenged an order dated August 3, 2007 cancelling registration certificate of Petitioner No. 1, a company registered under the Companies Act on the allegation that Petitioner No. 1 did not exist at its declared place of business.
(2.) THE Petitioners have stated that the cancellation order was passed without serving any notice and without giving any opportunity of hearing. The Petitioner No. 1 declared 18/1, Maharshi Debendra Road (in short, "M. D. Road") as its place of business at the time of obtaining registration under the West Bengal Value Added Tax Act, 2003 (in short, "the VAT Act"). Admittedly Petitioner No. 1 continued its business from 18/1, M. D. Road till April 31, 2008. On and from May 1, business place was shifted from M. D. Road to 1, British Indian Street, Room No. 202. The Respondents have alleged that the sales tax officials went to 18/1, M. D. Road twice, once on June 29 and again on August 2, 2007 for verification whether Petitioner No. 1 was carrying business from the said place but on each occasion the concerned room was found to be under lock and key. In the inspection report dated June 29, 2007 it was stated that there was no signboard of Petitioner No. 1 at the said place of business and that on local enquiry whereabouts about the dealer could not be ascertained. In the second report dated August 2, 2007 it was stated that the room was locked and neighbouring dealers could not say anything about Petitioner No. 1. From the order sheet it appears that on August 17, 2005 an order was recorded directing Sri A. Majumdar, Assistant Commercial Tax Officer, Posta Bazar to visit the Petitioner's place of business and to enquire about the Petitioner's business activity. Strangely nothing was done for about two years. As already stated on June 29, 2007 A. C. T. O., Posta Bazar, held an inspection. It is not clear why such inspection was made. Order sheet does not contain any direction other than the one dated August 17, 2005. On the basis of the purported inspection report dated June 29, 2007 an order was recorded on July 24, 2007 directing Sri A. Mridha to visit and enquire about the Petitioner's existence at the declared place of business. On July 25, 2007 a notice under Section 66 of the VAT Act was directed to be issued asking the dealer to produce its books of account for the periods 2005 -06 and 2006 -07 on August 16, 2007. An enquiry report was submitted on August 2, 2007 and on August 3, 2007 the impugned order of cancellation of registration was passed although the Petitioner was asked to produce books of account on August 16, 2007.
(3.) IN the order dated August 3, 2007 it was mentioned that by memo No. 1969 dated July 6, 2007 the Petitioner was asked to appear before the Sales Tax Officer (S. T. O.) on July 20, 2007 and to show cause why his registration certificate would not be cancelled. But the order sheet does not include any order dated July 6, 2007 or anything on July 20, 2007. According to the impugned order the notice under Section 66 came back unserved with postal remark "left".;

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