J. Shyam Sundar Rao, Chairman -
(1.) THESE two appeals are filed against the Revisional orders of Additional Commissioner (CT) (Legal), O/o. The Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Hyderabad in CCT's Ref. No. L. III(1)/1947/2003 -1, dated 15 -2 -2006. The appellant is M/s. Anab -E -Shahi Wines & Distilleries Pvt. Ltd., Ashoknagar, Hyderabad. It is on the rolls of Commercial Tax Officer, Ashoknagar Circle, Hyderabad. It deals in Liquors. The Commercial Tax Officer Ashoknagar Circle passed final assessment orders dated 3 -2 -1995 and 31 -3 -1995 for the assessment years 1993 -94 & 1994 -95 respectively levying tax on packing materials. Aggrieved by the same, they preferred appeals before the Appellate Deputy Commissioner (CT), Secunderabad Division, Hyderabad. Later they went upto Supreme Court. Their claim had been dismissed. The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the High Court, which in turn remanded these matters to this Tribunal. Finally, this Tribunal dismissed the claim of the appellant. Ultimately, this Tribunal decided the matter in favour of the Revenue. In pursuance of the dismissal orders passed by this Tribunal, the Commercial Tax Officer passed revised assessment orders for the assessment years 1993 -94 and 1994 -95 dated 22 -10 -2001 & 23 -10 -2001 quantifying the balance of tax due from the appellant at Rs. 62,79,911/ - for the year 1993 -94 & Rs. 93,35,916 for the year 1994 -95 respectively. The Commercial Tax Officer issued B -III Demand Notice calling upon the appellant to pay the above amount due to the department. Thereupon the appellant made a representation dated 25 -10 -2001 seeking divulgence of the department to grant time to pay the above demanded amount on installments basis. The Deputy Commissioner by order dated 6 -11 -2001 granted time to pay the amount of Rs. 62,79,911/ - for the year 1993 -94 & Rs. 94,35,916/ - for the year 1994 -95 in 17 equal monthly installments subject to certain conditions. It seems the assessee though paid amounts on installment basis failed to pay the last installment in time. Thereupon, the Commercial Tax Officer, Ashoknagar Circle, Hyderabad by his order dated 28 -6 -2003 levied interest of Rs. 1,37,44,792/ - for the year 1993 -94 & Rs. 1,89,53,640/ - for the year 1994 -95 enclosing a statement of Annexures I & II calling upon the assessee to pay the above interest. The interest has been levied from the due date of filing of A2 returns filed by the appellant for the years 1993 -94 and 1994 -95. Aggrieved by the same, the appellant filed appeal before the Appellate Deputy Commissioner (CT), Secunderabad Division, Hyderabad. The Appellate Authority by his order dated 20th August, 2003 allowed the appeals. However, the Additional Commissioner (CT) (Legal), O/o the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad by virtue of the powers conferred under Section 20(2) of the APGST Act, 1957, intended to revise the order passed by the Appellate Deputy Commissioner, having found that the same is prejudicial to the interests of revenue and issued pre revision show cause notice proposing to restore the order dated 28 -6 -2003 passed by the Commercial Tax Officer. The assessee objected for the proposed revision. However, the Additional Commissioner dismissed the objections of the assessee and restored the order passed by the Commercial Tax Officer by setting aside the order passed by the Appellate Deputy Commissioner. Aggrieved by the same, the present two appeals have been filed before this Tribunal.
(2.) IN the appeal grounds, it has been contended by the appellant as follows:
The order of the Appellate Deputy Commissioner is neither erroneous nor prejudicial to the interests of the revenue. The Additional Commissioner ought to have held that no interest is leviable from the due date fixed for filing of the returns in as much as the amount in question did not arise on account of any admission in the return but it arose on account of imposition by the assessing officer by the final assessment orders dated 3 -2 -1995 & 31 -3 -1998 for the assessment years in question. Since the Deputy Commissioner granted instalments, interest runs under Section 16(2)(b) of the APGST Act only in respect of the period for which there was delayed payments beyond the installments date. Since the demand for Rs. 62,72,911/ - and Rs. 94,35,916/ - arose on account of assessment orders dated 3 -2 -1995 and 31 -3 -1998, interest is leviable only for the period subsequent to 6 -11 -2001. Levy of interest is vitiated by unreasonable delay. Reliance is placed on the decision rendered by the Apex Court in 141 STC page 1.
At the time of hearing of the appeal, the learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the order of the Additional Commissioner is erroneous since interest is payable by the appellant only from the date of demand made in pursuance of the assessment orders granting time for payment of the amount of tax due on installment basis. Under Section 16(2)(b) of the APGST Act, interest is payable in case of default on the amounts specified in the installments letter but not on the amount calculated prior to the date of assessment order.
(3.) HOWEVER , the State Representative supported the orders of the Revenue. It is contended that since the appellant did not pay the actual tax payable on the packing material in the A2 returns, interest is payable from the date of filing of A2 returns only. It is contended that there is no period of limitation for recovery of the interest from the appellant.;