Decided on January 30,2009

Jay Prokash Chowhan Appellant
Sales Tax Officer, Phansidewa More Check -Post And Ors. Respondents


R.K.Datta Chaudhuri, Member (J) - (1.) THIS application under Section 8(1) of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act, 1987 filed on February 8, 2008 is directed against seizure of Volvo excavator in the seizure Case No. 450/PMCP/07 -08 dated January 15, 2008 by the Sales Tax Officer, Phansidewa More check -post, Siliguri and the penalty order passed on April 2, 2008 by the said officer with prayer for setting aside both the seizure and the penalty order.
(2.) THE admitted fact of the case in short is this. The Petitioner, an unregistered dealer, brought by road transport to West Bengal his newly purchased excavator from outside West Bengal. It was intercepted and detained by Respondent No. 1, Sales Tax Officer, on January 13, 2008 at Phansidewa More check -post. The driver of the vehicle carrying the excavator produced the consignment note and invoice. On January 15, 2008 at 10 p.m. it was seized on the ground of non -production of endorsed way bill it had entered through Chichira check -post. In pendency of this proceeding of this application a penalty of Rs. 16,36,200 under Section 77 of the VAT Act, 2003 adding cost of Rs. 1,50,000 to the invoiced price of the goods was awarded for non -production of the way -bill with observation, inter alia, that though the work order dated June 26, 2007 with date of completion as December 31, 2007 was produced, nothing were produced to show that there had been a works contract prior to purchase and also to have the infrastructure for execution of the works contract valued at Rs. 2.16 crores. The Petitioner's case in short is this. He brought the purchased excavator for the purpose of its use in his own business of excavating land under contract with M/s. Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. in Teesta Low Dam Project, Stage IV. He contended that no way -bill was necessary because it was his personal effect and that the seizure and consequential penalty order were illegal.
(3.) RESPONDENT No. 1, Sales Tax Officer, contested the application supporting the impugned seizure and penalty order while admitting the application under order dated February 15, 2008 the seized goods were directed to be released to the Petitioner provided he furnished bank guarantee of Rs. 1 lakh and a bond of Rs. 5 lakh securing the penalty if imposed and stand.;

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