DESI RAJU VENDATA KRISHNA SARMA Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
DESI RAJU VENDATA KRISHNA SARMA
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(1.) THE petitioner is a Managing Director of a Company called Messra, Uplands Trading Company Limited, Brodlepet, Guntur. A complaint was filed before the Additional First Class Magistrate No. 1, Guntur, by the Assistant Commercial Tax Officer, Guntur, against the petitioner and other directors of the said company for failure to pay sales tax for the year 1948-49, an offence punishable under S. 15 (b), Madras General Sales Tax Act. The case against them was that the company exported groundnut oil through Messra. Raleigh Brothers, and in respect of that transaction, sales tax to the tune of Rs. 3285-6-3 was payable, that notice in form B demanding payment of the tax was served upon the petitioner, the Managing Director, on 16. 3. 1950, and that in spite of it, this amount was not paid within the time allowed.
(2.) ONE of the defence put forward on behalf of the petitioner was that the company was not liable to pay the demanded as it was already collected from their agents, Messrs. Raleigh Brothers. The pleas raised on behalf of other accused are not material in this inquiry, as they have all been acquitted. This defence has been rejected as S. 16-A, Madras General Sales Tax Act, precluded an assessee from questioning the validity of the assessment in any criminal Court in any prosecution. In this view of the matter, he found the petitioner guilty of the offence charged and convicted and sentenced him to a find of Rs. 100/-, with two months simple imprisonment in default. Besides, there was a direction that the arrears of tax of Rs. 3285-6-3 should be recovered from him as if it were a fine. The other directors were acquitted as no notice of demand was served on them.
(3.) THE petitioner has not questioned his conviction under S. 1 (b), Madras General Sales Tax Act, though the Andhra State Legislature while adopting this Act omitted S. 16-A. But he challenges the validity of the direction as regards the recovery of arrears of tax, as if it were a fine from him personally.;
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