COMMISSIONER OF SALES TAX Vs. SALUJA AND COMPANY
LAWS(MPH)-1980-11-18
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
Decided on November 13,1980

COMMISSIONER OF SALES TAX Appellant
VERSUS
SALUJA AND COMPANY Respondents




JUDGEMENT

- (1.)BY this reference under Section 44 of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act, 1958, hereinafter called the Act, the Board of Revenue has referred the following question of law to this Court for its opinion :
Whether, under Section 19 (1) of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act, 1958, as it was on 18th November, I960, the assessing authority could lawfully reopen the assessment of the dealer on the ground that the C forms on the basis of which concessional rate was allowed were defective ?

(2.)THE material facts giving rise to this reference briefly are as follows: The assessee is a registered dealer carrying on business as a forest contractor. For the assessment year 1959-60, the assessment was framed on 16th October, 1961. While making the assessment, certain C forms were admitted by the assessing authority. Subsequently, on an audit objection in that behalf, the assessment was reopened under Section 19 (1) of the Act, and a notice dated 12th May, 1964, was issued to the assessee in that behalf. The assessing authority held that the C forms were defective and consequently the assessment was revised. Aggrieved by that order, the appellant preferred an appeal before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. It was urged before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner on behalf of the assessee that the assessment could not be reoponed under Section 19 (1) of the Act. That contention was rejected by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. On further appeal, the learned Member of the Board held that the reopening of the assessment was not justified and hence the revised order of assessment for the assessment year 1969-60 was set aside. Aggrieved by that order, the department submitted an application for making a reference, and it is at the instance of the department that the aforesaid question of law has been referred to this Court for its opinion.
(3.)AT the time of hearing of this reference, the learned Government Advocate appearing for the department agreed that the question of law, as framed by the Board, does not bring out the real issue involved. The question referred to this Court is, therefore, refrained as follows:
Whether, under the provisions of Section 19 (1) of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act, 1958, the assessing authority could lawfully reopen the assessment of the dealer for the assessment year 1959-60 on the ground that the C forms, on the basis of which concessional rates were allowed, were defective ?
Now, the provisions of Section 19 (1) of the Act, which were in force during the assessment year 1959-60, empowered reopening of assessment in consequence of any information which came into possession of the assessing authority. The provisions of Section 19 (1) of the Act were amended by Act No. 20 of 1961, which came into force on 1st June, 1961. By that amendment, in Section 19 (1) of the Act the words "if for any reason" were substituted for the words "the Commissioner, in consequence of any information which has come into his possession, is satisfied that". It was not disputed before us that if the unamended provisions of the Act were to be held applicable to the facts of the case, then the assessing authority had no jurisdiction in the instant case to reopen the assessment for the assessment year 1959-60. The short question for consideration, therefore, is whether the Board was right in holding that the unamended provisions of the Act were attracted in the instant case.


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