JUDGEMENT

- (1.)THIS order shall also govern the disposal of Miscellaneous Petitions Nos. 94, 360, 589, 590, 591, 592, 593, 594, 595, 596, 597 and 644 of 1979.
(2.)THE petitioners in all these petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India are registered dealers under the M. P. General Sales Tax Act, 1958. They deal in purchase and sale of different commodities including jeera*, ajwain* somph*, methi* and dania*. For the assessment years 1963-64 to 1972-73, sales of these commodities were assessed to sales tax for which purpose they were treated as falling under the residuary entry No. 1, Schedule II, Part VI, of the Act and not as oil-seeds. Tax was charged at 6 per cent or 7 per cent. The petitioners accepted the assessment and paid tax accordingly. However, in a case arising under the Orissa Sales Tax Act, the Assistant Commissioner of Sales Tax held these articles to be "oil-seeds" within the meaning of Section 14 (vi) of the Central Sales Tax Act and gave the assessee the benefit of a lower rate of tax. The order was affirmed by the Sales Tax Tribunal. On a reference being made at the instance of the department under Section 24 of the Orissa Sales Tax Act, the conclusion reached by the Tribunal was upheld by the High Court. The department then appealed before the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court by its judgment dated 30th March, 1976, in Civil Appeals Nos. 912 to 916 of 1971 dismissed the appeals. This decision was reported in July issue of A. I. R. , as State of Orissa v. Dinabandhu Sahu AIR 1976 SC 1561.
(3.)AFTER the pronouncement of the decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Dinabandhu Sahu's case AIR 1976 SC 1561, the present petitions were filed before this Court between 24th March, 1979, and 30th March, 1979. The contention in all these petitions is that the entry relating to "oil-seeds" appearing in Section 14 (vi) of the Central Act is virtually the same as it appeared in entry No. 7, Part I, of Schedule II of the State Act, at the relevant time, and since the commodities in question have been held to be oil-seeds in Dinabandhu Sahu's case AIR 1976 SC 1561, they should have been assessed at a lower rate of tax which ranged between 2 per cent to 3 per cent during the period in question. They claim that they paid tax at the higher rate only under mistake. The relief claimed is that the tax imposed be declared ultra vires and the department be directed to refund the excess tax so collected. Although these petitions were filed nearly three years after the pronouncement of the judgment in Dinahandhu Sahu's case AIR 1976 SC 1561 and much after the assessments became final in all these, the assessment orders were not challenged even when the hearing of these petitions commenced. It was only after the matter was partly heard that applications were moved in each case seeking permission to amend the petitions claiming further relief of setting aside the assessment.


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