Decided on September 16,1969



- (1.) THE question that arises in this reference under Section 44 (1) of the Madhya Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1958, is whether, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the sales amounting to Rs. 2,74,965. 77 were inter-State or intra-State sales.
(2.) THE facts stated by the Tribunal are these: The assessee, Messrs Ramchandra Rampratap, Satna, is a registered dealer, dealing in foodgrains and oil-seeds. During the financial year 1959-60, the assessee claimed that its sales of oil-seeds to a Nagpur merchant worth Rs. 2,74,965. 77 were sales in the course of inter-State trade or commerce and, therefore, not taxable under Section 18 (4) of the Madhya Pradesh General Sales Tax Act. The nature of these transactions was that the Nagpur buyer gave to the assessee a standing instruction for the purchase and supply of the goods to him. Pursuant thereto, the assessee purchased the goods in question appropriating them to the account of the Nagpur purchaser debiting him with the purchase price, adhat etc. Intimation of the purchases were in due course sent by it to the Nagpur merchant and on receipt of instructions from him, it sent the goods to parties outside the State. Such despatch instructions were received either on phone or by letters or telegrams. Both the revenue as well as the Tribunal held against the assessee.
(3.) BY an earlier order dated 15th November, 1967, this court has made a direction in terms of Section 44 (4) requiring the Tribunal to submit a further statement of the case. It was observed : In such a case, the real question is whether the movement of goods outside the State took place in pursuance of the contract of sale with the outside buyer or it took place as a result of a subsequent direction given by the aforesaid outside buyer either on account of a fresh contract made by him with a third party or otherwise. To determine that question, it is necessary to consider all the material terms of the contract on the basis of which the Board of Revenue took a particular view. Since the terms of the contract, as found by the Board of Revenue, have not been set out fully and precisely as required and the case, as stated, is not sufficient to enable us to answer the question, it must go back to the Board of Revenue for a fuller statement. In compliance of this direction, the Tribunal has furnished us with a supplementary statement of the case setting out all the facts discernible from the record. It has been accepted before us that there was no written contract between the assessee and the Nagpur buyer from which the terms of the contract between the parties could be determined. As regards the other documents, the Tribunal had noticed the assessee to appear for assisting it to draw up a further statement of facts, but despite notice the assessee preferred to remain absent. We have reasons to believe that the assessee has deliberately withheld the relevant documents like the account books, bill-books, sales tax register, railway register and the correspondence pertaining to the contract in question, because their production was felt by the assessee to be detrimental to its interest. ;

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