COMMISSIONER OF SALES TAX Vs. C L SHARMA
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
COMMISSIONER OF SALES TAX
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(1.) THIS is a case stated by the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal referring for our answer the following question of law : Whether on the facts and circumstances of the case the acceptance of the duplicate 'c Forms produced for the reason that the originals were lost not legal and proper ?
(2.) THE case relates to the assessment for the period 9th November, 1961, to 28th October, 1962, of one C. L. Sharma, who is a registered dealer under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. For a certain part of his turnover the dealer claimed that he should be assessed at the reduced rate of tax specified in Section 8 (1) (b) of the Act, as the sales were made in the course of inter-State trade or commerce to a registered dealer. To bring his case under this provision, he produced declaration in 'c Forms signed by the purchasing dealer as required by Section 8 (4) of the Act. Eight of the declarations produced by the assessee were not portions of the 'c Forms marked "original" but portions marked "duplicate". The dealer could not produce the portions marked "original" as they were lost. The assessing authority rejected these "duplicates" and held that the sales covered by these declarations did not qualify for the benefit of reduced rate of tax under Section 8 (1 ) (b) of the Act. The order of the assessing authority was maintained by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner in first appeal, but in second appeal the Tribunal admitted the portions of the 'c Forms marked "duplicate" and held that the sales covered by them should also be assessed under Section 8 (1 ) (b) of the Act. On an application made by the Commissioner of Sales Tax, the question of law that we have already set out was referred to us.
(3.) AS provided in Section 8 (4) of the Act, the benefit of Section 8 (1) is not available in respect of any sale in the course of inter-State trade or commerce unless the dealer selling the goods furnishes to the prescribed authority in the prescribed manner a declaration duly filled and signed by the registered dealer to whom the goods are sold containing the prescribed particulars in a prescribed form obtained from the prescribed authority. Rule 12 of the Central Sales Tax (Registration and Turnover) Rules, 1957, prescribes the form of declaration which is Form 'c. This form consists of three portions which are separately marked as "counterfoil", "duplicate" and "original". The manner in which these forms are to be used and produced is prescribed by Rule 8 of the Madhya Pradesh Sales Tax (Central) Rules, 1957. 'sub-rules (1) (a), (2) and (5-A) (i) to (v) of Rule 8 which are relevant for our purpose read as follows : (1) (a) A registered dealer, who wishes to purchase goods from another such dealer on payment of tax at the rate applicable under the Act to sales of goods by one registered dealer to another, for the purpose specified in the purchasing dealer's certificate of registration, shall obtain from the authority mentioned in Sub-rule (1) or any other officer as may be authorised by the Commissioner in this behalf, blank declaration form in Form 'c as prescribed under Sub-rule (1) of Rule 12 of the Central Sales Tax (Registration and Turnover) Rules, 1957, for furnishing it to the selling dealer. Before furnishing the declaration to the selling dealer, the purchasing dealer, or any responsible person authorised by him in this behalf, shall fill in all required particulars in the form, and shall also affix his usual signature in the space provided in the form for this purpose. Thereafter, the counterfoil of the form shall be retained by the purchasing dealer and the other two portions marked 'original' and 'duplicate' shall be made over by him to the selling dealer. " " (2) A registered dealer who claims to have made a sale to another registered dealer or to the Government shall, in respect of such claim, at any time before the assessment, furnish to the assessing authority to whom he has furnished a return in Form V, the portion marked 'original' of the declaration or certificate received by him from the purchasing dealer or the Government, as the case may be. He shall also maintain a register in Forms VI-A and VI-B for declarations and certificates respectively, showing serially and chronologically the receipt of the declarations and certificates from the purchasing dealer or the Government. These registers shall be open for inspection by any officer of the Sales Tax Department not below the rank of the Sales Tax Officer or any other officer authorised by a Sales Tax Officer in this behalf and he may also verify the declaration forms and certificates kept in custody of the selling dealer. The assessing authority may, in its discretion, also direct the selling dealer to produce for inspection, the portion of the declaration or certificate marked 'duplicate'. " " (5-A) (i) Where a declaration form either blank or duly completed and signed by the purchasing dealer, is lost while it is in his custody before despatch or lost in transit after it has been despatched to the selling dealer, the purchasing dealer, besides taking action prescribed under Sub-rule (5), furnish to the said authority, from whom the said form was obtained, a reasonable security by way of an indemnity bond, separately for each form so lost, against any possible misuse of the said form. (ii) Where a form of certificate duly completed and signed by the authorised officer is lost, the authorised officer shall inform the nearest Sales Tax Officer about the contents of the certificate. The Sales Tax Officer receiving such a report shall arrange to publish in the Official Gazette the particulars of the certificate in respect of which the report is received. (iii) Where a blank or duly completed and signed declaration form furnished by the purchasing dealer is lost from the custody of the selling dealer, the latter shall in the manner specified in Clause (i) furnish a security by way of an indemnity bond in respect of the declaration form to the authority to whom he is required to furnish his returns in Form V. (iv) Where a blank or duly completed and signed declaration form or the form of certificate is lost in transit or from the custody of the selling dealer, he shall obtain a duplicate form from the purchasing dealer or department of any State or Central Government as the case may be to whom he sold the goods and in case of his failure to do so his sale in question shall not be treated as falling under Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the Act. (v) The purchasing dealer or any responsible person authorised by him under Sub-rule (1) of Rule 8 or any officer of any State or Central Government duly authorised in this behalf, who issues any duplicate form to the selling dealer as required by Clause (iv), shall give the declaration in Form VII-A in red ink across the page on all the three parts of the duplicate declaration form or form of the certificate duly signed by him. ;
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