PANKAJ BEHARI SAHA Vs. STATE OF TRIPURA
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
Pankaj Behari Saha
STATE OF TRIPURA
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AKIL KURESHI, C.J. -
(1.) These petitions arise in common background. They have been heard together and would be disposed of by this common judgment. For convenience, we may record facts from WP(C) No.1106 of 2019.
(2.) Petitioner is a dealer and was registered under the Tripura Value Added Tax Act, 2004 (TVAT Act, for short) at the relevant time. The Superintendent of Taxes, Udaipur issued a notice on 31.01.2019 to the petitioner under Section 53(3) of the TVAT Act conveying to the petitioner that despite requirement under the said provision the petitioner failed to furnish audited accounts for the years 2010-11, 2011- 12 and 2012-13 by the end of the month after expiry of the period of six months. This was in violation of Section 53(1) and 53(2) of the TVAT Act and would invite penalty @ 0.1% of the gross turnover as provided in sub-section (3) of Section 53 of the TVAT Act. He, therefore, called upon the petitioner to appear in person and show-cause why penalty under the said Section should not be imposed.
(3.) The petitioner filed a detailed reply to the said show-cause notice under a communication dated 26.02.2019 and raised several contentions. One of the grounds taken by the petitioner to oppose the demand was that as required under Section 53 of the TVAT Act, no format for filing the audited report was prescribed by the Government. This ground raised by the petitioner in reply to the show-cause notice was as under :
'4.8 That the petitioner begs to state that the Ld. Assessing Authority has no power to issues Notices on the observation of the A.G. Audit Team which was beyond the law and exceeding their jurisdiction wherein they commented that the assessing authority has to impose penalty under Section 25(4) and 53(3) of TVAT Act, 2004 and hence, A.G. Audit report is bad in law and liable to be set aside and quashed in no time.
4.9. The Assessing Authority has the duty to read harmoniously the provisions of the Act so as to ascertain the true intention of the Legislature in its proper prospective. While the intention of the Legislature is found to be clear under Section 53 of the TVAT Act, 2004 to provide prescribed format for submission of audited balance sheet but in the instant case o prescribed format was provided by the TVAT Rules, 2005 for the same and on the basis of such non-availability of Form in the Rules the assessing authority cannot impose penalty u/s 53 of TVAT Act, 2004 at the time of assessment and therefore, the Notices under Section 27(2), 25(4) and 53(3) of TVAT Act, 2004 dated 31.01.2019 and 11.02.2019 issued by the Learned Superintendent of Taxes (Assessing Authority), Charge- Udaipur are bad in law.' ;
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