P.B.Mukharji, C.J. -
(1.) These two Sales Tax References Nos. 395 of 1965 and 521 of 1967 relate to the same facts and the same parties. For the sake of convenience and also on the submission of the learned counsel in these matters, we are disposing of the questions raised by one judgment. The two questions raised in these references for decision are as follows :- (1) Whether on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, in exercise of his powers Under Section 20(3) of the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941, the Additional Commissioner was competent to reassess the gross turnover of the petitioner by taking into consideration additional material which had not been made available to the Assessing officer ? (2) Whether on the facts admitted or found by the Tribunals below, the Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes was vested with the authority or jurisdiction, under Sub-section (3) of Section 20 of the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941, read with Rule 80 A of the Rules framed thereunder to admit or rely on the purported report dated 27th December, 1960, of the Commercial Tax Officer of the Central Section, pursuant to the enquiry under Sub-section (1) of Section 14 of the said Act, initiated long before the filing of the revision petition in question by the petitioner before the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, West Bengal.
(2.) The Board of Revenue referred question (1) by its order dated 24th August, 1965, while this court by its order dated 27th September, 1966, directed the Board to refer question (2).
(3.) The facts relevant for the purposes of these references are as follows : Messrs Ram Kanai Jamini Ranjan Pal Private Ltd. is a dealer registered under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941. The dealer's assessment under that Act is for the period of 4 quarters ending with the last date of Chaitra, 1364 B.S. The Commercial Tax Officer, Raja Katra Charge, assessed the dealer by his order dated 7th December, 1959. The Commercial Tax Officer for reasons stated in his order enhanced the gross turnover by Rs. 50,000 over the admitted figure of Rs. 35,93,402.84 and also imposed a penalty of Rs. 1,000 Under Section 11(1) of the Act. Against that assessment order, the dealer filed an appeal before the Assistant Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, Burrabazar Circle. The Assistant Commissioner in appeal reduced the amount so enhanced to the sum of Rs. 25,000 and the penalty to Rs. 500 by his order dated 10th September, 1960. The dealer thereafter moved the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, West Bengal, in revision. The Additional Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, West Bengal, dealt with the revision case. While the revision petition was pending before him, he received a report of investigation dated 27th December, 1960, made by the Commercial Tax Officer (Central Section). In this report it was observed inter alia that two original cash memos. issued by the dealer bearing serial No. 30727-26 dated 24th January (year not mentioned) for Rs. 69.50 and No. 31310-37 dated 25th December, 1966, for Rs. 62.20 were not properly recorded in the dealer's books of accounts. It was also stated in that report that 2,000 cash memo. books containing 1,00,000 of cash memos. were printed and supplied by Messrs Blackwoods India Ltd. to the dealer twice. It was alleged that on the last occasion these were printed under verbal orders from the dealer who made the payment in cash. The Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes forwarded a copy of this report to the dealer under his Memo. No. 16685-C.T. dated 20th September, 1961, for preferring objections, if any, against the findings of the Investigating Officer as it might lead to further enhancement of the gross turnover at the revisional stage. In response, the dealer did file a written statement on 4th December, 1961, and also appeared before the Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes who for reasons stated in his order dated 9th December, 1961, enhanced the dealer's turnover by Rs. 20,00,000. The dealer thereafter filed a revision petition before the Board of Revenue on or about 8th February, 1962. The Board of Revenue by its order dated 31st July, 1964, rejected the revision petition and upheld the order of the Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, West Bengal. On those facts, the two questions have been raised in these references.;