Decided on March 10,1978



MISRA, J. - (1.) THESE are two references made by the Sales Tax Tribunal under section 24 (1) of the Orissa Sales Tax Act of 1947 at the instance of the assessee. The following two questions have been referred for opinion of the Court : " (1) Whether, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was correct in disallowing the declarations in form C and the certificates in form E-1 furnished before the first appellate authority ? (2) Whether the assessee gave sufficient explanation for furnishing the declarations in form C and the certificates in form E-1 for the first time before the first appellate authority ?"
(2.) THE assessee is a registered dealer under the Central Sales Tax Act and bears registration certificate No. R. L. C. 660. It manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals and chemicals and has it place of business within the Industrial Estate of Rourkela. During the year 1969-70, the assessee purchased goods from M/s. Sarabhai Chemicals and others and had a sales turnover of Rs. 18,191. 77 though transfer of documents of title to the goods while the same were still in transit. The assessee, however, did not produce the declarations in form C and the certificates in form E-1 before the assessment was completed in spite of the requirement to so produce before the assessing officer. For the year, it had also shown inter-State sale in respect of Rs. 885. 55 and had paid concessional rate of tax at 3 per cent, though the declaration in form C was not produced to support the claim for concessional rate. The Sales Tax Officer, in the circumstances, raised a demand on the turnover of Rs. 18,191. 77 and assessed the turnover of Rs. 885. 55 at the usual rate rejecting the claim for being assessed at the concessional rate. For the year 1970-71, the assessee had effected inter-State sale to the tune of Rs. 10,169. 04 and had supported the transactions by declarations in form C. It, however, claimed exemption under section 6 (2) (b) of the Central Sales Tax Act in respect of a turnover of Rs. 85,416. 52. In spite of opportunity being given by the assessing officer, appropriate declarations in form C were not produced and, therefore, the Sales Tax Officer disallowed the claim and proceeded to tax the turnover. The assessee preferred appeals before the Assistant Commissioner of Sales Tax and produced the relevant declarations in form C and certificates in form E-1 in support of its various claims referred to above. The assessee contended that these forms in spite of its best of efforts could not be obtained prior to the completion of the assessment and, therefore, the same might be accepted at the stage of first appeal. Reliance was placed on a Bench decision of this Court in the case of Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. v. State of Orissa ([1970] 25 S. T. C. 171. ). The appellate authority, however, refused to act on these documents and confirmed the demands for both the years.
(3.) IN the second appeals before the Tribunal, the assessee contended that the explanation offered before the first appellate authority should have been accepted and the forms should have been received and consequential benefits should have been given. The Tribunal dealt with the matter and found against the assessee by saying : " The only point to be decided is whether the appellant had sufficient cause not to produce the necessary corresponding C and E-1 forms at the assessment stage and whether the appellant had reasonable ground for which he was unable to produce such form before the assessing officer. It appears from the record that the appellant got several adjournments either on his petition or suo motu by the assessing officer to file the necessary forms before the assessing officer. The claim that, due to non-availability of the form, the appellant could not file the necessary forms is not a convincing ground to hold that the appellant was not in a position to file the necessary forms at the assessment stage. Of course, the appellant filed the copies of letters by Sarabhai Chemicals, which indicated that the aforesaid firm was trying to obtain E-1 form. But, such a vague plea, if accepted, would lead nowhere. The appellant would get an unbridled scope to file the form as and when it likes. As rightly observe by the learned Assistant Commissioner, when he claimed exemption, it was his duty to obtain the necessary form before the assessment was completed. In such a circumstances, the appellant got sufficient opportunity to obtain the necessary forms. As the appellant did not file the form before the assessing officer and filed only after the first appellate authority, I am of the view that the first appellate authority was justified in not accepting the form filed before him. In short, I hold that the assessing officer in the circumstances of the case was justified in not allowing the claim of exemption as claimed by the appellant. . . . . " ;

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