Decided on October 07,1999

Keshar Chand Padia And Anr. Appellant
Commissioner Of Commercial Taxes And Ors. Respondents


- (1.) THIS is an application under Section 8 of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act, 1987 in the nature of an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Heard the learned advocate for the applicants and the learned State Representative for the respondents.
(2.) THIS relates to an order of assessment dated June 27, 1996 made by respondent No. 2, Commercial Tax Officer, Esplanade Charge under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941 for the period of four quarters ending March 31, 1994. By the said order of assessment an amount of Rs. 8,86,180 was due from the applicant and a demand notice was served. The applicants filed an appeal before the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Chowringhee Circle and that appeal was disposed of by an order dated April 8, 1999. The appellate authority set aside the order of assessment and directed fresh assessment. In the meantime, while the appeal was pending, respondent No. 2 sent a requisition to respondent No. 3, Certificate Officer, for recovery of the said dues in a proceeding under the Bengal Public Demand Recovery Act, 1913. Accordingly Certificate Case No. 14(EL) of 1998 -99 was initiated, a notice under Section 7 of the Act of 1913 was served, and bank account No. 009529 of the applicant with Bank of Baroda, Brabourne Road, Calcutta was attached. We are not adverting to those facts which are not necessary for the disposal of the present application. On or about March 16, 1999 applicants came to know that a sum of Rs. 4,82,105 was debited from the applicants' bank account and remitted to respondent No. 3 by a pay order of March 15, 1999. On April 16, 1999 applicants made a representation before respondent Nos. 2 and 3 for refunding the amount by pointing out that after the order of assessment was set aside the certificate proceeding became infructuous. But the money has not yet been refunded. Hence the applicants are praying for refund of the sum of Rs. 4,82,105.
(3.) MR . S.K. Saha Roy, learned State Representative appearing for the respondents, submits that the proceeding for fresh assessment is already fixed after an adjournment on November 2, 1999 for hearing. He submits that the money already debited from the bank account of the applicants and paid to respondent No. 3 may be directed to be either adjusted or refunded on the basis of the fresh order of assessment that will be made after hearing on November 2, 1999. We are not impressed by the argument of the learned State Representative, because the money is now being held by the respondents without any valid and legal basis. The order of assessment has already been set aside and no fresh order of assessment has yet been made. Accordingly, we direct respondent Nos. 2 and 3 to refund the sum of Rs. 4,82,105 to the applicants within the October 31, 1999. In fixing this date, we have taken into account the holidays on account of puja, as submitted by the learned State Representative.;

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