Decided on May 07,2018

Kamakhya Coal Tar Industries And Anr Appellant
State Of Assam And 3 Ors Respondents


Ajit Singh, C.J. - (1.) This order passed in Revision Petition No.5/2016 shall also decide Revision Petition No.6/2016, as they involve the same issue and were heard together. Both these Revision Petitions are directed against the common judgment dated 2.11.2015 passed by the Assam Board of Revenue, whereby it has dismissed petitioner's Appeal Nos.53 STA/2013 and 54 STA/2013 affirming the order dated 8.5.2013, as passed by Respondent No.3 - Joint Commissioner of Taxes, who in turn has affirmed the assessment orders dated 4.2.2012 passed by Respondent No.2 - Superintendent of Taxes.
(2.) The Revision Petitions relate to assessment years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
(3.) Petitioner No.1 is a Partnership Firm and Petitioner No.2 is one of its Partners. It is engaged in the business of purchase and sale of coal tar/wood tar, putty etc. It is also registered as dealer under the Assam Value Added Tax Act, 2003 ( in short "Act of 2003"). The petitioners submitted monthly tax returns for the Assessment Years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 under the Act of 2003 along with 4% payment of tax for items - coal tar and putty. Respondent No.2 - Superintendent of Taxes scrutinized the returns of both years in exercise of powers conferred under Section 33 of the Act of 2003 and found the same to be in order. He then accepted the charge of tax on turnover of coal tar and putty at 4%. But, later, after more than one year, Respondent No.2 issued notice dated 9.12.2011 to the petitioners for re-scrutiny of the same returns on the ground that putty and coal tar were misclassified as these items were taxable at 12.5%. This notice was issued under Rule 19 of the Assam Value Added Tax Rules, 2005 ( in short "Rules, 2005") The petitioners, in their reply dated 19.12.2011, agreed that tax payable on putty was 12.5%, but denied that coal tar was wrongly classified and reiterated that tax payable on it was 4%. Respondent No.2, in his wisdom, also vide communication dated 20.12.2011, sought clarification from Respondent No.4 - Commissioner of Taxes regarding taxability of coal tar. And Respondent No.4, vide his order dated 27.1.2012, clarified that coal tar is taxable at 13.5%. Respondent No.2, armed with the said clarification, suddenly, by exercising powers conferred under Section 34 of the Act of 2003, vide orders dated 4.2.2012, assessed the petitioner for coal tar at 12.5% as an unclassified item covered under Entry I of the Fifth Schedule.;

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