TATA OIL MILLS COMPANY LTD Vs. ASSESSING AUTHORITY SALES TAX AND ANOTHER
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
TATA OIL MILLS COMPANY LTD.
ASSESSING AUTHORITY, (SALES TAX)
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(1.) THIS is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for a direction to the Assessing Authority appointed under the provisions of the East Punjab General Sales Tax Act of 1948 not to take any action against the petitioner company under the Sales Tax Act.
(2.) THE petitioner company has a registered office in Bombay and a sales department at Delhi. They have no office or department anywhere within the State of Punjab. They, however, supply goods to persons in the Punjab and paragraph 2 of the petition sets out the petitioner's own case :-
"That the sales department at Delhi (the Tomco Sales Department) directly as well as through its canvassers receives orders from merchants and dealers in the Punjab for supply of the goods manufactured by the petitioner. In compliance with such orders the said sales department makes despatches to various places in the State of Punjab and realises payment of price in Delhi. This method of doing business has since a long time been governing the dealings between the petitioner's sales department at Delhi and the purchasers in the State of Punjab."
The petitioners were first served with a notice on 9th January, 1953, calling upon them to file return of their sales in the Punjab and after some correspondence notices under Sections 11 and 14 of the Act were sent to the petitioners. The petitioners' contention is that since they have no place of business anywhere within the territories of the State of Punjab, they are not liable to sales tax and are not dealers as defined by Section 2(d) of the Act. Section 2(d) has, however, been recently amended by Punjab Act X of 1954. By the Amending Act the definition of "dealer" now stands as follows :-
"'Dealer' means any person including a department of Government who in the normal course of trade sells any goods that are actually delivered for the purpose of consumption in the State of Punjab, irrespective of the fact that the main place of business of such person is outside the said State and where the main place of business of any such person is not in the said State, 'dealer' includes the local manager or agents of such person in Punjab in respect of such business."
(3.) THE provisions of the Amending Act take effect retrospectively with effect from the 26th of January, 1950, as provided by Section 1, sub-section (2). It is, therefore, clear that according to law, as it now stands, the petitioner company comes within the definition of the word "dealer" and it cannot therefore be said that notices issued to it under Sections 11 and 14 of the Act are ultra vires or without jurisdiction.;
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