(1.)By this petition for writs of certiorari and mandamus, the Tata Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., hereinafter referred to as the company, challenges the authority of the Commercial Tax Officer, Lyons Range, Calcutta to demand payment of Rs. 41,14,718-12 nP. to the West Bengal Government as tax leviable under the Central Sales Tax Act No. 74 of 1956 in respect of certain sales of steel goods.
(2.)The company has its registered office in Bombay, its Head Sales office in Calcutta in the State of West Bengal and its factories in Jamshedpur in the State of Bihar. The company is registered as a " dealer" under the Bihar Sales Tax Act, and is also registered as a " dealer" in the State of West Bengal under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. For the period of assessment July 1, 1957 to March 31, 1958, the company submitted its return of taxable sales to the Commercial Tax Officer, Lyons Range, Calcutta disclosing a gross taxable turnover of Rs. 9,561-71 nP. in respect of sales liable to Central Sales tax in the State of West Bengal. By his memorandum dated August 12, 1959, the Commercial Tax Officer directed the company to submit a statement of sales from Jamshedpur for the period under assessment, " documents relating to which were transferred in West Bengal or of any other sales that may have taken place in West Bengal under S. 3(b) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. The company, by its letter dated September 30, 1959, informed the Tax Officer that the requisition for production of statement of sales made from Jamshedpur in the course of inter-State trade or commerce was without jurisdiction. The company contended that " all the sales from Jamshedpur were of the type mentioned in S. 3(a) of the Central Sales Tax Act and at the same time, some of them also fell within the category mentioned in S. 3(b) of the Act", that even if the sales were " of the type mentioned in S. 3(b) of the Act, the appropriate State of the place where the sales take place or are effected alone had jurisdiction to assess such sales to Central Sales tax", and that in respect of inter-State sales from Jamshedpur, the si us of the sale was always the State of Bihar as the goods were in Bihar either at the time of the contract of sale or at the time of appropriation to the contract. By his order dated October 21, 1959, the Commercial Tax Officer made a " best judgment assessment" on a gross turnover of Rs. 9,00,09,561-71nP. of inter-State sales and called upon the company to pay Rs. 41,14,718-12 nP. as tax under the Central Sales Tax Act.
(3.)The company had, on December 15, 1953, filed with the Sales Tax Officer, Jamshedpur a return of inter-State sales made from Jamshedpur for the period July 1, 1957 to March 31, 1958 and a return for the same period for the sales made from Dhanbad with the Sales tax Officer, Dhanbad. In these returns, the company included all sales in which movement of the goods had taken place from the State of Bihar to destinations outside that State The total turnover in respect of such inter-State sales as shown in the return exceeded Rs. 26 crores and the company paid as required by the Bihar Sales Tax Act Rs. 71 lakhs odd as advance tax under the Central Sales tax Act, 1956.