Decided on July 04,2013

Jai Durge Traders Respondents


Barin Ghosh, C.J. - (1.) THE respondent was a registered dealer. This registration was suspended because an FIR was lodged. In the FIR, the only allegation against the respondent was that, in course of inquiry pertaining to a seizure, it transpired that the respondent is not available at the place of its business, as mentioned in the challan that was found in course of seizure. We think that the Tribunal has correctly held that, if the registered dealer is not carrying on business from its registered address, but is carrying on business from some other address, then, VAT Act itself provides what penalty may be imposed upon such dealer. That being the situation, we feel that the Tribunal has rightly held that the FIR, insofar as that allegation is concerned, was in excess of the jurisdiction or power of the officers, who lodged that FIR. The fact remains that, merely because an FIR has been lodged, neither the State, nor any of its officers, could, because of such FIR, interfere with right to livelihood of the respondent by staying its registration and, accordingly, stopping his business affecting its right to life. The learned Chief Standing Counsel has submitted that the order of the Tribunal be not construed as a complete bar on the part of the tax officers of the State in lodging FIRs. The fact remains that the Tribunal has not debarred them from doing so. The Tribunal has permitted that part of the FIR to be investigated in accordance with law, which is not covered by the provisions of the VAT Act and, accordingly, has recognised that, in relation to any cognizable offence, in respect whereof an FIR can be lodged in terms of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an officer of the State can also lodge such FIR. We reaffirm the same, with a caution that FIR can only be lodged and accepted in respect of a cognizable offence and not in respect of a non -cognizable offence, as those mentioned in the VAT Act.
(2.) WITH the observations as above, the revision is disposed of.;

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