JAMEEL AND CO Vs. COMMERCIAL TAX OFFICER
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
JAMEEL AND CO
COMMERCIAL TAX OFFICER
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(1.)THE petitioners, in all the above three writ petitions, are dealers in groundnuts. During the year 1963-64 the petitioners effected sales of groundnuts in the course of inter-State trade and became liable to pay Central sales tax under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, (hereinafter referred to as the Act ). None of the petitioners filed returns for the assessment year 1963-64 in respect of the said turnover. After issuing notices, the Commercial Tax Officer made best judgment assessments against the petitioners in respect of the said turnover, which had; escaped assessments. All the assessments against the petitioners were made in March, 1968, i. e. , after the expiry of three years but before the expiry of four years from the end of the assessment year 1963-64.
(2.)IN these writ petitions, the petitioners challenge the validity and the legality of those sales tax assessments.
(3.)THE learned counsel Sri Dasaratharama Reddy, appearing for the petitioners, raised two contentions before us. They are: (1) Rule 14-A (8) of the Central Sales Tax (Andhra Pradesh) Rules (hereinafter called the Rules) fixing the time-limit for making best judgment assessments in respect of escaped turnover, when read with Sub-section (2) of Section 9 and Sub-sections (3) and (4) of Section 13 of the Act goes beyond or is in excess of, the rule-making power of the State Government. Hence Rule 14-A (8) of the Rules is ultra vires and is void. (2) Assuming that Rule 14-A (8) of the Rules was validly made, the Act incorporates and assimilates into it the provisions of the General Sales Tax Act, which were in force in the State of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1956, when the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, came into force. At the time when the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, came into force, the Madras General Sales Tax Act, and the Rules made thereunder, were adopted by our State for application to Andhra area. Three years was the period fixed under those Rules for assessing the escaped turnover by making best judgment assessment. Since the assessments in question were made beyond the expiry of three years from the end of the assessment year 1963-64, they are without jurisdiction, time-barred and hence illegal and void.
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