Decided on February 23,1971



Venkateswara Rao, J. - (1.)The validity of section 21 (6) of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act which will hereinafter be referred to as the 'Act' is sought to be questioned in this petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
(2.)The petitioner is a firm carrying on business as commission agents. This firm returned a gross turnover of Rs. 7,23,570-24 for the assessment year 1967-68 and claimed exemption in respect of Rs. 1,54,715-90 alleged to represent the value of goods sold and purchased on behalf of its principals on the ground that the tax payable thereon had already been paid by the principals. This claim was rejected by the Commercial Tax Officer, Mahaboobnagar (R-1) and he levied a tax of Rs. 27,332-23. Except for a slight modification, the appeal filed by the petitioner against the order of the assessing authority was dismissed by the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Kurnool (R-2). A further appeal was thereafter preferred by the petitioner to the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal (R-3). The petitioner applied to the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes for stay of collection of tax pending disposal of that appeal in vain and the Tribunal refused to entertain the appeal on the ground that it was not accompanied by satisfactory proof of payment of tax, as required by section 21 (6) of the Act. Hence this petition to call for the records relating to Appeal No. 5 of 1969-70 and to quash the order dated 3oth April, 1969 of the 2nd respondent by issuing a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ order or direction; and in the alternative to direct the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal (R-3) to entertain the appeal without insisting on proof of payment of tax as according to the petitioner, section 21 (6) of the Act is ultra vires the powers of the State Legislature besides being viola- tive of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14 and 19 (1) (f) and (g) of the Constitution of India.
(3.)In the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of respondents 1 and 2 it is averred among other things that section 21 (6) is conceived in the interests of public revenue and also to discourage frivolous litigation, that it is well within the legislative competence of the State and is no t open to attack even under Articles 14 and 19 (1) (f) and (g) as it does not suffer from the vice of any discrimination or unreasonable restriction and does not also interfere with the petitioners right to carry on business.

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