DIRECTOR OF ENTRY TAXES Vs. SUSHIL KUMAR SHARMA
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
DIRECTOR OF ENTRY TAXES
SUSHIL KUMAR SHARMA
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D.K.Seth, J. -
(1.)In this appeal Mr. L.K. Gupta, learned Advocate appearing for the appellants, has confined his argument only on three questions. The first question is with regard to the liability of the Department to pay interest on the amount deposited by the writ petitioners/respondents in terms of an order passed by this Court in an earlier writ petition. The copy of the order has not been produced. However, from paragraph 31, page 7 of the Paper Book, it appears that this amount was directed to be deposited as Entry Tax for release of the goods together with the indemnity bond, penalty and the same were directed to abide by the result of the writ petition. This writ petition was ultimately transferred to the Tribunal after its constitution. The Tribunal in its order dated 11th January, 1996 directed the refund of the amount realized. It did not specify anything about the payment of interest. The matter went up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Tribunal and no expression was used for payment of interest. Therefore, according to Mr. Gupta, no interest is payable by the Department with the refund.
(2.)The second ground that has been taken is with regard to the refund of the amount to the constituted attorney of the petitioners/respondents. The third point relates to the refund upon production of the original receipt or on furnishing of indemnity bond as contemplated in Rule 25 of the Entry Taxes Rules read with section 19 of the Entry Taxes Act.
(3.)Mr. Sarkar, learned Advocate appearing for the respondents, on the other hand, points out that the amount was retained on account of Entry Tax. But ultimately it was held that no Entry Tax was leviable. Therefore, it simply was an extortion and retention of money without any justification. Therefore, the retention of this amount will attract the principles of the Interest Act and, therefore, the Department is liable to pay interest from the date this amount was deposited till the date of refund. There is nothing in law to prevent the constituted attorney from receiving the refund. Mr. Sarkar points out that the amount was deposited with the Department with whom there must be an account. Therefore, it cannot insist upon the production of the original receipt. At the same time, it cannot also require compliance of Rule 25 of the Entry Tax Rules since this deposit was not a deposit within the meaning of the Entry Tax Rules of the Act, as the case may be.
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