STATE OF WEST BENGAL Vs. ORIENTAL RUBBER WORKS
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
ORIENTAL RUBBER WORKS
Click here to view full judgement.
Anil Kumar Sen, J. -
(1.)This appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent is by the State of West Bengal and the Commercial Tax Officer. The appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 28th February, 1974, passed by A. K. Mookerji, J., in C. R. No. 1727(W) of 1973  34 S.T.C. 30, whereby the learned Judge made absolute the rule which had earlier been issued on a writ petition.
(2.)The sole respondent in this appeal is admittedly a registered dealer both under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941 (hereinafter referred to as the said Act) and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. On 4th June, 1973, a number of Inspectors of Commercial Taxes conducted simultaneous searches at the respondent's principal place of business at No. 171A, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Calcutta, as also at the respondent's factory premises at Kantalia, Howrah, in the course of which various accounts, registers and documents were seized. The respondent demanded release of the documents so seized but the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes refused to release the same. On the other hand, the said authority served a notice dated 11th June, 1973, under Section 14(1) of the said Act directing the respondent to produce all its books of account since the inception of the business.
(3.)Being aggrieved by such seizure, retention of documents and omnibus notice under Section 14(1) of the said Act, the respondent moved this court on 5th July, 1973, with a writ petition. In this writ petition, the respondent disputed the validity of the search and seizure, as aforesaid, as also the notice under Section 14(1) and prayed for issue of an appropriate writ for setting aside the notice under Section 14(1) of the said Act and also for return of the documents seized from its custody. The appellants unsuccessfully contested the said writ petition and the learned Judge in the trial court allowed the petition and issued a writ, as prayed for by the respondent. The learned Judge held that recording of reasons as prescribed by Section 14(3) of the said Act is a condition precedent to a valid search and seizure and the appellants having failed to show that any such reason was so recorded, the search and seizure must be held to be not in accordance with law. So far as the notice under Section 14(1) of the said Act is concerned, the learned Judge held that such an omnibus direction to produce all documents since the inception of the business is not contemplated by Section 14(1) of the said Act and, as such, was not validly issued. Feeling aggrieved by this decision of the learned Judge in the trial court, the appellants have preferred the present appeal.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.