Civil Appeal No. 2413/2020
Andhra Pradesh Value Added Tax Act, 2005 and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956.
The respondent is a registered dealer on the rolls of Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Large Tax Payer Unit at Kakinada Division under the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Value Added Tax Act, 2005 and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 and doing business of manufacturing and sale of Horlicks, Boost, Biscuits, Ghee, and Ayurvedic Medicines etc. The Assistant Commissioner had asked the Respondent to produce its books of Accounts for the year 2013-14 for finalization of accounts according to 1956 Act, then after final assessment respondent on order dated 21.06.2017 was asked to pay Rs.76,73, 197/- against the turnover of Rs. 3, 44, 15, 240/- on the finding that the respondent had failed to submit Form F to the tune of the turnover reported in the Central Sales Tax return. The respondent instead of filling any appeal against this assessment order within the statutory period paid the amount equivalent to 12.5% of the demand on 12.09.2017. The respondent then filed an application on 8.5.2018 under Rule 60 of the 2005 Act, highlighting the error made in raising the demand based on incorrect turnover reported by the respondent which was rejected. Aggrieved by the decision, the respondent filed an appeal before the Appellate Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes,Vijayawada on 28.05.2018, which came to be rejected on 17.08.2018. Then the respondent filed an appeal before the Appellate Deputy Commissioner on 24.9.2018 which was also dismissed on 25.10.2018 on the ground of being barred by the limitation. Aggrieved by which Respondent filed a writ petition in HC solely for quashing and setting aside of assessment order dated 21.06.2017 and to direct the Assistant Commissioner to re do the assessment and reckon the correct Branch Transfer turnover and grant exemption on the basis of form “F”. HC allowed the Writ Petition and asked the respondent to pay an additional 12.5% of the disputed tax while quashing the order dated 21.06.2017 and also directed the Assistant Commissioner to reconsider the matter fresh. Feeling aggrieved the Appellants have filed the appeal in the SC stating that the respondent has failed to avail of statutory remedy of appeal within the prescribed time.
Whether the High Court in exercise of its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India ought to entertain a challenge to the assessment order on the sole ground that the statutory remedy of appeal against that order stood foreclosed by the law of limitation?
Since the statutory period specified for filling the appeal had expired long back in August 2017 and the appeal came to be filed by the respondent on 24.9.2018, without substantiating the plea about inability to file appeal within the prescribed period, no indulgence could be shown to the respondent at all. Hence, the appeal was allowed and the order passed by the HC was set aside.
Article 14,19 and 21 of the Constitution of India
Clause 45.2 of the General Conditions of Contract, Orissa Sales Tax Act, 1947