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M/s. Siemens Limited Versus The Commercial Tax Officer

2015 (7) TMI 186 - ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT

Demand of interest on the settled amount - Andhra Pradesh Sales Tax (Settlement of Disputes) Act, 2001 - Held that:- The Certificate of Settlement issued under Section 12 of the Act is final and conclusive and once such certificate is issued in Form-III, the dealer/applicant shall be discharged from his liability of paying balance amount of arrears of tax, penalty or interest, if any. Even against the orders levying penalty and interest, there is a provision in the Act itself for settlement by p .....

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claim of the petitioner is considered as per the scheme notified under Act 41 of 2001, in the absence of any specific provision for collection of interest on the amount settled, it is not open for the respondent to collect the same from the petitioner. - Decided in favour of assessee. - Writ Petition No. 25538 of 2003 - Dated:- 10-3-2015 - R. Subhash Reddy And B. Siva Sankara Rao,JJ. For the Petitioner : Sri P. Srinivasa Reddy & Sri S. Dwarakanath, Advocates For the Respondent : Spl. G.P. fo .....

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The petitioner is a registered dealer under the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957 and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 and is engaged in the business of sale of electrical, electronic and X-Ray equipment and also executes works contracts. He is assessed for tax under the provisions of the Central Sales Tax Act for the years 1993- 94, 1995-96 and 1996-97, and against such assessment orders, the petitioner has filed appeals before the appellate authority. 3. When the appeals filed by the .....

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d for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. From the preamble of the Act, it is clear that the said Act is enacted to provide for expeditious enforcement of payment of arrears of tax and settlement of disputes relating to any arrears of tax, additional tax, turnover tax, penalty or interest as the case may be, under the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax, 1957, A.P. Entertainments Tax Act, 1939, Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. 4. The salient features of Act 41 of 2001 a .....

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er before the Appellate Deputy Commissioner against the assessment orders passed for the assessment years 1993-94, 1995-96 and 1996-97, the petitioner has applied for settlement by filling Form-I before the Deputy Commissioner (CT), Secunderabad, who is competent authority to settle the disputes under the Act. The tax due for these assessment years was determined at ₹ 4,22,446/- for 1993-94, ₹ 13,13,245/- for 1995-96 and ₹ 22,87,844/- for 1996-97. The competent authority after .....

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also treated as withdrawn. 6. In this case, it is to be noticed that nearly two years after settlement of dispute and after payment of 50% of the tax arrived at on the application filed by the petitioner in Form-I, respondent has issued a summary demand notice demanding interest on settled amounts for the assessment years 1993-94, 1995-96 and 1996-97. The interest demanded and amount settled for the said assessment years read as under : Assessment year Interest demanded Amount settled (a) 1993-9 .....

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ars 1993-94, 1995-96 and 1996-97, and the petitioner has paid the determined tax and he was issued Certificate of Settlement in Form-III, it is not open for the respondent to collect any interest, which is not contemplated under Act 41 of 2001. 8. Counter affidavit is filed on behalf of respondent. In the counter, while referring to various factual aspects with regard to the application filed by the petitioner in Form-I for settlement of dispute and further orders passed by the competent authori .....

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d payments, it is outside the scheme of Act 41 of 2001, therefore, normal provisions of APGST Act will apply in the matter of levy of interest on the amounts settled in the scheme. It is further stated that as the levy of interest is automatic and being undisputed one, interest is calculated from the date of tax due from the petitioner i.e. from the date of filing of returns and such demand notice is in conformity with law. 9. From a perusal of various provisions under Act 41 of 2001, it is clea .....

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hority on being satisfied about the payment of the amount which the applicant is required to pay by virtue of the order passed under section 11 shall settle the dispute in respect of which an application has been made and issue a certificate of settlement for such dispute in such form as may be prescribed, to the applicant ordinarily within fifteen days of the receipt of the proof of payment, and thereupon such applicant shall be discharged from his liability to make payment of the balance amoun .....

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er adversely affecting the applicant shall be passed without giving the applicant a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against such refusal. 10. In this case, it is not in dispute that in terms of Act 41 of 2001, the claims of petitioner for the assessment years 1993-94, 1995-96 and 1996-97 were settled and petitioner/dealer was also issued Settlement Certificate under Form-III. It is true that under the scheme of Central Sales Tax Act and Rules made thereunder, it is always open to the aut .....

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time, there were no orders passed by the authorities for charging interest payable by the petitioner. Even if any such orders were passed, it was also open to the petitioner to seek waiver in terms of beneficial clause under Section 6(ii) of Act 41 of 2001. From the Settlement Certificate issued in Form-III also, it is clear that the dispute with regard to payment of tax is settled, and further, in terms of the provision under Section 12 of the Act, once such certificate is issued, such applica .....

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Act, it discharges the liability of petitioner not only for payment of balance amount of tax but also for payment of penalty and interest. Having settled the dispute under the Act, it is not open for the respondents to pass subsequent orders or issue demand notices for payment of interest. Further, it is to be noticed that as against the very assessment orders, matters were carried in appeal by the petitioner and but for the settlement scheme notified under Act 41 of 2001, petitioner would not .....

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