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Vista Security Technics Pvt. Ltd., Now Known As Siemens Limited, Siemens Buildings Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Versus The State of Puducherry Represented by the Commercial Tax Officer

Delay in submision of statutory declaration forms - appellant contended that it needed time to obtain the statutory declaration forms from the former company consequent to merger - Held that:- Assessing Authority without even giving reply to the request made by the assessee seeking time to produce the declaration forms, whether he is granting time or not, passed the assessment order. For the balance four years, the Assessing Authority granted time to produce the declaration forms. It appears, th .....

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tting the statutory declaration forms, though belatedly, is evident from the fact that before the first Appellate Authority they had produced the statutory declaration forms, but the same was not accepted by the first appellate authority. But the fact remains that the cause for not submitting the forms at the initial stage is justified in the facts of the present case.

There is ample power for the authority to grant extension of time. In the instant case, we find that there is justifi .....

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the Court was made by R. Sudhakar,J.) The above Tax Case (Revisions) are filed by the assessee as against the order dated 30.04.2015 made in T.A.Nos.3, 1, 2, 5, 7, 4 and 8 of 2015 on the file of the Appellate Tribunal, Puducherry for the assessment years 2007-2008, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2010-11 respectively. 2. The brief facts of the case are as follows: The petitioner/assessee in T.C.(R)Nos.51 to 53 of 2015 originally known as Vista Security Technics Pvt. Ltd. got merg .....

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of 2015). On receipt of the said pre-assessment notices, the assessee filed reply requesting one month time to produce the statutory declaration forms, namely, 'C/F/I' forms as the case may be, as against the 7 days time granted by the Assessing Authority. The said request letter was received by the Department, however, in respect of three assessment years i.e., T.C.(R)Nos.51 to 53 of 2015, no reply, either granting time as requested by the assessee or denying the same, was sent by the D .....

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before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. Before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, the assessee filed the statutory declaration forms, but the same was not accepted on the ground that the assessee had not shown any sufficient cause to file the statutory declaration forms belatedly. In the result, the first Appellate Authority dismissed the appeals. As against the said order, the assessee pursued the matter once again before the Tribunal. Before the Tribunal also, the assessee produced the .....

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e Assessing Authority even prior to the issuance of pre-assessment notice by letter dated 20.5.2011, wherein they have intimated that since the company got merged, the entire working of the company is under re-jig and sought time to submit the statutory declaration forms. She further submits that the assessee had submitted the declaration forms before the first Appellate Authority as well as before the Tribunal, which Authority can receive these documents, but failed to receive the same only on .....

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51 STC 381 (Mad); J.B.Leather Fertilizers and Company V. Deputy Commercial Tax Officer, Vellore (Rural) reported in [2002] 126 stc 38 and Esjyapee Impex (P) Ltd. v. Commercial Tax Officer reported in [2011] 42 vst 61 (Mad). 7. Heard learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and the learned Additional Government Pleader appearing for the respondent and perused the materials placed before this Court. 8. It is seen that for the three assessment years, the Assessing Authority without even givin .....

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in the process of re-working of the new company; the forms had to be obtained from the former employees of Vista Securities and the persons handling the records left the service. The fact that they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the requirement of submitting the statutory declaration forms, though belatedly, is evident from the fact that before the first Appellate Authority they had produced the statutory declaration forms, but the same was not accepted by the first appellate aut .....

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t or deliberately avoided the authorities in producing the statutory declaration forms. They have produced the statutory declaration forms before the first Appellate Authority, who has power to receive such documents. Since the company got merged with Siemens, they could not trace all the records and could not obtain the relevant C forms from the former company. We hold that the petitioners have shown sufficient cause before the Appellate Authority empowered to receive the declarations. 9. There .....

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reads as follows: 12.(7) The declaration in Form C or Form F or the certificate in Form E-I or Form E-II shall be furnished to the prescribed authority with in three months after the end of the period to which the declaration or the certificate relates: Provided that if the prescribed authority is satisfied that the person concerned was prevented by sufficient cause from furnishing such declaration or certificate with in the aforesaid time, that authority may allow such declaration or certificat .....

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converted by the C forms. Or the Tribunal may remand the case to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. The remand may be for the specific purpose of going into the question of sufficient cause. The remand may also be loaded with the finding by the Tribunal that there had been sufficient cause, leaving the scrutiny of the C forms alone to be undertaken or remand. The Tribunal may, if satisfied about the sufficient cause set aside even the assessment order, and direct the assessing authority to r .....

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declaration forms under the Central Act were not filed within the time and/or were defective. That does not in reality amount to non-compliance of a statutory provision. The respondent No.1-company was claiming exemption and, therefore, had not filed the declaration forms. Some of the forms which were filed were treated to be defective. Undisputedly, before the revisional authority a prayer was made for grant of opportunity to rectify the defects, if any. That was turned down. It is to be noted .....

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. That means that the provisions requiring filing of declaration forms along with the return is a directory provision and not a mandatory provision. In a given case even the declaration forms can be filed before the appellate authority as an appeal is continuation of the assessment proceedings. In a given case, if the appellate authority is satisfied that assessee was prevented by reasonable and sufficient cause which dis-enabled him to file the forms in time, it can be accepted. It can also be .....

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