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ABB India Ltd. Versus The Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes

2015 (3) TMI 1189 - KARNATAKA HIGH COURT

Non-submission of all statutory Form-'C' on the basis of which the appellant claims payment of concessional tax - Violation of principles of natural justice - appellant was not given adequate opportunity nor was given opportunity of personal hearing - appellant paying tax to the tune of several crores regularly - Held that:- from the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the firm opinion that fair and reasonable opportunity was not given to the appellant to furnish the balance statutory .....

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furnish the requisite statutory Form -'C' with the Assessing Authority within two months i.e., on or before 20.05.2015 and avail the benefit of concessional tax. - Decided in favour of petitioner - W.A. Nos. 1098 -1109/2015 (T -RES) - Dated:- 20-3-2015 - VINEET SARAN, & S.SUJATHA JJ. For the Appellant: K.P.Kumar, T. Suryanarayana, For the Respondent: K.M.Shivayogiswamy JUDGEMENT Vineet Saran, J. - 1. Sri K.M. Shivayogiswamy has accepted .....

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nder the provisions of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. The appellant is engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of electrical/electronic products and execution of work contracts for transmission and distribution of electricity. For certain inter -state sales, for the period in question, lesser tax was charged and consequently deposited by the appellant, on the assurance that the purchaser would be furnishing Form -'C', which is to be obtained by the purchaser from its Assessing .....

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March '14, some Form -'C' had not been furnished by the appellant along with the returns, a notice was issued to the appellant on 31.1.2015 requiring him to submit his reply as to why additional tax amounting to over ₹ 73 crores plus interest be not levied. The appellant was given 7 days time to submit its reply. On 3.2.2015, the appellant submitted its reply to the said notice stating the difficulties and the reasons because of which all the Form -'C' could not be furn .....

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to deposit tax amount of over ₹ 73 crores plus interest of over ₹ 16 crores, totaling to over ₹ 89 crores, which was the same amount as mentioned in the notice. 4. Challenging the said order, the appellant filed Writ Petitions No. 8711 -8722/2015 on the ground that the appellant was not given adequate opportunity nor was given opportunity of personal hearing as prayed for and as such, according to the appellant, the order passed by the Assessing Authority was in vio .....

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otice were sufficient to grant further time or not; and (c) Whether the same were considered by the Assessing Authority while passing the order/endorsement dated 4.2.2015 - 5. It is not disputed that the appellant has been paying tax to the tune of several crores regularly. It is also not disputed that the turnover disclosed by the appellant has been accepted by the respondent. 6. In response to the notice dated 31.1.2015, the appellant had submitted its reply on .....

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culties regarding handling of voluminous documents and dealing in process of uploading data of statutory forms were also mentioned. The request for personal hearing was also made by the appellant in its reply. In the endorsement/order dated 4.2.2015, all that has been mentioned by the Assessing Officer is that the statutory forms were required to be furnished within three months of filing the returns and as such, for the four tax periods (viz., April '13 to June 13, July '13 t .....

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y. All that has been stated is that sufficient time has lapsed since the statutory period of 3 months had expired and yet the statutory forms had not been furnished by the appellant. The Assessing Authority also did not consider the request of the appellant for grant of personal hearing as nothing in this regard has been noted in the endorsement dated 4.2.2015. 8. In our view, grant of opportunity should not be a mere formality but should be such that can be reasonably availed. Requir .....

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e difficulties expressed by the appellant in its reply, and in not having done so, we are of the opinion that the order/endorsement dated 4.2.2015 has been passed in a mechanical manner by ignoring the contents of the reply. As such, we are of the opinion that by not granting sufficient time to the appellant for furnishing requisite statutory forms, the appellant was denied adequate opportunity, which amounts to violation of principles of natural justice. We are also of the opinion that in the f .....

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#39; is to be furnished within three months after the end of the period to which the declaration relates. However, proviso to the said Rule provides that if the Prescribed Authority is satisfied that the person concerned was prevented by sufficient cause from furnishing such declaration within the said time, the Prescribed Authority may allow further time for furnishing such declaration. The same would mean that the discretion lies with the Assessing Authority for extending the time and once the .....

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nsidering the provisions of Rule 12(7) of the Rules, 1957 held that, "The object of the Rule is to ensure that the assessee is not denied a benefit which is available to it under law on a technical plea. The assessing officer is empowered to grant time. That means that the provisions requiring filing of declaration forms along with the return is a directory provision and not a mandatory provision". 10. As we have already observed, if the Assessing Authority had the power to .....

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