1. APPEAL – DISMISSAL IN DEFAULT
Second appeal preferred before the Appellate Board on the ground that application for restoration filed by appellant before the appellate authority was rejected. The appellant was provided sufficient opportunity to present his case before the Appellate Authority. But, appellant failed to appear without assigning any reason for his continuous absence before the Appellate Authority. Therefore, Appellate Authority was justified in rejecting the restoration application.
In revision, the appellant revised grounds of appeal and contended that he should be heard on the same. However, the revenue raised an objection on the ground that in First Appeal, the said grounds were not raised and, therefore, the same cannot be raised before the Second Appellate Authority. The Board sustained the objection of the revenue and no fresh grounds were allowed for adjudication*.
*On going through the text of the order, it appears that the Board should have allowed fresh grounds of appeal and decided the matter on merit.
Uttam Dresses, Hoshangabad v. CCT, M.P. (2015) 27 STJ 70 (MP-Bd)
2. ASSESSMENT – SUPPRESSION OF TURNOVER
In inspection proceedings of the business place of the assessee shortage of 620.95 litres of Govt. sealed arrack and 620.95 litres of unsealed arrack was found. On this ground, assessment was reopened. Assessee contended that sealed arrack was filled in unsealed small bottles for convenience of supply. Authority presumed suppression and calculated turnover at 6 times of quantity detected. In appeal proceedings, assessment was modified by limiting addition by 3 times. HC confirmed the Orders of the Appellate Authority. The said finding was challenged before the Apex Court.
Considering the scheme of sections 16 and 19 of KGST Act, 1963 and after going through the judgments and orders passed by the First Appellate Authority, Tribunal as well as the HC, the Apex Court was of the considered opinion, none of these authorities have had committed any error whatsoever which would call for interference of this court. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.
Abraham Mathai v. State of Kerala (2015) 23 KTR 233 (SC)
3. CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION
Appellant’s registration was cancelled vide Order dt. 31-3-2009 for non-submission of returns and non-payment of tax to the tune of Rs. 6,67,588. First Appeal was also rejected by Order dated 24-4-2010. Thereafter, the Commissioner on an application of the appellant allowed him to pay the dues of Rs. 36.83 lakh in instalments. However, there was no record available to show that the Order of the Commissioner was complied with. Therefore, it needed verification. Accordingly, the Appellate Board partly allowed the appeal and remanded the case to the competent authority to verify the above facts and pass appropriate order thereafter.
Kable Mats India Ltd., Reva v. CCT, MP. (MP-Bd)
4. ENTRIES IN SCHEDULE
The Karnataka HC was seized of the matter whether ‘electrical insulated press board or high density board’ was a paper falling under the category of all kinds of papers under Entry No. 69 Schedule-III of the Karnataka VAT Act, 2003? The assessee claimed the questioned goods to fall under third schedule and liable to tax at 4% as applicable to paper. Authorities below held it was taxable at 12.5% under residuary entry. Hence, in Revision Application the question of law before the Court was : “whether electrical insulated press board commonly known as high density board is not paper and does not fall within the third schedule of Sl. No. 69 of KVAT Act?” While answering the question, the Court relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in
U.P. v. Kores (India) Ltd. and Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (Vol. 13 P 75) and held in favour of the revenue and against the assessee by holding “paper” in popular parlance is understood as meaning a substance which is used for bearing, writing or printing, or for packing, or for drawing on, or for decorating, or covering the walls.
Raman Boards Ltd. (Unit of ABB Ltd.) v. State of Karnataka (2015) NTN (Vol. 58) 106 (Kar.)
B. MULTI-FUNCTION NETWORK PRINTERS
Arising out of determination proceedings as to the rate of tax applicable to above product, the issue before the HC was – “Whether the Image Runners (Multi-function Network Printers) sold by the assessee were required to be classified under Schedule-I Part-B, Entry-18(i) as claimed by the assessee or under Schedule-I, Part-C, Entry-13(i) as held by the Tribunal?” The Madras HC held that the questioned goods partake the character of “Peripheral” of a computer and, therefore, it required to be classified under Entry 18(i) of Part-B, Schedule-I of the TNGST Act, taxable @4% and not @12%.
Cannon India Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Tamil Nadu (2015) NTN Vol. 58 P 128 (Mad.)
5. EQUITY IN TAXING STATUTES
In this case decided by he Apex Court, under the BST Act, 1959, following issues were the subject-matter for the consideration of the Apex Court:
Partners liability to pay firm’s taxes u/s. 18,
Interpretation of taxing statute and
Equity in taxing statutes.
The Apex Court on the above law points ruled as under:
Section 18 of the BST Act specifically provided that in respect of the dues of the firm, the liability of a partner is joint and several and, therefore, neither the State Minister of Finance nor the Commissioner could legally enter into any settlement regarding the liability of individual partner in respect of the dues of the firm. The entire liability therefore fell upon each partner of the firm which could not be segregated by such settlement.
Letter of law has to be accorded utmost respect and strictly adhered to especially while interpreting a taxing statute. There ought not exist any scope for impregnating the interpretation by reading equity into taxing statutes.
Equity was out of place in tax law in as much as, a particular income was either exigible to tax or it was not.
In the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the considered opinion that the HC has rightly examined the issues before it and the judgment and order passed by it did not suffer any error, and, thus, the civil appeal being devoid of any merit required to be dismissed with costs of Rs. 5,00,000.
Pradip Nanjee Gala v. STO And Ors. (2015) 51 PHT 209 (SC) (FB)
D. H. Joshi