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Satich Chandra Mittal v. Asstt. Commissioner Trade Tax Hapur - WRIT TAX No. 889 of 1999 [2007] RD-AH 11288 (5 July 2007)


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Court No. 37

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 889 of 1999

Satish Chandra Mittal Vs Assistant Commissioner, (Assessment) Trade Tax

Hon'ble Sushil Harkauli, J.

Hon'ble G.P. Srivastva, J.

We have heard both sides.  Counter and rejoinder affidavits have been exchanged.

The petitioner is City Booking Agency at Hapur, District-Ghaziabad.  It appears that certain consignments of goods amenable to the trade tax were received in Hapur and were released by the petitioner from the petitioner's agency office to the persons carrying counterfoil of the goods receipts, against which  such goods are normally released by Railways.  Later, the Trade Tax Department of U.P. Government required the petitioner to supply the particulars of consignees of Hapur to whom the goods had been released.  These addresses of the consignees as mentioned in the goods receipts were supplied by the petitioner to the Trade Tax Department.

Upon verification, the Trade Tax Department found that some of the consignees were not residing or carrying on business at the addresses mentioned in the goods receipts.  There upon, the Trade Tax Department has given notice to the petitioner asking for further details, failing which the Trade Tax Department proposes to treat the petitioner as importer of the taxable goods imported by the untraceable consignees and to assess the petitioner under the U.P. Trade Tax Act.

The defence of the petitioner is, that normally neither the petitioner as City Booking Agency nor the Railways, carrying goods or parcels, deliver such goods or parcels at the residence of place of business of consignee. Such goods are normally released  (i) by the railway at the railway station or parcel office and (ii) by City Booking Agency at their office to the person appearing at that office for taking delivery along with goods receipt. Therefore, neither railway nor city booking agency is under any obligation to physically verify the addresses of consignee or consigner, in as much as even consigners normally deliver consignments to the railways at their booking office and normally consignments are not collected by railways from the residence or place of business of consigners.  

There does not appear to be any other circumstance mentioned either in the notice or in the counter affidavit, apart from the circumstance of consignees not being available at their recorded addresses, which could lead to or corroborate the conclusion about any foul play on the part of the petitioner.

In the circumstances, we are of the opinion that the impugned notice cannot be sustained.  The writ petition is accordingly allowed. The impugned notice dated 01.09.1999 (Annexure-7 to the writ petition) is quashed.

If the Trade Tax Department desires to place further checks for further, it can consider opening of the check posts at the City Booking Agency just like check posts available out side the railway station; or consider requiring consigners to furnish address proof of consignee along with consignment at the time of booking goods with the railways for avoiding problems of this nature in future.  




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