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BHARAT SANCHAR NIGAM LTD & ANOTHER versus STATE OF U.P. & OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd & Another v. State Of U.P. & Others - WRIT TAX No. 1456 of 2004 [2005] RD-AH 540 (25 February 2005)

 

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

Court No. 37

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 1456 of 2004

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd Vs.. State of U.P. and others

Connected with

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 2297 of 2002

The G.M. (Telecom) & another Vs.. State of U.P. and others

And

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 2649 of 2002

The G.M. (Telecom) & another Vs.. State of U.P. and another

And

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 2764 of 2002

The G.M. (Telecom)  Vs. State of U.P. and another

Hon'ble R.K. Agrawal, J.

Hon'ble Prakash Krishna, J.

Pursuant to the directions given by this Court vide order dated 18th January, 2005 and the subsequent orders dated 27th January, 2005 and 15th February, 2005, Sri Shroti Ravindra Singh, Addl. Commissioner of Trade Tax (Legal) and Sri V.P. Singh, Deputy General Manager (Legal) Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited are personally present in the Court today.

We have heard Sri Subodh Kumar and other counsel appearing for the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Sri K.M. Sahai, learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondents.

The grievance of the petitioners in nutshell is that even though in the State of U.P. the petitioners are operating through two circles, namely, U.P. East with Headquarters at Lucknow and U.P. West with Headquarters at Meerut, it is not being issued the requisite declaration forms and is required to submit returns etc. for each district in the State of U.P. and not at the aforementioned two places where the Headquarters are situate. In order to resolve the dispute between the parties, we had directed some responsible officers of the petitioners as also the Trade Tax Department to sit together and to find out a solution. They have discussed the matter, but on account of some hitch on the part of the Commissioner of Trade Tax it has been stated that it would not be possible for the Trade Tax Department to accept more than one place as the principal place of business.  It may be mentioned here that under Rule 6 of the U.P. Trade Tax Rules, 1948 the jurisdiction of the assessing authority has been defined. It reads as follows :-

"6. Jurisdiction of Assessing Authority - (1) If a dealer carries on business within the limits of jurisdiction of only one Trade Tax Officer, that Officer shall be the assessing authority in respect of the dealer and the place where he carries on business shall be deemed to be his principal place of business.

(2) If a dealer carries on business within the limits of jurisdiction of more than one Trade Tax Officer, he shall, within thirty days of the commencement of business declare one of the places of his business as his principal place of business in U.P> and shall intimate all the Trade Tax Officers within whose limits of jurisdiction his places of business are situated. The Trade Tax Officer within whose limits of jurisdiction the principal place of business so declared by the dealer is situated, shall be the Assessing Authority in respect of such dealer :

Provided that in the case of any Department of the Central Government or of a State Government or of a Company, Corporation  a State Government carrying on business within the limits of jurisdiction of more than one Trade Tax Officer, the Commissioner or any officer authorized by him in this behalf may order that each Trade Tax Officer within whose jurisdiction such Department, Company, Corporation or Undertaking is carrying on business shall be the Assessing Authority in respect of the place or places of business within the limits of the jurisdiction, or permit such Department, Company, Corporation or Undertaking to declare one place of business as the principal place of business in U.P., in which case the Trade Tax Officer, within whose limits of jurisdiction such declared principal place of business is situated, shall be the assessing authority in respect of such Department, Company, Corporation or Undertaking.

(3)  If the principal place of business of a dealer is situated outside U.P. and such dealer carries on business at only one place in U.P. the Trade Tax Officer within whose limits of jurisdiction the place of business in U.P. is situated shall be the assessing authority in respect of such dealer.

(4) If the principal place of business of a dealer is situated outside U.P. and such dealer carries on business at more than one place in U.P., he shall declare one of his places of business in U.P., as the principal place of business in U.P. within thirty days of the commencement of business and shall intimate all the Trade Tax Officers within whose limits of jurisdiction his places of business are situated. The Trade Tax Officer within whose limits of jurisdiction the principal place of business so declared is situated shall be the Assessing Authority in respect of such dealer.

(5) If no declaration as required under sub rule (2) or sub rule (4) is made by a dealer within the time specified therein, the Commissioner or any officer authorized by him in this behalf shall determine the Trade Tax Officer who will be the assessing authority in respect of such dealer and his decision shall be final.

(6) If a dealer has no fixed place of business, the Trade Tax Officer within whose limits of jurisdiction he ordinarily resides shall be the assessing authority in respect of such dealer.

(6a) The Officer in charge of the check post shall be the assessing authority under sub sections (4) and (5) of Section 7 of the Act in respect of the owner or person in charge of the vehicle obtaining authorization for transit of goods from that check post.

(7) No dealer, who has once made a declaration under sub rule (2) or sub rule (4) or who has failed to make such declaration within the time specified therein, shall be allowed to change the same or, as the case may be, to make a declaration except with the previous written permission of the Commissioner or any officer authorized by him in this behalf, and on such conditions as he may deem fit to impose.

(8) Whenever there is any doubt or if any of the sub rues of this rule do not apply, the Commissioner shall determine the Trade Tax Officer who will be the assessing authority in respect of a dealer, and his decision shall be final.

From a reading of the aforesaid provisions it would be seen that if a dealer carries on the business within the limits of jurisdiction of only one Trade Tax Officer that officer is to be the assessing authority and the place where he carries on the business is deemed to his principal place of business. However, under Sub Rule (2) it has been provided that where a dealer carries on the business within the limits  of jurisdiction of more than one Trade Tax Officer, the dealer has to declare within 30 days from the commencement of his business one of the places of his business as his principle place of business in U.P. and shall intimate all other Trade Tax Officers within whose limits of jurisdiction his other places of business are situate and in that event The Trade Tax Officer within whose limits of jurisdiction the principal place of business so declared is situate is to be the assessing authority of that dealer. However, under Proviso to Sub Rule (2) the Commissioner or any officer authorized by him has been empowered to order that each Trade Tax Officer within whose jurisdiction any department of the Central Government or of a State Government or of a Company, Corporation or Undertaking owned and controlled by the Central Government or by a State Government is carrying on the business shall be the assessing authority in respect of place or of places of business to permit declaration of one principal place of business.

Thus under proviso to Sub Rule (2) the Commissioner of Trade Tax can declare more than one principal place of business in respect of State Government/Central Government departments, Company, Corporation or Undertaking owned and controlled by it. Since the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is a company owned and controlled by the Central Government. Proviso to Sub Rule (2) is applicable and, therefore, the Court is of the opinion that it would be just and proper as also in the interest of justice that the Commissioner of Trade Tax be directed to declare Lucknow and Meerut as principal place of business in respect of U.P. East and U.P. West circles respectively.

The writ petitions are disposed of finally with the direction to the Commissioner of Trade Tax, U.P. Lucknow to pass appropriate orders on the applications, which the petitioner undertakes to file within two weeks from today.

This order will be made effective from 1.4.2005. The parties shall be governed by the interim orders passed by Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 25th September, 2003 and 16th December, 2003, subject to the modifications as the Apex Court may do so from time to time. The respondents shall continue to issue the requisite number of statutory forms to the petitioner.

Dt. 25.02.2005

KCS


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Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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