Goods Transport Association & ANR Vs. Commissioner of Taxes & Ors
 INSC 935 (15 December 1997)
C. SEN, K. VENKATASWAMI
O R D
E R I.A.3 is an application for recalling of the order passed by this Court on 3rd March, 1997.
petition was filed by Tripura Goods Transport Association challenging the
competence of the State Legislature to pass any law relating to
"transportation of goods". The case of the Association was that the
transporters were not liable to pay Sales Tax as they were neither
"Dealers" in terms of the Act nor had any authority to sell on behalf
of the dealers. Various other points were made in the writ petition. One of the
points related to submitting of various forms under the Sales Tax Rules by the
transporters at the check-posts. The writ petition was dismissed by the Gauhati
High Court. The Association approached this Court by a special leave petition.
The special leave petition was disposed of by a consent order dated 1.10.1996
which was as under:
a Transporter furnishes Form XVIIIA of Form XVIIIB (prescribed under Rule 47A
and 47C respectively of the Tripura Sales Tax Rules, 1976) entitled an
information of import/export of taxable goods to the appropriate officer, such
transporter shall not be required to furnish Form XXIV. If, however, the
transporter does not furnish Form XVIIIA or XVIIIB prescribed under Rule 47 A
and 47C respectively of Tripura Sales Tax Rules, it is obvious, he shall have
to furnish From XXIV.
learned counsel for the State of Tripura further Clarifies that the declaration in Form XVIIIA or XVIIIB can be
furnished with respect to all goods.
view of the aforesaid agreed order it is not necessary for us to express any
opinion on the questions of law raised in this special leave petition.
special leave petition is disposed of accordingly." Thereafter, another
application was made on behalf of the transporters on which a further order was
passed on 3.3.1997 to the following effect:
Sibal, learned counsel for the applicant states that because the petitioners
are not dealers, they are not being supplied with forms 18A and 18B.
therefore, submits that it is not possible for the petitioners to produce the
said forms. On this submission, Mr. M.L. Verma, learned counsel for the State
of Tripura responds that while he cannot give
any response with respect to the question whether the applicants are dealers or
not, he assures that if and when the applicants approach the Commissioner of
Taxes, he shall ensure that these forms are supplied to the petitioners. The
said statement is recorded herewith.
the above reasons, we also do not express any opinion whether the applicants
are dealers or not.
application is disposed of with above clarification." The State of Tripura has now made this application for
recalling of the order dated 3rd March, 1997
on the ground that the order was entirely against the provisions of the Tripura
Sales Tax Rules framed under the Tripura Sales Tax Act, 19966. It has been
stated that the order was passed on the basis of an erroneous and unauthorized
concession made by the Senior Counsel for the State. The concession was made
without obtaining instructions from the commissioner of Tax who was also
present in the court at the time of the proceedings. It has been contended that
Form XVIIIA prescribed under Rule 47A of the Rules can only be for
"Dealers" and not for transporters. Form XVIIIA cannot be issued to
the transporters. The concession made on behalf of the State Counsel was against
the statutory provisions and was unauthorized. It has been submitted that order
passed on the basis of this erroneous concession should be recalled.
of the view that there is considerable force in the submission made on behalf
of the State. The material part of Rule 47A is as under:
" Where the procedure laid down in Rule 46 or Rules 62 cause inconvenience
to a dealer, such dealer may transport consignment or taxable goods despatched
from any place outside Tripura, on the basis of intimation furnished by such
dealer in form XVIIIA in accordance with the provisions contained in this Rule,
form such railway station, steamer station, post office, airport or any other
place notified under Section 37 or 38 of the Act as may be specified in this
behalf for the purposes of this rule by the authorised officer."
Therefore, it is the dealer and not the transporter who has to give the
necessary information in Form no. XVIIIA.
the requirements of Form XVIIIA clearly indicate that it has to be filled up by
a dealer. The form has to be issued t a "Dealer", the name and
address of the dealer has to be stated in the form. The dealer in that form has
to make a declaration to the proper officer various particulars including name
and address of the seller from whom the goods were purchased, name and address
of the consignee, place of despatch, destination, description of consignment,
quantity, weight, value, Consignor's Invoice Number and date, Mode of
transport, Railway Receipt or Bill of Lading or Air Note. After filling in the
form, a declaration has to be made, which is as under :
hereby declare that I/We am/are a registered dealer under the Tripura Sales Tax
Act, 1976, holding registration Certificate No...... and the above Statements
are true to the best of my/our knowledge and belief.
language of Rule 47A and form XVIIIA leaves no room for doubt that the form can
only be issued to a dealer.
is no dispute that the transporter is not a dealer.
XVIIIA is issued to a dealer whose name, address and registration no. have to
be mentioned by the Issuing officer. Obviously, such a form cannot be issued to
assurance given by the counsel of the State in Court was "whether the
applicants approach the Commissioner of Taxes, he shall ensure that these forms
are supplied to the petitioners." This assurance was clearly against the
law. Form XVIIIA cannot be issued to the transporters.
the order dated 3.3.1997 was based on the assurance given by the senior Advocate
appearing for the State the order will have to be recalled. An advocate
appearing on behalf of the State cannot undertake that the state will do
something contrary to the statute. Therefore, this application is allowed. We
will recall the order passed on 3.3.1997 and restore the I.A.2 of 1996 for
hearing and disposal. These applications are disposed of as above. There will
be no order as to costs.