Director of Entry Tax
& Ors. Vs. Sunrise Timber Company  INSC 1965 (18 November 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6692 OF 2008 (Arising
out of S.L.P. (C) No.2984 of 2008) The Director of Entry Tax & Ors.
....Appellants Versus Sunrise Timber Company ....Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the order passed by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High
Court summarily dismissing the writ petition filed by the petitioner under
Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950 (in short the `Constitution').
Challenge was to the order dated 24.7.1997 passed by the West Bengal Taxation
Tribunal (in short `the Tribunal') in R.N-204 of 1996.
had filed application under Section 8 of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act,
1987 (in short `the Act') in the nature of an application under Article 226 of
the Constitution. The question raised was certain amount collected from the
respondents in view of assessment or otherwise as entry tax should be refunded
along with interest, and the documents seized on 26.5.1992 should be released
and compensation is to be paid by the officials for loss of reputation.
of the appellant was that the petitioner before the Tribunal in collusion with
others imported consignments of timber being specified goods under the schedule
appended to Taxes on Entry of Goods into the Calcutta Metropolitan Area Act,
1972 (in short `TAGMA Act') into the Calcutta Metropolitan Area from places
outside the State for sale, use or consumption therein without payment of
necessary Entry Tax and also forged documents thereby attracting action in
terms of Section 24(1)(a) and 24(1)(b) of TAGMA Act besides criminal offences
of forgery, cheating. It was pointed out that payment of Entry Tax was evaded
by using and/or producing all such forged documents.
Tribunal accepted the stand of the respondent that he was being harassed and
the entire exercise of seizure and the collection of tax was without legal
preferred Writ Petition before the High Court. As noted above, the High Court
disposed of the writ petition holding as follows:
the learned Advocate for the Petitioners and after going through the materials
on record, we find that the learned Tribunal has dealt with the matter
extensively and there is no illegality or irregularity in respect of the order
so passed by the learned Tribunal.
application is dismissed."
counsel for the appellants submitted that the approach of the High Court is
clearly erroneous. Several questions of importance were involved. The Tribunal
did not examine the issues in the right perspective and came to abrupt
conclusions contrary to the evidence on record.
is no appearance on behalf of the respondents in spite of service of notice.
find that the High Court has not dealt with the various stands taken by the
appellants. It has come to an abrupt conclusion that the Tribunal has dealt
with the matter extensively. The issues raised by the appellants were not
without substance. It is another thing whether the same would have been
accepted. The manner in which the High Court has summarily dismissed the writ
petition cannot be countenanced.
we set aside the impugned order of the High Court and remit the matter to it
for fresh consideration in accordance with law. We make it clear that we have
not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case.
appeal is disposed of accordingly.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)