At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. RAVIRAJA PANDIAN
For the Petitioner : C. Rekha Kumari, Advocate. For the Respondents: A. Shanmugasundaram, G.A.
(Prayer: The Original Petition is filed before the Tamil Nadu Taxation Special Tribunal, Chennai seeking for the relief of calling for the records of the first respondent and set aside the proceedings of first respondent in RP.No.JJ1/32402/02 dated 2.6.2003 and further direct the third and fourth respondents to refund the compounding fee of Rs.1000/- and release the bank guarantee No.23/28/2000 dated 6.4.2000 furnished in relation to release of consignment detained vide GD.No.166/99-2000 dated 14.2.2000. The said O.P. is converted as writ petition on transfer to this Court on the abolition of the Tribunal.)
It is the case of the petitioner that the petitioner is a registered dealer having its head office at Bangalore and it is a hundred percent export oriented unit. The petitioner purchased certain consignment on high sea sales and moved the same from Chennai Harbour to Delhi. The goods were detained on 14.2.2000 under goods detention order No.166/99-2000 by the Assistant Commissioner, Enforcement (Central), Chennai. While that being so, in order to get the goods released, the petitioner approached the Principal Commissioner and Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, who directed the third respondent to release the goods. But when the petitioner approached the third respondent, the third respondent insisted the petitioner to furnish bank guarantee for the alleged tax liability in a sum of Rs.23,000/-. Pursuant to the same, the petitioner furnished bank guarantee and got the goods released. As against the detention order, the petitioner moved a revision before the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes in time, however, the compounding order has not been furnished to the petitioner. The petitioner was not able to produce the order before the Deputy Commissioner ? the second respondent. As the second respondent ? Deputy Commissioner dismissed the revision on the ground that the compounding order has not been produced, by his order dated 28.3.2002. Thereafter, the petitioner obtained a certified copy of the compounding order on 19.4.2002. On that day itself, the petitioner produced it before the Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner received that certified copy of the compounding order, however rejected to entertain the revision on the ground that he has already disposed of the revision for non-production of the certified copy of the compounding order. That order has been carried on further revision to the Joint Commissioner ? the first respondent, who has also dismissed the revision on the premise that the compounding order has not been produced before him. The correctness of the said order is now canvassed in the writ petition.
2. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that there is absolutely no dispute that the revision petition filed before the Deputy Commissioner was came to be dismissed on 28.3.2002 for non-filing of the compounding order and the compounding order order has been produced before the Deputy Commissioner subsequent to that, who passed further order on 23.4.2002 on the ground that the revision made by the petitioner in the reference second cited could not be entertained on the sole ground that he has already dismissed the revision application. Thus, is evident that the petitioner has represented the revision petition along with the certified copy of the compounding order. When the compounding order was very much placed before the authority, he could have very well taken in to consideration the compounding order or otherwise consigned the same when the second revision was pending before the first respondent - Joint Commissioner. Having received the certified copy, non-suiting the petitioner for any relief on the simple ground of non-production of certified copy cannot be legally expected from a quasi judicial officer and thus the fairness in disposal of the cases is totally vanished.
3. I heard the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner and also the learned Government Pleader and perused the material on record.
4. It is seen from the proceedings of the Deputy Commissioner, Central Division, Chennai dated 23.4.2002 that the petitioner has re-presented the revision, which has been rejected as the revision itself is not entertainable and the same was communicated to the petitioner by proceedings dated 28.3.2002. Though it has not been stated in explicit manner that the certified copy has been received by the Joint Commissioner, it is the contention of the petitioner hat the re-presentation would tantamount to re-presenting the revision along with certified copy, for the absence of which alone the revision has been dismissed.
5. Taking into consideration of the facts, I am of the view that the petitioner can be allowed to agitate the matter before the Deputy Commissioner by directing the Deputy Commissioner - second respondent to re-consider the issue afresh. The reasoning given by the Deputy Commissioner that he cannot re-hear the matter as he has already passed an order dated 28.3.2002 cannot be legally sustainable. Every order passed by the authority, who is regarded himself as a Tribunal of exclusive jurisdiction while disposing of the quasi judicial
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
matter, is having inherent powers and any order passed by them can be reviewed if the situation so required. Useful reference can be had to the judgment of the Supreme Court in UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY VS. RAJENDRA SINGH AND OTHERS reported in (2000) 3 SCC 581. 6. Hence, the second respondent - Deputy Commissioner is hereby directed to re-hear the matter which he has closed by his order on 23.4.2002, if the certified copy of the compounding order was available with the file. With this observation, the writ petition is disposed of. No costs.