(Prayer: Writ Petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of writs of certiorari, to call for the records relating to the impugned orders passed by the respondent in TIN: 33040541281/2006-07 (Jan 07 to Mar 07); TIN: 33040541281/2007-08; TIN: 33040541281/2008-09; TIN: 33040541281/2009-10; TIN: 33040541281/2010-11, dated 04.12.2013, respectively, and quash the same as arbitrary, violative of principles of natural justice and without jurisdiction.)
1. By consent of the learned counsel on either side, this Writ Petition is taken up for final disposal at the stage of admission itself.
2. Heard Mr.M.A.Mudimannan, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr.A.R.Jayaprathap, learned Additional Government Pleader (Tax) appearing for the respondent.
3. Seeking to quash the revised assessment orders dated 04.12.2013 passed by the respondent for the assessment years 2006-07 to 2010-11, respectively, the petitioner has filed the above Writ Petitions.
4. The petitioner is a registered dealer, having valid registration under the Tamil Nadu Value Added Tax (TNVAT) Act and Central Sales Tax (CST) Act. He claimed and adjusted Input Tax Credit on the purchases and sale of goods within the State of Tamil Nadu. The place of business of the petitioner was inspected by the Enforcement Wing Officials of the Sales Tax Department on 20.02.2013. On the basis of the defects pointed out by the Enforcement Wing Officials, the respondent issued a notice dated 25.10.2013 proposing to disallow the ITC claimed on the ground that the petitioner had not produced the relevant documents to substantiate their claim before the Enforcement Wing Officials. In the notice, the respondent has given 15 days' time to file objections by the petitioner and the said notice was received by the petitioner on 08.11.2013. Due to the arrangements for betrothal and marriage function of the daughter of the General Manager, the deponent herein, the deponent misplaced the notice and it was not brought to the notice of the Directors or any other staff of the petitioner company. While so, the petitioner was shocked to receive the impugned order dated 04.12.2013 passed by the respondent, on 13.12.2013, whereby, the respondent had confirmed the proposal and demanded huge amount of tax by disallowing ITC and also imposed penalty at 50% of the tax demanded.
5. The foremost contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that due to compelling reasons for making arrangements for his daughter's marriage, the petitioner could not go before the authority for filing objections within the time prescribed, pursuant to the issuance of notice dated 25.10.2013 by the respondent. Learned counsel would plead that if an opportunity is given to the petitioner, he will establish his right.
6. On the other hand, learned Government Advocate (Tax) would submit that even after issuing notice to the petitioner, no reply/objections were filed. Therefore, there is no legal impediment for the Assessing Officer to proceed further in making the demand and the impugned order is perfectly valid.
7. In the impugned orders dated 04.12.2013 passed by the respondent, it is stated that the assessment pertaining to the assessment years 2006-07 to 2010-11 is made as per the Government Order in G.O.Ms.No.83/CT & R (B1), dated 18.06.2012 and that the petitioner firm was audited by the Enforcement Wing Officials vide VAT Audit conducted by the Enforcement Wing Officials on 20.02.2013. It is further stated that the petitioner has so far not filed a reply to the notice dated 25.10.2013 issued by them and hence, they have proceeded to demand the amount as per the Government Order dated 18.06.2012. Accordingly, the impugned proceedings have been made.
8. The plea of the petitioner is that due to his daughter's marriage, he could not file objections in time and therefore, he would request that a further opportunity of hearing be given to him to enable him file objections to the impugned demand.
9. In that view of the matter, considering the plea made by the petitioner to give him an opportunity to file objections to the demand notice dated 25.10.2013 and the reasons assigned by him for not filing the same, the petitioner is directed to file his objections to the demand notice dated 25.10.2013 within a period of two (2) weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of th
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is order. On such objections being made, the respondent shall consider the same in accordance with law after affording an opportunity of personal hearing to the petitioner and on verification of documents, pass appropriate orders within a period of four (4) weeks. Till such time, status quo of the impugned proceedings shall be maintained. With the above direction, the above Writ Petitions are disposed of. No costs. Consequently, connected M.P.Nos.1, 1, 1, 1 and 1 of 2014 are also closed.