w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



M/s. Saravana International, Rep. by its Proprietor C.R. Devanathan, Panruti v/s The Assistant Commissioner (ST), Panruti


Company & Directors' Information:- K N INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201UP2002PLC026841

Company & Directors' Information:- D B H INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1950PTC057209

Company & Directors' Information:- V AND S INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1992PTC049964

Company & Directors' Information:- S S A INTERNATIONAL LTD [Active] CIN = U15122DL1995PLC068186

Company & Directors' Information:- A T N INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = L65993WB1983PLC080793

Company & Directors' Information:- D D INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909PB1995PTC016929

Company & Directors' Information:- T K INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U55101OR1982PLC001092

Company & Directors' Information:- N R INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = L74999WB1991PLC051738

Company & Directors' Information:- K J INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = L15142PB1993PLC011274

Company & Directors' Information:- A K S INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1996PLC076327

Company & Directors' Information:- S P INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70100WB1994PTC063228

Company & Directors' Information:- B. K. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL2006PTC157013

Company & Directors' Information:- R S C INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = L17124RJ1993PLC007136

Company & Directors' Information:- J C INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51109WB1999PLC089037

Company & Directors' Information:- M T L INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U24219UP2001PTC025965

Company & Directors' Information:- T C N S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U51311DL1996PTC080096

Company & Directors' Information:- K V S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2003PTC120770

Company & Directors' Information:- G N INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL2001PTC110766

Company & Directors' Information:- S H A M INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200MH1994PTC079867

Company & Directors' Information:- M K INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL1996PLC083430

Company & Directors' Information:- V. G. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51101DL2007PTC162540

Company & Directors' Information:- D R INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24132DL1996PTC079867

Company & Directors' Information:- R H INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900DL2007PLC159452

Company & Directors' Information:- G & G INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17120DL2012PTC234047

Company & Directors' Information:- A & D INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U36109RJ2007PTC024176

Company & Directors' Information:- K A I INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U13100OR2007PTC009647

Company & Directors' Information:- C G INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U99999MH1996PTC097577

Company & Directors' Information:- K C INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1994PLC060402

Company & Directors' Information:- M P INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29130MH1997PTC107943

Company & Directors' Information:- A S INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1993PLC056158

Company & Directors' Information:- H C S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15312PB2012PTC036219

Company & Directors' Information:- L N G INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL1993PLC053438

Company & Directors' Information:- S. D. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900UP2008PTC036047

Company & Directors' Information:- S AND I INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL1995PTC072210

Company & Directors' Information:- L T INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1999PLC097892

Company & Directors' Information:- A. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51102GJ2008PTC053840

Company & Directors' Information:- S J M INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52110DL1987PLC028571

Company & Directors' Information:- S B S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL1997PTC085878

Company & Directors' Information:- R. A. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51225DL2008PTC177405

Company & Directors' Information:- B G INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U50300PB2014PTC038889

Company & Directors' Information:- S F INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999PB2000PTC023654

Company & Directors' Information:- R T S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63022DL1997PTC089328

Company & Directors' Information:- I K INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC066267

Company & Directors' Information:- C K INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1991PTC045625

Company & Directors' Information:- L A INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909PB2010PTC033683

Company & Directors' Information:- H R V INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U74899UP1993PTC057665

Company & Directors' Information:- K P INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24110GJ2007PTC050026

Company & Directors' Information:- V S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85100MH1997PTC109647

Company & Directors' Information:- N N INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01111DL1999PTC099094

Company & Directors' Information:- S R V INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2012PTC243060

Company & Directors' Information:- V. S. Y. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999UP2008PTC035521

Company & Directors' Information:- U M I INTERNATIONAL LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51909WB1990PLC049671

Company & Directors' Information:- A. R. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51900MH2010PTC228539

Company & Directors' Information:- B R INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1993PTC055562

Company & Directors' Information:- M J INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U74899DL1982PTC013231

Company & Directors' Information:- D N INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U36911TN1996PLC034205

Company & Directors' Information:- M. H. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102DL2007PTC164267

Company & Directors' Information:- H AND Z INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U10102AS1995PLC004509

Company & Directors' Information:- M G M INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1982PTC013580

Company & Directors' Information:- J J INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51109DL1992PTC047657

Company & Directors' Information:- H D INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1994PLC060720

Company & Directors' Information:- K. A. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51101UP2012PTC049338

Company & Directors' Information:- J & G INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18109DL2012PTC238392

Company & Directors' Information:- K R INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17291DL2008PTC172188

Company & Directors' Information:- D. J. INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65910MH1999PLC119298

Company & Directors' Information:- S P INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999UP1965PTC003091

Company & Directors' Information:- J M INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U45201WB1991PTC050829

Company & Directors' Information:- D P C INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74210WB1984PTC037378

Company & Directors' Information:- B M INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1992PTC048736

Company & Directors' Information:- S G INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1998PTC086547

Company & Directors' Information:- B N INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15412WB1999PTC089316

Company & Directors' Information:- V A INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01111DL2000PTC104712

Company & Directors' Information:- S. J. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310DL2007PTC169438

Company & Directors' Information:- N H B INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U67190MH1997PTC107387

Company & Directors' Information:- P D K INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74140WB1992PTC056468

Company & Directors' Information:- G. S. C. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29120MH1994PTC080380

Company & Directors' Information:- A J INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U74899DL1994PTC060818

Company & Directors' Information:- J S M INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110KA1996PLC020046

Company & Directors' Information:- M K N INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL2002PTC117207

Company & Directors' Information:- N M INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74120MH2012PTC234492

Company & Directors' Information:- S S M INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL1997PTC089876

Company & Directors' Information:- A P J INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909HR2010PTC040304

Company & Directors' Information:- T. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900DL1997PTC091049

Company & Directors' Information:- V R INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51101UP2011PTC043952

Company & Directors' Information:- A & F INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U00265KA1995PTC018998

Company & Directors' Information:- M E C INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U33111GJ1963PTC082423

Company & Directors' Information:- J K INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01100MH2004PTC144492

Company & Directors' Information:- D. S. R. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999UP2010PTC039954

Company & Directors' Information:- B L S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900UR2010PTC033210

Company & Directors' Information:- R B INTERNATIONAL LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U18101WB1993PLC059515

Company & Directors' Information:- P Y INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U51102RJ1995PTC010133

Company & Directors' Information:- R C INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909TG1991PLC012477

Company & Directors' Information:- N J INDIA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70101UP2004PLC028722

Company & Directors' Information:- I AND A INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200TG1995PTC019936

Company & Directors' Information:- P V INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1998PTC094598

Company & Directors' Information:- I B INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U72200DL2000PTC105735

Company & Directors' Information:- A M INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC066228

Company & Directors' Information:- K K M INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17110MH1995PTC089836

Company & Directors' Information:- Z. H. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U21098MH2010PTC210735

Company & Directors' Information:- J R INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909TN2002PTC048744

Company & Directors' Information:- H P AND B G INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U50500DL1999PTC100851

Company & Directors' Information:- L S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74999DL2009PTC193390

Company & Directors' Information:- M B INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U52190DL2001PTC110572

Company & Directors' Information:- O K R INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900DL1996PTC077152

Company & Directors' Information:- B B C INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U25209WB1984PTC037383

Company & Directors' Information:- K S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909MH2001PTC134345

Company & Directors' Information:- A TO Z INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51101TN1992PTC022507

Company & Directors' Information:- C & A INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51900MH1982PTC026718

Company & Directors' Information:- J S INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51900MH1982PTC027604

Company & Directors' Information:- A C INDIA INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC034784

Company & Directors' Information:- S. S. N. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29306DL1981PTC012616

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA INTERNATIONAL COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51228MH1955PTC009483

Company & Directors' Information:- R K INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U63040PB1982PTC004926

Company & Directors' Information:- L & P INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52100DL2016PTC292025

Company & Directors' Information:- J D K INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1982PTC014087

Company & Directors' Information:- R B N INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52300DL2012PTC243998

Company & Directors' Information:- P AND P INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED. [Strike Off] CIN = U24100OR1993PTC003244

Company & Directors' Information:- B P INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31909HP1984PTC005785

Company & Directors' Information:- E C INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1982PTC013146

Company & Directors' Information:- R A R E INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31900DL2005PTC134395

Company & Directors' Information:- D I D INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U28112MH2014PTC258750

Company & Directors' Information:- S R A INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1980PTC010389

Company & Directors' Information:- C.R & D CO. (INDIA) PVT. LTD. [Under Liquidation] CIN = U36991WB1979PTC031882

Company & Directors' Information:- R Z INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900KA2012PTC064445

Company & Directors' Information:- M M INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Converted to LLP] CIN = U51312DL1977PTC008583

Company & Directors' Information:- A K INDIA INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U45201DL1981PTC012389

Company & Directors' Information:- O P INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U55101PB2013PTC037499

Company & Directors' Information:- J & A INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51900PB2013PTC037302

Company & Directors' Information:- A P M INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900TN2014PTC095953

Company & Directors' Information:- Y. A. INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900RJ2012PTC040431

Company & Directors' Information:- D & A INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2015PTC262713

Company & Directors' Information:- R L INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18204UP2016PTC076344

Company & Directors' Information:- V P S INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U93030UP2014PTC066242

Company & Directors' Information:- J V INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51102DL2012PTC240197

Company & Directors' Information:- R I K INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U52590DL2015PTC283801

Company & Directors' Information:- Y & H INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63000DL2014PTC266649

Company & Directors' Information:- S R L INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U20296AP2013PTC085533

Company & Directors' Information:- M D INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140MH1981PTC025007

Company & Directors' Information:- INTERNATIONAL CO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51109UR1935PTC000663

Company & Directors' Information:- A B C INTERNATIONAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1990PTC041062

Company & Directors' Information:- D C M INTERNATIONAL LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL2000PTC004208

Company & Directors' Information:- B C I INTERNATIONAL LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900DL1977PLC008468

    Writ Appeal No. 4085 of 2019 & C.M.P. No. 25533 of 2019

    Decided On, 12 December 2019

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE DR. JUSTICE VINEET KOTHARI & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. SURESH KUMAR

    For the Appellant: V. Sundareswaran, Advocate. For the Respondent: Mohammed Shafiq, Special Government Pleader.



Judgment Text


(Prayer: Appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent against the order of this Court dated 05.07.2019 passed in W.P.No.12370 of 2019.)

Dr. Vineet Kothari, J.

1. The appellant Assessee, aggrieved by the order of the learned Single Judge dated 05.07.2019 dismissing the writ petition filed by the Assessee on the ground of availability of alternative remedy, has filed this present intra Court appeal.

2. Learned counsel for the appellant Assessee Mr.V.Sundareswaran submitted that the Assessee, for the assessment period 2016-17 could not furnish the audit report as required by the newly inserted provisions in the Tamil Nadu Value Added Tax Act, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as 'TNVAT Act') in Section 63A of the Act in prescribed Form No.'WW' for the said assessment period and for which reason, the assessing authority viz., the Assistant Commissioner, Panruti Town, passed the impugned 'best judgment assessment order' dated 01.02.2018, enhancing the taxable turnover by 50% and imposed additional tax at 14.5% thereon. He submitted that besides imposing the tax on such enhanced turnover, the assessing authority in the order dated 04.06.2018, had also imposed the prescribed penalty under the said provisions of 63A(2) of the TNVAT Act, 2006 to the extent of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) for not filing of said Audit Report which the Assessee duly paid after the assessment order was passed by the assessing authority.

3. Learned counsel for the appellant Assessee further submitted that being aggrieved by the said 'best judgment assessment' by which the assessing authority arbitrarily enhanced the taxable turnover by 50% without any rhyme or reason, the assessee preferred the present Writ Petition before the learned Single Judge, who has however dismissed the Writ Petition on the ground of availability of alternative remedyby way of departmental appeal to the assessee. He relied upon the decision of the Division Bench of this Court in the case of "M/s.Nithra Furniture -vs- Assistant Commissioner (CT)" decided in W.A.Nos.1148 and 1149 of 2015 dated 11.08.2015, in which the delayed filing of prescribed Audit Report in Form 'WW' was condoned by the Division Bench of this Court and the assessing authority was directed to pass a revised assessment order in that case. He therefore submitted that even though the power of the 'best judgment assessment' prescribed under Section 22(4) of the Act could be invoked by the assessing authority in such a case, but that did not empower him to pass an arbitrary and high pitched assessment order in the case of the assessee, simply enhancing the taxable turnover by 50% only for the reason of not filing the Audit Report. This he submits, amounts to double jeopardy, enhanced tax liability and penalty for the same violation.

4. Learned counsel for the Revenue Mr.Mohammed Shafiq however supported the impugned order of the learned Single Judge as well as the impugned order passed by the learned assessing authority and he urged that, since the power to pass 'best judgment assessment' could be invoked for the reason of not filing the Audit Report as per the provisions of Section 63A of the TNVAT Act, 2006, therefore, the impugned assessment order could not be assailed directly by way of filing a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. He further submitted that the availability of alternative remedy to the assessee under the Act was very much prescribed in law and therefore the order passed by the learned Single Judge is unassailable. He sought to distinguish the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court relied upon by the learned counsel for the appellant on the ground that in that case atleast the defect of filing of the audit report was cured by the assessee by later on filing of the same, upon which the Court directed the assessing authority to pass the revised assessment order.

5. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the opinion that the present Writ Appeal is an exceptional case and deserves to be allowed, not because the assessing authority could not invoke his powers under Section 22(4) of the Act for the reason of not filing of the audit report, but because of the manner in which the 'best judgment assessment' has been passed by the assessing authority on 04.06.2018 for the assessment period 2016-17. The provisions of Section 63A of the TNVAT Act are quoted below for ready reference.

"63-A. Accounts to be audited in certain cases.—(1) Every registered dealer whose total turnover including zero-rate sale and sale in the course of inter-State trade or commerce as specified in Section 3 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 (Central Act 74 of 1956) in a year, exceeds one crore rupees, shall get his accounts in respect of that year, audited by an Accountant and submit a report of such audit in the prescribed Form, duly signed and verified by the Accountant, to the assessing authority, within such period as may be prescribed.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this section “Accountant” means, a chartered accountant as defined in the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Central Act 38 of 1949) or a cost accountant as defined in the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959 (Central Act 23 of 1959). (2) If such registered dealer fails to get his accounts audited and submit a report of such audit within the prescribed period, as required in sub-section (1), the assessing authority may, after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard, direct such registered dealer to pay by way of penalty of such of rupees ten thousand, in addition to any tax payable, in respect of the said period:

Provided that, this section shall not apply to the departments of Central and State Governments, local authorities, the railway administration as defined under the Railways Act, 1989 (Central Act 24 of 1989), the Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporations and similar such registered dealers, as way be notified by the Government."

6. The consequence of not getting his accounts audited even though his turnover is over Rupees One Crore and not submitting the audit report with the return or turnover is provided under explanation (2) to Section 63A itself viz., imposition of penalty of Rs.10,000/-, that too after giving a reasonable opportunity of hearing to the assessee concerned. Firstly, we find that no separate opportunity of hearing also was given by the assessing authority before passing the order imposing for penalty of Rs.10,000/- in the impugned assessment order dated 04.06.2018. Be that as it may. Since the assessee has paid the said amount of penalty to the assessing authority vide communication dated 29.03.2019 along with a demand draft, which is placed on record, we are not inclined to quash the penalty on the said ground.

7. But our judicial conscience is shocked at the manner in which the 'Best Judgment Assessment' order was passed by the assessing authority. No enquiry, material or reasons have been indicated in the impugned assessment order dated 04.06.2018 to make such a huge addition to the extent of 50% of the declared turnover and the only averment made in the impugned assessment order is that, since the dealer has not filed the Audit Report in the prescribed Form 'WW', hence an addition of 50% has been added in the declared turnover. This consequence is not provided either in the provisions of Section 22(4) of the Act, which permits the authority to invoke his 'best judgment assessment' powers, nor in Section 63A of the Act, which prescribes for consequence of imposition of penalty of Rs.10,000/- in case such Audit Report is not furnished by the dealer to the assessing authority.

8. The 'Best Judgment Assessment' power given to the assessing authroity does not empower such assessing authority to pass 'Worst Judgment Assessment'. Though no strict yardstick can be prescribed either in Rules or otherwise, as to what will be the 'Best Judgment Assessment' in the facts and circumstances of the case, but such assessment orders when passed by the assessing authority has to reflect a due application of mind by the assessing authority to the relevant facts of the case. Without any material on record, such arbitrary additions to the declared turnover by the Assessee is not the intent and purport of Section 22(4) of the Act, which empowers the authority, which has been quoted by the assessing authority in the impugned assessment order, to pass any order as he thinks fit. Therefore in our opinion, passing such 'best judgment assessment' making 50% enhancement of the declared turnover only for the reason that the assessee did not file the audit report, for which admittedly he suffered the penalty as prescribed by law, was not permissible.

9. We are conscious that the learned Single Judge has merely relegated the petitioner / appellant to the alternative remedy available to the assessee under the provisions of the Act itself, but as the settled legal position is that the existence and availability of the alternative remedy to an aggrieved assessee, and more so in the tax laws, is a rule, a discretion of the High Court and not a bar of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Depending upon the peculiarity of the facts of the case arising before the Court, the Court may either choose to interfere in the assessment orders or otherwise may decline to do so.

10. Since in the present case, we found that the yardstick adopted by the learned assessing authority was shockingly arbitrary, we have chosen to interfere in the present case. However, we make it clear that it is not a general proposition of law that we are laying down. We are also not saying that for the reason of not furnishing of the audit report as required by Section 63A of the Act, the assessing authority could not have invoked the 'best judgment a

Please Login To View The Full Judgment!

ssessment' powers under Section 22(4) of the Act. But, since we have found that the assessment order itself is without any cogent reasons and making an addition to an arbitrary extent of 50% of the declared turnover, without any other adverse material against the assessee, we are constrained to invoke our extraordinary writ jurisdiction in the present case under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and strike down the impugned 'best judgment assessment' order passed by the learned assessing authority on 04.06.2018. 11. The Writ petition is accordingly allowed and setting aside the order of learned Single Judge as well as the impugned assessment order dated 04.06.2018. We remit the matter back to the learned assessing authority to pass fresh assessment order after giving reasonable opportunity of hearing to the assessee, within a period of six months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. 12. With the above observations, the present Writ Appeal is allowed. However, there shall be no order as to costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.
O R