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Surya Alloy Industries Ltd v/s State of West Bengal

Company & Directors' Information:- SURYA ALLOY INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27104WB1990PLC050102

Company & Directors' Information:- SURYA INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17120GJ2008PTC053221

Company & Directors' Information:- BENGAL INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2001PTC110177

Company & Directors' Information:- M. P. ALLOY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28111UP1995PTC018405

Company & Directors' Information:- INDUSTRIES CORPN OF BENGAL LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U17111WB1940PLC010029

Company & Directors' Information:- B D K ALLOY PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U27106KA1973PTC002355

Company & Directors' Information:- ALLOY INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51420WB1957PTC023457

    GA Nos. 1024, 339 of 2009; CS No. 24 of 2009

    Decided On, 30 November 2009

    At, High Court of Judicature at Calcutta


    For the Appearing Parties: ---------------

Judgment Text

(1.) I have heard Mr: Ghosh appearing for the plaintiff/petitioner and Mr. Nath appearing for the defendant. Mr. Ghosh has drawn my attention to the various provisions of West Bengal Taxation Tribunal Act, 1987 (hereinafter referred to as the said Act] and submits that upon careful reading of sections 5, 6, 7 and 14 of the said Act it is absolutely clear that jurisdiction of this Court is not taken away by the statute as far as subject- matter of the suit is concerned. According to him, the suit has been filed challenging the action of detention and seizure. It has got noting to do with respect to levy, collection assessment and enforcement of any tax under the West Bengal Value Added Tax Act which is one of the specific Acts under the said Act. Mr. Nath, however, disputes the submission and says that if section 14 is read carefully then it would appear that seizure and detention is part and parcel, and/or connected matter of the levy, collection, assessment. According to him unless there is a seizure and detention of the goods the effective assessment in levy and Consequently collection of the tax is not possible, I have gone through the plaint and it appears admittedly that seizure and detention of the goods were made in exercise of the power conferred under this Act. I am of the view in agreement with the submission of Mr. Nath that it squarely comes within the phraseology "any matter connected therewith or incidental thereto" as mentioned in sub section 1 of section 14 of the said Act. According to me whether seizure and detention are legally justified or not can very well be examined by the Tribunal formed under the aforesaid Statute under section 6. Hence, I am of the view that this Court lacks inherent jurisdiction to entertain and decide the controversy involved in this suit. Hence, on the ground of jurisdiction the suit is not maintainable. However, I dismiss the suit on the ground of lack of inherent jurisdiction. Liberty is given to Mr. Ghosh's clients to file appropriate proceedings as may be advised before the Tribunal which is the only forum to adjudicate the dispute, as canvassed in the plaint.

(2.) Accordingly, interim order passed by this Court stands vacated. I have been informed that pursuant to the interim order goods have been released and naturally the same have been disposed of on furnishing the bank guarantee of the requisite amount in terms of the order of this Court dated 16.2.2009. Now the only task remains in exercise of inherent power of this Court to pass an order of restitution. As the goods have been released and consequently disposed of it is not possible to pass any order of return of the same to the seizing authority. The bank guarantee has been furnished and it was asked to be furnished as a security of the value of the goods perhaps with an idea if the goods are not available then the value thereof must be handed over to the department for the time being. I, therefore, direct the Registrar, Original Side to encash the bank guarantee and after deducting usual commission balance shall be handed over to the Joint Commissioner, CommercialTaxes, Durgapur Range who will keep the aforesaid amount in a separate account, preferably will invest the same In a short term fixed deposit in his name in any Nationalised Bank and will also hold the same for a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of the money. A xerox copy of such fixed deposit shall be forwarded to the Advocate-on-record of Mr. Ghosh. The holding of this money will abide by the order which might have passed by the Tribunal in the appropriate proceedings. It is made clear, in the event no action is taken within four weeks from the date of encashment of the bank guarantee then the amount so to

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be received and invested in a fixed deposit may be appropriated and it would be open for the department to proceed in accordance with law against the plaintiff/petitioner. I give liberty to Mr. Ghosh's clients to pray for interim relief as may be advised before the Hon'ble Tribunal. (3.) All parties concerned are to act on a xerox signed copy of this order on the usual undertakings. Suit dismissed.