Benefit under Sales Tax Incentive Scheme not available to Oil Manufactures: Rajasthan HC Confirms Levy of Tax & Interest [Read Judgment]

PIL Rajasthan High Court

In a recent ruling, the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench confirmed the levy of tax and interest on the assessee, a manufacturer of oil and held that the benefit under Sales Tax Incentive Scheme, 1989 is not available to such Manufactures.

In the instant case, the respondent-assessee, who is engaged in the manufacture of oil, contended that they are eligible for the benefit under Sales Tax Incentive Scheme 1989. However, the assessing Officer, relying upon the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Rajasthan & Another v. Gopal Oil Mills & Another, pointed out that the benefit of the scheme is not available to the assessee after 4.4.1994.Accordingly, tax along with interest was imposed on the assessee. On appeal, the adjudicating authorities decided in favour of the assessee. Therefore the Revenue approached the High Court on appeal.

The assessee urged that the Tax Board allowed similar petitions in the case of CTO, Beawar v. Vimal Oil Industries, Kekri 4 Sales Tax Today 2631, Gopal Oil Mill v. Assistant Commissioner, Bharatpur 35 RTJS 263 and M/s. Singhania Oil Mill, Khairthal v. Assistant Commissioner, Special Circle, Alwar [Appeal No.557/2002/Alwar, and the said orders of the Tax Board allowing the claim of assessee attained finality and were not challenged before this court. He thus contended that once the view attained finality on identical case, the same cannot be re-agitated.

Justice Jainendra Kumar Ranka noticed the apex Court decision in the case of State of Rajasthan v. Gopal Oil Mills (supra), it was held that the benefit of the said scheme is available to the assessee only till 4.04.1994.

While quashing the orders of the appellate authorities, the High court held that the benefit is only available upto 4.4.1994 and not later on, and since in the instant cases, admittedly the assessment years involved are of 1995-96 on-wards, therefore, no benefit was available to the respondent assessees. The Court emphasized that once the apex court has held that benefits are available upto 4.4.1994, no other authority could have taken any other view.

On confirming the order of the Assessing authority levying tax and interest on the assessee, the Court said “that the interest is leviable, if the dealer or a person commits default in making payment of any amount of tax leviable or payable, and admittedly the tax has not paid on or after 4.4.1994 by the assessees and, therefore, in my view the tax having not been paid the interest was certainly leviable and has rightly been levied by the AO. The judgments relied upon by the learned counsel for the respondents referred to above, are not applicable and distinguishable as all assessments are later than the cut off date, 4.4.1994, and at-least after 4.4.1994 the tax was leviable and once tax was leviable interest being automatic was rightly charged/levied by the AO.”

Read the full text of the Judgment below.