W.P. (C). No. 2252 of 2013. Case: K. Valsala Vs Commercial Tax Officer and Another. High Court of Kerala (India)

Case NumberW.P. (C). No. 2252 of 2013
CounselFor Appellant: Harisankar V. Menon and Smt. Meera V. Menon, Advs. and For Respondents: Shoba Annamma Eapen, Senior Government Pleader
JudgesAntony Dominic, J.
IssueConstitution of India - Article 226; Kerala Value Added Tax Act, 2003 - Sections 24, 25, 95
Citation2013 (61) VST 416 (Ker)
Judgement DateJanuary 31, 2013
CourtHigh Court of Kerala (India)


Antony Dominic, J.

1. The petitioner is an assessee under the Kerala Value Added Tax Act. In this writ petition, she challenges exhibit P2 order passed against her under section 25 of the Act. The facts of the case are that, on the basis that the petitioner did not file monthly returns for 2011-12, she was issued exhibit P1 notice under section 24 of the Act. According to the learned Government Pleader, before the notice was issued, the petitioner was called upon to produce the books of accounts which were not produced. Exhibit P1 notice is dated April 10, 2012 and it was served on the petitioner on April 17, 2012. The petitioner did not file any reply or produce any document contradicting the allegations in exhibit P1. The petitioner also did not appear before the assessing officer on April 24, 2012, the date on which an opportunity of hearing was offered in exhibit P1 notice.

2. Subsequently, the officer who issued exhibit P1 notice was transferred and his successor took charge. Later, the assessment was completed by exhibit P2 dated October 27, 2012. The petitioner challenges this order relying on section 95 of the Kerala Value Added Tax Act, which according to the petitioner obliges the authority to give her an opportunity of hearing if there is a change of incumbent in the office of the first respondent.

3. Section 95 of the Kerala Value Added Tax Act reads thus:

95. Change of an incumbent of an office.--Whenever in respect of any proceedings under this Act, any prescribed authority ceases to exercise jurisdiction and is succeeded by another who has and exercised jurisdiction, the authority or officer so succeeding may continue the proceeding from the stage at which the proceeding was left by his predecessor:

Provided that before proceeding under this section the authority shall give the person affected thereby an opportunity of being heard.

4. A reading of the provision shows that when proceedings are pending and there is a change of officer, the...

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