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Remission matters should go back to the First Appellate Authority for reconsideration rather than the Commissioner: High Court of Bombay at Goa

When a party’s contention is disposed of without assigning any reason, it is only appropriate that the matter should go back to the First Appellate Authority to reconsider this contention. A division bench comprising of Justice M.S. Sonak & Justice Smt. M.S Jawalkar adjudicating the matter of M/S. MINESCAPE MINERALS PVT. LTD v. COMMISSIONER OF COMMERCIAL TAXES (STAM APPLICATION (MAIN) NO. 1607 OF 2020) dealt with the issue of maintainability of the present case and deciding the appropriate forum for trying out the case.

In the present case, a petition was made against the judgment by the Administrative Tribunal disposing of the petitioner’s challenge to order dated 12/10/2017 made by the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Appellate Authority.

According to the petitioner the amount which the respondents had claimed under the provisions of The Goa Value Added Tax Act, 2005 was already with the respondents and therefore, there was no question of claiming any interest on the said amount. The Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Appellate Authority had not agreed with this contention of the petitioner while making an order dated 12/10/2017.

In the appeal, the Tribunal accepted the Petitioner’s contention that the Appellate Authority had not appreciated the petitioner’s contention, particularly how the same was raised. The Tribunal, therefore, held that the matter requires reconsideration. However, the Tribunal, instead of remanding the matter to the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Appellate Authority has remanded the matter by the impugned order dated 23/06/2020 to the Commissioner for consideration whether the petitioner should get remission of interest under Section25(4) of the said Act.

According to the petitioner’s submission, the petitioner is entitled to a consideration of its contention that no interest whatsoever was payable. He submits that since this contention was disposed of by the First Appellate Authority, without assigning any reason, it is only appropriate that the matter should go back to the First Appellate Authority for reconsideration of this contention.

It was also accepted that the matter can go to the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Appellate Authority for reconsideration of the petitioner’s contention that no interest was payable in the peculiar circumstances of the case. According to us, the Tribunal, after having accepted the petitioner’s case that there was no valid consideration of their main contention or that there was no reason assigned for rejection of his main contention, would have remanded the matter to the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Appellate Authority and not the Commissioner to exercise power under Section 25(4) of the said Act.

And hence the court held that” we modify the impugned order dated 23/06/2020 and direct that the petitioner’s appeal before the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Appellate Authority to restore and for the reasons the matter shall stand remanded to the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Appellate Authority for fresh disposal in accordance with law and by complying with the direction in the Tribunal’s impugned Order dated 23/06/2020.”

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