Andhra Pradesh High court in Prathista Industries Limited vs Commercial tax Officer [2013] 61 VST 58 (AP) has held that Authority for advance ruling under State VAT Act cannot act as Authority for Advance Ruling under Central sales Tax Act, 1956.

The High Court held that provisions relating to the “Advance ruling” in State Act are not applicable to proceedings for assessment, reassessment, collection and enforcement of payment under CST Act, therefore authority for advance ruling constituted under State VAT Act cannot give clarifications as such authority under Central Saless Tax Act, 1956.

The Court dismissing the petition held as under:

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” that the provisions for “advance ruling” was a mechanism introduced by the Legislature to ensure uniformity in orders of the assessment, appellate and revisional orders (other than a revisional order passed by the commissioner), with regard to classification of goods under different entries of the various Schedules to the Act or the rate of tax applicable to such goods, etc., thereby avoiding conflicting orders being passed by different assessing/appellate/revisional authorities. Such a mechanism could only be introduced by way of substantive provision in a statue and could not be imlpied. This view was also supported by the language of section 9 of the Central sales tax Act, 1956. Though the tax collected under the Central sales tax Act was ultimately assigned to the state in view of article 269 it did not follow therefrom or from section 9 of the Central Sales Tax Act that every provision of the VAT Act including provisions relating to “advance ruling” would apply to proceedings for assessment, reassessment, collection and enforcement of payment of tax in relation to inter-state sale transactions under the Central Sales Tax Act. Section 67 did not empower the concerned authority to issue clarifications or rulings in respect of implementation of statues such as Central Sales Tax Act(other than VAT Act)”  

The implications of the above judgment are that authority for advance ruling made under the provisions of the State VAT Act, cannot give advance ruling/clarifications on the maters connected with the CST Act.

Under Punjab VAT Act, 2005 Commissioner is such authority which has the power to determine disputed questions u/s 85. The above judgement makes it clear that Excise and Taxation Commissioner in Punjab can give clarifications or determine any disputed question u/s 85 of the Act only in matters connected with the Punjab VAT Act and cannot give such clarification in the matters covered under Central sales tax Act, 1956 .

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(Author – Amit Bajaj Advocate, Bajaj & Bajaj Advocates, 128, Sangam complex, Milap chowk, Jalandhar City (Punjab), Email: amit@amitbajajadvocate.com, M +919815243335)

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