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2019-VIL-383-ALH

VAT High Court Cases

U.P. Trade Tax Act, 1948 - Whether in absence of any statutory provision enabling the revenue to draw and rely on any presumption as to trading performed by the assessee-transporter, any tax liability could have been fixed merely because the assessee did not furnish the details of the consignor and the consignee of completed transactions – HELD - Merely because the Act and the Rules read with together create certain obligations on the transporter in the conduct of its business, it would not be enough to reach a conclusion that in the event of breach of the same, an irrebuttable or rebuttable presumption may arise as to occurrence of a taxing event taking place at the hands of the transporter - the transporter is not a person who is engaged in trading in goods. He is merely a bailee of the goods. For a tax liability to arise at his hands with respect to the goods under his bailment, a statutory provision would have to pre-exist or else, no liability may be fixed upon him. No such provision is found existing with respect to completed transactions - in absence of any material evidence being brought on record to establish that though the assessee was a transporter but had engaged in trading in goods, it could never be said that the assessee was liable to pay tax. It was for the revenue to have brought evidence to establish that the assessee had engaged in trading activity. That evidence being lacking the best judgement assesment and quantification of turnover are found to be with no legs. The question of law is answered in favour of assessee-revisionist - The revision is allowed

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