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HC directs govt to file counter affidavit on VAT issue
February, 26th 2013

The Patna high court directed the state government to file a counter affidavit to a writ petition challenging the validity of amended provisions in Bihar Value Added Tax (VAT) Rules, 2005 allowing the state commercial taxes commissioner to issue notification for imposing penalty on the movement of goods at the entry point in the state.

A division bench of Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Shivaji Pandey, on Friday, issued the directive while hearing a writ petition of Suraj Transport Roadways whose truck carrying goods were seized during its transit from Delhi to Jharkhand. The commercial taxes officials at integrated checkpost at Karmnasha, on the entry point of Bihar border, had imposed three times of VAT amount as penalty on the goods seized from the truck of the petitioner, petitioner's counsel Ramesh Kumar Agrawal said.

He submitted that the amendment in the Bihar Value Added Tax Rules, 2005, was ultra vires the provisions of Section 93(1) of the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005, as this amendment was made in violation of the constitutional provision that the state government could bring amendment in the rules only by the signature of the governor. There was no provision to amend the rules to provide power directly to the commercial taxes commissioner to issue notification under the provision of the Act, he added. Moreover, the commissioner, commercial taxes, had not even published the said notification in the state gazette, he added.

Agrawal submitted that the Act and Rules provide that the state could not charge VAT on the goods being moved on the national highway from entry point to exit point through the state.

Lawyers' association election: The election of Lawyers' Association of Patna high court will be held on March 1. Many eminent lawyers are in the fray. Senior lawyers Yugal Kishore, Ashok Kumar Singh, member of Bihar State Bar Council Rajeshwar Prasad Sinha, Nilima Sinha, and former general secretary of Lawyers' Association Uma Shankar are contesting for president post. For the post of general secretary, the contestants are standing counsel Amar Nath Deo, Naresh Dikshit, D K Tandon, Anand Kumar Singh and Arun Kumar Pandey. A number of lawyers are also in the fray for three posts of joint secretary, 3 posts of vice-president, three posts of assistant secretary and one post each of treasurer and auditor.

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