(1) Subject to such rules, as may be prescribed, the State Government shall, by a notification published in the Official Gazette, constitute a Tribunal to be called the Commercial Tax Tribunal consisting of a Chairperson and two other Members to exercise all the powers and perform all the functions conferred by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force upon such a Tribunal: Provided that till the Tribunal is constituted under this Act, the Tribunal constituted under the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (Bihar Act 5 of 1981), as it stood before its repeal by section 94, shall be deemed to be the Commercial Tax Tribunal constituted under this Act and shall exercise all the powers and perform all the functions conferred by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.
(2) The Chairperson of the Tribunal shall be a retired High Court Judge, not exceeding sixty-five years of age, or a judicial officer of the rank of a District Judge.
(3) One of the other two Members shall be an officer of the Commercial Taxes Department of the State Government not below the rank of Joint Commissioner and the third Member shall be a person-
(a) Who has, for at least ten years, been in the practice of accountancy as a chartered accountant under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949) or as a registered accountant under any law formerly in force or partly as a registered accountant and partly as a chartered accountant; or
(b) Who is or has been an officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service not below the rank of Deputy Accountant-General; or
(c) Who is a Government servant, whether serving or retired having experience of at least four years in the administration of accounts or financial management in the State Government or public sector undertaking.
(4) (a) The State Government may, if it considers expedient to do so, set up by a notification, one or more additional benches of the Tribunal at such places and having jurisdiction over such area as may be specified in the notification.
(b) It shall consist of such Member or Members, as may be specified in the notification, possessing such qualifications as are specified in sub-sections (2) and (3):
Provided that if a judicial officer is appointed to such an additional bench, he shall be an officer not below the rank of an Additional District Judge.
(5) Any vacancy in the membership of the Tribunal shall be filled up by the State Government as soon as possible.
(6) During the vacancy in the post of the Chairperson pending the appointment of a permanent Chairperson, the Government may appoint one of the remaining members to act as the Chairperson.
(7) Any person appointed as a member of the Tribunal shall ordinarily hold office for a period of three years: Provided that in case a retired High Court Judge is appointed as the Chairperson or any other Government servant is appointed as a Member, after his superannuation to the Tribunal, the terms and conditions of service (including his pay and allowances) shall be such as may be prescribed.
(8) (a) The functions of the Tribunal shall be exercised by a bench to be constituted by the Chairperson consisting of one or two or three members.
(b) The nature of cases to be disposed of by either of these benches shall be under the discretion of the Chairperson:
Provided that a bench consisting of only one Member or two Members may in its discretion refer a case to a larger bench of two or three Members, as the case may be.
(9) (a) Where an application is heard by all the three Members of the Tribunal and the Members are divided in opinion on any point or points, such point or points shall be decided in accordance with the opinion of the majority:
Provided that if the post of any one of the Members is vacant such points shall be decided in accordance with the opinion of the Chairperson.
(b) Where an application is heard by a bench consisting of two Members, whether it consists of the Chairperson or not, and the Members are divided in opinion on any point or points, such point or points shall be referred to a bench consisting of all the three Members.
(10) (a) The Members of the Tribunal shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
(b) No Member shall accept any other paid employment outside the duties of his office during the term of his membership of the Tribunal.
(11) The Tribunal shall, with the previous sanction of the State Government, make regulations consistent with the provisions of this Act and the rules made there under, for regulating its procedure and other matters incidental to the disposal of its business and publish such regulations in the Official Gazette.
(12) The Members of the Tribunal shall, ordinarily be appointed for a period of three years from the date of their appointment: Provided that the period of appointment may be reduced or extended by the State Government.
(13) The Chairperson or any other Member may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the State Government, resign his office:
Provided that the Chairperson or any other Member shall, unless he is permitted by the State Government to relinquish his office sooner, continue to hold office until the expiry of three months from the date of receipt of such notice or until a person duly appointed as his successor enters upon his office or until the expiry of his term of office, whichever is the earliest.
(14) The Chairperson or any other Member of the Tribunal shall not be removed from his office except by an order by the State Government on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after an inquiry made by a Judge of the High Court, in which the Chairperson or any other member concerned has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.
(15) The State Government may, by rules, regulate the procedure for the investigation of misbehaviour or incapacity of the Chairperson or any other Member.
(1) There shall be the following classes of authorities to be appointed by the State Government, for carrying out the purposes of this Act, namely:-
(a) Commissioner of Commercial Taxes;
(b) Senior Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes;
(c) Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes;
(d) Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes;
(e) Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes;
(f) Commercial Taxes Officer;
(g) Assistant Commercial Taxes Officer.
(2) The authorities appointed under sub-section (1) shall, within such areas or in respect of such transactions falling within an area as the State Government may, by notification specify, exercise such powers as may be conferred and perform such duties as may be imposed, by or under this Act.
(3) The Commissioner may appoint such number of Inspectors of Commercial Taxes as may be necessary to assist any of the authorities appointed under sub-section (1) and the Inspectors so appointed shall, within such areas exercise powers under sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 56 and perform such other functions in the execution of this Act in those areas as may be prescribed or as the Commissioner may, by general or special order, assign to them and such assignment may be subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified in the order.
(4) All persons appointed under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).
(5) The Commissioner may, at any stage, direct transfer of a proceeding under section 27 or section 28 or section 31 or section 32 or section 33 or section 72 in respect of any dealer from the prescribed authority to another of the same or higher rank appointed under sub-section (1) and where such direction is given by the Commissioner the authority to whom the proceeding is transferred shall proceed to dispose it of as if it had been initiated by the said authority, irrespective of the local limits of its jurisdiction; such transfer shall not render necessary the re-issue of any notice already issued before the transfer and the authority to whom the proceeding is transferred may, in its discretion, continue it from the stage at which it was left by the authority from whom it was transferred.
(6) For smooth functioning of the office, it shall be lawful for the Deputy Commissioner or the Assistant Commissioner in-charge of a circle to allot work and proceedings amongst the officers posted in the circle, as the case may be, and it may include transfer of a proceeding from one officer to another posted in the same office and exercising concurrent jurisdiction.
(7) The Commissioner may, from time to time, issue such orders, instructions and directions as he may deem fit, to the authorities subordinate to him, for carrying out the purposes of this Act, and such authorities shall observe and follow such orders, instructions and directions of the Commissioner:
Provided that no such orders, instructions and directions shall be issued-
(i) So as to require any authority to pass a particular order or to dispose of a particular case in a particular manner; or
(ii) So as to interfere with the discretion of the Appellate authorities in a particular case: Provided further that if the Commissioner is of the opinion that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, he may cause such orders, instructions and directions to be published and circulated for general information.
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any servant of the Government or any officer or authority appointed under section 10 or section 86 of this Act for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance or rules made there under.
(1) The Tribunal constituted under section 9, or the Commissioner or any officer or authority appointed under section 10 or section 86 shall, for carrying out the purposes of this Act, have all the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) and in particular in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) To summon and enforce attendance of any person, including any officer of a banking company, and examine him on oath or affirmation;
(b) To compel the production of documents or accounts and to impound and retain them;
(c) To issue commissions for the examination of witness.
(2) Every proceeding under this Act before the Tribunal, shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).
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