Revisional power under Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 can’t be exercised after its repeal on 1.4.2003

Supreme Court: The bench of Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha, JJ held the exercise of revisional power under Section 40 of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 after its repeal on 1.4.2003, by the Haryana Value Added Tax, 2003, is not sustainable.

It was held that any interpretation saving the revisional power under Section 40 of the Act of 1973, without any proceedings pending on the relevant date, by resort to Section 4 of the Punjab General Clause Act, 1858 would render the amendment redundant, and an exercise in futility, something which the legislature never intended to do. It was held that the legislature, in its wisdom having noticed the limitation and constraints under Section 61 of the Act of 2003, made necessary amendments to the same by Act No. 3 of 2010 on 02.04.2010. Hence, such an incongruous interpretation leading to absurdity has to be avoided.

It was further explained that Section 4 of the Punjab General Clauses Act, 1858 will have no application in view of the contrary intendment expressed in Section 61 of the repealing Act. Had a contrary intention not been expressed, the issues arising for consideration would have been entirely different.

In the present case, where here were no proceedings pending against the respondent under the Act of 1973 when the new Act came into force on 01.04.2003, the Court held that the assessment under the Act of 1973 having been completed and refund ordered, the exercise of suo-moto revisional powers under Section 40 of the same after repeal was clearly unsustainable in view of the contrary intention expressed under Section 61 of the Act of 2003, saving only pending proceedings. [State of Haryana v. Hindustan Construction Company Ltd.,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 1110, decided on 15.09.2017]

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