(1) For carrying out the purposes of this Act, the State Government shall appoint an officer to be called the Commissioner of Commercial Tax.
(2) To assist the Commissioner in the execution of his functions under this Act, the State Government may appoint Special Commissioners, Additional Commissioners and such number of –
(a) Joint Commissioners,
(b) Deputy Commissioners,
(c) Assistant Commissioners,
(d) Commercial Tax Officers, and
(e) other officers and persons, and give them such designations, as the State Government thinks necessary.
(3) The Commissioner shall have jurisdiction over the whole of the State, the Special Commissioner and an Additional Commissioner shall have jurisdiction over the whole of the State or where the State Government so directs, over any local area thereof. All other officers shall have jurisdiction over the whole of the State or over such local areas as the State Government may specify.
(4) The Commissioner shall have and exercise all the powers and perform all the duties, conferred or imposed on him by or under this Act. The Special Commissioner and an Additional Commissioner shall, save as otherwise directed by the State Government, have and exercise within his jurisdiction all the powers and perform all the duties, conferred or imposed on the Commissioner by or under this Act.
(5) A Joint Commissioner shall have and exercise, in the area within his jurisdiction all the powers and shall perform all the duties conferred or imposed on the Commissioner by or under this Act. The Commissioner may, by order published in the Official Gazette, direct that any or all Joint Commissioners shall not exercise such powers or perform such duties as are specified in the order, and there-upon such Joint Commissioner or, as the case may be, all Joint Commissioners, shall cease to exercise those powers and perform those duties. The Commissioner may in like manner revoke any such direction and thereupon the powers or duties exercisable or performable
by such Joint Commissioner, or as the case may be, all Joint Commissioners before such direction was issued, shall be restored to him or them.
(6) The Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners,Commercial Tax Officers and other officers shall within their jurisdiction
exercise such of the powers and perform such of the duties of the Commissioner under this Act, as the Commissioner may, subject to such conditions and restrictions as the State Government may by general or special order impose, by order in writing delegate to them either generally or as respects any particular matter or class of matters.
(7) The State Government may, subject to such restrictions and conditions as it may impose by notification in the Official Gazette, delegate to the Commissioner the power (not being powers relating to the appointment of Special commissioner, Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioners), conferred on the State Government by sub-sections (2) and (3).
(8) All officers and persons appointed under sub-section (2) shall be subordinate to the Commissioner; and the subordination of officers (other than the Commissioner), and of persons amongst themselves shall be such as may be prescribed.
Disputes regarding jurisdiction of tax authority.
17. (1) The Commissioner may, after due notice to the concerned parties and by order in writing, transfer any proceedings or class of proceedings under any provision of this Act from himself to any other officer and he may likewise transfer any such proceedings (including a proceeding already transferred under this section) from one such officer to another or to himself.
(2) The officer to whom any proceeding is transferred under subsection
(1) shall proceed to dispose it of as if it had been initiated by himself.
(3) The transfer of proceedings shall not render necessary the reissue of any notice already issued before such transfer and the officer to
whom the proceeding is transferred may continue it from the stage at which it was left by the officer from whom it was transferred.
Explanation.-- For the purposes of this section, "proceedings" in relation to any person whose name is specified in any order issued thereunder, means all proceedings under this Act in respect of any year which may be pending on the date of such order or which may have been completed on or before such date, and includes also such proceedings which may be commenced after the date of such order in respect of any year.
18. (1) No person shall be entitled to call in question the jurisdiction of any tax authority appointed under section 16, after the expiry of thirty days from the date of receipt by that person of any notice issued by such tax authority under this Act.
(2) An objection as to the jurisdiction of any such tax authority may be raised within the periods aforesaid by submitting a memorandum to that tax authority who shall refer the question to the Commissioner and the Commissioner shall after giving the person raising the objection, a reasonable opportunity of being heard, make an order determining the question of jurisdiction and his decision in this behalf shall be final.
Power to transfer proceedings.
19. (1) The State Government shall constitute a Tribunal consisting of as many as members as it thinks fit to discharge the functions conferred on the Tribunal by or under this Act.
(2) The State Government shall appoint one of the members of the Tribunal to be President thereof.
(3) The qualifications of the members constituting the Tribunal shall be such as may be prescribed and a member shall hold office for such period as the State Government may fix.
(4) The State Government may terminate the appointment of any
member of the Tribunal before the expiry of term of his office, if such member, –
(a) is adjudged an insolvent, or
(b) engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office, or
(c) is or becomes in any way concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of the State Government or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit or emoluments arising therefrom otherwise than as a member, or
(d) is in the opinion of the State Government, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body, or
(e) is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude.
(5) Any vacancy of a member of the Tribunal shall be filled up by the State Government as soon as practicable.
(6) The functions of the Tribunal may be discharged by one or more benches thereof constituted in accordance with the regulations made under sub-section (9).
(7) If the members of the Tribunal or a Bench thereof are divided, the decision shall be the decision of the majority, if there be a majority, but if the members are equally divided they shall state the point or points on which they differ, and the case shall be referred by the President of the Tribunal for hearing on such point or points to one or more of the other members of the Tribunal, and such point or points shall be decided according to the majority of the members of the Tribunal who heard the case including those who first heard it.
(8) Subject to such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed, the Tribunal shall have power to award cost and the amount of such costs shall be recoverable from the person ordered to pay the same as an arrears of land revenue.
(9) Subject to the previous sanction of the State Government, the Tribunal shall, for the purpose of regulating its procedure (including the place or places at which the Tribunal or the Benches thereof shall sit) and the disposal of its business, make regulations consistent with the provisions of this Act and the rules.
(10)The regulations made under sub-section (9) shall be published in the Official Gazette.
Powers of Tribunal and Commissioner
20. (1) In discharging their functions under this Act, the Tribunal and the Commissioner shall have all the powers of a civil court for the purpose of,-
(a) receiving of proof of facts on affidavit;
(b) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person, and examining him on oath or affirmation;
(c) compelling the production of documents; and
(d) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses.
(2) In the case of any affidavit to be made for the purposes of this Act, any officer appointed by the Tribunal or the Commissioner may administer the oath to the deponent.