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The Manipur (Sales of Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation Act, 1962

The Manipur (Sales of Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation Act, 1962 was enforced on 13th December, 1962. Manipur before being conferred statehood in 1972 was a Union Territory; the act was enacted to be enforced on Union Territory Manipur. The act provides for consolidation and amendment of laws relating to the levy of tax on sales of motor sprit and lubricants in the Union Territory of Manipur.

Lubricant under the act would mean any form of oil or lubricating substance used for lubrication of internal parts of machinery or external parts of motor vehicle. Motor spirit shall be a substance used independently or in combination with other substances used in automotive vehicles. Motor spirits shall also include petrol, diesel, oil, or internal combustion oil but does not include kerosene, furnace oil, coal or charcoal. Sale shall mean transfer of property by one person to another in lieu of consideration.

The Act provides for imposing of taxes on every dealer involved in the business of sale of motor spirits or lubricants.  Section 3 sub clause (1) deals with rate of taxes imposed on such dealers. Tax rate shall be different for every good and shall be notified in Manipur Gazette.  The act is applicable only inside the jurisdiction of Manipur and not outside. Incase of interstate trade, the taxes shall be imposed in consensus with section 3 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956.

The Chief Commissioner shall be taxing authority under the Act who can appoint a Commissioner of taxes in case necessary under section 4 of the act. The dealer carrying a business of motor spirits and lubricants shall get himself registered before the Commissioner under section 5 of the Act. Every dealer who is carrying on the business in more than one place shall get all of them registered separately. Application for registration shall have all necessary details and the Commissioner upon satisfying himself issue a certificate of registration in favour of such dealer.  In case dealer want to make changes in the certificate he shall write an application to commissioner to effect such changes. Sub clause (5) of section 5 warrants that no person shall carry a business under the provisions of the Act without certificate of registration. The Commissioner under section 6 of the act is bestowed with power to cancel registration incase where dealer cease to carry such business, failed to pay taxes as mandated under section 3 of the Act or has been convicted under provisions of the Act. However no cancellation shall be effected without service of notice and opportunity of being heard.

Every dealer registered under the Act shall also file returns under section 7. Incase the Commissioner is dissatisfied with the returns filed, he shall issue notice to the dealer and fix a date for hearing wherein the dealer shall support himself by giving evidence.  In cases where both registered and unregistered dealer have evaded taxes, Commissioner on information shall send notice, fix date for hearing and after providing reasonable opportunity for hearing shall assess the tax amount. Commissioner in public interest shall waive taxes after notifying in official gazette. The Commissioner has power to impose penalty under section 13 of the Act on tax evaders and dealers who have failed to comply orders or notice. Any dealer objecting to orders passed by Commissioner shall file an  appeal before prescribed authority within thirty days of such order.

Commissioner under the Act has wide powers in matters relating to revision, recovery, waiver of taxes, refund, entry, search, seizure, inspection, compound offences, make rules and take cognizance over matters. Dealer under section 20 of the Act shall maintain accounts and the same shall be produced when called upon by the Commissioner.  Whoever dealing in business relating to lubricants and motor spirits fails to file returns, produce accounts, evades taxes, produces fake accounts, obstructs inspection shall be punished with imprisonment of six months or with fine not exceeding one thousand rupees or both under section 23. Where a person gives false statement in declaration he shall be punished with simple imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both. Vexatious search shall be punished with shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.

Act is primarily enacted to impose taxes on dealers of lubricants and motor spirits. The Act necessitates compulsory registration of business in connection to sale of lubricants and motor spirits and gives ample of powers to the Commissioners in matters relating to these.

by Vibhuti Nakta.