Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, J.
1. This special appeal is preferred under section 23(1) of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957 (for short "the Act"). The assessee-appellant challenges the validity of the order of the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes dated December 5, 1985, in Ref. No. Liii(1)/4205/81. The proceedings relate to assessment year 1976-77. The appellant-assessee is a dealer in tractors and tractor parts and does its business at Vijayawada. On June 30, 1978, while assessing turnover of the assessment year 1976-77, the assessing authority exempted the turnover of Rs. 10,00,393 relating to sales of tractors and tractor parts. Granting of exemption was based on a judgment of Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal dated June 7, 1973, in T.A. No. 573 of 1971. However, on September 13, 1979, the Tribunal took a different view in T.A. No. 47 of 1978. The consequence of that view being that the exemption could not have been availed by the assessee. The assessing authority after due notice cancelled the exemption already granted, by order dated June 30, 1978. That order was questioned before the Appellate Deputy Commissioner who allowed the appeal on October 31, 1981. The Commissioner of Commercial Taxes exercising the revisional jurisdiction, reversed the order of the Appellate Deputy Commissioner and restored the order of the assessing authority by order which was passed on December 5, 1985.
2. The main contention of Sri Jaiswal, the learned counsel for the appellant, is that mere change of opinion with regard to the granting or non-granting of exemption cannot be a ground to reopen the assessment; as such, submits the learned counsel, the order under appeal has to be set aside. There can be no doubt that a mere change of opinion of an assessing authority whether the authority which passed the order or the successor in office cannot be a ground to reopen the assessment. But, where pursuant to the law declared by an authority under the Act, whose orders are binding on the assessing authority, namely, the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, the High Court or the Supreme Court, the assessing authority reopens the assessment under section 14(4) of the Act, it cannot be treated as acting on a mere change of opinion; it has to he equated to acting on information. We are supported in this view by a judgment of a Division Bench of this Court in State of Andhra Pradesh v. Ratna Sree Box Makers . Delivering concurrent judgment, Justice Jeevan Reddy (as he then was) observed :
"...... Apart from this, there is another danger inherent in permitting the reopening of assessment on a mere change of opinion by the assessing authority. There may well be a situation where, on each occasion the same officer, or different officers on different occasions, may hold different views with respect to classification of certain goods. The exercise cannot be an endless one. However, we must qualify this principle by stating that if a decision is rendered either by the Supreme Court, or this Court, or by the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, or the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, and if the assessing authority finds that an assessment already made by him ought to be reopened in the light of such decision, it is always open to him to do so. In such a case, it cannot be said that the assessment is reopened on a mere change of opinion of the assessing authority. This can be equated to a situation where an assessment is reopened on information, and even under the Income-tax Act, it has been held that decision of the Supreme Court, or the High Court, constitutes information."
3. In this view of the matter, we do not find any merit in the appeal; it is accordingly dismissed. But in the circumstances of the case, we make no order as to costs.
4. Appeal dismissed.