56.Determination of disputed questions
(1) If any question arises, otherwise than in a proceedings before a Court or the Tribunal under section 55, or before the Commissioner has commenced assessment of a dealer under section 23, whether, for the purposes of this Act,—
(a) any person, society, club or association or any firm or any branch or department of any firm, is a dealer, or
(b) any particular person or dealer is required to he registered, or
(c) any particular thing done to any goods amounts to or results in the manufacture of goods, within the meaning of that term, or
(d) any transaction is a sale or purchase, or where it is a sale or purchase, the sale price or the purchase price, as the case may be, thereof, or
(e) in the case of any person or dealer liable to pay tax, any tax is payable by such person or dealer in respect of any particular sale or purchase, or if tax is payable, the rate thereof, or
(f) set-off can he claimed on any particular transaction of purchase and if it can be claimed, what are the conditions and restrictions subject to which such set-off can be claimed,
the Commissioner shall, subject to rules, make an order determining such question.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-section, the Commissioner shall he deemed to have commenced assessment of the dealer under section 23 when the dealer is served with any notice by the Commissioner under that section.
(2) The Commissioner may direct that the determination shall not affect the liability under this Act of the applicants or, if the circumstances so warrant, of any other person similarly situated, as respects any sale or purchase effected prior to the determination.
(3) The Commissioner, for reasons to be recorded in writing, may, on his own motion, review an order passed by him under sub-section (1) or (2) and pass such order thereon as he thinks just and proper. The Commissioner may direct that the order of review shall not affect the liability of the person in whose case the review is made in respect of any sate or purchase effected prior to the review and may likewise, if the circumstances so warrant, direct accordingly in respect of any other person similarly situated:
Provided that, no order shall be passed under this sub-section unless the dealer or the person in whose case the order is proposed to be passed has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard:
Provided further that, before initiating any action under this sub-section, the Commissioner shall obtain prior permission of the State Government.
(4) If any such question arises from any order already passed under this Act or any earlier law, no such question shall be entertained for determination under this section; but such question may be raised in appeal against such order.
(5) The Commissioner, in so far as he may, shall decide the applications for determination in the chronological order in which they were flied.