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Commissioner of Sales Tax Vs. Amar Radio Cabinet Works - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSales Tax Reference No. 33 of 1965
Judge
Reported in[1968]22STC63(Bom)
ActsBombay Sales Tax Act, 1959
AppellantCommissioner of Sales Tax
RespondentAmar Radio Cabinet Works
Excerpt:
sales tax - classification - bombay sales tax act, 1959 - whether radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets are covered by residuary entry 22 of schedule e or under entry 65 schedule c - loudspeaker not mentioned in entry 65 - held, radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets covered by residuary entry 22 of schedule e. - - there may be exceptional cases in which a person replaces his radio cabinet, but, in interpreting an entry of this nature, we must give to the words occurring therein the meaning that can be attributed to them in common parlance and in common usage :(ramavatar budhaiprasad v. the opening portion of the said entry clearly distinguishes between apparatus and loudspeakers, in so far as it provides for wireless reception instruments, apparatus and radio gramophones, and..........stated above for the purpose of finding out the rate of tax that would be attracted on the sale of radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets in which they deal. it may at the outset be mentioned that the respondents are not radio dealers as such, but their business is that of making cabinets for radios and loudspeakers. the commissioner of sales tax came to the conclusion that radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets would fall under entry no. 65 of schedule c, and he answered the question accordingly. on appeal to the sales tax tribunal, that decision was reversed, and it was held that radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets are not covered by the said entry no. 65 of schedule c, and, therefore fall within the general residuary entry no. 22 of schedule e. at the instance of the.....
Judgment:

Vimadalal, J.

1. The question that arises in tills reference is as follows :-

'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal is justified in law in coming to the conclusion that radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets are covered by the residuary entry No. 22 of Schedule E, and that they do not fall within the scope of entry No. 65 of Schedule C to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959.'

2. The respondents sought the determination of the question stated above for the purpose of finding out the rate of tax that would be attracted on the sale of radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets in which they deal. It may at the outset be mentioned that the respondents are not radio dealers as such, but their business is that of making cabinets for radios and loudspeakers. The Commissioner of Sales Tax came to the conclusion that radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets would fall under entry No. 65 of Schedule C, and he answered the question accordingly. On appeal to the Sales Tax Tribunal, that decision was reversed, and it was held that radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets are not covered by the said entry No. 65 of Schedule C, and, therefore fall within the general residuary entry No. 22 of Schedule E. At the instance of the Commissioner of Sales Tax, the question stated above has thereafter been referred to this Court.

3. Entry No. 65 of Schedule C to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959, as it stood prior to the 1st of April, 1963, when it was amended, was in the following terms :-

'65. Wireless reception instruments and apparatus and radio gramophones, and electrical valves, batteries, transmitters, accumulators, amplifiers and loudspeakers required for use therewith and spare parts of such wireless instruments, apparatuses and radio gramophones.'

4. It may be stated that the Court is concerned in the present reference with the said entry as it stood prior to its amendment on the 1st April, 1963. The general residuary entry, being entry No. 22 in Schedule E of the said Act, is in the following terms :-

'22. All goods other than those specified from time to time in Schedules A, B, C and D and in the preceding entries', and it provided for a much lower rate of tax than is provided for in entry No. 65 quoted above.

5. The short question that arises for our consideration is whether radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets fall within entry No. 65 of Schedule C, as, if they fall within that specific entry, they cannot fall within the general residuary entry No. 22 of Schedule E. It is the contention of Mr. Banaji for the taxing authorities that radio cabinets fall within the expression 'spare parts' of wireless instruments and apparatuses which occurs in the concluding portion of the said entry No. 65. We are afraid, we cannot accept that contention of Mr. Banaji. As a matter of plain language, the expression 'spare parts' connotes a part which requires replacement in the ordinary course on account of wear and tear, and as an extra item for use in an emergency. Mr. Banaji's argument seeks to equate the expression 'spare parts' with the term 'parts', and does not give to the expression 'spare parts' the colour that is lent by the word 'spare' with which it is associated in that entry. It is inconceivable that anybody would keep a radio cabinet as an extra for use in an emergency, or that it could be said to be a part which would require replacement in the ordinary course on account of wear and tear. There may be exceptional cases in which a person replaces his radio cabinet, but, in interpreting an entry of this nature, we must give to the words occurring therein the meaning that can be attributed to them in common parlance and in common usage : (Ramavatar Budhaiprasad v. Assistant Sales Tax Officer, Akola and Another : [1962]1SCR279 ). We must, therefore, reject the contention of Mr. Banaji for the taxing authorities that radio cabinets fall within the expression 'spare parts' in entry No. 65 of Schedule C to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959. There is no other part of that entry within which Mr. Banaji seeks to bring radio cabinets, nor is there is any other specific entry in any of the Schedules to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959, within which this commodity is sought to be brought for the purpose of taxation. It must, therefore, be held that it falls within the general residuary entry No. 22 in Schedule E of the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959.

6. Turning to loudspeaker cabinets, the case of the department is weaker still. It is significant that loudspeakers are not mentioned in the concluding part of the said entry No. 65 amongst the items which the expression 'spare parts' governs. Mr. Banaji has sought to contend that loudspeakers would be covered by the term 'apparatuses' in the concluding portion of the said entry, and, under the circumstances, loudspeaker cabinets could be said to be spare parts of such apparatus, and, therefore, fall within the said entry No. 65. There is, however, no substance in the contention of Mr. Banaji, for the simple reason that the term 'apparatus' occurring in the concluding portion of the said entry No. 65 must be given the same meaning as is to be attributed to it in the opening portion of that entry. The opening portion of the said entry clearly distinguishes between apparatus and loudspeakers, in so far as it provides for wireless reception instruments, apparatus and radio gramophones, and then proceeds to refer to electrical valves, batteries, transmitters, accumulators, amplifiers and 'loudspeakers required for use therewith,' which clearly shows that loudspeakers are treated in the opening portion of the said entry as being in the nature of attachments to the main instruments, viz., wireless reception instruments, apparatus and radio gramophones, with which the said entry starts. In that view of the matter, the term 'apparatus' cannot be held to include loudspeakers, and no question of loudspeaker cabinets being spare parts of such apparatus survives. The contention of the department that loudspeaker cabinets fall within the said entry No. 65 must, therefore, also stand rejected, and, in our opinion, the same would fall within the general residuary entry No. 22 of Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959.

7. We accordingly answer the question referred to us by stating that radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets are covered by the residuary entry No. 22 of Schedule E, and do not fall within the scope of entry No. 65 of Schedule C to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959, as it stood at the material time. In view of the conclusion at which we have arrived, the applicants must pay the costs of this reference fixed at Rs. 250.

8. Reference answered accordingly.


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