Skip to content


Additional Collector of Sales Tax, Bombay Division, Bombay Vs. Manilal Keshavji - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSales Tax Reference Nos. 1 and 2 of 1961
Judge
Reported in[1962]13STC624(Bom)
ActsBombay Sales Tax Rules, 1952 - Rules 5 and 5(1); Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1953 - Sections 2(14) and 34
AppellantAdditional Collector of Sales Tax, Bombay Division, Bombay
RespondentManilal Keshavji
Appellant AdvocateH.M. Seervai, Advocate-General, i/b., Little & Co.
Respondent AdvocateB.C. Joshi, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....for sale - by proviso tax levied on purchaser - proviso (a) attracted when purchaser utilizes goods purchased by him for purposes other than 'such manufacture' - purchasing dealer intended to sell manufactured goods in state of bombay - held, 'such manufacture' means manufactured for sale within state of bombay. - - these rules have been continued as rules under the act of 1953. shortly, stated, the sales tax leviable both under the ordinance as well as under the act is a tax on a dealer, i. section 7 of the ordinance as well as the act deals with determination of taxable turnover for the purposes of a general tax. the contention of the respondents was that the case did not fall either under proviso (a) or proviso (b), and therefore the price of the cloth purchased by them was..........in column 1 of schedule b hereto, where it is certified by the purchasing dealer that the goods purchased are intended for use by him in the manufacture of any goods falling under the corresponding entry in column 2 of the said schedule, for sale : provided that - (a) where any goods to which this clause applies are utilised by the purchasing dealer for purposes other than such manufacture, or (b) where no general tax is actually payable by the purchasing dealer on any sale made by him of articles in the manufacture of which such goods have been used (except where such sale is itself eligible for deduction under the provision of this clause), the price of the goods so purchased shall be included in the taxable turnover of the purchasing dealer under section 7.' 2. the entry in.....
Judgment:

Tambe, J.

1. Both these references are made at the instance of the Additional Collector of Sales Tax, Bombay, and they raise questions as regards interpretation of provisions (a) and (b) to rule 5(1)(vii) of the Bombay Sales Tax Rules, 1952. The Advocate-General appearing for the Collector, however, has not pressed for an answer to question as regards the interpretation of proviso (b). We are, therefore, concerned only with the construction of the said proviso (a). Both these references can be disposed of by a common judgment. They arise out of the assessment of the respondent, Messrs Manilal Keshavji, for the two periods 1st November, 1952, to 31st March, 1953, and 1st April, 1953, to 31st March, 1954. During the first period, the sales tax was leviable under Ordinance III of 1952, and during the second period under the Bombay Sales Tax Act III of 1953. The provisions of the Ordinance and the Act except a slight change in the numbering of the sections are identical. The rules with which we are concerned, originally formed part of the Ordinance as its Third Schedule. These rules have been continued as rules under the Act of 1953. Shortly, stated, the sales tax leviable both under the Ordinance as well as under the Act is a tax on a dealer, i.e., a person carrying on business of selling goods in the State of Bombay, in relation to his taxable turnover, i.e., in relation to the aggregate of amounts of sale price of taxable goods received and receivable by him in respect of such sales. Section 7 of the Ordinance as well as the Act deals with determination of taxable turnover for the purposes of a general tax. It provides, inter alia :

'The taxable turnover for the purposes of sub-section (1) of section 6 shall be determined in the following manner, namely :-

(i) from the turnover of the dealer in respect of all his sales of goods during any period of his liability to pay the general tax, there shall first be deducted his turnover during that period in respect of -

(a) ....................

(b) such other sales as may be prescribed.' (prescribed means prescribed by rules)

Chapter III of the rules deals with calculation of taxable turnover, and rule 5 is in this Chapter. The material part of the rule is in the following terms :

'5. Deduction of certain sales in calculating taxable turnover under section 7. - (1) In calculating the taxable turnover of a dealer under section 7 the turnover in respect of the following sales may be deducted under clause (i)(b) of that section :-

* * *

(vii) sales to a registered dealer recognised for this purpose by the Collector, of any goods falling under any entry specified in column 1 of Schedule B hereto, where it is certified by the purchasing dealer that the goods purchased are intended for use by him in the manufacture of any goods falling under the corresponding entry in column 2 of the said Schedule, for sale :

Provided that -

(a) where any goods to which this clause applies are utilised by the purchasing dealer for purposes other than such manufacture, or

(b) where no general tax is actually payable by the purchasing dealer on any sale made by him of articles in the manufacture of which such goods have been used (except where such sale is itself eligible for deduction under the provision of this clause),

the price of the goods so purchased shall be included in the taxable turnover of the purchasing dealer under section 7.'

2. The entry in Schedule B relevant for the purposes of this case is entry No. 1. It reads :

SCHEDULE B ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Goods purchased Goods in the manufacture of which the goods specified in column 1 are to be used. ------------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. Cloth ... Bleached, dyed or printed cloth. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. The respondents are a proprietary concern doing wholesale business in the manufacture and sale of art silk cloth on wholesale basis. They are a registered dealer, and recognition also was granted to them by the Collector for the purposes of rule 5(1)(vii). During the accounting period, the respondents purchased from time to time from various dealers cloth on issuing certificates to the purchasers that the goods purchased by them were intended for use by them for bleaching, dyeing and printing for sale. The certificates were granted to the sellers in the prescribed from, which reads :

'I ....... of Messrs ....... (address) ..... do certify that I ..... am a registered dealer holding certificate of registration No. ......... dated ....... and that I have purchased the goods specified in ...... No. ...... dated ......... of Messrs ....... for use by me in the manufacture of ......... for sale.'

4. On the basis of the certificates granted by the respondents the sale price was not included in the taxable turnover of the sellers. It is not in dispute that the cloth purchased by the respondents from time to time from these various dealers was either bleached, dyed or printed by them. The respondents however did not sell the bleached, dyed or the printed cloth in the State of Bombay, but sold it outside the State of Bombay. In the assessment of the respondents, therefore, the Sales Tax Authorities included the price of the aforesaid cloth purchased by the respondents in determining their taxable turnover. The contention of the respondents was that the case did not fall either under proviso (a) or proviso (b), and therefore the price of the cloth purchased by them was not liable to be included in their taxable turnover, while according to the Sales Tax Authorities, the case fell both under proviso (a) as well as under proviso (b). The respondents took the matter to the Sales Tax Tribunal, and the Tribunal upheld the contention of the respondents. At the instance of the Additional Collector, the Tribunal has drawn up the statement of the case and referred to us two questions of law arising out of the Tribunal's order under section 34 of the Bombay Sales Tax Act. As already stated, the first question has not been pressed by the Advocate-General. The second question is in the following terms :

'Whether the words 'such manufacture' occurring in the proviso (a) to rule 5(1)(vii) of the Bombay Sales Tax Rules, 1952, should on a proper construction mean manufacture for sale within the meaning of the term 'sale' as defined in section 2(14) of the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1953, that is sale within the State of Bombay ?'

5. It is the contention of the learned Advocate-General that sub-section (14) of section 2 defines 'sale' as a sale of goods made within the State of Bombay, and though in the rules 'sale' has not been defined, the same meaning will have to be given to the word 'sale' in the rules by virtue of section 20 of the Bombay General Clauses Act, unless there is anything in the subject or context to give it another meaning. According to him, there is no repugnancy in the subject or context, and therefore to the word 'sale' occurring in rule 5(1)(vii), the same meaning has to be given as defined in section 2(14) of the Act. On a plain reading of rule 5(1)(vii), it is clear that at the time of the sale the goods sold were taxable. But the rule provides for granting exemption in the matter of taxation on them if the goods are to be used by the purchaser in the manufacture of certain specified articles for sale in the State of Bombay; when manufactured goods are sold in the State of Bombay, the State would realise the sales tax leviable thereon; if a dealer commits a breach of the declaration given by him, he would render himself liable to pay sales tax on the price of goods purchased by him on issuing a certificate to the sellers. The intention of the Legislature according to the learned Advocate-General has been clearly brought out by using the word 'such' before 'manufacture' in proviso (a). 'Such manufacture' means manufacture which has been previously described in the main clause, and the manufacture that has been described in the main clause is the manufacture for sale. The respondents not having sold the goods in the State of Bombay, have therefore utilised the goods purchased by them on the strength of the certificate for the purposes other than such manufacture. Mr. Joshi, learned Advocate appearing for the respondents, has not contended before us that the word 'sale' occurring in this rule would not have the same meaning as given to 'sale' in the definition clause (14) of section 2. It is however his contention that the sale of manufactured goods cannot form part of the manufacture itself. The declaration which a purchasing dealer is called upon to give under the main clause is twofold. The first declaration is that he will utilise the goods purchased by him in the manufacture of any goods falling under the corresponding entry in column 2 in the Schedule, and secondly, the goods manufactured by him would be sold by him in the State of Bombay. Proviso (a) comes into play only when the first condition is not fulfilled by the purchasing dealer, namely, when he fails to utilise the goods for the manufacture of any goods falling under the corresponding entry of column 2 of the Schedule. The respondents did not commit any breach in that respect. Proviso (a) therefore is not attracted to the facts of the present case. It is also his contention that rule 5(1)(vii) is virtually a charging section. Under the scheme of the Act, the tax is levied on the seller. While departing from the normal scheme of the Act, by the proviso tax has been levied on the purchaser, the proviso has the effect of a charging section, and unless by clear language charge is brought home to the respondents, they should not be subjected to tax.

6. It is indeed true that the proviso in effect levies a tax on a purchaser, and this is a departure from the general scheme of the Act, which as already stated, imposes a tax on a seller in relation to the sale price of goods sold by him in the course of his business. The rules in the matter of the construction of a statute are well settled. 'In a taxing Act one has to look merely at what is clearly said. There is no room for any intendment. There is no equity about a tax. There is no presumption as to a tax. Nothing is to be read in, nothing is to be implied. One can only look fairly at the language used.' (Vide Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes, page 278 of 11th Edn.) The matter has been stated thus by the Supreme Court in State of Bombay v. Automobile and Agricultural Industries Corporation, Bombay [1961] 12 S.T.C. 122 : 'If the Legislature has failed to clarify its meaning by the use of appropriate language, the benefit thereof must go to the taxpayer. It is settled law that in case of doubt, that interpretation of a taxing statute which is beneficial to the taxpayer must be adopted.' It is to be seen whether there is any failure to clarify the meaning by use of appropriate language.

7. Turning to the proviso (a), it is attracted when the purchaser utilises the goods purchased by him for purposes other than such manufacture. There is no dispute that such manufacture means manufacture mentioned in the main clause of rule 5(1)(vii), and the main clause shows that it comes into play when the purchasing dealer gives a certificate as regards his intention, and the intention which the purchasing dealer has to declare is that not only that he intends to use the goods purchased by him in the manufacture of goods falling under the corresponding entry in column 2 of the Schedule, but also that he intends to sell the manufactured goods in the State of Bombay. The declared intention or purchase in the main clause thus is twofold, and if either of the conditions is not observed by the purchasing dealer, that would, in our opinion, amount to utilisation of the goods purchased under the declaration for the purposes other than such manufacture within the proviso (a) to rule 5(1)(vii). On the terms of proviso (a) we find it difficult to accept the argument of Mr. Joshi that it comes into play when a dealer fails to utilise the goods for the manufacture of goods falling under the corresponding entry in column 2 of the Schedule, and proviso (b) comes into play when the manufactured goods are not sold within the State of Bombay. On the other hand, in our view, proviso (a) comes into play when the dealer commits a breach of either of these said two conditions or both the said two conditions, while proviso (b) may come into play when there is no breach of the said two conditions, and yet no general tax is actually payable by a purchasing dealer on any sale made by him of the articles in the manufacture of which such goods have been used, for instance, the turnover of the said purchasing dealer not exceeding the specified limit.

8. In the result, our answer to the question referred to us would be that the words 'such manufacture' occurring in the proviso (a) to rule 5(1)(vii) of the Bombay Sales Tax Rules, 1952, mean 'manufactured for sale' within the meaning of the term 'sale' as defined; in section 2(14) of the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1953, i.e., 'sale within the State of Bombay'. The respondents shall pay the costs of the applicant in one set.

9. Reference answered accordingly.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //