1. These are two references made under section 61(1) of the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as 'the said Act'), at the instance of the Commissioner of Sales Tax.
2. Both these references arise out of a common judgment given by the Sales Tax Tribunal and are being disposed of by this judgment. The question referred to us for our determination in these references is as follows :
'Whether, on a true and proper interpretation of the words .... 'ornamental metalware' ....... occurring in entry 13 of Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959, the Tribunal was correct in holding that the articles, namely, shields, mementoes, crests and trophies manufactured by the opponent-dealer are not covered by entry 13 of Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959 ?'
3. Sales Tax Reference No. 166 of 1976 relates to the assessment period 1st November, 1968, to 31st March, 1969, and Sales Tax Reference No. 167 of 1976 relates to the assessment period 1st April, 1969, to 31st March, 1970. The facts giving rise to these references are as follows : The assessee is a proprietary concern manufacturing trophies, crests, mementoes and shields made of metal. While assessing the assessee for the aforesaid two periods, the Sales Tax Officer concerned, by two separate assessment orders, held that the trophies, shields, crests and mementoes sold by the assessee were covered by entry 13 of Schedule E to the said Act and taxed the sales thereof accordingly. The assessee preferred two appeals against this decision to the Assistant Commissioner of Sales Tax, who dismissed the said appeals. The assessee then preferred second appeals to the Sales Tax Tribunal. The Tribunal accepted the contention of the assessee that the aforesaid articles were not 'ornamental metalware' within the meaning of the said expression in entry 13 of Schedule E to the said Act and held that they were covered by entry 22 of the said schedule. It is from this decision of the Tribunal that the question referred to us arises.
4. Before going into the contention raised before us it will be useful to set out the description part of entry 13 of Schedule E to the said Act. The descriptive part of the said entry runs thus :
'Articles made of ivory (other than those specified in entry 27 in Schedule A), sandalwood or blackwood or inlaid therewith and ornamental metalware (not being articles specified in entry 2 in this schedule).'
5. Entry 22 of Schedule E is the residuary entry. The question which we have to consider is whether the said article sold by the assessee are included within the meaning of the expression 'ornamental metalware' used in entry 13 of Schedule E to the said Act. From the judgment of the Tribunal it appears that the articles in question were trophies, crests, mementoes and shields made of metal. These included the crests issued to cadets at the passing out parade of the National Cadet Corps, the mementoes issued to officers at the completion of training and the shields. All the said articles are admittedly made of metal. The said articles were artistic and considerable skill was expended in making them. The contention of the assessee, which was accepted by the Tribunal, was that the primary object of purchasing such articles was not decoration but the commemoration of certain events. The fact that the articles in question have some artistic value was merely incidental and, in view of this, the said articles could not be said to be included within the meaning of the expression 'ornamental metalware' used in entry 13 of Schedule E to the said Act. There is no doubt in our mind that an ornamental article, in common parlance, is one the primary purpose of which is decoration. In the present case, the trophies, shields, crests and mementoes, which have been sold by the assessee during the aforesaid assessment period, were ordinarily purchased not for the purpose of decoration but for presentation to commemorate some achievement like the winning of a competition or some event like completion of training at a particular institution. We cannot conceive of a person normally going to a shop and purchasing trophies, shields, crests and mementoes like these for the purpose of decorating his drawing room. These articles are normally purchased for being presented to persons who have succeeded in some competitive events or have attained some particular distinction or achieved a particular rank. The main purpose of giving these articles is to commemorate an event or to honour an achievement and not for the purpose of decoration. In our opinion, the Tribunal was right in coming to the conclusion that the said articles could not be said to be 'ornamental metalware' within the meaning of the said expression in entry 13 of Schedule E to the said Act.
6. In the result, we answer the question referred to us in the affirmative. The applicant must pay to the assessee the costs of these references.
7. Reference answered in the affirmative.