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Commissioner of Sales Tax, Maharashtra State, Bombay Vs. L. D. Bhave and Sons - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSales Tax References Nos. 24 and 25 of 1978
Judge
Reported in[1981]47STC318(Bom)
AppellantCommissioner of Sales Tax, Maharashtra State, Bombay
RespondentL. D. Bhave and Sons
Excerpt:
sales tax - accessory - nature of product manufactured by assessee - 'accessory' means something extra to main item - it may add to performance of main item - it can also be for more convenient use of main item - stands especially designed to be used as stands for gas stoves - held, stands were accessories of gas stoves. - - they are clearly additional items required for use along with the gas stoves and are sold as such......entry in question does not have any such limitation. in any case, in order to decide whether an item is an accessory or not, it has to be considered along with the main item. in the present case, the stands on which gas stoves are kept are designed specially for the purpose. they help in facilitating the cleaning of the gas stoves and they are sold by the respondents who deal in gas stoves. the argument of mr. joshi that they should not he considered as accessories because they do not improve the performance of the gas stoves cannot be accepted. they are clearly additional items required for use along with the gas stoves and are sold as such. both according to the dictionary meaning of the term and its use in common parlance, they should be considered as accessories of gas stoves......
Judgment:

Sujata V. Manohar, J.

1. The respondents are dealers in Burshane gas. They also deal in gas stoves which are referred to in the record before us as hot plates, rubber tubes, metal rings which can he fitted to burners of gas stoves, and stands on which gas stoves can be placed.

2. For the assessment years 1st January, 1966, to 31st December, 1966, and 1st January, 1967, to 31st December, 1967, the respondents were assessed to sales tax in respect of their sales of rubber tubes, rings and stands on the basis that these items were covered by entry 22 in Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959. They were thereafter reassessed on the ground that they were wrongly assessed to a lower rate of tax. On reassessment, the Sales Tax Officer came to the conclusion that these three items, viz., rubber tubes, rings and stands were covered by entry 7A in Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act. 1959, and he passed orders in respect of both the abovementioned periods accordingly. Being aggrieved by the orders of reassessment, the respondents filed first appeals before the Assistant Commissioner of Sales Tax, which appeals were dismissed. Thereafter, the respondents went in second appeals before the Tribunal. Before the Tribunal, the respondents challenged the finding of the Sales Tax Officer and the Assistant Commissioner only in respect of two items, viz., rings and stands. The Tribunal held that rings were accessories of gas stoves and hence were covered by entry 7A in Schedule E. The Tribunal, however, held that stands were not accessories of gas stoves, inasmuch as stands did not contribute to the performance of gas stoves. The Tribunal, therefore, held that the stands in question were not covered by entry 7A in Schedule E; they, therefore, fell under the residuary entry 22 in Schedule E. Thereafter, at the instance of the Commissioner of Sales Tax, the following question has been referred to the High Court for determination :

'Whether the Tribunal was correct in law in holding that 'stands' specially designed for keeping the hot plates, in which the respondent deals, were not accessories of the hot plates and therefore not covered by entry 7A of Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959, but were covered by entry 22 of Schedule E ?'

3. Entry 7A in Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959, is as follows :

--------------------------------------------------------------------- Entry Description of goods Rate of Rate of Rate of No. Sales tax general purchase sales tax tax 1 2 3 4 5 --------------------------------------------------------------------- 7A All kinds of stoves, Six paise Three paise Six paise pressure lamps, in- in the in the in the candescent lanterns rupee. rupee. rupee. and lamps and cookers and components, parts and accessories there- of, including gas mantles. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

4. The only point which requires determination in the present case is whether the stands in question can be considered as accessories of gas stoves. The stands which are sold by the respondents are specially designed for use as stands for the gas stoves in which the respondents deal.

5. Mr. B. C. Joshi, who appears for the respondents, has submitted that these stands cannot be considered as accessories of gas stoves because they do not add to or contribute to the performance of the gas stoves. He has supported the reasoning of the Tribunal to this effect.

6. This submission of Mr. B. C. Joshi limits the connotation of 'accessories' only to those items which add to the performance of the main item. There is no warrant for limiting the term 'accessories' in this manner. Murray's Oxford English Dictionary defines 'accessory' as :

'Coming as an accession; contributing in an additional and hence subordinate degree; additional, extra, adventitious.'

7. This meaning is further explained as :

'An accessory thing; something contributing in a subordinate degree to a general result or effect; an adjunct, or accompaniment.'

8. In Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 'accessory' is defined as :

'a thing of secondary or subordinate importance (as in achieving a purpose or an effect) : an adjunct or accompaniment .... : an object or device that is not essential in itself but that adds to the beauty, convenience or effectiveness of something else .....'

9. Thus, an accessory is considered as something that is an extra or additional item, an adjunct to the main item. It may add to the performance of the main item but it can also be for more convenient use of the main item. In fact, there can be various types of accessories and whether an item constitutes an accessory or not will depend upon how the item is considered in common parlance more than in terms of its dictionary meaning. For example, the leather case in which a transistor radio is kept is an accessory though it does not add to the performance of the transistor radio. At the highest, it protects the transistor radio and makes for its easy carriage.

7. In the case of Annapurna Carbon Industries Co. v. Stage of Andhra Pradesh : [1976]3SCR561 , the Supreme Court was required to consider whether are carbons known as 'cinema are carbons' were accessories required for use along with cinematographic equipment or projectors. In deciding this question, the Supreme Court cited with approval the meaning of the term 'accessory' given in Webster's Third New International Dictionary and observed :

'Accessories' are not necessarily confined to particular machines for which they may serve as aids. The same item may be an accessory of more than one kind of instrument.'

8. The entry in question in that case specifically referred to accessories which were required for use along with the main item. In the present case, the entry in question does not have any such limitation. In any case, in order to decide whether an item is an accessory or not, it has to be considered along with the main item. In the present case, the stands on which gas stoves are kept are designed specially for the purpose. They help in facilitating the cleaning of the gas stoves and they are sold by the respondents who deal in gas stoves. The argument of Mr. Joshi that they should not he considered as accessories because they do not improve the performance of the gas stoves cannot be accepted. They are clearly additional items required for use along with the gas stoves and are sold as such. Both according to the dictionary meaning of the term and its use in common parlance, they should be considered as accessories of gas stoves. These stands, therefore, are covered by entry 7A in Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959.

8. In the premises, the question raised before us is answered in the negative, that is to say, in favour of the department and against the assessees.

9. The respondents to pay to the applicant costs of both the references fixed at Rs. 300 in one set.

10. References answered in the negative.


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