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Hindustan Milkfood Manufacturers Ltd. Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition Nos. 3394, 4213 and 5544 of 1978, 2229, 2359, 2360, 4878 and 6095 of 1979, 761, 1384,
Judge
Reported in[1982]51STC1(AP)
ActsAndhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957 - Sections 2(1), 5, 5A, 6, 6A, 8 and 9; Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 - Sections 15; Kerala General Sales Tax Act, 1963 - Sections 5A
AppellantHindustan Milkfood Manufacturers Ltd.
RespondentState of Andhra Pradesh and anr.
Appellant AdvocateT. Anantha Babu, ;J. Eswara Prasad, ;P. Venkataramam Reddy, ;S. Dasaratharama Reddy, ;Philkha Rama Rao, ;V. Parabrahma Sastri, ;S. Krishna and ;A.K. Jaisural, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateThe Government Pleader for Commercial Taxes
Excerpt:
(i) sales tax - liability - sections 2 (1), 5, 5 a, 6, 6 a, 8 and 9 of andhra pradesh general sales tax act, 1957, section 15 of central sales tax act, 1956 and section 5a of kerala general sales tax act, 1963 - validity of provisions act of 1957 which imposes tax on purchase point challenged - such provision incorporated to prevent evasion of tax - purchased goods are generally taxable in nature - fact that section 5 which provides for levy of tax fails at certain circumstances caused for amendment of section 6a to impose tax on purchase points - transaction of purchase mentioned in disputed provision distinct and not overlapping with other provisions - such provision does not gives rise to multipoint-tax - conditions for application of such provisions described by precedent of supreme.....seetharam reddy, j. 1. the petitioners, 39 in number, are dealers in milk, mining-materials, butter, gold, silver and so forth. they assail the validity of the amended section 6-a of the andhra pradesh general sales tax act (hereinafter referred to as 'the act') which seeks to impose tax on purchase point, hitherto not exigible on various grounds. 2. the petitioners, admittedly dealers, purchase goods such as milk, butter and so forth and then covert into a product like horlicks and ghee and dispose of the same thereafter. admittedly the by-product later, on its disposal, is subjected to tax. by amendment act no. 49 of 1976 dated 19th august, 1976, to be effective from 1st september, 1976, the new section 6-a was brought in by which any dealer, who purchases goods either from a registered.....
Judgment:

Seetharam Reddy, J.

1. The petitioners, 39 in number, are dealers in milk, mining-materials, butter, gold, silver and so forth. They assail the validity of the amended section 6-A of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') which seeks to impose tax on purchase point, hitherto not exigible on various grounds.

2. The petitioners, admittedly dealers, purchase goods such as milk, butter and so forth and then covert into a product like Horlicks and ghee and dispose of the same thereafter. Admittedly the by-product later, on its disposal, is subjected to tax. By Amendment Act No. 49 of 1976 dated 19th August, 1976, to be effective from 1st September, 1976, the new section 6-A was brought in by which any dealer, who purchases goods either from a registered dealer or from a person other than a registered dealer, will pay tax on the turnover, though the tax hitherto was not payable under section 5 or under section 6 of the Act.

3. It is common ground that in all these cases we are solely concerned with the adjudication on questions of law, and therefore, we confine ourselves with the same without dwelling on the factual side of each petition.

4. The contentious grounds raised by the counsel may now be enumerated :

(1) Section 6-A seeks to make a distinction while imposing tax on the purchaser, who purchases goods from registered dealers on one hand and from persons other than registered dealers on the other and so discriminatory as it has no rational nexus with the object and therefore offends article 14 of the Constitution of India.

(2) Section 6-A in substance is a levy on the act of user or consumption and so cannot reasonably be construed as tax on sale or purchase. Hence, it is ultra vires the powers of the State Legislature.

(3) Sale of commodity, say milk, by the agriculturist vendors is exempt from tax under section 9 of the Act. Therefore, the milk purchased by the petitioners cannot be subjected to tax.

(4) The liability to pay tax under section 6-A is on the turnover of purchase and since it has no turnover base, the tax cannot be levied on purchase.

(5) Section 6-A on construction seeks to impose multi-point tax and so contravenes section 15(a) of the Central Sales Tax Act, that the omission of the words 'in circumstances in which tax is payable under section 5 or under section 6 as the case may be' in clause (ii) of section 6-A is significant, that the legislature if intended to bring within the taxing reach the purchases from persons other than registered dealers, it would not have chosen to omit those words especially so when they are found in clause (i) of section 6-A and that the words 'aforementioned circumstances' employed in the concluding portion of section 6-A are only referable to the circumstances stated in section 6-A(i) and therefore, section 6-A(ii) becomes redundant.

(6) Since section 5-A applies only to dealers liable to pay tax under section 5 alone, there is no warrant for levying tax under section 5-A on the transactions covered under section 6-A.

5. Before analysing the arguments for and against, section 6-A, which is chiefly concerned in this case, may be read.

'6-A. Levy of tax on turnover relating to purchase of certain goods. - Every dealer, who in the course of business -

(i) purchases any goods (the sale or purchase of which is liable to tax under this Act) from a registered dealer in circumstances in which no tax is payable under section 5 or under section 6, as the case may be, or

(ii) purchases any goods (the sale or purchase of which is liable to tax under this Act) from a person other than a registered dealer, and

(a) either consumes such goods in the manufacture of other goods for sale or otherwise, or

(b) disposes of such goods in any manner other than by way of sale in the State, or

(c) despatches from to a place outside the State except as a direct result of sale or purchase in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.

shall pay tax on the turnover relating to purchase aforesaid at the same rate at which but for the existence of the aforementioned circumstances, the tax would have been leviable on such goods under section 5 or section 6.'

6. We will take up the last contention first, as it was vehemently canvassed and perhaps justifiably so. The question in short is, whether section 5-A takes in section 6-A as well. Section 5-A reads :

'5-A. Levy of additional tax on turnover. - Every dealer who is liable to pay tax under section 5 shall, in addition to the tax payable under that section, pay for each year a tax at the rate of one-fourth paisa, on every rupee of his turnover liable to tax, if his total turnover for that year is rupees three lakhs or more.'

7. Counsel for the petitioners contend that the language of section 5-A is explicit in that it seeks to levy additional tax on such of those dealers, who are liable to pay tax under section 5 only in addition to the tax payable under that section. Further, it is not in dispute that the transactions covered by section 6 are not subject to levy of additional tax under section 5-A. So, a fortiori the transactions covered by section 6-A which has been enacted subsequent to section 5-A cannot be subjected to levy of additional tax.

8. The counter arguments of the learned Government Pleader is that the purchaser under section 6-A is liable to pay tax on goods under section 5 or section 6 and since section 5 is expressly covered by section 5-A, by necessary implication, the transactions covered by section 6-A should also be held to be covered by section 5-A.

The words occurring in section 5-A, 'Every dealer who is liable to pay tax under section 5 shall, in addition to the tax payable under that section, pay for each year .......' are highly significant and lend lot of assistance to the proper construction to be placed upon the provisions enacted both in section 5-A as well as section 6-A. It is true that the last para of section 6-A it enacts : 'shall pay tax on the turnover relating to purchase aforesaid ....... on such goods under section 5 or section 6', but section 5-A is conspicuous by its absence in the aforesaid para and that makes a world of difference in finding out both the object of the legislature and in canonising the construction. It is not in dispute as the learned Government Pleader very rightly conceded that section 5-A of the Act will not cover section 6, as any such provision made in it would be in the teeth of the provisions enacted in section 15(a) of the Central Sales Tax Act : see Modi Spinning and Weaving Mills Co. Ltd. v. Commercial of Sales Tax : [1965]1SCR592 .

9. If we are to accede to the submission of the learned Government Pleader, then we will have to read section 6-A along with sections 5 and 6 in the last para of section 6-A, which the legislature itself has with an avowed object, abstained from doing so. Viewed from any angle, section 5-A cannot be construed to cover section 6-A as well. Hence we are unable to persuade ourselves to agree with the arguments advanced by the learned Government Pleader.

10. Now, we come to the first point raised on behalf of the petitioners. The contention is that section 6-A makes an invidious discrimination between the purchases made from the registered dealers and from persons other than registered dealers, and since it lacks rational nexus with the object, if any, sought to be achieved, it offends article 14 of the Constitution. We have no hesitation to turn down the contention. The classification in regard to the incidence of tax on purchases from those who are registered dealers in contradistinction to persons other than registered dealers is clear, consistent and rational. Again, the attraction of tax on any of the three conditions laid down under section 6-A(ii) is equally distinct. The differential treatment of purchases from registered dealers and persons other than registered dealers is reasonable and has a rational relation to the object of taxation. It is well-settled that courts admit, subject to adherence to the fundamental principles to the doctrine of equality, a larger play of legislative discretion in the matter of classification in regard to tax legislation. The legislature may select persons, properties, transactions and objects, and apply different methods and even rates of tax, if the legislature does so reasonably. If the classification is rational, the legislature is free to choose objects of taxation, impose different rates, exempt classes of property from taxation, subject different classes of property to tax in different ways and adopt different modes of assessment. The court will not strike down the Act as denying the equal protection of the laws merely because other objects could have been, but are not, taxed by the legislature. A statute is not, therefore, open to attack on the ground that it taxes some persons or objects and not others. It is only when, within the range of its selection, the law operates unequally, and if that operation cannot be justified on the basis of any valid classification, it would be violative of article 14 of the Constitution : vide East India Tobacco Co. v. State of Andhra Pradesh : [1963]1SCR404 , Venugopala Ravi Varma Rajah v. Union of India : [1969]74ITR49(SC) , T. G. Venkataraman v. State of Madras : (1967)IILLJ246SC and Tungabhadra Industries Ltd. v. State of Andhra Pradesh [1966] 17 STC 366 (FB).

11. Hence the differential treatment in the matter of incidence of tax on purchases from registered dealers on one hand and persons other than registered dealers on the other, and also the tax being levied on purchases on any of the three conditions enumerated under section 6-A(ii) is distinct and therefore does not suffer from any discrimination either under section 6-A(ii) intrinsically or juxtaposed with section 6-A(i). Hence the contentions of the counsel for the petitioners fail and are rejected.

12. The next contention is that section 6-A in substance is a levy on use or consumption and not a levy on sale or purchase and therefore, it is ultra vires the powers of the State Legislature. The argument is that a commodity like milk is purchased and that is used either in the preparation of Horlicks or in the preparation of tea by the dealer and later that converted commodity is sold on which tax is payable, and therefore, the levy is essentially on the use which the legislature is not competent under entry 54, List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India to enact any law making such incidence as exigible to tax. In Andhra Sugars Limited v. State of Andhra Pradesh [1968] 21 STC 213 (SC) the Supreme Court, repelling such submission, held :

'The assumption of counsel that section 21 [of the A. P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act] levies, a use tax is not well-founded. The taxable event under section 21 is the purchase of goods and not the use or enjoyment of what is purchased. The constitutional implication of a use tax in American law is entirely irrelevant. The observation in the Madras case that the explanation to article 286(1)(a) of the Constitution conferred a power on the State Legislature to levy a use tax is erroneous. The explanation fixed the situs of certain sales. It did not confer upon the legislature any power to levy a use tax.'

13. In Malabar Fruit Products Co. v. Sales Tax Officer [1972] 30 STC 537 the High Court of Kerala while dealing with the argument that the Legislature of the State was not competent to impose a tax which did not arise on the occasion of the sale but was made to depend upon subsequent consumption or use of the goods or dealing with the goods and which, therefore, rendered into tax other than the sales tax, possibly a tax on consumption or use, the imposition on which was beyond the competence of the State Legislature, held :

'Although sales tax is a tax imposed on the occasion of the sale of goods, it has no reference to the point of time at which the sale or purchase takes place. It refers to the connection with the event of purchase or sale and not the point of time at which such purchase or sale takes place. To read it otherwise would render in retrospective imposition of sales tax invalid as in every such case the tax would not be one which arises on the occasion of sale. Similar would be the position in the case of tax imposed on the last purchase point in the State, for the last purchase point in regard to any goods could be determined only when the goods are sold later and not when the goods are purchased.'

14. We are, therefore, of undoubted view that the commodity like milk purchased and later used or utilised for the manufacture of a commodity which, though later, is made exigible to tax will nevertheless be liable to tax as the imposition of tax is on the event of purchase. How and when its character is changed by virtue of its being processed in the manufacture of some other commodity is of little or no consequence, and therefore the submission has no substance and fails. The Supreme Court in similar circumstances held in a case reported in Somanna & Sons v. State of A.P. : [1973]1SCR708 as under :

'...... the event which attracted tax is the act of the miller purchasing groundnut and not his act of crushing the groundnut purchased or dealing with that groundnut in any other manner. We have earlier mentioned that the very act of purchase by a miller attracts the liability to pat tax under section 5 read with Schedule III, item 6. His subsequent dealings in those goods become irrelevant.'

Hence, section 6-A of the Act is intra vires as the very act of purchase attracts the tax.

15. The next contention is that the sale of the commodity, say milk, by the agriculturist vendors is exempt from tax under section 9 of the Act, and therefore, the milk so purchased cannot be subjected to the tax under section 6-A.

16. We are not inclined to agree with this contention either. Section 9 of the Act reads as under :

'Power of State Government of notify exemptions and reductions of tax. - (1) The State Government may, by notification in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette, make an exemption or reduction in rates, in respect of any tax payable under this Act -

(i) on the sale or purchase of any specified class of goods, at all points or at any specified point or points in the series of sales or purchases by successive dealers; or

(ii) by any specified class of persons, in regard to the whole or any part of their turnover.

(2) Any exemption from tax or reduction in the rate of tax notified under sub-section (1) -

(a) may extend to the whole of the State or to any specified area or areas therein;

(b) may be subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be specified in the notification, including conditions as to licences and license fees.'

17. Section 8 of the Act also for comparison may be read :

'Exemption from tax in respect of certain goods. - Subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be prescribed, including conditions as to licences and license fees, a dealer who deals in the goods specified in the Fourth Schedule shall be exempt from tax under this Act in respect of such goods : Provided that a dealer who deals in textiles, sugar or tobacco and its products, on which duties of excise are not levied under the Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957, shall not be so exempt.'

18. Section 9 unlike section 8, is not a case of total exemption. Under section 8 there is a totality of exemption from tax on the goods specified in the Fourth Schedule, whereas section 9 enumerates, qualifies and restricts its exemptive effect in respect of sale or purchase of a specified class of goods as either at all points or at any specified point or by any specified class of persons whether it is with reference to the whole or any part of the turnover, or may extend to the whole or any part of the State. Therefore, it is not possible to hold that the exemptions contemplated under section 9 will ipso facto exempt the purchases contemplated under section 6-A as it is a special provision enacted by virtue of the Amendment Act in the year 1976 and unless it is deliberately and explicitly exempted the events of tax contemplated by section 9, the same cannot be saved. We may however, observe that the goods enumerated in the Fourth Schedule cannot be exigible to tax under section 6-A as it is a case of total exemption in contradistinction to section 9, which is a case of partial exemption. Hence the contention fails and is rejected. It may, however, be stated that the exemption quo the person is still available.

19. The next contention is that liability to pay tax under section 6-A on the turnover of purchases and inasmuch as the expression 'turnover' refers to the amount set out in the bill of sale by a 'dealer' or the consideration charged by the 'dealer' and inasmuch as agriculturist vendor is not a dealer in one of the instant cases as he does not carry on any business of buying or selling milk, the said turnover has no purchase base, and therefore, no tax could be imposed on it. Section 2(1)(s) defines turnover as :

''Turnover' means the total amount set out in the bill of sale (or if there is no bill of sale, the total amount charged) as the consideration for the sale or purchase of goods (whether such consideration be cash, deferred payment or any other thing or value) including any sums charged by the dealer for anything done in respect of goods sold at the time of or before the delivery of the goods and any other sums charges by the dealer, for anything done in respect of goods sold at the time of or before the delivery of the goods and any other sums charged by the dealer, whatever be the description, name or object thereof : Provided that in the case of a sale by a person whether by himself or through an agent of agricultural produce grown by himself or grown on any land in which he has an interest, whether as owner, usufructuary mortgagee, tenant or otherwise, the amount of the consideration relating to such sale shall be excluded from his turnover when such produce is sold in the form in which it was produced, without being subjected to any physical, chemical or other process for being made fit for consumption save mere cleaning, grading or sorting.'

20. From a reading of the definition, it is inescapable that the word 'turnover' means the total amount charged as the consideration for the sale or purchase of goods. It does not, therefore, postulate that the total amount set out in the bill of sale or total amount charged as consideration for the sale or purchase should be by the 'dealer'. Merely because in the latter half certain sums charge by the 'dealer' in respect of the goods sold either at the time of or before the delivery will also be included in the turnover, it should not be held to mean that the amount charged as the consideration for the sale or purchase should also be by the 'dealer'. The legislature might, just as well, have employed the words 'by the dealer' soon after the words 'as the consideration for the sale or purchase of the goods'. The conspicuous absence of the words aforesaid, makes the object of the legislature obvious. The various sums charged by the dealer under the latter part of the definition cannot be taken to mean and include the total consideration for sale or purchase of the goods charged. The consideration charged by any person for sale or purchase is distinct and will constitute turnover by itself. But, if any sums are charged by the 'dealer' as contemplated by the latter part of the definition they will also be added to the turnover, and therefore, no violence will be caused to the language if it is not defined and interpreted as sought to be done by the learned counsel for the petitioners. Hence the petitioners' contention is rejected.

21. The next contention is that section 6-A on interpretation seeks to impose multi-point tax, that the omission of the words 'in circumstances in which tax is payable under section 5 or under section 6, as the case may be' in clause (ii) of section 6-A is significant, in that the legislature if it intended to bring within the taxing reach, purchases from persons other than a registered dealer, it would not have chosen to omit those words which occur in clause (i) and that section 6-A(ii) is redundant.

22. The scheme and object behind section 6-A are quite apparent and that is to plug the loopholes in the other provisions relating to taxation and to prevent the evasion of tax. It is made quite distinct, in that it visualises imposition of tax on purchases made by a 'dealer' from a registered dealer as well as from a person other than a registered dealer, who could be a non-registered dealer or a person who is not a dealer. The ingredients which have to be established for the exigibility of tax under section 6-A are as under :

(1) The person concerned must be a dealer;

(2) Who in the course of business must purchase;

(3) The sale or purchase of such goods must be liable to tax under the Act;

(4) He must have purchased from a registered dealer in circumstances in which tax is not payable [section 6-A(i)] either under section 5 or section 6-A, or

(a) he must have purchased goods, the sale or purchase of which must be liable to tax under the Act, from a person other than a registered dealer, and either consumes such goods in the manufacture of other goods for sale or otherwise, or

(b) disposes of such goods in any manner other than by way of sale in the State, or

(c) despatches them to a place outside the State except as a direct result of sale or purchase in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.

Now, it is quite manifest from the aforesaid ingredients that but for certain circumstances in which tax is not payable either under section 5 or section 6, the purchase shall become liable to tax under section 6-A(i) and the event of tax on purchases is distinct and unequivocal. Again, under the second limb of section 6-A(ii) it seeks to impose tax on purchase on any one of the three conditions happening but then these purchases are not from registered dealers but from persons other than registered dealers.

23. The learned counsel sought to rely upon the distinction in the provisions enacted in section 7-A of the Madras General Sales Tax Act and section 5-A of the Kerala General Sales Tax Act, corresponding to section 6-A of the Act and argued that unlike section 6-A of the Act in the aforesaid two sections the two clauses, i.e. clauses (i) and (ii) of section 6-A are combined in one sub-section. But in our view that does not make any difference. In fact section 7-A of the Madras Act came to be construed by the Supreme Court in State of Tamil Nadu v. Kandaswami : [1976]1SCR38 . The Supreme Court while dealing with the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 7-A, which reads :

'(1) Every dealer who in the course of his business purchases from a registered b1 dealer or from any person, any goods (the sale or purchase of which is liable to tax under this Act) in circumstances in which no tax is payable under section 3, 4 or 5, as the case may be, and either, -

(a) consumes such goods in the manufacture of other goods for sale or otherwise; or

(b) disposes of such goods in any manner other than by way of sale in the State, or

(c) despatches them to a place outside the State except as a direct result of sale or purchase in the course of inter-State trade or commerce,

shall pay tax on the turnover relating to the purchase aforesaid at the rate mentioned in section 3, 4 or 5, as the case may be, whatever be the quantum of such turnover in a year.'

Held :

'The High Court has taken the view that the expression 'goods, the sale or purchase of which is liable to tax under this Act' and the phrase 'purchases ..... in circumstances in which no tax is payable under section 3, 4 or 5', are a 'contradiction in terms'.

We are unable to accept this interpretation which would render section 7-A(i) wholly nugatory. With due respect, it seems to us that in arriving at this erroneous interpretation, the learned Judges mixed up the concept of goods liable to tax with the transactions liable to tax under the Act. The scheme of the Act involves three inter-related but distinct concept which may conveniently be desired as 'taxable person', 'taxable goods' and 'taxable event'. All the three must be satisfied before a person can be saddled with liability under the Act. Nevertheless, the distinction between them, if overlooked, may lead to serious error in the construction and application of the Act.'

Further held :

'The words 'under the Act' will evidently include a charge created by section 7-A also. It is to be noted that section 7-A is not subject 3; it is by itself a charging provision. Section 7-A brings to tax goods the sale of which would normally have been taxed at some point in the State, subsequent to their purchase by the dealer if those goods are not available for taxation, owing to the act of the dealer in (a) consuming them in the manufacture of other goods for sale or otherwise, or (b) despatching them in any manner other than by way of sale in the State, or (c) despatching them to a place outside the State except as a direct result of sale or purchase in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.'

It was also held :

'Notwithstanding the goods being 'taxable goods', there may be circumstances in a given case, by reason of which the particular sale or purchase does not attract tax under section 3, 4 or 5. Section 7-A provides for such a situation and makes the purchase of such goods taxable in the hands of the purchasing dealer on his purchase turnover if any of the conditions (a), (b) and (c) of sub-section (1) of section 7-A is satisfied.

The meaning and scope of the phrase 'purchases ..... in circumstances in which no tax is payable under section 3, 4 or 5' and its co-existence with ingredient (4) can be best understood by applying it to the cases in hand.

In all the forty appeals under consideration, the goods in question, namely, arecanuts, gingelly seeds, turmeric, grams, castor seeds and butter are 'goods, the sale or purchase of which is generally taxable under the Act'. This is to say, they are 'taxable goods'. The sales of arecanuts, gingelly seeds, turmeric and grams were not liable to tax in the hands to the sellers as they were agriculturists and the goods were the produce of the crops raised by them. Similarly, butter was purchased by the assessees concerned directly from the house-holders whose sales are not liable to tax under the Act. Castor seeds are said to have been purchased by the assessees concerned from unregistered dealers under bought notes. If this is a fact, then such sales may not be liable to tax under the Act.

Thus, in all these case, the purchases have been made by the dealers of 'goods, the sale or purchase of which is generally liable to tax under the Act', but because of the circumstances aforesaid no tax was suffered in respect of the sale of these goods by the sellers .........

It may be remembered that section 7-A is at once a charging as well as a remedial provision. Its main object is to plug leakage and prevent evasion of tax. In interpreting such a provision, a construction which could defeat its purpose and in effect, obliterate it from the statute book, should be eschewed. If more than one construction is possible, that which preserves its workability and efficacy is to be preferred to the one which would render it otiose and sterile.'

24. The various facts of the arguments advanced in this behalf by the learned counsel are wholly covered by the aforesaid decision of the Supreme Court. It is not in dispute that in all these cases the goods concerned are liable to tax under this Act either on sale or purchase point. It is also not in dispute that there are circumstances in which no tax is payable under section 5 or under section 6 in regard to the aforesaid goods and the legislature conceived of a situation where on the point of transaction of purchase by the dealer, made it exigible to tax notwithstanding the fact that the same may not be subjected to tax in the hands of the vendors such as milk or butter. Likewise, the goods concerned in these cases, the sale or purchase of which is liable to tax under this Act, from a person other than a registered dealer has not made the transaction simpliciter exigible to tax unless one of the following conditions happened, viz., either the purchaser consumes such goods in the manufacture of other goods for sale or otherwise, or disposes of such goods in any manner other than by way of sale in the State, or despatches them to a place outside the State except as a direct result of a sale or purchase in the course of inter-State trade or commerce. It is therefore, evident that each transaction of purchase contemplated under section 6-A(i) as well as 6-A(ii) is distinct, and therefore, is neither capable of being construed as overlapping or redundant. To hold it otherwise, would not only be doing violence to the language, but would, in the process, be defeating its purpose and thus obliterating from the statute book. In fact it is stated in the Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 1976, as under :

'Section 5 of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957, provides for the levy of tax on sales or purchases of goods. However, in certain circumstances goods sold or purchased are escaping tax. It is, therefore, proposed to levy tax at the rates specified in section 5 or section 6 on the purchases in the circumstances specified in the proposed new section 6-A.'

So the contentions of the learned counsel that section 6-A of the Act gives rise to multi-point tax or attracts the goods to tax which are not otherwise exigible to tax and that the provisions enacted in section 6-A(ii) are otiose, have in our undoubted view, no substance and we have no hesitation in rejecting the same.

25. W.P. Nos. 2853, 2839 and 3322 of 1980 and 6095 of 1979 :

Sri Rama Rao, the learned counsel for the petitioners, advanced certain arguments which are peculiar to the aforementioned writ petitions. His contention in the main, has been directed to two commodities, viz., cream and husk. The contention is that the petitioners purchased cream and covert the same into ghee and then it is sold. Since the sale of ghee is exigible to tax, the petitioners should not be made liable to pay tax on purchase point. This has been directly answered by the Supreme Court in a case reported in State of Tamil Nadu v. Kandaswami : [1976]1SCR38 wherein the petitioner, who was a householder, purchased butter and then converted it into ghee and the tax was sought to be levied on the purchase turnover under section 7-A of the Madras General Sales Tax Act. When challenged, it was repelled by holding that notwithstanding the goods being taxable goods, there may be circumstances in a given case, by reason of which the particular sale or purchase does not attract tax under section 3, 4 or 5. Section 7-A provides for such a situation and makes the purchase of such goods taxable in the hands of the purchasing dealer on his purchase turnover if any of the conditions (a), (b), and (c) of sub-section (1) of section 7-A is satisfied. We too concur with respect with the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court and turn down the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners.

26. The learned counsel further raised a contention that husk is used as fuel and therefore, it is completely consumed in the process of manufacturing. Husk is no doubt exempted under section 8. Item 8 of the Fourth Schedule is described as husk of pulses. In the cases before us, it is not made clear to us by the learned counsel for the petitioners whether the husk, which is being used in the process of manufacture as fuel, is husk of pulses or any other husk. The exemption under item 8 of the Fourth Schedule is only restricted to 'husk of pulses' and if the commodity in so far as the petitioners' case is concerned, is confined to husk of pulses, them it will surely attract the said exemption but not otherwise. The tax is sought to be levied on the transaction of purchase of husk coupled with the consumption of the same, which is one of the conditions enumerated under section 6-A(ii)(a), and therefore, as has been held by the Supreme Court in State of Tamil Nadu v. Kandaswami : [1976]1SCR38 it cannot escape tax. The contention fail and therefore are rejected.

27. W.P. Nos. 5363 and 5736 of 1981 and 4130, 5361 and 8760 of 1981 :

Admittedly in W.P. No. 5363 of 1981 a court-fee of Rs. 100 only has been paid, though there are as many as five petitioners. However, the disposal of the writ petition will be only confined to the first petitioner, VIZ., New Kesava Vilas Coffee Hotel, represented by its proprietor S. Malleswara Rao. The rest of the four petitioners are struck off from the petition. Likewise, in W.P. No. 5736 of 1981 though there are 19 petitioners, only Rs. 100 has been paid as court-fee. Therefore, the disposal of the writ petition will be confined only to the first petitioner, viz., M/s. Chandra Bhavan, represented by its proprietor M. S. Suryanarayana Iyer, and the rest of 18 petitioners are struck off from the petition. So also in W.P. Nos. 4130, 5361 and 8760 of 1981.

In the light of the principle laid down in the judgment, the extent of applicability of section 6-A to each of the individual cases, could be canvassed before the appropriate authorities under the Act.

28. In the result, the writ petitions are partly allowed. No costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100 in each.

29. Oral applications for leave to the Supreme Court are made on behalf of the petitioners in all these writ petitions. We do not see that there is any substantial question of law of general importance that requires to be considered by the Supreme Court involved in these writ petitions - Dismissed.

Petition partly allowed.


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