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Nathmal Manghilal and Company Vs. the State of Andhra Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Revision Case Nos. 62 and 63 of 1979
Judge
Reported in[1983]54STC91(AP)
ActsAndhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act; Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957 - Sections 2; Central Excise Act, 1944; Rajasthan Sales Tax Act, 1954
AppellantNathmal Manghilal and Company
RespondentThe State of Andhra Pradesh
Appellant AdvocateS. Dasaratharama Reddi, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateGovernment Pleader for Commercial Taxes
Excerpt:
.....of ready-made shirts, like liberty shirts .4. for understanding the meaning of the expression 'cotton fabrics' in entry 5 of the fourth schedule to the a. or (iv) 50 per cent or more weight of jute (including bimilipatam jute or mesta fibre) :provided that, in the case of embroidery in the piece, in strips or in motifs and fabrics impregnated or coated with preparations of cellulose derivatives or of other artificial plastic materials, the percentages referred to in (i) to (iv) above shall be in relation to the base fabrics which are embroidered or impregnated or coated, as the case may be .6. a reading of this entry clearly shows that even a cotton fabric coated with cellulose derivatives, or other artificial plastic materials, is a 'cotton fabric'.two buckram collars have been..........to andhra pradesh general sales tax act. entry 5 of the forth schedule reads as follows : '5. cotton fabrics, rayon or artificial silk fabrics and woollen fabrics.' 2. it is necessary to read the explanation to the schedule. it reads : 'explanation. - the expressions in items 5, 6 and 7 shall have the same meanings assigned to them in the additional duties of excise (goods of special importance) act, 1957 (central act 58 of 1957).' 3. the assessee's contention was that 'buckram collars' are cotton fabrics, and therefore exempt from tax; while the department's case that they are not 'cotton fabrics' and must be treated as 'general goods'. 'buckram collars' are used to stiffen the collars in ready-made shirts. this is how they are described in the judgment of the madras high court in.....
Judgment:

Jeevan Reddy, J.

1. An identical question arises for consideration in these two tax revision cases. The assessee is common, only the assessment years are different. The question at issue is whether the 'buckram collars' fall within entry 5 of Forth Schedule to Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act. Entry 5 of the Forth Schedule reads as follows :

'5. Cotton fabrics, rayon or artificial silk fabrics and woollen fabrics.'

2. It is necessary to read the explanation to the schedule. It reads :

'Explanation. - The expressions in items 5, 6 and 7 shall have the same meanings assigned to them in the Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957 (Central Act 58 of 1957).'

3. The assessee's contention was that 'buckram collars' are cotton fabrics, and therefore exempt from tax; while the department's case that they are not 'cotton fabrics' and must be treated as 'general goods'.

'Buckram collars' are used to stiffen the collars in ready-made shirts. This is how they are described in the judgment of the Madras High Court in Narasimha Agencies v. State of Tamil Nadu [1977] 40 STC 217 : 'The collar stiffening material, which is the subject-matter of the dispute, consists of a rather oblong shape piece of cotton material which is described as buckram cloth about 41 cm. long and 11 cm. broad on which is bonded a spread-out cotton collar. The cotton collar was treated with some special kind of adhesive and placed on the oblong buckram cloth with the specially treated surface resting on the buckram cloth, and by some heat process applied to the collar, the collar is bonded on to the buckram cloth. The spread-out collar has a lengthwise slit running in the middle. There are also eye-lets at either end of the collar. This material is sold by the dealers to the tailors. The tailors cut out the pieces of oblong buckram cloth projecting beyond the edges of the collars bonded on the buskram cloth. The edges of the collar are also stitched. The buckram cloth with the collar bonded on it is folded along the slit in the middle of the collar. When this is is done, the folded buckram cloth and the collar bonded on it take the appearance of a regular folded collar which is then stuffed as inner lining for collars of shirts which are stitched by tailors. The linings so used help to keep the collars stiff and these collar stiffening materials are used in the manufacture of ready-made shirts, like Liberty shirts ........'

4. For understanding the meaning of the expression 'cotton fabrics' in entry 5 of the Fourth Schedule to the A.P. General Sales Tax Act, it is necessary to refer to the Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957. Section 2(c) of the said Act says :

'The words and expressions 'sugar', 'tobacco', 'cotton fabrics', 'silk fabrics', 'woollen fabrics' and 'man-made fabrics' shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in items Nos. 1, 4, 19, 21 and 22 of the First Schedule to the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944.'

5. Item 19 of the First Schedule to the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, in so far as it is relevant, reads as follows :

'19. 'Cotton fabrics' mean all varieties of fabrics manufactured either wholly or partly from cotton and includes dhoties, sarees, chadars, bed-sheets, bed-spreads, counter-panes, table-cloths, embroidery in the piece, in strips or in motifs and fabrics impregnated or coated with preparations of cellulose derivatives or of other artificial plastic materials, but does not include any such fabric if it contains -

(i) 40 per cent or more by weight of wool;

(ii) 40 per cent or more by weight of silk;

(iii) 60 per cent or more by weight of rayon or artificial silk; or

(iv) 50 per cent or more weight of jute (including Bimilipatam jute or mesta fibre) : Provided that, in the case of embroidery in the piece, in strips or in motifs and fabrics impregnated or coated with preparations of cellulose derivatives or of other artificial plastic materials, the percentages referred to in (i) to (iv) above shall be in relation to the base fabrics which are embroidered or impregnated or coated, as the case may be ........'

6. A reading of this entry clearly shows that even a cotton fabric coated with cellulose derivatives, or other artificial plastic materials, is a 'cotton fabric'. Two buckram collars have been placed before us for our perusal. By looking at them, and also on perusing the process by which they are prepared, as set out in the judgment of the Madras High Court, we feel no difficulty in holding that it is a cotton fabric. Merely because it is stiffened, it does not cease to be a cotton fabric. We are also of the opinion that it cannot be called a 'garment'. To become a 'garment', it must be stitched into a different product, which it is not. This is also the view taken by the Madras and Gujarat High Courts in Narasimha Agencies v. State of Tamil Nadu [1977] 40 STC 217 and State of Gujarat v. Ghanshyam Stores [1982] 49 STC 117. We may in this connection refer to the decision of the Supreme Court in Delhi Cloth & General Mills Company Ltd. v. State of Rajasthan : 1980(6)ELT383(SC) . In that case, it was held that 'rayon tyre cord fabric' used in the manufacture of tyres is a rayon fabric within the meaning of item 18 of the schedule to the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act, 1954. We are of the opinion that, on the same analogy, buckram collars which serve as a lining in the collars of ready-made shirts, must be held to be 'cotton fabrics'.

7. The Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, however, held the buckram collars not to be 'cotton fabrics', following an unreported order of a Bench of this Court in T.R.C. No. 54 of 1976 dated 4th October, 1976. The order reads as follows :

'There is no substance in this T.R.C. The Tribunal's approach is the correct approach, viz., to see whether after the processing by the petitioner, the cloth ceases to be buckram cloth and becomes a different commercial product. The samples of the buckram cloth and the collar lining have been shown to us and in our opinion the approach of the Sales Tax Tribunal is correct. Under these circumstances, the T.R.C. fails and is dismissed.'

8. This order was made at the stage of admission. Since this order affirms the approach of the Tribunal, we have sent for the relevant record and have perused the Tribunal's order. Unfortunately, the definition of 'cotton fabrics', as set out in item 19 of the First Schedule to the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, which has to be imported into the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, by virtue of the explanation to the Fourth Schedule to the A.P. General Sales Tax Act, was not brought to the notice of the learned Judge. In view of the fact that entry 19 of the First Schedule to the Central Excises and Salt Act specifically includes 'cotton fabrics' coated with cellulose derivatives or other artificial plastic materials, within the meaning of the expression 'cotton fabrics', and because this important aspect was not noticed by this Court while dismissing the said T.R.C. at the admission stage, we are of the opinion that the said order cannot be treated as a binding decision.

9. For the above reasons, these tax revision cases are allowed, and it is held that 'buckram collars' fall within entry 5 of the Fourth Schedule to the A.P. General Sales Tax Act. No costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 250 in each.


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