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Nittala Suranna and Sons and ors. Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case Number Writ Petition No. 4417 of 1972
Judge
Reported in[1975]35STC268(AP)
AppellantNittala Suranna and Sons and ors.
RespondentState of Andhra Pradesh and ors.
Appellant Advocate M. Suryanarayana Murty and ; P. Venkatarama Reddy, Advs.
Respondent Advocate K. Mahipathi Rao, Adv. for ; the Government Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
- - in regard to the other two years, since the assessment was made only in march, 1972, the writ petition was filed well within time. the first part says that when the tax is levied and collected in respect of watery coconuts as well as levied and collected in respect of coconuts formed out of such watery coconuts, the second part says what tax out of the two, has to be refunded......the levy and collection of purchase tax on the turnover of dried coconuts derived out of tax-paid watery coconuts sold by other dealers during the' assessment years 1967-68 to 1970-71 as without authority of law and to interdict the respondents from subjecting such turnover to tax by virtue of entry 5 to schedule iii of the andhra pradesh general sales tax act and to consider the applications of the petitioners for refund of tax assessed on coconuts in accordance with the law laid down by this court.2. the brief facts are that the petitioners are dealers in dry coconuts. they make purchases of dry coconuts from dealers who sell them in east godavari district. the dealers who sell goods to the petitioners, in their turn, purchase watery coconuts. on these transactions tax would be.....
Judgment:

Gopal Rao Ekbote, C.J.

1. This is an application filed under Article 226 of the Constitution for the issue of an appropriate writ, order or direction declaring the levy and collection of purchase tax on the turnover of dried coconuts derived out of tax-paid watery coconuts sold by other dealers during the' assessment years 1967-68 to 1970-71 as without authority of law and to interdict the respondents from subjecting such turnover to tax by virtue of entry 5 to Schedule III of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act and to consider the applications of the petitioners for refund of tax assessed on coconuts in accordance with the law laid down by this court.

2. The brief facts are that the petitioners are dealers in dry coconuts. They make purchases of dry coconuts from dealers who sell them in East Godavari District. The dealers who sell goods to the petitioners, in their turn, purchase watery coconuts. On these transactions tax would be paid on watery coconuts. It is the vendors who pay the tax on those watery coconuts. Since watery coconuts were already taxed, under Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act dry coconuts, which are made out of the tax-paid watery coconuts, cannot be charged with tax. The petitioners merely export dry coconuts outside the State. Upon these facts it was contended that the tax paid on watery coconuts should be refunded to the petitioner as they have paid the tax subsequently on dry coconuts. The petitioners filed application for refund of tax on watery coconuts paid by their vendors for the assessment years 1907-68 to 1970-71. It is to be noticed that for the assessment years 1967-68 and 1968-69 the assessment orders were made more than a year before and no reason was given explaining the delay in filing the writ petition. In regard to the other two years, since the assessment was made only in March, 1972, the writ petition was filed well within time. Since in respect of those two years, we have in any case to consider the position of law, instead of dismissing the writ petition in regard to the two earlier years, we would consider them also as the same principle would apply to these years.

3. The answer to the argument raised by the writ petitioners is in the true interpretation of the proviso which was introduced by the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax (Amendment) Act (1.2 of 1971). In item 5-A relating to watery coconuts, the said proviso appears. The amended Act came into force on and from 19th April, 1971. The proviso reads :

Provided that where during the aforesaid periods, any tax has been levied and collected in respect of watery coconuts, and where tax has also been levied and collected in respect of coconuts formed out of such watery coconuts, the tax so levied and collected in respect of such watery coconuts shall alone be refunded.

4. Even a casual reading of the proviso would convince any one that the tax which is directed to be refunded is the tax levied and collected in respect of watery coconuts. It is true that to whom such refund should be made is not expressly mentioned in the said proviso. But when the words 'levied and collected' are used they indicate the person on whom the tax was levied and from whom it was collected. Since the tax was levied and collected from a dealer who paid the same in respect of dealings in watery coconuts, it is that person who is entitled to ask for refund of tax which he had paid. In the absence of any other indication, the word 'refund' would ordinarily indicate that the amount of tax on watery coconuts would be returned to the person from whom it is collected. The contention is that it is not the dealer who should be taken as the subject of the proviso but it is the transaction which should be taken into account in order to interpret as to whom the tax should be refunded. We see no reason for accepting that approach. On the other hand, if one reads the proviso in its entirety it will be clear that it can be divided into two parts. The first part says that when the tax is levied and collected in respect of watery coconuts as well as levied and collected in respect of coconuts formed out of such watery coconuts, the second part says what tax out of the two, has to be refunded. The second part, without any ambiguity, states that the tax levied and collected in respect of watery coconuts shall alone be refunded. The word 'such' appearing in the second part of the proviso refers to such coconuts on which tax was levied and collected and out of which dry coconuts were formed. It must therefore necessarily follow that since the tax was levied and collected on watery coconuts, the persons who paid that tax alone are entitled to refund. The mention of any specific dealer to whom the tax should be refunded, in our view, was not necessary because the express language used makes it unnecessary. We therefore find no difficulty in reaching the conclusion that the proviso entitled only those who were taxed on watery coconuts out of which the dry coconuts were formed. Since the petitioners are dealers in dry coconuts, even though they paid the tax on their transactions, they are not the persons who have been declared by the proviso to be entitled to ask for refund of the tax levied and collected in respect of such watery coconuts from the dealers concerned. It is not, therefore, possible to allow the writ petition and issue the necessary writ. The writ petition is, accordingly, dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.


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