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Unicorn Industries Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Revision Case No. 4 of 1977
Judge
Reported in[1978]42STC111(AP)
AppellantUnicorn Industries
RespondentState of Andhra Pradesh
Appellant AdvocateP. Venkatarama Reddy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateThe Government Pleader for ;Commercial Taxes
Excerpt:
.....utensils and household items made of stainless steel. 6. but, so far as 'weigh bowl' is concerned, it is an article made of stainless steel like any other household utensil and, therefore, squarely falls within the ratio of the decision in state of gujarat v. but, so far as 'butter churn' is concerned, the decision of the tribunal as well as the deputy commissioner holding that it falls within entry 54, is set aside and the order of the assessing authority treating 'butter churn' as an item not falling within entry 54 is upheld......but subtle question is raised for decision in this tax revision case. the question is whether 'butter churn' and 'weigh bowls' are stainless steel articles and fall within entry 54 of schedule i of the andhra pradesh general sales tax act, 1957. the facts that provoke the question are these : the petitioner before us was assessed for the year 1971-72 on a net turnover of rs. 2,84,913.62 by the assessing authority. the deputy commissioner, hyderabad, on a perusal of the assessment record, found that a turnover of rs. 94,459 representing sales of 'butter churn' and 'weigh bowls' was improperly assessed to tax treating them as general goods. he, therefore, issued a notice proposing revision of assessment to the petitioner. the petitioner, in its reply, contended that the goods supplied.....
Judgment:

Chennakesav Reddy, J.

1. A short but subtle question is raised for decision in this tax revision case. The question is whether 'butter churn' and 'weigh bowls' are stainless steel articles and fall within entry 54 of Schedule I of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957. The facts that provoke the question are these : The petitioner before us was assessed for the year 1971-72 on a net turnover of Rs. 2,84,913.62 by the assessing authority. The Deputy Commissioner, Hyderabad, on a perusal of the assessment record, found that a turnover of Rs. 94,459 representing sales of 'butter churn' and 'weigh bowls' was improperly assessed to tax treating them as general goods. He, therefore, issued a notice proposing revision of assessment to the petitioner. The petitioner, in its reply, contended that the goods supplied to dairy projects were equipment which cannot be called stainless steel articles in the strict sense of interpretation as can be in the case of utensils or small household items made of stainless steel. It was the plea of the assessee that these articles related to big equipment which formed part of a processing plant and are in the nature of machinery with different accessories like motor, variable speed assembly, mild steel supporting stand, etc. The Deputy Commissioner, however, rejected the contention of the petitioner and held that 'butter churn' and 'weigh bowls' fall within entry 54 of Schedule I. Accordingly, he held that the turnover of Rs. 94,459 had to suffer the differential rate of tax of 2 per cent.

2. The petitioner, aggrieved against the revision by the Deputy Commissioner, preferred an appeal before the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal upheld the order of the Deputy Commissioner and dismissed the appeal. Hence, this revision.

3. The learned counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Venkatarama Reddy, persuasively argued that 'butter churn' is a specially designed dairy equipment which cannot be used independently as an article of stainless steel, that it is not composed of entirely stainless steel components and that weigh bowls, used for weighing milk and attached to weighing machine, are also not stainless steel articles. He maintained that these two items, therefore, do not fall within entry 54 of Schedule I. The learned counsel also tried to draw support for his submission placing great reliance on a decision of the Supreme Court in State of Uttar Pradesh v. Kores (India) Ltd. ) [1977] 39 S.T.C. 8 (S.C.), wherein Jaswant Singh, J., speaking for the court, observed:

A word which is not defined in an enactment has to be understood in its popular and commercial sense with reference to the context in which it occurs.

4. In so far as 'butter churn' is concerned, there is no dispute that 'butter churn', which is a dairy equipment, is a specially designed machinery fixed with a gear-box and motor and fitted on mild steel frame. 'Butter churn' is in the nature of a composite machinery with several component parts that contribute so much to trouble-free maintenance of the machinery. It is not a stainless steel article like utensils and household items made of stainless steel. Therefore, in the popular and commercial sense, 'butter churn' cannot be considered as a stainless steel article falling within entry 54 of Schedule I of the Act, The learned Government Pleader, however, invited our attention to the decision in State of Gujarat v. Keshavlal & Sons [1966] 17 S.T.C. 170., wherein it was observed:

The expression 'stainless steel articles' is sufficiently wide enough to include utensils manufactured out of stainless steel and therefore utensils made of stainless steel would be covered by entry 20 in Schedule E to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1959.

5. We do not think that this decision can be of any assistance to the learned Government Pleader, as 'butter churn' is in the nature of a machine and not an utensil.

6. But, so far as 'weigh bowl' is concerned, it is an article made of stainless steel like any other household utensil and, therefore, squarely falls within the ratio of the decision in State of Gujarat v. Keshavlal & Sons2.

7. In the result, we hold that 'weigh bowl' falls within entry 54 of Schedule I of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act and the Tribunal to that extent rightly so held. But, so far as 'butter churn' is concerned, the decision of the Tribunal as well as the Deputy Commissioner holding that it falls within entry 54, is set aside and the order of the assessing authority treating 'butter churn' as an item not falling within entry 54 is upheld. The revision is partly allowed. No costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 200.


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