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Vemula Seshaiah and Gongadi Ramappa Vs. the State of Andhra Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Revision Case No. 5 of 1962
Judge
Reported in[1963]14STC730(AP)
AppellantVemula Seshaiah and Gongadi Ramappa
RespondentThe State of Andhra Pradesh
Appellant AdvocateK. Venkataramaiah, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateD.V. Sastry, Adv. for ;Government Pleader
DispositionSuit dismissed
Excerpt:
.....only after the documents of title were endorsed in favour of the buyer and handed over to him, cannot be disputed. we fail to see what bearing these sections have on the question of the right of the assessee to insist upon the department to levy tax on certain sales to enable him to claim a deduction......on the purchase turnover, and if he converted those groundnuts into oil and sold the oil, on the sale turnover of the oil which includes the purchase price of the groundnuts, he should not again be called upon to pay the tax. for that purpose and in order to avoid double taxation on the same commodity, this deduction is allowed. all this, of course, is on the assumption that otherwise the entire turnover of the sale of the oil would be liable to tax. if the assessees were exempted from paying tax on the sale turnover of the oil as the sale was outside the stale, they cannot claim the benefit of the deduction under rule 18(2) of the turnover and assessment rules.22. there is a decision of the supreme court which also helps us in the decision of this matter. a. v. fernandez v. state of.....
Judgment:

P. Chandra Reddy, C.J.

1. This revision petition is filed by a dealer in groundnuts residing at Kallur of Anantapur District against the order of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal confirming that of the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, who affirmed the assessment made by the Gommercial Tax Officer, Anantapur.

2. The petition relates to the assessment year 1957-58. The petitioner is a registered manufacturer of groundnut oil at Kallur within the jurisdiction of the Commercial Tax Officer, Anantapur. For the relevant year, he returned a gross turnover of Rs. 17,84,615-9-9 and a net turnover of Rs. 5,15,436-5-9, which represents the sale of oil extracted by him from the groundnuts purchased by him earlier and in regard to which he paid the purchase tax. It is in regard to the sale of oil that he claimed rebate.

3. The assessing authority felt that this turnover was not exigible to tax either under the Madras General Sales Tax Act or the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act by reason of the sales being of inter State character and, therefore, no question of allowing a rebate arose, The assessee carried an appeal to the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes contending that the turnover in question comprehended all intra-State sales and not inter-State transactions and as such they should be subjected to tax so that he could claim a rebate. This contention of the assessee did not find favour with the appellate authority with the result that the appeal was dismissed.

4. The assessee did not fare better in the further appeal he carried to the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal. This authority also shared the view of the assessing authority and the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes on the question of the nature of the transactions.

5. Aggrieved by this decision of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, the assessee has filed this revision petition. In support of this petition, it is urged by Sri K. Venkataramaiah, learned counsel for the petitioner, that all the transactions partake of an intra-State character and have no elements of inter-State sales. According to him, the buyer as well as the seller reside within the State, delivery was F. O. R. railway station within the State, money was paid in the State and, therefore, the sales should be said to have been completed within the State itself and as such there was no scope to rely on the provisions of the Central Sales Tax Act (74 of 1956). The learned counsel also cited to us some decisions which lay down that if a sale is completed within the State it could not be regarded as falling within the purview of Article 286 of the Constitution and, therefore, could not be subjected to tax under the State laws. We do not think that either the factors relied upon by the learned counsel or the decisions called in aid by him would come to his rescue. One important factor which is decisive in the context of this enquiry is that delivery was against payment and in most of the sales (except in seven cases) in regard to which deduction is claimed by the assessee, the petitioner himself was the consignor. If that were so, the sales could be said to have been effected only after payment was made. Admittedly, the petitioner despatched goods, obtained railway receipts in his own name as already stated in most of the cases (in twenty-five cases) and sometime later endorsed the railway receipts in favour of the buyer after receiving the sale price and handed them over to him. In this situation, we have to consider whether any of the clauses 'of Section 3 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, would apply or not. Section 3 postulates:

A sale or purchase of goods shall be deemed to take place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce if the sale or purchase-

(a) occasions the movement of goods from one State to another; or

(b) is effected by a transfer of documents of title to the goods during their movement from one State to another,

6. Obviously, Clause (a) is inapplicable to this case, as it does not appear that it is the sale that has occasioned the movement of goods. In this view of the matter, it is unnecessary for us to refer to cases relied on by Sri Venkataramaiah dealing with Clause (a).

7. We have then to consider whether the case falls under Clause (b). In a case like this, a sale could be said to have been effected only when the railway receipt is endorsed by the seller in favour of the buyer. In this case, the endorsement was made after the goods started on their journey from this State to another State. That a sale could be said to have been effected only after the documents of title were endorsed in favour of the buyer and handed over to him, cannot be disputed. There is authority for this proposition of the highest Court of the land. In Commissioner of Income-tax v. Bhopal Textiles Ltd. [1961] 41 I.T.R. 72 (S.C.) it was held that as the assessee had handed over the receipts to the bank and asked the bank not to deliver the railway receipts to the buyers unless payment was received, the document of title to the goods remained the property of the assessee until payment for it was received and it was handed over. Prior to the endorsement of the railway receipt against payment, it remained only in the stage of an agreement to sell and it was only after delivery of the railway receipt that the sale was effected.

8. Indisputably, in this case, the transfer was effected during the movement of the goods. Therefore, it falls within the purview of Section 3 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, and the department was right in not taxing these transactions.

9. However, we need not be detained any further on this topic, having regard to the fact that the department did not levy any tax on these transactions. If that were so, there is no occasion to claim a rebate in regard to these transactions.

10. It is vehemently contended by Sri K. Venkataramaiah that if the transactions in question fall outside the purview of Section 3 and partake of an intra-State character, the department is bound to tax these transactions and give the assessee the benefit of a rebate. In support of his contention, the learned counsel draws our attention to Sections 5, 12, 14 and 19 of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957. We must say that we cannot gain any light from any of these sections on the question to be determined by us, namely, whether the department can be compelled to bring the sales to tax so that the assessee may claim the advantages of deduction or rebate whatever it may be called. Section 5 is the charging section, while Section 12 deals with registration of dealers. Section 14 provides for assessment of tax while Section 19 confers a right of appeal on the aggrieved party. We fail to see what bearing these sections have on the question of the right of the assessee to insist upon the department to levy tax on certain sales to enable him to claim a deduction.

11. It is the Madras General Sales Tax (Turnover and Assessment) Rules, 1939, that have to be considered in this behalf. Rule 18 is the relevant one. It says:

(1) Any dealer who manufactures groundnut oil and cake from groundnut and/or kernel purchased by him may, on application to the assessing authority having jurisdiction over the area in which he carries on his business, be registered as a manufacturer of groundnut oil and cake.

(2) Every such manufacturer shall be entitled to a deduction under Clause (k) of Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 5 equal to the value of the groundnut and/or kernel purchased and converted by him into oil and cake provided that the amount for which the oil is sold is included in his turnover.

12. Under this rule, a registered manufacturer is entitled to a deduction under Clause (k) of Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 5 which will be referred to presently. He is entitled to claim a deduction only in cases where the amount of sales of oil is included in his turnover. So, the condition precedent to the claim for deduction is the inclusion of the amount of sales of oil in his turnover. Clause (k) says:

5. (1) The tax or taxes under Section 3 or 5 or the notification or notifications under Section 6(1) shall be levied on the net turnover of a dealer. In determining the net turnover the amounts specified in Clauses (a) to (m) shall, subject to the conditions specified therein, be deducted from the gross turnover of a dealer.

* * * *(k) all amounts which a registered manufacturer of groundnut oil (other than refined groundnut oil) and cake may be entitled to deduct from his gross turnover under Rule 18 subject to the conditions specified in that rule.

13. A combined reading of these two rules leads to one conclusion, namely, that a dealer who complies with the conditions specified in both of them could ask for a rebate, only when the sale of oil extracted from the groundnuts purchased by him in respect of which he had already paid tax, is included in his turnover.

14. The argument of Sri Venkataramaiah, learned counsel for the assessee in this behalf, is that since the assessee himself has shown this turnover in his returns, Sub-Rule (2) of Rule 18 of the Madras General Sales Tax (Turnover and Assessment) Rules springs into operation and, consequently, he is entitled to a deduction. We do not think that we can give effect to this argument. The mere fact that the assessee has shown these sales in the turnover is not decisive of the matter. The department thought that these transactions could not be brought to tax for the reason that they fell within the mischief of Section 3 of the Central Sales Tax Act and, in that view, they excluded them from the turnover. It cannot, therefore, be posited that sales of oil have been included in this turnover. We are disinclined to accede to the proposition of the learned counsel for the assessee that the department is under an obligation to levy a tax on these sales, so that the assessee could claim a deduction which, according to him, is an advantage to him. We feel that on the language of these rules this construction is unsustainable.

15. We will now turn to Rule 25 of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Rules, 1957, which makes the matter much clearer. Sub-Rule (2) says that a deduction could be claimed only when the sales of oil are included in the total turnover and tax has been paid to the State on such sales, thereby indicating that the condition precedent to claiming a deduction is the inclusion of the sales of oil and also payment of tax on such sales. This rule makes explicit what is implicit in Rule 18 (2) of the Madras General Sales Tax (Turnover and Assessment) Rules.

16. It is needless to say that the purpose of enacting this rule was to avoid double taxation. It was thought that it was unfair that a dealer, who paid tax on the purchase of groundnuts, should be required to pay tax on the sales of oil extracted from those groundnuts. But for the concession contained in Rule 18 of the Madras General Sales Tax (Turnover and Assessment) Rules, 1939, the manufacturer of groundnut oil and cake would be liable to pay both the purchase tax on the groundnuts and sales tax on the oil under the rules. It is to obviate this hardship that this rule was enacted and not for the purpose of enabling the assessee to make a profit out of the transaction.

17. The learned counsel for the assessee called in aid certain decisions of the Madras High Court and of this Court to substantiate his proposition that it was incumbent on the department to levy tax on the transactions governed by Rule 18, so that the assessee could claim a deduction. While some of the decisions are not in point, the others relied on by him do him more disservice than service.

18. State of Madras v. Nallam Jaggiah [1954] 5 S.T.C. 457 is not in point. All that was decided there was that if the assessee was to claim the benefit given to him under the Turnover and Assessment Rules, he should comply with the conditions and terms specified in the rules. That does not touch the question to be answered by us. Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes v. Lakshmana Swamy [1956] 7 S.T.C. 560 belongs to the same category. However, there are observations in this decision which furnish an answer to the contention of the learned counsel for the assessee. Satyanarayana Raju, J., who spoke for the Court, observed at page 564 of the report as follows :-

The general scheme of taxation adopted under the Act and the rules made thereunder is multipoint taxation. Tax is levied at specified rates on the total turnover of a dealer if it exceeds a specified limit. In respect of the same transaction of sale, the buyer or seller but not both, as determined by the rules, shall be taxed. Where a dealer has been taxed in respect of the purchase of any goods in accordance with the rules, he shall not be taxed again in respect of any sale of goods effected by him.

19. Another passage which is pertinent in this context occurring in the same page is as follows :-

Any dealer who manufactures groundnut oil and cake from groundnut or groundnut kernel, purchased by him, may register himself as a manufacturer of groundnut oil and cake. Such manufacturer of groundnut oil (other than refined groundnut oil) and cake is entitled to a deduction from his gross turnover, of an amount equal to the value of the groundnut and/or kernel purchased and converted by him into oil and cake, provided that the amount for which the oil is sold is included in his turnover and subject to the conditions specified in Rule 18. Normally, the manufacturer of groundnut oil and cake who sells them has to pay tax on the sales turnover. But if the gross turnover of oil is subject to tax, the manufacturer would be paying tax both on the groundnut and kernel purchased by him and also on the sale of oil manufactured therefrom. In order to obviate this hardship, a special privilege or exemption is conferred on a dealer in groundnut who registers himself as a manufacturer of groundnut oil and cake.

20. This passage brings out succinctly the policy underlying Rule 18 of the Turnover and Assessment Rules.

21. We will now turn to the judgment of a Division Bench of the Madras High Court in Chandramouleswara Oil Co., Kurnool, In re [1954] 5 S.T.C. 340 on which much reliance is placed by the learned counsel for the petitioner. This decision does not render him any assistance. We will extract here the relevant observations contained in the judgment which, in our opinion, furnish an answer to the argument of Sri Venkataramaiah.

The object of Rule 5 being to determine the taxable net turnover, the turnover of the sale of the oil, which is contemplated by Rule 18(2), is the taxable turnover from which the purchase turnover of the groundnuts from which the oil was extracted should be deducted. The exemption is based upon the principle, that on the same commodity the dealer should not be called upon to pay the tax twice over. If he had already paid tax on the purchase turnover, and if he converted those groundnuts into oil and sold the oil, on the sale turnover of the oil which includes the purchase price of the groundnuts, he should not again be called upon to pay the tax. For that purpose and in order to avoid double taxation on the same commodity, this deduction is allowed. All this, of course, is on the assumption that otherwise the entire turnover of the sale of the oil would be liable to tax. If the assessees were exempted from paying tax on the sale turnover of the oil as the sale was outside the Stale, they cannot claim the benefit of the deduction under Rule 18(2) of the Turnover and Assessment Rules.

22. There is a decision of the Supreme Court which also helps us in the decision of this matter. A. V. Fernandez v. State of Kerala [1957] 8 S.T.C. 561 dealt with Rule 20 of the Travancore-Cochin General Sales Tax Rules, 1950. Rule 20 of these rules is similar in terms to Rule 18 of the Madras General Sales Tax (Turnover and Assessment) Rules and Rule 25 of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Rules. The Supreme Court, while affirming the decision of the High Court of Travancore-Cochin that as the amount for which the oil was sold could not be included in the taxable turnover, there was no occasion for deduction under Rule 7(1) (k) of the value of coconut or groundnut purchased and converted by the assessee into oil and cake irrespective of the fact whether the same had been sold by him inside the State or outside the State, extracted with approval the following passage from the judgment of the High Court-

There can be no doubt that what has been intended is a taxation of copra at the purchase point and the avoidance of sales tax in respect of the oil extracted by a registered manufacturer from such copra to the extent of the value of the copra used for the said manufacture in all those cases where but for the concession he would have been liable to pay both the purchase tax on copra and the sales tax on oil under the Travancorc-Cochin General Sales Tax Act, 1125. In other words, the object is the avoidance of a double taxation by the State, one at the purchase point of copra and the other at the sale point of oil, and it is impossible to invoke the definition and say that the concession will be available to a registered manufacturer even in those cases where only one and not both the taxes can be realised from him under the provisions of the Act.

23. Our attention was not drawn to any case which has laid down that having regard to the terms of the relevant Turnover and Assessment Rules, the department was under a duty to tax particular sales, so that the assessee could put forward a claim for deduction. On the other hand, the language of the rules and the rulings cited to us establish the position that there would be no occasion to claim a rebate when the transactions are not subjected to tax. In the light of the decided cases and the language of the relevant rules, we are inclined to the view that the petitioner has no such right as claimed by him. That being so, the order under revision cannot successfully be impugned. In the result, the tax revision case fails and is dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150 (one hundred and fifty).


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