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K.C.P. Ltd. (Ramakrishna Cements) and anr. Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case Number Writ Petition Nos. 3530, 3531, 4468, 4889 and 4895 of 1970
Judge
Reported in[1972]29STC507(AP)
AppellantK.C.P. Ltd. (Ramakrishna Cements) and anr.
RespondentGovernment of Andhra Pradesh and ors.
Appellant Advocate K. Srinivasa Murthy and ; S.R. James, Advs.
Respondent Advocate A. Mahadev, Adv. for ;Government Pleader for sales tax cases
Excerpt:
..... - it is also their case that similarly the assessing authority failed to grant exemption in respect of the other item relating to the packing charges......order of the commercial tax officer, whereby he included (1) the cost of packing material and (2) railway freight in the taxable turnover and refused to grant exemption in respect of these two items.2. for the purpose of disposal of these petitions, it would be sufficient if we refer to the facts stated in writ petition no. 3530 of 1970. the petitioner has a cement factory at macherla engaged in the manufacture of cement. the selling price of the cement is fixed by the central government from time to time under the cement control order at an uniform rate which is inclusive of excise duty and inter-state sales tax. the retail prices are fixed by the state government by adding incidental charges such as cost of transportation from railway shed to stockists, godown charges, margin of.....
Judgment:

Obul Reddi, J.

1. These five writ petitions can be disposed of by a common order as the petitioners have assailed the legality of the order of the Commercial Tax Officer, whereby he included (1) the cost of packing material and (2) railway freight in the taxable turnover and refused to grant exemption in respect of these two items.

2. For the purpose of disposal of these petitions, it would be sufficient if we refer to the facts stated in Writ Petition No. 3530 of 1970. The petitioner has a cement factory at Macherla engaged in the manufacture of cement. The selling price of the cement is fixed by the Central Government from time to time under the Cement Control Order at an uniform rate which is inclusive of excise duty and inter-State sales tax. The retail prices are fixed by the State Government by adding incidental charges such as cost of transportation from railway shed to stockists, godown charges, margin of profit for stockists, State sales tax, local taxes etc. The price fixed is split up so as to show the ex factory price, the selling agent commission, rebate on supplies against rate contract, excise duty, sales tax, freight and contingencies. All these items put together form the ultimate purchase price of the buyer. It is the case of the petitioners that the Commercial Tax Officer included the freight charges in the sale price, when the petitioners have not collected the freight charges from the consignees, i.e., buyers, and only collected the sale price as fixed by the Government exclusive of the freight charges and therefore the assessing authority was in error in rejecting their claim for exemption in respect of the amount involved in the freight charges. It is also their case that similarly the assessing authority failed to grant exemption in respect of the other item relating to the packing charges.

3. Mr. K. Srinivasa Murthy, appearing for the petitioners relied upon a decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Hyderabad Asbestos Cement Products Ltd. v. State of Andhra Pradesh [1969] 24 S.T.C. 487 (S.C.), to show that the inclusion of freight charges in the sale price for the purpose of computing the turnover runs contrary to the judgment of their Lordships. It may be pointed out at the outset that, the respondents have not filed any counter disputing the facts stated in the affidavits filed by the petitioners in support of their petitions. The learned Government Pleader for sales tax cases, however, sought to argue that the petitioners have collected the freight charges and when they collected the freight charges also, it cannot be said that the assessing authority was not justified in including the freight charges in the taxable turnover relating to the sale of cement. We are unable to find any material in support of the contention of the Government Pleader that the price for cement paid by the consignee to the petitioners includes the railway freight or freight charges.

4. Annexure I of the material papers is a copy of the bill dated 19th May, 1969, sent by the petitioner in Writ Petition No. 3530 of 1970 to the buyer, viz., Director-General of Supplies and Disposals. The item supplied is portland cement for consumption at Markapur Road, ex R. K. Cements, Macherla. The cost of cement is shown as hereunder :

Rs. 42,873.87Excise duty ... ' 10,188.33' -----------Total ... ' 53,062.20A.P.G.S.T. on the above ' 2,940.12-----------' 56,002.32 Less: railway freight ' 6,642.00----------' 49,360.32----------

5. Thus the total amount for which the bill was issued is Rs. 49,360.32. It is clear from the copy of the bill placed before us that the railway freight was not included in the sale price of cement and that the consignee, viz., the Director-General of Supplies and Disposals, was asked to pay only that amount exclusive of railway freight. There is also the letter dated 16th July, 1970, of the Director-General of Supplies and Disposals who is stated to be purchasing 90 per cent, of the cement produced by the petitioners in W.P. Nos. 3530 and 3531 of 1970, where it was pointed out by him that the railway freight is not a part of the petitioner's turnover and therefore no sales tax would be leviable on freight charges which have not actually been paid by the suppliers.

6. In the face of this material, we are unable to understand how it can be contended on behalf of the department that the petitioners have collected railway freight also from the consignees so as to entitle the assessing authority to add railway freight to the turnover relating to the sale of cement. In the case referred to supra also, the invoice showed that the railage was excluded from the cost of corrugated a. c. sheets supplied to the buyer. Having regard to the fact that railage or freight charges were not included in the sample invoice before their Lordships, they held that freight charges or railage cannot be included for purposes of computing the total turnover. The facts disclosed in these petitions are identical with the facts of the case before their Lordships and therefore it must be held that the order of the assessing authority in adding the freight charges to each of the cases to the turnover and refusing to grant exemption in respect of this item is illegal and runs contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court.

7. So far as the other item relating to cost of packing material is concerned, it will be open to the petitioners in each of the cases to prefer appeals against the assessment orders and show that they are entitled to exemption in respect of that item also.

8. In the result, the assessments in each of these petitions, in so far as they relate to freight charges, are quashed. It is represented by Mr. Srinivasa Murthy, appearing for the petitioners, that the petitioners in Writ Petition No. 4889 of 1970 have paid the tax relating to freight charges and if that is so, they will be entitled to refund. The writ petitions are allowed accordingly in part; but in the circumstances, without costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100 in each.


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