Skip to content


Kalika Prasad Hanuman Das Vs. Sales Tax Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 946 of 1962
Judge
Reported in[1963]14STC88(All)
AppellantKalika Prasad Hanuman Das
RespondentSales Tax Officer
Appellant AdvocateSaran Behari Lal and ;R.S. Pathak, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionSuit dismissed
Excerpt:
- - kala means 'artifice' or a practical art and battu which has been derived from the turkish word batun means 'to twist like twisting into a chord'.taking the meanings of these two words together it would appear that kalabattu is something which is made by the exercise of an art or is the result of an artisan's artifice by twisting two or more strands into a chord. thus both from the origin of the word as well as from the statement of hanuman das, it is clear that the correct meaning of kalabattu is gold or silver thread obtained by twisting gold or silver wire with silk or cotton thread......know that kalabattu is prepared with the help of silver which is manufactured by the assessee and silk thread and then it is brought into use as kalabattu.6. the learned counsel for the petitioner has raised two points before me in support of this petition. his first point is that kalabattu is not merely silver wire twisted with silk or cotton thread but also includes silver wire alone and as such the silver wire manufactured by the petitioner is also exempt from tax as kalabattu under the notification. his other point is that in reaching his conclusions the sales tax officer took into consideration the opinion of certain persons which he obtained behind the back of the petitioner and for this reason also the finding is vitiated.7. so far as the second point is concerned, i see no force.....
Judgment:

Brijlal Gupta, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. The prayer contained in the petition is that a writ of certiorari may be issued quashing four assessment orders, one dated 19th August, 1961, and the other three all dated 25th November, 1961, under the U.P. Sales Tax Act for the assessment years 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59 and 1959-60.

2. The petitioner is a Hindu undivided family and is the manufacturer of fine silver wire which it describes as 'thread' and which it alleges that it sells as kalabattu. In the four assessment years in question it has been assessed on its turnover of this silver wire. It claims that under Notification No. ST-911/X, dated 31st March, 1956, issued under Section 4 of the U. P. Sales Tax Act, kalabattu having been exempted from payment of sales tax, it was not liable to payment of sales tax on its turnover of silver wire.

3. Item No. 32 of List II of the said notification is :

Kalabattu manufactured in Uttar Pradesh when sold by the manufacturers thereof.

4. The Sales Tax Officer on a consideration of the dictionary meanings of the word 'kalabattu', and further on a consideration of the fact that according to its own books the petitioner sold silver wire to kalabattu manufacturers and not to the consumers of kalabattu, and holding that silver wire manufactured by the assessee was an ingredient in the manufacture of kalabattu and not being kalabattu itself, assessed the turnover of silver wire to sales tax.

5. To reinforce his conclusion the Sales Tax Officer also said in his order :-

In addition to it I have come to know that kalabattu is prepared with the help of silver which is manufactured by the assessee and silk thread and then it is brought into use as kalabattu.

6. The learned counsel for the petitioner has raised two points before me in support of this petition. His first point is that kalabattu is not merely silver wire twisted with silk or cotton thread but also includes silver wire alone and as such the silver wire manufactured by the petitioner is also exempt from tax as kalabattu under the notification. His other point is that in reaching his conclusions the Sales Tax Officer took into consideration the opinion of certain persons which he obtained behind the back of the petitioner and for this reason also the finding is vitiated.

7. So far as the second point is concerned, I see no force in it at all. The knowledge derived by the Sales Tax Officer from the opinion of certain persons was used by him merely to reinforce the conclusion which he had already arrived at independently of that opinion on the basis of the dictionary meaning of the word kalabattu and the inference drawn by him from the books of the assessee regarding the sale of silver wire to kalabattu manufacturers and not to the consumers of kalabattu. It, therefore, seems to me to be clear that if the finding of the Sales Tax Officer can stand on the basis of the dictionary meaning and the entries in the assessee's own books the mere fact that he may also have consulted some persons behind the back of the petitioner to reinforce the conclusion already arrived at by him would not vitiate the finding.

8. As regards the first point I have been referred to a large number of Hindi and Urdu dictionaries as to the exact meaning of the word kalabattu as that word has not been defined in the notification. The word kalabattu is a compound word made of two words kala and battu. Kala means 'artifice' or a practical art and battu which has been derived from the Turkish word batun means 'to twist like twisting into a chord'. Taking the meanings of these two words together it would appear that kalabattu is something which is made by the exercise of an art or is the result of an artisan's artifice by twisting two or more strands into a chord. The primary meaning of the word kalabattu given in the dictionary is gold or silver wire twisted with silk or cotton thread. It, therefore, appears to be clear that silver wire alone cannot strictly speaking be called kalabattu, even though in some of the dictionaries the secondary meaning of the word has been given as gold or silver thread.

9. Hanuman Das, a member of the petitioner Hindu undivided family, was examined by the Sales Tax Officer. His statement is annexure 'A' to the petition. According to this statement the name of the silver wire when flattened is badla. When the silver wire is twisted with silk or cotton thread it is called zari. According to him silver wire simpliciter, badla and zari are all included in the term kalabattu. In the end of his deposition he stated that when badla or flattened wire is twisted with cotton thread it is converted into zari. It seems to me that in this last statement the petitioner has given away its entire case. If silver wire or flattened silver wire is made into zari only by twisting it with another thread, whether silk or cotton, then it is clear that silver wire or badla is a different product from zari or kalabattu. Thus both from the origin of the word as well as from the statement of Hanuman Das, it is clear that the correct meaning of kalabattu is gold or silver thread obtained by twisting gold or silver wire with silk or cotton thread.

10. I also find that what the witness described as badla is also known as salma. Only salma may be silver or gold wires twisted together and not twisted with silk or cotton thread.

11. I also find that kalabattu is 'thread' and not 'wire' and thread is obtained only by twisting two or more strands of any material or materials together and it does not mean a single strand or wire. In this connection it is significant to notice that the Sales Tax Officer had described the petitioner in the heading of the assessment order as 'silver wire manufacturers', vide annexure E. The petitioner copied this description to describe himself in the petition but then altered the word 'wire' into the word 'thread'. The petitioner appears to have realised that as a manufacturer of silver 'wire' it might not be included in the description of a manufacturer of kalabattu and, therefore, made the alteration to suit its purpose.

12. It is settled law that while the burden is on the revenue authorities to show that a particular turnover is liable to tax, the onus of showing that a particular class of goods is exempt from taxation lies on the assessee, vide Keren Kayemeth le Jisroel Ltd. v. Commissioners of Inland Revenue (1932) 17 Tax Cas. 27 at p. 58 (H.L.), Commissioner of Income-tax v. Venkataswamy Naidu [1956] 29 I.T.R. 529 (S.C.), Bacha F. Guzdar v. Commissioner of Income-tax [1955] 27 I.T.R. 1 at p. 4 and Raja Mustafa Ali Khan v. Commissioner of Income-tax [1948] 16 I.T.R. 330 at p. 335. From what has been stated above, far from discharging the onus that silver wire simpliciter was an exempted article under the notification, the petitioner on its own admission in the deposition of one of its members admitted that the wire becomes kalabattu only after it is twisted with cotton or silk thread.

13. The result is that there is no force in this writ petition and it is dismissed with costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //