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Kores (India) Limited Vs. State of Utter Predesh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 2943 of 1969
Judge
Reported in[1970]26STC126(All)
AppellantKores (India) Limited
RespondentState of Utter Predesh and anr.
Appellant AdvocateR.R. Agarwal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- - clearly, it cannot be said that a pen without ink is not a pen. , on may 12, 1969. we are not satisfied that a different view should be adopted. we have carefully considered the objection, but having regard to the circumstance that the points raised in this petition affect a large number of persons generally, both those dealing in the commodities as well as those using them and having regard to the patent illegality which appears ex facie in the impugned assessment order, we have considered it proper to interfere in this case.r.s. pathak, j.1. the petitioner deals in carbon-paper, typewriter ribbons, stapler machines and stapler pins. these goods are sent from the head office at bombay to the branch office at kanpur and from there sold in the state of uttar pradesh.2. for the assessment year 1966-67, assessment proceedings were taken by the sales tax officer and by his order dated 22nd july, 1969, he assessed the turnover of carbon-paper for the period 1st april, 1966 to 30th june, 1966, as liable to tax at two per cent. under section 3 of the u.p. sales tax act and that for the period 1st july, 1966 to 31st march, 1967, at the rate of six per cent. with reference to the entry 'paper other than hand-made paper' in notification no. st-3124/x-1012 (4)-1964 dated 1st july, 1966. by the same order he also assessed.....
Judgment:

R.S. Pathak, J.

1. The petitioner deals in carbon-paper, typewriter ribbons, stapler machines and stapler pins. These goods are sent from the head office at Bombay to the branch office at Kanpur and from there sold in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

2. For the assessment year 1966-67, assessment proceedings were taken by the Sales Tax Officer and by his order dated 22nd July, 1969, he assessed the turnover of carbon-paper for the period 1st April, 1966 to 30th June, 1966, as liable to tax at two per cent. Under Section 3 of the U.P. Sales Tax Act and that for the period 1st July, 1966 to 31st March, 1967, at the rate of six per cent. with reference to the entry 'paper other than hand-made paper' in Notification No. ST-3124/X-1012 (4)-1964 dated 1st July, 1966. By the same order he also assessed the turnover of typewriter ribbons at the rate of ten per cent. with reference to the entry 'typewriters, duplicating machines, calculating machines and tabulating machines and parts thereof' in Notification No. ST-1738/X-1012-1963 dated 1st June, 1963. A notice of demand has been issued to the petitioner requiring it to pay the tax assessed. Aggrieved by the assessment order. and the notice of demand, the petitioner has filed this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

3. The case of the petitioner is that carbon-paper is not paper at all and should be assessed as an unclassified commodity Under Section 3 at the rate of two per cent. As regards ribbons, it is disputed that they can be treated as a part of typewriters and it is urged, they constitute an accessory merely. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and we are of opinion that the petitioner is right on both points.

4. As regards carbon-paper, the process of preparation has been set out in the petition and is not disputed by the Sales Tax Officer. It is pointed out that tissue paper is taken and a paste coated thereon with a thermo-setting ink based mainly on wax, non-d,rying oils, pigments and dyes. The ink is made to a liquid consistency and applied on the tissue from a suitable coating roller, the excess of ink being scraped off by means of a suitable equalising rod. The paper is then passed through different chilled rolls, whereby the ink sets on the paper. The finished product thus obtained is called carbon-paper. There can be no dispute that carbon-paper is not used for writing thereon, for packing or for any of the purposes to which paper is ordinarily put. It is an article primarily used for making an impression on paper so that a number of copies of writing or typing can be obtained by a single impression. The important element involved in the use of carbon-paper is not the paper itself but the chemical medium with which it is coated. As a result of the coating, pressure applied to the surface of the carbon-paper produces a corresponding impression on the paper below it. What is of significance is the chemical coating. The paper on which the coating is spread is of secondary importance, inasmuch as it constitutes merely a convenient base for the coating. When carbon-paper is sold, it is not sold as tissue paper but as a material whose value and significance lies entirely in the chemical coating spread thereon. In the ordinary sense 'paper' refers generally to the material used for writing, printing or wrapping. Carbon-paper, in our opinion, cannot be considered in that sense. A circular (No. 13 of 1965) dated 20th September, 1965, was issued by the Commissioner of Sales Tax, Uttar Pradesh, setting out a list of different kinds of paper. It enumerates 78 kinds of paper but does not include carbon-paper.

5. In our judgment, carbon-paper cannot be taxed with reference to the entry 'paper other than hand-made paper' in the notification dated 1st July, 1966 and consequently the levy of tax at six per cent. on the turnover of carbon-paper for the period 1st July, 1966 to 31st March, 1967, is illegal.

6. In respect of typewriter ribbons, the question is whether they are to be considered as a part of typewriters or merely accessories. It seems to us that a part of a machine is that which contributes to making the machine a complete article. It is a part of the whole. It is a component which together with other components results in a complete article. We find it difficult to hold that in the absence of a ribbon, a typewriter is not a complete machine. It is all that a typewriter should be and the addition of a ribbon does not make it any the more a complete machine. The ribbon enables it to be used for a number of purposes. It enables it to be used for typing characters on a writing surface. It performs much the same function as ink does in a pen. Clearly, it cannot be said that a pen without ink is not a pen. Moreover, a ribbon is not necessary for all the purposes for which a typerwriter is employed. No ribbon is used when a typerwriter is employed for cutting stencils. Upon these considerations, in our judgment, typewriter ribbons cannot be considered as a part of typewriters and, therefore, cannot be assessed with reference to the entry 'typewriters',...and parts thereof' in the notification dated 1st June, 1963, at the rate of ten per cent.

7. It was also pointed out on behalf of the petitioner that the aforesaid notifications dated 1st June, 1963 and 1st July, 1966, were made under Section 3-A of the U.P. Sales Tax Act and, it is urged, they are invalid because Section 3-A is ultra vires. It is said that Section 3-A is ultra vires because it delegates essential legislative power to the State Government to make notifications prescribing the rate of tax and the point at which the tax will be levied in respect of different commodities. It is said that Section 3-A is also ultra vires because it violates Article 14 of the Constitution. These contentions have been repelled by this court in Haji Lal Mohammad Biri Works, Meerganj, Allahabad v. Sales Tax Officer, Allahabad [1959] 10 S.T.C. 424, Firm Thakur Das Sunder Das v. Sales Tax Officer, Agra [1959] 10 S.T.C. 432 and Raghunandan Prasad Mohan Lal v. State of U.P. and Ors. Civil Misc. Writ TS No. 417 of 1968 decided by Pathak and Gulati, JJ., on May 12, 1969. We are not satisfied that a different view should be adopted.

8. Before concluding, we may refer to an objection raised by the respondents to the grant of relief to the petitioner. It is urged that an alternative remedy was available to the petitioner by a statutory appeal against the assessment order and that there is no case for exercising the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court under Article 226 of the Constitution. We have carefully considered the objection, but having regard to the circumstance that the points raised in this petition affect a large number of persons generally, both those dealing in the commodities as well as those using them and having regard to the patent illegality which appears ex facie in the impugned assessment order, we have considered it proper to interfere in this case.

9. The petition is allowed. The assessment order dated 22nd July, 1969, made by the Sales Tax Officer, Kanpur, for the assessment year 1966-67 is quashed to the extent that the turnover of carbon-paper for the period 1st July, 1966 to 31st March, 1967, has been assessed at six per cent. and to the extent that the turnover of typewriter ribbons has been assessed at ten per cent. The petitioner is entitled to its costs.


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