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Commissioner, Sales Tax Vs. Free India Cycle Industries - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.T.A. No. 574 of 1968
Judge
Reported in[1970]26STC428(All)
AppellantCommissioner, Sales Tax
RespondentFree India Cycle Industries
Appellant AdvocateStanding Counsel
Respondent AdvocateM. Verma and ;B.L. Gupta, Advs.
Excerpt:
- - in respect of the assessment year 1963-64, it was assessed to sales tax on the turnover of imported cycle goods as well as on the turnover of rexine saddle covers and pads manufactured by it at the rate of 5 per cent. a cover which is used only to protect the saddle or seat or to give it a better appearance, cannot be said to be an accessory of the vehicle because it neither adds to the efficiency of the vehicle nor promotes or facilitates its working. 7. it is a matter of common knowledge that rexine is used for making covers of a variety of articles like furniture, guns, typewriters, cameras, etc......if seat and floor coverings of a car are not accessories thereof, there is no reason why seat covers of cycles should be regarded as accessories of cycles. we are, therefore, of the opinion that an article used for protection and decoration of one of the parts cannot be regarded as accessory of the vehicle.11. we, therefore, agree with the judge (revisions) that rexine covers are not accessories of bicycles, tricycles and cycle rickshaws within the meaning of entry no. 34 of the relevant notification.12. the second question proceeds on the assumption that rexine covers are accessories of a part of a cycle, namely, saddle. in view of our opinion that the entry in question does not contemplate the accessories of a part of the vehicles mentioned therein, this question does not.....
Judgment:

R.L. Gulati, J.

1. The Additional Judge (Revisions) Sales Tax, Agra, has solicited the opinion of this court on the following two questions :-

1. Whether rexine covers manufactured by the assessee being used only to protect the saddle seat can be called cycle parts or accessories to cycles and taxed at 5 per cent. during 1963-64 under Notification No. ST- 1363/X-1045(19)/60 dated 5th April, 1961?

2. If not and they are only accessories to cycle parts, whether even accessories to cycle parts can be taxed at 5 per cent. under item No. 34 of the said notification?

2. The assessee, M/s. Free India Cycle Industries, is a dealer in cycles and cycle goods which it purchases locally or imports from outside Uttar Pradesh. In respect of the assessment year 1963-64, it was assessed to sales tax on the turnover of imported cycle goods as well as on the turnover of rexine saddle covers and pads manufactured by it at the rate of 5 per cent.

3. The assessee's contention that a rexine cover is neither a part nor an accessory of cycle and cycle rickshaw, but is an unclassified item, was not accepted either by the Sales Tax Officer or the Judge (Appeals). Its contention, however, was accepted by the Judge (Revisions) who held that rexine covers would not fall within item No. 34 of the Notification No. ST-1363/X-1045(19)/60 dated 5th April, 1961, as modified by a subsequent notification of 13th May, 1963, issued under Section 3-A of the U.P. Sales Tax Act. The relevant entry in the notification reads as under:

Bicycles, tricycles, cycle rickshaws and perambulators and parts and accessories thereof other than tyres and tubes.

4. There appeared to have been some dispute before the Judge (Revisions) as to the interpretation of this entry. On behalf of the assessee, it was contended that parts and accessories contemplated by the entry were the parts and accessories of bicycles, tricycles, cycle rickshaws and perambulators and not accessories of the parts of those vehicles. On the other hand, the contention of the department was that even the accessories of parts of bicycles, tricycles, cycle rickshaws and perambulators would be covered by the entry. The Judge (Revisions) accepted the assessee's contention. At the instance of the Commissioner of Sales Tax, the Judge (Revisions) has submitted the statement of the case under Section 11(3) of the Act.

5. From a perusal of the relevant entry it does appear that the interpretation placed upon it by the Judge (Revisions) is correct. The phrase 'parts and accessories' 'qualifies the words 'bicycles, tricycles' etc. It does not qualify the words 'parts or accessories'. This means that when the entry speaks of 'parts and accessories' it refers to parts and accessories of the vehicles. The entry, in our opinion, does not include the accessories, if any, of the individual parts or accessories of the vehicle.

6. The only question, therefore, that falls for consideration is as to whether the rexine covers manufactured and sold by the assessee can be classified as parts and accessories of cycles, cycle rickshaws etc. Rexine covers in question are used as a covering of the saddle or seat of a. cycle. The seat or saddle of a cycle is, of course, a part of the cycle because without it the cycle is not complete. A rexine cover in that sense is not a part of the vehicle. The question is whether it is an accessory. The word 'accessory' has not been defined in the Act nor is it a technical or scientific term. Its meanings, therefore, have to be gathered from other sources. In the New English Dictionary by W.A. Craigie the word 'accessory' when used in relation to a thing means 'something contributing in a subordinate degree to a general result or effect; an adjunct or accompaniment'. According to this dictionary meaning, accessories would only be such adjuncts or accompaniments of a cycle and other vehicles mentioned in the entry as contribute to the general result and effect of the vehicle concerned even though in a subordinate degree. A cover which is used only to protect the saddle or seat or to give it a better appearance, cannot be said to be an accessory of the vehicle because It neither adds to the efficiency of the vehicle nor promotes or facilitates its working.

7. It is a matter of common knowledge that rexine is used for making covers of a variety of articles like furniture, guns, typewriters, cameras, etc. If such covers were to be regarded as accessories of the articles concerned, they would be taxed at different rates because accessories of various articles are listed separately and are taxed at different rates under the various notifications issued under the Act. For example there are different notifications in respect of accessories of the following articles.

Agricultural implements, bicycles, cinematographic equipments, motor vehicles, electrical equipments, X-ray machine and motor cycles and scooters etc.

8. It could not have been the intention of the Legislature that a maker of rexine covers should be taxed at different rates in respect of covers meant for different articles. A cover of a cycle seat and the cover of a motor cycle are almost alike except that there would be a slight difference in their sizes.

9. In Volume I of Words and Phrases, Permanent Edition, there is a topic dealing with automobile accessories. There it is mentioned that articles primarily adapted for use in motor vehicles are parts or accessories thereof within the Sales Tax Acts of the States. Various examples of parts and accessories are given such as speedometers, gears, shafts, bumper bars, brackets and storage batteries. As to what are not accessories the following two extracts from page 238 may be quoted:

(1) Electric cigar lighters, combination electric cigar lighters and ash receivers held not subject to manufacturer's excise tax as 'accessory' for automobiles....

(2) Top recovers, back curtains, wedge-shaped cushions and seat and floor coverings held not taxable as 'parts' or 'accessories' for automobiles....' Crawford Mfg. Co. v. United States Ct. Cl. 50 F. 2nd 280-281.

10. If seat and floor coverings of a car are not accessories thereof, there is no reason why seat covers of cycles should be regarded as accessories of cycles. We are, therefore, of the opinion that an article used for protection and decoration of one of the parts cannot be regarded as accessory of the vehicle.

11. We, therefore, agree with the Judge (Revisions) that rexine covers are not accessories of bicycles, tricycles and cycle rickshaws within the meaning of entry No. 34 of the relevant notification.

12. The second question proceeds on the assumption that rexine covers are accessories of a part of a cycle, namely, saddle. In view of our opinion that the entry in question does not contemplate the accessories of a part of the vehicles mentioned therein, this question does not arise and need not be answered.

13. We accordingly answer question No. 1 in the negative in favour of the assessee and against the department and we return no answer to question No. 2.

14. The assessee is entitled to the costs of this reference which we assess at Rs. 100. The counsel fee is also assessed at the same figure.


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