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Model Sanitary House Vs. Commissioner, Sales Tax - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.T.R. No. 287 and 288 of 1966
Judge
Reported in[1970]26STC82(All)
AppellantModel Sanitary House
RespondentCommissioner, Sales Tax
Appellant AdvocateAshok Gupta, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
Excerpt:
- .....2 which mentions bicycles and tricycles and parts thereof, entry no. 11 which speaks of electrical goods, entry no. 24 which refers to motor vehicles etc., chassis of motor vehicles, component parts of motor vehicles and accessories of motor vehicles, entry no. 31 which refers to photographic, cinematographic and other cameras, projectors and their accessories and entry no. 33 which refers to refrigerators and air-conditioning plants and parts and accessories thereof. these are only some of the entries which indicate that the notification mentions goods or commodities by reference to the entire category in which they fall. there is no reason to suppose that when entry no. 36 speaks of sanitary fittings, it intended to refer merely to accessories and parts and not to items such as.....
Judgment:

1. The assessee carries on business as a dealer in sanitary goods. For the assessment years 1956-57 and 1957-58 the assessee was assessed to tax under the U.P. Sales Tax Act on the turnover of those goods. The sanitary goods included cisterns, pipes, wash-basins etc. The Sales Tax Officer treated the commodities included in the turnover as 'sanitary fittings' within the meaning of that expression in entry No. 36 in the list appended to Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956 and accordingly applied the rate of 0-1-0 per rupee to that turnover. The assessee appealed and contended that wash-basins could not be included in the expression 'sanitary fittings' but must be described as 'sanitary wares'. The contention was accepted by the Assistant Commissioner (Judicial), Sales Tax and the appeals were allowed. The Commissioner of Sales Tax applied in revision and the Judge (Revisions) Sales Tax has allowed the revision applications holding that all the items were correctly included within the description 'sanitary fittings'. At the instance of the assessee, this and the connected reference has been made on the following question :

Whether the sanitary goods such as cisterns, pipes, etc., which are ultimately fixed for being used are not sanitary fittings liable to attract enhanced rate of taxation under Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956

2. It is contended for the assessee that there is a distinction between sanitary fittings and sanitary wares, that sanitary wares consist of major items such as wash-basins, commodes and urinals while sanitary fittings are such parts and accessories as are necessary for securing a proper use of sanitary wares. We have been referred to a publication of the Government of India in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry relating to Import Trade Control and it has been pointed out that sanitary wares and sanitary fittings have been treated differently in that publication.

3. It seems to us that the matter must be determined by reference to the notification under the U.P. Sales Tax Act. If regard be had to Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956, it will be seen that the different entries in the list appended to it set out entire categories or distinct groups of commodities. It is only where one or more members of that category are sought to be excluded from the scope of the entry that the entry expressly exempts that member or members from the specified category. Reference may be made to entry No. 2 which mentions bicycles and tricycles and parts thereof, entry No. 11 which speaks of electrical goods, entry No. 24 which refers to motor vehicles etc., chassis of motor vehicles, component parts of motor vehicles and accessories of motor vehicles, entry No. 31 which refers to photographic, cinematographic and other cameras, projectors and their accessories and entry No. 33 which refers to refrigerators and air-conditioning plants and parts and accessories thereof. These are only some of the entries which indicate that the notification mentions goods or commodities by reference to the entire category in which they fall. There is no reason to suppose that when entry No. 36 speaks of sanitary fittings, it intended to refer merely to accessories and parts and not to items such as wash-basins, commodes and urinals. Having regard to the scheme adopted in the list appended to the notification it seems to us that what was contemplated by the expression 'sanitary fittings' was the entire category of sanitary goods. Sanitary fittings are nothing but sanitary fixtures. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines 'sanitary' as a 'distinctive epithet of appliances specially contrived with a view to sanitary requirements' and fittings are nothing but sanitary appliances and accessories which are fixed to the floor or walls of a building. Viewed in this comprehensive sense, therefore, we have no hesitation in holding that wash-basins, commodes and urinals would fall within the entry 'sanitary fittings' mentioned in Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956.

4. As regards the distinction drawn between 'sanitary fittings' and 'sanitary wares' in the Government of India publication relied upon by the assessee, it seems to'us that the distinction was made primarily for the purpose of that publication. The publication expressly speaks of 'sanitary wares and fittings thereof' and necessarily contemplates a contradistinction between the two expressions. In the Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956, no such distinction has been drawn.

5. It is not disputed that so far as cisterns, pipes and other items are concerned, these are to be treated as sanitary fittings. The dispute has arisen only in respect of major items such as wash-basins, commodes and urinals.

6. In the view that we are taking, we are of opinion that all these commodities-major and minor items-fall within the expression 'sanitary fittings' entered in Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956. We answer the question referred accordingly.

7. The Commissioner of Sales Tax is entitled to his costs, which we assess at Rs. 100 as one set of costs in both the cases. Counsel's fee is assessed at the same figure.


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