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Commissioner, Sales Tax Vs. SarIn Textile Mills - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.T.R. Nos. 190 and 191 of 1969 and Special Appeal No. 119 of 1963
Judge
Reported in[1971]27STC228(All)
AppellantCommissioner, Sales Tax
RespondentSarIn Textile Mills
Appellant AdvocateStanding Counsel
Respondent AdvocateV. Sarup, ;J. Sarup, ;K.L. Misra and ;K.C. Saxena, Advs.
Excerpt:
.....used in the process of weaving, it is not covered by the notifications nos. there is a clear distinction between the raw material and the finished goods like iron and iron goods, cotton and cotton goods, wool and woolen goods. 14. as regards the special appeal, precisely the same question was mooted before a learned single judge of this court......three connected cases the common question of law that arises is as to whether the turnover of woolen yarn manufactured by the assessed should be taxed under section 3 at the rate of 2 per cent. or should be assessed as 'yarn' or 'woolen goods' under the notifications issued under section 3-a. it is assessable as yarn, its turnover would be assessable at the rate of six pies per rupee for the assessment year 1959-60 and at the rate of 3 per cent, for the year 1961-62 and if it is covered by the term 'woolen goods' then it would be assessable at the rate of one anna per rupee. the notification with which we are concerned are:(i) notification no. st. 907/x dated 31st march, 1956. this is a notification under section 3-a of the act and declares that the turnover of certain commodities.....
Judgment:

R.L. Gulati, J.

1. In these three connected cases the common question of law that arises is as to whether the turnover of woolen yarn manufactured by the assessed should be taxed under Section 3 at the rate of 2 per cent. or should be assessed as 'yarn' or 'woolen goods' under the notifications issued under Section 3-A. It is assessable as yarn, its turnover would be assessable at the rate of six pies per rupee for the assessment year 1959-60 and at the rate of 3 per cent, for the year 1961-62 and if it is covered by the term 'woolen goods' then it would be assessable at the rate of one anna per rupee. The notification with which we are concerned are:

(i) Notification No. ST. 907/X dated 31st March, 1956. This is a notification under Section 3-A of the Act and declares that the turnover of certain commodities mentioned therein should be taxed at a single point, at the point of sale by the manufacturer or the importer, at the rate of six pies per rupee. The relevant entry of that notification is at item No. 4 which reads:

Yarn of all kinds, including handspun fibre used in weaving other than handspun yarn, but excluding cotton yarn in cops and cones. (ii) Notification No. ST-1365.X-990-1956 dated 1st April, 1960. It is also a notification under Section 3-A of the Act and the relevant entry is at item No. 33 which reads:

yarn of all kinds including upspun fibre used in weaving other than handspun yarn but excluding cotton yarn. (iii) Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956. This again is a notification under Section 3-A of the Act and the rate of tax is one anna per rupee. The Relevant entry is at item No. 46 which reads: Woollen goods excluding carpets but including knitting wool.

2. The assesse is engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of woolen carpet yarn or kati. There is no dispute about the quantum of the turnover. The dispute relates only to the rate of tax. The assessee's contention was that the carpet yarn or kati was an unclassified item not covered by any of the notifications referred to above and its turnover was therefore assessable uder Section 3 at multiple point at the rate of 2 per cent. The Sales Tax Officer, however, did not agree with this contention and held that the commodity in question was yarn and assessed its turnover at the rate of 6 pies per rupee for the assessment year 1959-60 and at the rate of 3 per cent, for the year 1961-62 as prescribed in notifications 1 and 2 referred to above.

3. On appeal it was contended on behalf of the department that either the notifications Nos. 1 and 2 applied or the notification No. 3 was applicable. The Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) however, did not accept this contention and held that none of the notifications applied and the turnover in dispute was assessable under Section 3 as being the turnover of an unclassified item. This finding of the Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) has been upheld by the Judge (Revisions). At the instance of the Commissioner, however, the Judge (Revisions) has submitted the two references for the opinion of this court on the following question of law:

Whether the article 'carpet woolen yarn' is covered by the term 'yarn' mentioned in item No. 4 of Notification No. ST-907/X dated 31st March, 1956, and item No. 33 of Notification No. ST-1365/X dated 1st April 1960, taxable as 6 pies and 3 pies per cent. respectively or a kind of woolen goods as mentioned at item No. 45 taxable at one anne per rupee according to Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956, or whether it is an unclassified item taxable at 2 per cent.

4. The first question that arises is as to whether the commodity in dispute is woolen yarn and, if so, whether it is covered by the notifications Nos. 1 and 2 referred to above. It would be noticed that there is no material difference for the purposes of the question referred in the notification Nos. 1 and 2 except the difference in the rate.

5. The term 'yarn' has not been defined in the Act. The Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) has quoted the meanings of this term as given various dictionaries as below:

Any textile fibre prepared for weaving into cloth: (Imperial Dictionary).

Any spun thread specially of kinds prepared for weaving, knitting or rope-making. (Oxford Dictionary).

Spun wool, woollen thread, the name is also given to other species of threads as of cotton, silk etc. Any textile fibre prepared for weaving into cloth.

In rope-making one of the threads of which a rope is composed. (Webster's Dictionary)

6. According to the dictionary meaning it is clear that yarn is a textile fibre which is produced by the spinning process. According to the finding recorded by the Assistant Commissioner (Judicial), the commodity in dispute, which we shall, for the sake of convenience, call 'woolen carpet yarn:. Is not produced as a result of any spinning process. He has based his finding upon the expert evidence produced by the assessed and also the affidavit filed by the assessed saying that in the production of the carpet woolen yarn sold by the assessed no spinning is involved. All that is done is that the woollen threads are straightened out and the strands of thread are slightly twisted. The assessee has also stated in its affidavit that it has no mules or spinning ring frames and therefore the product does not go through the final state of spinning which is essential to the making of the yarn. The other finding recorded by the Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) and confirmed by the Judge (Revisions) is that the woolen carpet yarn is not used for weaving purposes in the manufacture of carpets. The process of carpet manufacture is that a base fabric is woven out of warp and weft threads and the pile-tufts are made out of the so-called carpet yarn that this process of attachment of the tufts is called knotting and not weaving. According to this finding, therefore, the woolen carpet yarn in dispute is neither produced through the process of spinning, nor is it used in weaving in the manufacture of carpets. It is an admitted position between the parties that the commodity in dispute is used exclusively in the manufacture of carpets. It has been contended on behalf of the assessee and this contention has found favour with the appellate and the revisional authorities the yarn contemplated by the notifications Nos. 1 and 2 is that kind of yarn which is used in weaving. If one looks at the notification No. 1, one finds that having regard to the three commas used in entry No. 4, the word 'weaving' qualifies only the phrase 'unspun fibre' and does not qualify the phrase 'yarn of all kinds'. According to the text of this entry the contention that weaving qualifies all kinds of yarn does not appear to be correct. But when one looks at the subsequent notification No. 2 of 1st April, 1960, the commas have been omitted so that, according to the text of that entry the word 'weaving' would qualify all kinds of yarn as well. Indeed there are subsequent entries also relating to yarn where commas have been omitted. It is possible, therefore, to say that the intention of the State Government was that the world 'weaving' should qualify not only the unspun fibre but also the term 'all kinds of yarn'. If that be so, even on the finding that the carpet woollen yarn in dispute is not employed in the process of weaving but only in konotting, the contention of the assessee would appear to be correct.

7. Apart from that we find that the carpet woolen yarn in question in fact would not be covered by the phrase unspun fibre used in weaving. In the Webseter's Dictionary one of the meanings of the world 'fibre' is 'any though substance composed of thread-like tissue whether of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin esp. that capable of being spun and woven; as wool or silk fibre, heamp or flax fibre, cellulose (rayon) fibre, asbestos or glass fibre.' Wool is definitely thread-like tissue of animal origin. This fibre when subjected to the process of spinning and twisting would produce yarn, but when tissues of such fibres are just put together by twisting, they would be unspun fibre. An unspun fibre would be covered by the notification only if it is used in weaving. There being a positive finding that carpet woolen yarn produced and sold by the assess is not used in weaving in the manufacture of carpets, it would be outside the entry. The Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) has also recorded a finding that the carpet yarn manufactured by the assessee is not capable of warp and weft and it is not fit for rope-making or knitting, and that it is only used for knotting. It has further been held that the yarn in question has very little tensile strength and for this reason it is not fit to be used in waving which requires a substance of high tensile strength to stand the strain weaving. He has remarked that he himself had examined the yarn manufactured by the assessee and found that it had very little tensile strength and that it could not be used for weaving or even for knitting.

8. One these findings we are clearly of the opinion that even if the commodity in question may be popularly known as yarn, in fact it is unspun fibre, and since this unspun fibre is not used in the process of weaving, it is not covered by the notifications Nos. 1 and 2 above.

9. The alternative contention of the department that the woolen carpet yarn in question should be taxed under notification No. 3 referred to above as 'woolen goods' need no detain us long. The words 'woolen goods', in our opinion, mean finished goods ant not the raw material form which the goods are prepared. There is a clear distinction between the raw material and the finished goods like iron and iron goods, cotton and cotton goods, wool and woolen goods. Woollen fibres in question can by no stretch so imagination be regarded as woolen goods.

10. In J.K. Cotton . V. Commissioner of Sales Tax, U.P., [1963] 14 S.T.C. 777 this court held that canvas cloth and canvas goods were two different things and such canvas cloths was not covered by the entry 'canvas goods'.

11. The learned counsel for the State, on the other hand, relied upon Bitish India Corporation Ltd. V. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors., [1962] 13 S.T.C. 459, Where a learned single Judge of this court held that woolen carpet yarn would be covered by the term 'woolen goods'. With respect we cannot subscribe to that view. Woollen yarn is only a raw material from which woolen goods are prepared. Raw material and the finished goods cannot be equated.

12. The argument of the learned counsel is that in the notification No. 3 above, knitting wool has also been included an therefore on that analogy we should hold that wooollen yarn should also be considered to be woolen goods. There is no force in this argument. Knitting wool has been specifically include in the entry knitting wool would not have been taxed at a higher rate applicable to woolen goods. It is for the State Government to decide as to which goods they would tax at what rates. Maybe that the State Government regarded the knitting wool also to be a class of woolen goods, because knitting wool is sold directly to the consumer. But the same cannot be said about the woolen carpet yarn firstly because it is not sold to the consumers and secondly because woolen carpet yarn is not specifically mentioned in that entry.

13. For all these reasons we would answer the question by saying that the carpet woollen yarn in question would not fall in any of the three entries mentioned in the notifications referred to above. It is an unclassified item and its turnover would be taxable at the rate of 2 per cent. under Section 3 of the Act.

14. As regards the special appeal, precisely the same question was mooted before a learned Single Judge of this court. Reliance was placed on behalf of the department on the case of Birth India Corporation, [1962] 13 S.T.C. 459, where it was held that woolen carpet yarn would be included in the entry 'woollen goods and knitting wool'. The learned Single Judge merely followed that ruling with observation that he was bound by the decision of another Single Judge. We have already observed that the decision in British India Corporation is not correct. We would, therefore, allow this special appeal.

15. In the end, the assessee is entitled to the costs of the two references which we assess at Rest. 100 in each case. The fee of the learned counsel in the references is assessed at Rs. 100 in each case. Similarly the assessee is entitled to the costs of the special appeal.


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