K.N. Seth, J.
1. At the instance of the Commissioner, Sales Tax, the Additional Revising Authority, Sales Tax, Allahabad, has referred the following question of law for the opinion of this court :
Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the assessee could be deemed to be dealer as defined by the U. P. Sales Tax Act, in relation to the transaction of its farmer-members ?
2. The assessee is a co-operative society registered under the U. P. Cooperative Societies Act. The society has some cultivators as its members who bring their produce to the premises of the society for sale which are purchased by outside purchasers as well as certain dealers holding licences. On the completion of the transaction the society issues parcha kashtakar to the cultivators and parcha tewal to the purchasers and they are entered in the register maintained by the society. The goods are delivered to the purchasers on payment of price to the cultivators and the society realises its commission. In case the price is not immediately paid by the purchasers, the society itself pays the price to the cultivators and the goods are retained by it till the price is received from the purchasers. In some cases the purchasers are allowed to take away the goods and the price is paid to the society later. The society receives commission and palledari, etc., for the services rendered by it.
3. It was contended on behalf of the department that the activities of the society constitute selling agency work and the transactions amount to sale making the society a 'dealer' within the meaning of the U.P. Sales Tax Act. Under the U. P. Sales Tax Act 'dealer' means 'any person or association of persons carrying on the business of buying or selling goods in Uttar Pradesh whether for commission, remuneration or otherwise and includes any firm or Hindu joint family and any society, club or association, which sells goods to its members and also includes any department of the State Government or the Central Government which carries on such business and any undertaking engaged in the generation or distribution of electrical energy or any other form, of power.' The explanation I reads :
A factor, a broker, a commission agent or arhti, a del credere agent, an auctioneer, or any other mercantile agent by whatever name called, and whether of the same description as hereinbefore mentioned or not, who carries on the business of buying or selling goods on behalf of his principals or through whom the goods are sold or purchased shall be deemed to be a dealer for the purposes of this Act.
4. The activities of the society indicate that it has got authority to conclude the bargain on behalf of the seller. Even if the society may not have any dominion over the goods and may not be a selling agent with authority to sell in the strict sense of the term, it acts as an agent through whom the sale is effected. The activity of the society brings it within the definition of 'dealer'.
5. A similar question arose in the case of Co-operative Marketing Society v. Commissioner of Sales Tax, U.P. 1972 U.P.T.C. 86. A Bench of this Court ruled that where the assessee sells the goods of agriculturists-members on the strength of the authority given to it by the principal to conclude the bargain on his behalf, the assessee is a dealer.
6. Our answer to the question referred to us is, therefore, in the affirmative, in favour of the department and against the assessee. The Commissioner, Sales Tax; is entitled to his costs which we assess at Rs. 100.