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Commissioner of Sales Tax Vs. Harkut Udyog - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case Number Sales Tax Revision Nos. 58 and 59 of 1983
Judge
Reported in[1985]58STC334(All)
AppellantCommissioner of Sales Tax
RespondentHarkut Udyog
Appellant Advocate The Standing Counsel
Respondent Advocate Rajesh Kumar, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
- - it is like a platform, in which the glaxo laboratories ltd. it is correct that the items of furniture are not kept only in the houses, but in offices and business places as well and everywhere the items, which are of convenience and which have an element of decoration or ornament, can be said to be the items of furniture. the shelves or racks either in the business places or in the offices, are the items not only of utility or convenience, but they add to the beauty of an office or a business place, wherever they are used for keeping or storing the things in well arranged manner......a common question, are disposed of together by a common order.2. the assessing officer treated the iron pallets manufactured and supplied by the assessee as furniture, holding them as iron crates. the assistant commissioner (judicial) concurred with the assessing officer that the item manufactured by the assessee amounted to furniture. on further appeal by the assessee, the tribunal accepted the assessee's contention that the iron pallets manufactured by the assessee do not come in the category of furniture, and therefore, they are not liable to tax at a rate applicable to furniture. the definition of the word 'furniture' has not been given in the sales tax act, 1948 and therefore, the popular and dictionary meaning have to be seen in this regard.3. the word 'furniture' is defined in the.....
Judgment:

Om Prakash, J.

1. Raising a common question : whether steel pallets manufactured and supplied by the assessee to Glaxo Laboratories India Ltd. amounts to furniture, these revisions are filed by the Revenue for the assessment years 1978-79 and 1979-80 against the consolidated order of the Tribunal dated 11th October, 1982. Both the revisions involving a common question, are disposed of together by a common order.

2. The assessing officer treated the iron pallets manufactured and supplied by the assessee as furniture, holding them as iron crates. The Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) concurred with the assessing officer that the item manufactured by the assessee amounted to furniture. On further appeal by the assessee, the Tribunal accepted the assessee's contention that the iron pallets manufactured by the assessee do not come in the category of furniture, and therefore, they are not liable to tax at a rate applicable to furniture. The definition of the word 'furniture' has not been given in the Sales Tax Act, 1948 and therefore, the popular and dictionary meaning have to be seen in this regard.

3. The word 'furniture' is defined in the Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, meaning as movables, either for use or ornament, with which a house is equipped; the necessary appliances in some arts : accessories : metal fittings for doors and windows. From this definition, it is clear that the items which are put in the houses or elsewhere either for use or for ornamental purposes, are called as furniture. The Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) relied on the decisions: Simpson and Co. Ltd. v. State of Madras [1969] 23 STC 379 and Chandan Metal Products Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Gujarat [1969] 23 STC 29 in which the Honourable Madras and Gujarat High Courts respectively laid down that all items of convenience either in the house, in offices or in business places come within the ambit of furniture. The Madras High Court has held a garage stool as a furniture and the Gujarat High Court has held a shelving rack and binstak as furniture. Relying on these authorities, the Revenue contends that the iron pallets in the instant revisions, are the items of furniture. Iron pallets are made of iron angles and its height is only 4 inches. It is like a platform, in which the Glaxo Laboratories Ltd. stack the sugar bags, wheat flour bags, etc. The iron pallets are used to prevent the sugar bags and wheat flour bags from being affected by moisture. It is, therefore, argued by the Revenue that the iron pallets are used for the sake of convenience, and therefore, they are covered within the ambit of furniture. In my opinion, the Assistant Commissioner (Judicial) has committed an error in coming to the conclusion that the iron pallets are the items of furniture. No doubt, the iron pallets are the items of utility, because they are used to prevent the sugar bags and wheat flour bags from being affected by moisture. The question is whether an item merely of utility is an item of furniture. From the definition given in the Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, it is amply clear that the items with which the house is equipped should not only be items of utility or convenience, but they should have an element of decoration or art also. It is correct that the items of furniture are not kept only in the houses, but in offices and business places as well and everywhere the items, which are of convenience and which have an element of decoration or ornament, can be said to be the items of furniture. The iron pallets, which are used for stacking sugar and wheat bags and which are hardly visible, are merely the items of utility and therefore, they cannot be characterised as items of furniture. The shelves or racks either in the business places or in the offices, are the items not only of utility or convenience, but they add to the beauty of an office or a business place, wherever they are used for keeping or storing the things in well arranged manner. So an item, which is used for convenience and which has an element of decoration, art or ornament, can be said to be the item of furniture.

4. For these reasons, I hold that the Tribunal rightly accepted the appeal of the assessee.

5. In the result, the revisions are dismissed. The parties will bear their own costs.


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