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U.P. Government Central Dairy Farm Vs. Commissioner of Sales Tax - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSales Tax Revision Nos. 497, 498 and 499 of 1981
Judge
Reported in[1985]59STC45(All)
AppellantU.P. Government Central Dairy Farm
RespondentCommissioner of Sales Tax
Appellant AdvocateBharatji Agrawal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....any more packing. he stresses the point that the tribunal failed to appreciate that wooden boxes and the tin containers are used by the assessee only to ensure safe transportation of the goods and that the packets of perk are not sold in any container, much less, sealed container to the consumers by the dealers. the submission of sri bharatji, that the wooden boxes and the tin containers, in which the products are kept, are used merely for safe transportation and not for sale, has no force......a question whether perk and butter having been sold by the assessee, amounted to product sold in a sealed container within the meaning of entry 10 of the notification dated 10th may, 1956. the dairy farm of the assessee is situated at aligarh and the assessee transports its products out of aligarh within the state and outside the state, for sale to the dealers, located within the state and outside the state. also, the assessee has branches at several places and the products are sent there for sale. there is no dispute in these revisions, regarding the products having been sold in the branch offices, as the question relating to the sales having been made in branch offices, has already been remanded by the a.c. (judicial) and that remand order has been confirmed by the tribunal. the case.....
Judgment:

Om Prakash, J.

1. These are three revisions by the assessee, a Government undertaking, engaged in the manufacture of dairy products, i. e., ghee, butter, perk, etc., relating to the assessment year 1971-72 and the two periods of the assessment year 1975-76; first commencing from 1st April, 1975 to 14th May, 1975 and the second commencing from 15th May, 1975 to 31st March, 1976 against a consolidated order of the Tribunal dated 30th September, 1981. Involving a common question, all the three revisions are consolidated and are disposed of by a combined order.

2. Several grounds have been raised in these revisions, but before me, Sri Bharatji, learned counsel for the assessee, has pressed only those grounds that raised a question whether perk and butter having been sold by the assessee, amounted to product sold in a sealed container within the meaning of entry 10 of the notification dated 10th May, 1956. The dairy farm of the assessee is situated at Aligarh and the assessee transports its products out of Aligarh within the State and outside the State, for sale to the dealers, located within the State and outside the State. Also, the assessee has branches at several places and the products are sent there for sale. There is no dispute in these revisions, regarding the products having been sold in the branch offices, as the question relating to the sales having been made in branch offices, has already been remanded by the A.C. (Judicial) and that remand order has been confirmed by the Tribunal. The case of the assessee is that the sale of perk does not amount to a sale in sealed containers and therefore, the exemption is available to the assessee under the notification dated 10th May, 1956. Sri Bharatji submits that when the dealers place their orders with the assesse, then the perk is packed in butter/rice paper in different sizes and the products are kept in a tin container, the lid of which is closed without soldering and sealing, the tin containers are tied up by a string, then the tin containers are placed in the wooden boxes, which are nailed and then tied up by iron strips. He submits that wooden boxes and tin containers are used only to ensure safe transportation. The important argument of Sri Bharatji is that the wooden boxes and the tin containers, in which the products are transported' to various dealers, are used only for safe transportation and packets of perk and butter are ultimately sealed, wrapped with butter/rice papers and without any more packing. On these facts, Sri Bharatji says that the product is not sold in sealed containers, but loosely merely wrapped in butter/rice papers. What he says is that the product could be said to have been sold in sealed containers, had it been sold directly to the consumers in sealed containers. He stresses the point that the Tribunal failed to appreciate that wooden boxes and the tin containers are used by the assessee only to ensure safe transportation of the goods and that the packets of perk are not sold in any container, much less, sealed container to the consumers by the dealers. On the other hand, the contention of the learned Standing Counsel is that it is immaterial to see whether the product is sold in sealed container or otherwise to the consumers, but what is relevant is that the assessee effects its sale to the various dealers in sealed containers. It is argued that the contract of sale is completed between the assessee and the various dealers, to whom the goods are sold after keeping them in tin containers and then in wooden boxes, which are tied up by iron strips. The contention of the Revenue, therefore, is that the products of the assessee amounted to sales in sealed containers and therefore, they are excluded from the exemption.

3. I have heard rival submissions of the parties at length, perused the entire record and the case law cited in this regard. It appears that the question arising for considering in these revisions is not res Integra and that has already come up for consideration before the Honourable Supreme Court in the case of Commissioner of Sales Tax v. G.G. Industries [1968] 21 STC 63 (SC) and in the case of Martand Dairy and Farm v. Union of India [1975] 35 STC 629 (SC). In the former case, confectionery was sold in packing of tin and cardboard, which was closed by the use of cellophane paper to protect the contents from being affected by atmospheric conditions. It was contended by the assessee that merely wrapping the cardboard packages by paper, does not make them sealed containers. The Honourable Supreme Court rejected the contention of the asses-see. Reliance was placed on the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, in which the word 'sealed' was defined, meaning as a container, which is so closed that access to the contents is impossible without breaking the fastening. Relying on the aforesaid dictionary meaning, the Supreme Court held that cardboard containing confectionery items, wrapped in paper or other covering without being sealed by wax, 'was covered by the expression 'sealed container'. The facts of this authority squarely apply to the instant cases and I, therefore, hold that the pack having been sold by the assessee in tin containers, which were further packed in the wooden boxes, amounted to sale in sealed containers. The submission of Sri Bharatji, that the wooden boxes and the tin containers, in which the products are kept, are used merely for safe transportation and not for sale, has no force. The assessee sold the products to the various dealers in and outside the State and to them the goods were sent in tin and wooden containers, which were nailed and fastened by iron strips. The container was so closed that access to the contents is impossible without breaking the fastening and therefore, the sale amounted to sales in sealed container. The authorities below rightly held that it is not germane, in these cases, to see how the product was ultimately sold by the various dealers, but the important question was how the goods were sold by the assessee to the various dealers.

4. No other ground having been pressed before me, these three revisions are dismissed. The parties will bear their own costs.


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