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Commissioner of Sales Tax Vs. Madan Sons - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.T.R. No. 424 of 1976
Judge
Reported in[1979]43STC207(All)
AppellantCommissioner of Sales Tax
RespondentMadan Sons
Advocates: The Standing Counsel
Excerpt:
- - according to oxford english dictionary, the word 'arm' means '(1) defensive and offensive outfit for war; like a sword which is used as a cutting or stabbing instrument, khukri also serves the same purpose......the category of 'arms', indicates to the contrary. this is so because it specifically excludes khukris from the catagory of 'arms', which would not have been necessary in case khukris did not fall within the category of items comprised in the word 'arms'.7. the question is answered by saying that khukris are covered by the notification of 1st june, 1963. as none has appeared on behalf of the assessee, there shal be no order as to costs.
Judgment:

C.S.P. Singh, J.

1. The revising authority has referred the following question for opinion of this Court:

Whether, on the facts and circumstances of the case, khukri can be deemed to be covered by the notification dated 1st June, 1963 ?

2. The assessee manufactures and sells khukri. In the assessment year 1967-68 relevant to this reference, the assessee claimed that khukri did not fall within the purview of Notification No. ST-1738/X-1012-1963 dated 1st June, 1963, of which item No. 1 was to the following effect:

All arms including rifles, revolvers, pistols and ammunition for the same.

3. The Sales Tax Officer rejected the assessee's contention and taxed the turnover of khukri at the rate of 10 per cent treating them to be arms. The appeal filed by the assessee succeeded and the revision filed by the Commissioner of Sales Tax was dismissed.

4. The entry has already been extracted. The words 'including rifles, etc.' indicate that the various items specified after the word 'including' do not exhaust the category of items, which are comprised in arms.

5. The word 'arm' is not a term of art and has to be understood in its popular sense. According to Oxford English Dictionary, the word 'arm' means '(1) Defensive and offensive outfit for war; things used in fighting; (2) instrument of offence used in war, weapons.' The phrase 'in arms', according to this dictionary, means 'armed ; furnished with weapons, sword in hand, prepared to fight'. The dictionary meaning indicates that every weapon would be 'an arm' and that 'swords' are arms. Like a sword which is used as a cutting or stabbing instrument, khukri also serves the same purpose. They would also answer the description of a weapon which, according to Concise Oxford Dictionary, means 'material thing designed or used or usable as an instrument for inflicting bodily harm, e.g., gun, bomb, rifle, sword, spear....

6. The Judge (Revisions) has referred to the amendment effected in this item of the notificaiton on 15th November, 1971, by which khukris were excluded from the category of arms. Assuming that he was justified in law in referring to the amendment for the purposes of interpreting the notification, as it stood in its unamended form, the amendment, instead of indicating that khukris did not come within the category of 'arms', indicates to the contrary. This is so because it specifically excludes khukris from the catagory of 'arms', which would not have been necessary in case khukris did not fall within the category of items comprised in the word 'arms'.

7. The question is answered by saying that khukris are covered by the notification of 1st June, 1963. As none has appeared on behalf of the assessee, there shal be no order as to costs.


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