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Commissioner of Sales Tax Vs. Sharda Electric Battery Works - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.T.R. No. 140 of 1975
Judge
Reported in[1979]43STC371(All)
AppellantCommissioner of Sales Tax
RespondentSharda Electric Battery Works
Appellant Advocate The Standing Counsel
Respondent Advocate B.D. Mandhyan, Adv.
Cases ReferredIn Bajoria Halwasiya Service Station v. State of Uttar Pradesh
Excerpt:
- .....of this court :whether the turnover of motor batteries was within the purview of the entry 'spare parts of motor vehicles' within the meaning of notification dated 1st october, 1958?2. only such facts as are necessary for answering the question referred need be stated. the assessee manufactured and sold motor batteries and their parts in the year 1966-67. a dispute arose as to the rate of tax exigible on the sale of batteries. the judge (revisions), following the case of jupiter battery works, varanasi v. commissioner of sales tax 1972 u.p.t.c. 224, held that the appropriate rate applicable to the sale of batteries was six pies per rupee. by notification no. st-905/x dated 31st march, 1956, the governor of uttar pradesh in exercise of the powers under section 3-a of the act.....
Judgment:

C.S.P. Singh, J.

1. In pursuance of the direction issued by this Court, the Revising Authority, Varanasi, has referred the following question of law for the opinion of this Court :

Whether the turnover of motor batteries was within the purview of the entry 'spare parts of motor vehicles' within the meaning of notification dated 1st October, 1958?

2. Only such facts as are necessary for answering the question referred need be stated. The assessee manufactured and sold motor batteries and their parts in the year 1966-67. A dispute arose as to the rate of tax exigible on the sale of batteries. The Judge (Revisions), following the case of Jupiter Battery Works, Varanasi v. Commissioner of Sales Tax 1972 U.P.T.C. 224, held that the appropriate rate applicable to the sale of batteries was six pies per rupee. By Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh in exercise of the powers under Section 3-A of the Act directed that certain goods set out in the notification which were manufactured in Uttar Pradesh would be taxed at the rate of one anna per rupee at the point of sale by the manufacturer. Item No. 24 of this notification read as under:

24. Motor vehicles, including motor cars, motor taxi-cabs, motor cycles and motor cycle combinations, motor scooters, motorettes, motor ominibuses, motor vans and motor lorries.

Chassis of motor vehicles.

Component parts of motor vehicles. Articles (including batteries) adapted for use as parts and accessories of motor vehicles, not being such articles as are ordinarily also used for other purposes than as parts or accessories of motor vehicles.

3. By Notification No. ST-3503/X dated 10th May, 1956, an amendment and modification was made of Notification No. ST-905/X dated 31st March, 1956, in respect of certain commodities. The modification was as to the rate of tax enhanced from 0-1-0 anna per rupee to 0-0-6 pies per rupee. Item No. 3 of the notification dated 10th May, 1956, was a verbatim reproduction of item No. 24 of the notification of 31st March, 1956. On 1st October, 1958, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh issued another notification under Section 3-A of the Act being Notification No. ST-3687/X. This notification modified all the previous notifications on the subject to the extent that they were repugnant to the notification. Items Nos. 9 and 10 of this notification are relevant for our purposes. It was to the following effect:

9. Motor cycles and cycle combinations, motor scooters, motorettes and tyres, tubes and spare parts of motor cycles, motor scooters and motorettes.

10. Motor vehicles including chassis of motor vehicles, motor tyres and tubes, and spare parts of motor vehicles.

4. The result of the notification of 1st October, 1958, was that goods mentioned at items Nos. 9 and 10 became subject to tax at the rate of 7 naye paise and any other notification in respect of these items stood superseded. Counsel for the assessee contended that the notification of 1st October, 1958, superseded the notification of 31st March, 1956, only as respects those items, which were mentioned therein, and articles which were not dealt with by the notification of 1st October, 1958, were still governed by the earlier notification of 31st March, 1956. It is not possible to accept this contention for reasons stated hereinafter.

5. The notification of 1st October, 1958, has overriding effect, as goods dealt by the notification cease to be governed by any earlier notification. Thus item No. 24 of the notification of 31st March, 1956, will stand obliterated as respects commodities covered by items Nos. 9 and 10 of the notification of 1st October, 1958. Once these commodities are deleted, item No. 24 of the notification of 31st March, 1956, will read as under :

Articles (including batteries) adapted for use...and accessories of motor vehicles, not being such articles as are ordinarily also used for other purposes than as parts or accessories of motor vehicles.

6. This is so because the entries relating to motor vehicles, chassis of motor vehicles, and component parts of motor vehicles in item No. 24, are covered by items Nos. 9 and 10 of the notification of 1st October, 1958. It is plain that, once this deletion is effected, item No. 24 of the notification of 31st March, 1956, became unintelligible and ineffective. The words 'Articles (including batteries)' cannot stand in isolation. Entry No. 24 of the notification of 31st March, 1956, is a composite entry and does not survive the truncation effected by. entries Nos. 9 and 10 of the notification of 1st October, 1958. The notification of 10th May, 1956, suffers the same fate, as it is identical in terms with the earlier notification. As the notification of 1st October, 1958, has taken over the main field in which item No. 24 of the notification of 31st March, 1956, operated, the incidental part of that notification stands impliedly repealed.

7. It has now become necessary to consider as to whether batteries are spare parts of motor vehicles. The Judge (Revisions), Sales Tax, has, following the decision in the case of Jupiter Battery Works, Varanasi v. Commissioner of Sales Tax 1972 U.P.T.C. 224, imposed tax at the rate of 0-0-6 pies per rupee. The decision in Jupiter Battery's case 1972 U.P.T.C. 224 is no longer appropriate for the assessment year in question, as the notifications of 31st March, 1956, and 10th May, 1956, do not survive, and that decision was based upon these notifications which had the words 'including batteries' in the relevant entries. The decision of the revising authority based on the old entries does not appear to be correct.

8. The question then is as to whether the turnover of motor batteries was taxable as spare parts of motor vehicles. The contents of the words 'spare parts' have been the subject-matter of a number of decisions of various High Courts including one of ours. The Bombay High Court in the case of Commissioner of Sales Tax v. Amar Radio Cabinet Works [1968] 22 S.T.C. 63, where the question was as to whether radio cabinets and loudspeaker cabinets were spare parts, has held that spare parts connotes a part which requires replacement in the ordinary course, on account of wear and tear, and as an extra item for use in an emergency. Radio cabinets were held not to fall within the expression 'spare parts'. The Gujarat High Court in the case of State of Gujarat v. B. G. Batwara & Co. [1968] 22 S.T.C. 202 considered the question with reference to old tyres used in bullock-carts. They followed the principles laid down in an earlier decision of that very court in the case of Vithal Chhagan and Sons v. State of Gujarat [1966] 17 S.T.C. 96, which was to the following effect:

A spare part would, therefore, mean any integral part of an article which is carried, held, or kept in reserve for future use or to supply in emergency or which is an addition or extra.... It is implicit in this meaning that the part in question must be a part which is severable and capable of being substituted or replaced by another, for otherwise there would be no point in having an additional or extra part or carrying, holding, or keeping such part in reserve for future use or to supply in emergency,

and held that old tyres for bullock-carts were spare parts of bullock-carts. In Bajoria Halwasiya Service Station v. State of Uttar Pradesh [1970] 26 S.T.C. 108, a question arose whether bus bodies were spare parts of motor vehicles. Gulati, J., who spoke for the court, put the test to be applied pithily, when he observed that, in the popular sense, the term 'spare part', when used with reference to motor vehicles, is a duplicate part of motor vehicles kept in readiness to replace loss, breakage, etc. Motor batteries are not normally kept as an extra to replace an existing battery. In fact keeping an extra battery would ,be an useless surplusage, as in due course of time there will be diminution in its voltage and it cannot be utilised in the case of loss or breakdown of the existing battery. Motor batteries are thus not a spare part of a motor vehicle.

9. Question referred is answered by saying that motor batteries are not spare parts of motor vehicles. There shall be no order as to costs.


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