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Commissioner of Sales Tax Vs. Onkar Nath Jagdish Prasad - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case Number S.T.R. Nos. 241, 242 and 245 of 1980
Judge
Reported in[1981]48STC59(All)
AppellantCommissioner of Sales Tax
RespondentOnkar Nath Jagdish Prasad
Appellant Advocate The Standing Counsel
Respondent Advocate Bharatji Agarwal, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredAvadh Sugar Mills Ltd. v. Sales Tax Officer
Excerpt:
- - 9. at page 32 of the same book it has been said that, fish manure processed by drying non-edible fish or wastes from fish industry is a well-recognised balanced organic manure containing both nitrogen and phosphorus in significant quantities. 3470 of 1956. 11. in the result both these revisions fail and are dismissed......no. 3470/x dated 16th july, 1956.2. it was found by the assessing authority that the assessee had sold fish meal to the poultry development officer, delhi. from this he inferred that fish meal was poultry feed. before this in appeal the case had been remanded to the assessing authority to find out whether fish meal was fertiliser or poultry feed. the assessing authority did not make any effort and based its decision on the sale to the poultry development officer. this was not accepted by the appellate authority because fish meal sold by the assessee was purchased from the companies which manufactured fertiliser and their turnover had been held to be exempt. the revising authority upheld the finding because the department claimed to have filed a certificate from the deputy director, fish.....
Judgment:

R.M. Sahai, J.

1. By this revision the Commissioner of Sales Tax has challenged the correctness of the view taken by the Additional Judge (Revisions), Sales Tax, that fish meal is fertiliser other than chemical fertiliser and therefore exempt from payment of sales tax under Notification No. 3470/X dated 16th July, 1956.

2. It was found by the assessing authority that the assessee had sold fish meal to the Poultry Development Officer, Delhi. From this he inferred that fish meal was poultry feed. Before this in appeal the case had been remanded to the assessing authority to find out whether fish meal was fertiliser or poultry feed. The assessing authority did not make any effort and based its decision on the sale to the Poultry Development Officer. This was not accepted by the appellate authority because fish meal sold by the assessee was purchased from the companies which manufactured fertiliser and their turnover had been held to be exempt. The revising authority upheld the finding because the department claimed to have filed a certificate from the Deputy Director, Fish Meal, Agra, that fish meal was poultry feed but no such certificate was on record.

3. It was argued by the learned standing counsel that there was no finding by any of the authorities whether the commodity sold by the assessee was fish meal or riot. According to him mere describing it as fish meal could not make it fish meal unless it was proved by the assessee that it had the necessary ingredients which go to constitute fish meal. The argument is devoid of any merit. The assessee had claimed that it sold fish meal. The department did not dispute it nor asked the assessee whether the sale made by it was of anything else than fish meal. On the other hand it accepted it to be fish meal but held that as the sale was made to the Poultry Development Officer the fish meal sold by the assessee could not be held to be manure. It is therefore too late at this stage to challenge the finding or to argue that the matter should be sent back for investigation of this fact.

4. The learned standing counsel then relied on the Supreme Court decision in State of U.P. v. Indian Hume Pipe Co. Ltd. 1977 U.P.T.C. 289 (S.C.) and urged that for levying tax what had to be seen was the use or purpose for which a commodity was sold. According to him as fish meal was sold to the Poultry Officer it should be held that it was sold for being used as poultry feed. The argument again is devoid of any merit. The mere fact that it was sold to the District Poultry Officer did not necessarily mean that the sale was made for being used as poultry feed. Apart from it a commodity is capable of being put to more than one use (sic) the payment of tax depends on its popular or general meaning in commercial world. If fish meal is understood in the commercial circle as a commodity which is used for manure then it cannot be held to be otherwise only because some one used it as poultry feed.

5. Reliance was placed on Avadh Sugar Mills Ltd. v. Sales Tax Officer, Sitapur 1973 U.P.T.C. 679 (S.C.), where it was observed by the Supreme Court that in finding out the true meaning of oil-seeds in the sales tax law one need not refer to dictionary and as groundnut was mostly used for manufacture of groundnut oil it should be understood in that sense. In other words the Supreme Court accepted the common parlance meaning for levying tax rather than dictionary meaning of oil-seed.

6. What has to be considered therefore is what is the popular meaning and whether fish meal is usually understood as manure or poultry feed. In 'Handbook of Agriculture' published by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, manure and fertiliser have been described at page 119 and one of the fertilisers mentioned is fish manure. At page 123 fish manure has been described as under :

Fish manure is available either as dried fish or as fish meal or powder.

7. In 'Manures and Fertilizers' by K.S. Yawarlkar and J.P. Agarwal, fish manure has been described as under :

Fish meal is quick-acting organic manure and is suitable for application of all crops on all soils.

8. In 'Organic Manures' published by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, fish meal has been described at page 5,

as one of the meals group of manures. It is quick-acting manure suitable for all types of soil and for all crops.

9. At page 32 of the same book it has been said that,

fish manure processed by drying non-edible fish or wastes from fish industry is a well-recognised balanced organic manure containing both nitrogen and phosphorus in significant quantities.

10. These publications from the Government of India arid other authorities indicate that fish meal is understood as manure. Nothing has been brought to notice which may indicate that popular use of fish meal is that of poultry feed. By mere sale to the Poultry Officer the nature of commodity or its commercial and popular meaning could not change. It has also been seen that it is described as organic fertiliser. The revising authority therefore rightly held it to be covered in Notification No. 3470 of 1956.

11. In the result both these revisions fail and are dismissed. The question of law raised by the Commissioner of Sales Tax is decided by saying that fish meal is manure and is therefore exempt from payment of sales tax.


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