Skip to content


Commissioner, Sales Tax Vs. Ashoka Dairy - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSales Tax Revision No. 56 of 1982
Judge
Reported in[1983]53STC231(All)
AppellantCommissioner, Sales Tax
RespondentAshoka Dairy
Appellant AdvocateStanding Counsel
Respondent AdvocateJ.C. Bhardwaj, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredDilworth v. Commissioner of Stamps
Excerpt:
.....by the learned counsel for the assessee is a division bench case of this court in the case of commissioner of sales tax,..........of butter, he could not be taxed again on the sales of ghee by him because it is argued that ghee includes butter as defined in the notification.19. the department, on the other hand, contends that ghee and butter are different commodities and the word 'including' is capable of many meanings. in some cases, it may be the word of extension, in other cases it may be the word of limitation. it can also be equivalent to 'mean and include'.20. in the case of dilworth v. commissioner of stamps [1899] ac 99, it was observed that:but the word 'include' is susceptible of another construction, which may become imperative, if the context of the act is sufficient to show that it was not merely employed for the purpose of adding to the natural significance of the words or expressions defined......
Judgment:

B.N. Sapru, J.

1. This is a revision by the Commissioner of Sales Tax and pertains to the year 1975-76.

2. The assessee has a dairy and he purchases butter from the villagers, converts it into ghee and sells it as ghee. The dispute in the present case is regarding the taxability of ghee sold by the assessee.

3. The Tribunal held that the sales of ghee by the assessee are not taxable within the meaning of Notification No. ST-II-4944/X-10(2)-74 dated 30th May, 1975. The assessee was held liable to pay tax on his first purchase of butter.

4. The Commissioner of Sales Tax is aggrieved and has filed this revision.

5. The department seeks to tax the assessee under the provisions of Section 3-D(2) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act. The assessee has to pay purchase tax on his purchases of butter under Section 3-D(1)(b).

6. It is well-known that ghee and butter are different commercial commodities though they are produced from milk. In the case of Commissioner of Commercial Taxes in Mysore, Bangalore v. Samant Brothers [1962] 13 STC 485, a Division Bench of the Mysore High Court held as follows :

In my opinion, it is not correct to say that if a person buys butter and sells the ghee produced from it, what is sold by him is what he purchased. The words 'ghee' and 'butter' as ordinarily understood by those who use them are different substances and in commercial usage they are regarded as different classes of goods. The purposes for which the one is used are not the same as the purposes for which the other is employed. If, therefore, what the assessee purchased was butter and what he sold was ghee, what he sold was not the same as what he purchased, notwithstanding the fact that what he sold was what he produced by merely melting what he purchased.

7. In that case, the interpretation of Section 10 of the Bombay Sales Tax Act was involved. The goods were described as 'milk products including butter, ghee, chhena and khoa (except sweetmeats and excepting butter-milk and curds declared as tax-free under entry 4 of Schedule A)' and thereafter the rate of tax was prescribed. The assessee purchased butter from unregistered dealers and since the butter was a milk product, the assessee was liable to pay purchase tax on the purchases of butter made by him. The assessee thereafter converted the butter into ghee and sold it. His contention was that since he had paid purchase tax on the purchases of butter made by him and since what he sold was ghee which was a milk product, he. was not liable to pay sales tax on ghee. This contention was repelled by the Mysore High Court.

8. In the case of G. Baliah Setty, B. Satyanarayana & Co. v. State of Andhra Pradesh [1962] 13 STC 726 the petitioners were exporting ghee to persons outside the State and had purchased ghee from the dealers who purchased the butter and converted it into ghee. The petitioners being the last purchasers in the State were taxed. The petitioners contended that their vendors had already paid tax on their purchase turnover relating to butter, and therefore, the ghee purchased by them could not be assessed to tax as it amounted to double taxation. It was contended that the butter and ghee were the same commodity and that the ghee is only clarified butter by some heating. This contention was rejected and it was held that there was no double taxation as butter and ghee were different commodities.

9. The description given in Notification No. ST-II-4944/X-10(2)-74 dated 30th May, 1975, is as follows :

Ghee including butter, cheese and cream other than butter, cheese or cream sold in sealed or tinned containers.

10. The rate of tax prescribed is 3 per cent.

11. Before going into the controversy before this Court, it is necessary to briefly mention that up to 9th May, 1956, ghee was exempt under Section 4 of the U.P. Sales Tax Act and it became taxable for the first time with effect from 10th May, 1956, under Notification No. ST-3506/X dated 10th May, 1956. By this notification, entry 10 relating to milk and milk products in List II was substituted with the following entry :

Milk and milk products such as chhena, dahi, khoa, butter and cream but excluding (1) products sold in sealed containers, (2) sweetmeats, and (3) ghee; and it became liable to multi-point sales tax.

12. Subsequently, by Notification No. ST-775/X-900(16) 1964 dated 16th February, 1965, an amendment was made in item 10 of List II relating to exemption and now the entry reads as follows :

Milk and milk products but excluding (1) products sold in sealed containers, (2) sweetmeats, (3) ghee and (4) butter and cream.

13. The net result was that the butter and cream were made liable to sales tax at one point at 1 per cent.

14. Another modification was made in the list of exemption by Notification No. ST-II-6625/X-1012-1972 dated 1st December, 1973, and now entry 10 reads as follows:

Milk and milk products but excluding (1) products sold in sealed containers, (2) sweetmeats, (3) ghee and (4) butter, cream and cheese.

15. Thus, cheese also became liable to sales tax.

16. Thereafter came the notification which we have to consider now.

17. The notifications referred to above indicate that over the course of time first ghee, then butter and cream and then cheese were made liable to tax. Under the impugned notification, the turnover of first purchase of goods mentioned in the list was made liable to tax under Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 3-D of the Act at the rate mentioned against each. In the description of the goods, we find ghee including butter, cheese and cream other than butter, cheese or cream sold in sealed or tinned containers and the rate of tax prescribed is 3 per cent. The first purchase of butter, therefore, clearly attracts tax at 3 per cent.

18. The contention of the assessee which has been accepted, is that when the assessee has paid tax on his first purchase of butter, he could not be taxed again on the sales of ghee by him because it is argued that ghee includes butter as defined in the notification.

19. The department, on the other hand, contends that ghee and butter are different commodities and the word 'including' is capable of many meanings. In some cases, it may be the word of extension, in other cases it may be the word of limitation. It can also be equivalent to 'mean and include'.

20. In the case of Dilworth v. Commissioner of Stamps [1899] AC 99, it was observed that:

But the word 'include' is susceptible of another construction, which may become imperative, if the context of the Act is sufficient to show that it was not merely employed for the purpose of adding to the natural significance of the words or expressions defined. It may be equivalent to 'mean and include' and, in that case, it may afford an exhaustive explanation of the meaning which, for the purposes of the Act, must invariably be attached to these words or expressions.

21. In the case of South Gujarat Roofing Tiles Manufacturers Association v. State of Gujarat [1976] 4 SCC 601 the question involved was the construction to be placed on entry 22 of Part I of the Schedule to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, added by Gujarat Government notification dated 27th March, 1967, containing the words 'employment in potteries industry'. Then followed the explanation which runs as under :

Explanation.-For the purpose of this entry potteries industry includes the manufacture of the following articles of pottery, namely :-

(a) Crockery

(b) Sanitary appliances and fittings

(c) Refractories

(d) Jars

(e) Electrical accessories

(f) Hospitalware

(g) Textile accessories

(h) Toys

(i) Glazed tiles.

22. It was held in the context in which the explanation was framed that the word 'include' had been used in the sense 'mean' and it was further held that the manufacturer of Mangalore pattern roofing tiles was outside the purview of entry 22.

23. In Hindustan Aluminium Corporation Ltd. v. State of U.P . AIR 1981 SC 1649, the question was whether the aluminium rolled products and extrusions could be described as 'metal' for the purposes of the notifications dated 1st December, 1973, and 30th May, 1975, issued under the U.P. Sales Tax Act. The relevant entry runs as follows :

1. All kinds of minerals, ores, metals, and alloys including sheets and circles used in the manufacture of brasswares and scraps containing only any of the metals, copper, tin, zinc, or nickel except those included in any other notification issued under the Act.

24. The Supreme Court held that:

But here the expression 'including' does not enlarge the meaning of the word 'metal' and must be understood in a conjunctive sense, as a substitute for 'and'. This is the reasonable and proper construction having regard to the scheme followed in the framing of those notifications.

25. The scheme followed in reference to the taxability of milk products to the extent relevant has been mentioned earlier. Thus, the decision of the Supreme Court is an authority for the proposition that while interpreting a particular notification, the scheme of taxation followed earlier may be taken into consideration. If we read the word 'including' in the notification as 'and', no difficulty in interpreting the notification will arise. The description of the goods would, thus, run as follows :

Ghee and butter, cheese and cream other than butter, cheese or cream sold in sealed or tinned containers.

26. I may briefly refer to the decisions referred to by the learned counsel for the assessee.

27. In the case of Commissioner of Income-tax, Andhra Pradesh v. Taj Mahal Hotel, Secunderabad AIR 1972 SC 168, the word 'plant' was given an extended meaning by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held that the word 'includes' is often used in interpretation clauses with an object to enlarge the meaning of the words or phrases occurring in the body of the statute. When it is so used, these words and phrases must be construed as comprehending not only such things as they signify according to their nature and import but also those things which the interpretation clause declares that they shall include. The word 'include' is also susceptible of other constructions which it is unnecessary to go into.

28. The learned counsel has urged that on the basis of this authority the word 'ghee' must be held to include the word 'butter'. However, while construing this notification, I am unable to accept this part of the argument of the learned counsel.

29. In the case of S.M. James v. Dr. Abdul Khair AIR 1961 Pat 242, it was held that the expression 'including' is very generally used in interpretation clauses in order to enlarge the meaning of words or phrases occurring in the body of the statute and when it is so used, these words or phrases must be construed as comprehending not only such things as they signify according to their natural import, but also those things which the interpretation clause declares that they shall include. The word 'including', therefore, is a term of extension. It was held that it imported addition and added to the subject-matter already comprised in the definition.

30. Again, as noticed earlier, the word 'include' is a word which can be used in many senses and I am unable to accept the learned counsel's argument that in the context the word 'ghee' will include 'butter' also.

31. Another decision is in the case of Minerva Printing Works v. State of Bihar [1973] 32 STC 258. Item 2 of the schedule to the Notification No. STGL (MPT) PT2/59-11687 F.T. dated 27th August, 1959, read as follows :

Paper including all kinds of paste-board, mill-board, straw-board, cardboard, blotting paper, newsprint, cartridge paper, packing paper, paper bags, cartons, cards and blank registers, note-books, exercise books, envelopes, labels, letter pads, writing tablets and flat files made out of paper.

32. The question for consideration before the court was whether the assessee was liable to special sales tax on the sale of blank registers, exercise books, letter-pads, labels, loose printed forms, envelopes, cards and flat files, which it had prepared from the papers purchased by it from the dealer; in other words, whether these articles were different within the meaning of the notification attracting the incidence of taxation at the point of sale by the manufacturer, namely, the assessee. The High Court held that in view of the fact that the paper included all types of paper mentioned therein, the assessee was not liable to pay sales tax.

33. Here the word 'include' has been really read as 'means and includes' and I am in respectful agreement with the view of the Patna High Court as far as the interpretation of the notification is concerned but I do not find it possible to accept the argument of the learned counsel for the assessee that the entry in the notification under consideration should be read in the like manner.

34. The case on which very strong reliance is placed by the learned counsel for the assessee is a Division Bench case of this Court in the case of Commissioner of Sales Tax, U.P. v. Chawla Stores, Allahabad 1976 UPTC 337. The High Court held that perfumed hair-oil was a cosmetic and toilet requisite and taxable as such under Notification No. ST-7094/X-1012-1965 dated 1st October, 1965. I do not see how this case on which incidentally the learned standing counsel also placed reliance would help either of the parties. It was observed by the Bench as under :

Keeping the classification in view, it would be more appropriate to treat perfumed hair-oil as cosmetic and toilet requisite. It is an item which is generally used by persons in the middle class and higher strata of society. There is yet another reason which impels us to hold that perfumed hair-oil is taxable at 10 per cent. Scents and perfumes, from the very beginning, have been taxed at higher rate. From 1948 to 1961 they were taxable at one anna, and from 1961 onwards, became taxable at 7 paise, the rate at which the cosmetic and toilet requisite was taxable. Perfumed hair-oil apart from becoming exigible to higher tax becomes an item different from oils of all kinds. It appears oils' which have any other distinctive characteristic have been treated differently, for example coconut oil, kerosene oil, diesel oil, etc. We are of the opinion that after the addition of perfume, hair-oil acquires a distinctive character of becoming a cosmetic and toilet requisite. It has been strenuously urged for the assessee that a perusal of Notification No. ST-8492 dated 30th September, 1969, read with ST-8490 dated 30th September, 1969, would demonstrate that perfumed hair-oil was always understood as being an item covered 'by oils of all kinds'. Its exclusion from the earlier notification indicates that before 1969 it was always intended to be included in it. The argument is attractive and not without force. The court below has also taken the same view. In our opinion, this is a colourless circumstance, for sometimes the word 'include' is used by the legislature not to extend the meaning of a word but to give an exhaustive meaning of the word by way of clarification. The Privy Council in Dilworth v. Commissioner of Stamps [1899] AC 99 at 106 referring to the meaning of the word 'include' in certain circumstances, observed thus :

But the word 'include' is susceptible of another construction, which may become imperative, if the context of the Act is sufficient to show that it was not merely employed for the purpose of adding to the natural significance of the words or expressions defined. It may be equivalent to 'mean and include' and in that case, it may afford an exhaustive explanation of the meaning which, for the purposes of the Act, must invariably be attached to these words or expressions.Considering the background in which the word 'include' was used in the notification and the fact that perfumed hair-oil is, properly speaking, a cosmetic or toilet requisite, Notification No. ST-8492 of 1969 did nothing more than to give an exhaustive meaning to the words 'cosmetics and toilet requisites'. Perfumed hair-oil was specifically included in cosmetics and toilet requisites by Notification No. ST-8490. Once it was included, its exclusion or otherwise became immaterial.

35. As has been mentioned earlier, ghee and butter are different commercial commodities. The purchase of butter by the assessee would attract purchase tax and he would pay first purchase tax and sales of ghee made by him would attract sales tax under Section 3-D(2) as what he would sell was ghee. As has been noticed earlier, ghee, butter, cheese and cream had been taxed separately earlier and there is no reason to hold why they ceased to be separately taxable under the impugned notification dated 30th May, 1976. In this view of the matter, the order of the Tribunal cannot be sustained.

36. The revision is accordingly allowed with costs which are assessed to Rs. 200. It is held that the sales of ghee by the assessee are liable to sales tax under Section 3-D(2) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act. A copy of the decision shall be sent to the Tribunal in accordance with Section 11(8) of the Act for orders as are necessary to dispose of the case in conformity with the decision.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //