G.G. Sohani, J.
1. By this reference under Section 44 of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act, 1958, hereinafter called the Act, the Board of Revenue has referred the following question of law to this Court for its opinion :
Whether, on the facts and circumstances of the case, the 'tagaries' and 'ghamelas' sold by the appellant are utensils and as such the turnover arising out of the sales of these articles is exempt from sales tax under entry 50 of Schedule I of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act, 1958, as it was in the year 1963-64?
2. The material facts, as set out in the statement of case, briefly are as follows : The assessee was assessed to sales tax for the period from 1st April, 1963, to 31st March, 1964. The Sales Tax Officer accepted the contention of the assessee that 'tagaries' and 'ghamelas', being hand-made utensils, were exempt from taxation by virtue of entry No. 50 (as it then was) of Schedule I to the Act. The Commissioner of Sales Tax took up this matter for consideration in exercise of powers of revision under Section 39(2) of the Act and, by his order dated 19th April, 1969, held that the articles in question were not covered by entry No. 50 of Schedule I as these articles could not be called utensils. The appeal preferred by the assessee against the order of the Commissioner was dismissed. Hence, at the instance of the assessee, the Board has referred the aforesaid question of law to this Court for its opinion.
3. Now, during the period 1963-64, the provisions of entry No. 50 of Schedule I to the Act provided for exemption of utensils made of any metal other than gold and silver, when they were made by hand without the aid of power-driven machines and when they were sold by the maker himself or any member of his family. As stated in the statement of case, there is no dispute in the instant case about the fact that the articles in question were hand-made, without the aid of power-driven machines and that they were sold by the maker himself or the members of his family. The only question for consideration is whether these articles could be called 'utensils'.
4. Now, the ordinary meaning of the word 'utensil', as given in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, is as follows :
Collect, sing. Domestic vessels, appliances, and furniture. Chiefly Sc.-1535. 2. Any article useful or necessary in a household; a domestic implement, vessel, or article of furniture; now esp., an instrument or vessel in common use in a kitchen, dairy, etc., 1484. b. Any vessel (or other article) serving a useful end or purpose 1502. c. esp. A tool or implement used by artisans, farmers, etc. 1604. 3. One who is made use of (rare) 1678. 4. A sacred vessel, etc., belonging to, and esp. used in the services of a place of worship 1650. 5. (Chamber) utensil, a chamber pot 1699.
The ordinary dictionary meaning of the word 'utensil' is thus sufficiently wide to include any article useful or necessary in a household. We see no reason to hold that the entry in question should be limited to cover those utensils only which are generally used in a kitchen. If roadside labour gangs employed in a construction work use the articles in question, those articles would not cease to be utensils on that account.
5. For all these reasons, our answer to the question referred to us is in the affirmative and in favour of the assessee. In the circumstances of the case, parties shall bear their own costs of this reference.