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Utkal Jewellery Mart Vs. State of Orissa - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Jurisdiction Case No. 175 of 1976
Judge
Reported in[1982]50STC266(Orissa)
AppellantUtkal Jewellery Mart
RespondentState of Orissa
Appellant AdvocateB. Agarwalla, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel (S.T.)
Cases ReferredState of Orissa v. Jamula Srirangam
Excerpt:
.....made and for this purpose the court has the discretion either to grant time to make the deposit or not. no formal order condoning the delay is necessary, an order of adjournment would suffice. the provisions of limitation embodied in the substantive provision of the sub-section (1) of section 173 of the act does not extend to the provision relating to the deposit of statutory amount as embodies in the first proviso. therefore an appeal filed within the period of limitation or within the extended period of limitation, cannot be admitted for hearing on merit unless the statutory deposit is made either with the memo of appeal or on such date as may be permitted by the court. no specific order condoning any delay for the purpose of deposit under first proviso to sub-section (1) of section..........of the case, the member, sales tax tribunal, is correct in holding that the sales turnover of gold ornaments studded with imitation stones/artificial precious stones are jewellery exigible to tax at the rate prescribed in serial no. 22 of the schedule of luxury goods ?2. the assessee is a registered dealer dealing in gold and silver ornaments. the period of assessment is 1973-74. the quantum of turnover is not in dispute but the rate at which the turnover is exigible to sales tax is under challenge. though at one stage, the turnover of gold and silver ornaments was being challenged as not exigible to tax under serial no. 27 of the schedule of taxable goods, in view of the decision of this court in the case of bavchand & co. v. state of orissa [1976] 38 stc 42 that has no more been.....
Judgment:

R.N. Misra, J.

1.The Member, Sales Tax Tribunal, has stated this case and referred the following question under Section 24(1) of the Orissa Sales Tax Act for opinion of the court:

Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Member, Sales Tax Tribunal, is correct in holding that the sales turnover of gold ornaments studded with imitation stones/artificial precious stones are jewellery exigible to tax at the rate prescribed in serial No. 22 of the schedule of luxury goods ?

2. The assessee is a registered dealer dealing in gold and silver ornaments. The period of assessment is 1973-74. The quantum of turnover is not in dispute but the rate at which the turnover is exigible to sales tax is under challenge. Though at one stage, the turnover of gold and silver ornaments was being challenged as not exigible to tax under serial No. 27 of the schedule of taxable goods, in view of the decision of this Court in the case of Bavchand & Co. v. State of Orissa [1976] 38 STC 42 that has no more been agitated. The only other question over which dispute has been raised by the assessee and sustained up to this stage is whether gold ornaments studded with imitation stones/artificial precious stones were jewellery so as to be exigible to tax at the rate prescribed under serial No. 22 of the schedule of luxury goods. The relevant serial read thus :

Jewellery, precious stones, synthetic or artificial pre- Ten per cent. cious stones and pearls, whether real, artificial or cultured.

Under serial No. 22 the rate of tax was higher than the rate prescribed under serial No. 27. The assessee had until now been contending that gold ornaments studded with artificial precious stones would not be jewellery but Mr. Agarwalla for the assessee concedes that gold ornaments studded with artificial precious stones would be jewellery. We shall, therefore, examine as to whether gold ornaments when studded with imitation stone would be jewellery. A Bench of this Court, in the case of State of Orissa v. Jamula Srirangam [1961] 12 STC 135, dealt with serial No. 24 of Notification No. 10085-F. dated 3rd July, 1951, which read thus :

Jewellery including precious stones; unset precious stones and pearls real or cultured; imitation of gold ornaments made of specie, jewellery, precious stones and pearls.

Narasimham, C. J., spoke for the court thus :

If the learned Member of the Tribunal wanted to follow the dictionary meaning of the expression jewellery he should have consulted the standard Oxford Dictionary. That dictionary shows that the expression jewel though ordinarily meaning an ornament containing precious stones has also a secondary meaning as follows :

applied to imitation in glass or enamel of a real gem.

The word jewellery has also been defined as follows :

gems or ornaments made or sold by jewellers, especially precious stones in mounting ; jewels collectively or as a form of adornment.

Thus the dictionary meaning seems to indicate that though ordinarily precious stones must be an essential ingredient of the ornament in order to make it jewellery there is no invariable rule that an ornament containing imitation stones must on no account be treated as jewellery. The value of the imitation stones set is wholly immaterial in deciding this question. Thus, the dictionary meaning given to that expression shows that the interpretation put by the learned Member, Sales Tax Tribunal, is incorrect.

In a later Bench decision of this Court in the case of State of Orissa v. Harekrishna Das Madhavji & Co. [1970] 25 STC 509, dealing with the case reported in State of Orissa v. Jamula Srirangam [1961] 12 STC 135, the learned Chief Justice observed:

A gold ornament containing imitation stones of small value was held to be jewellery within the meaning of the expression as used in item 24 of Notification No. 5028 dated 28th July, 1947, as amended by Notification No. 8728-F. dated 1st July, 1949. This decision has no application to the present case. That was based on the language of item 24. The material portion of that notification was as follows:

Jewellery including precious stones ; unset precious stones and pearls real or cultured ; imitations of gold ornaments made of specie, jewellery, precious stones and pearls.

The item was too widely worded. It is not necessary to make further reference to that decision. It is sufficient to say that the principle laid down in that decision must be confined to its own facts.

3. Mr. Agarwalla has contended that within the ambit of serial No. 22, the emphasis is really on the precious character of the studding material. It may be real stone, synthetic stone, artificial stone, but in each case it has got to be precious, i. e., of high value. Whether it is a real or cultured pearl, it is a costly product. According to Mr. Agarwalla, therefore, in order to make gold ornaments jewellery and make sale thereof exigible to higher rate of sales tax on the basis of being luxury goods, what is necessary is that the gold ornaments would be studded with precious material of the classification indicated in the serial. We find force in this submission. Gold ornaments would have been exigible to tax under serial No. 27. Admittedly that rate was lower than the rate contemplated in serial No. 22. Since emphasis in serial No. 22 is on the precious character of the studding material, imitation stone which admittedly is not of high valuation would indeed not come within the ambit of the serial. In State of Orissa v. Jamula Srirangam [1961] 12 STC 135 as pointed out by the learned Chief Justice in the later case State of Orissa v. Harekrishna Das Madhavji & Co. [1970] 25 STC 509, imitation stone was also taken into account in view of the language used in serial No. 24, but for it, there was no scope to hold that imitation stone also made gold ornaments jewellery. To follow the rule in State of Orissa v. Jamula Srirangam [1961] 12 STC 135 to interpret serial No. 22 would certainly be not proper.

4. We accept the contention advanced on behalf of the assessee and hold that under serial No. 22 imitation stone is not covered and gold ornaments when studded with imitation stone would not become jewellery within the meaning of the serial. Our answer to the question referred, therefore, is in the negative, namely :

The Member, Sales Tax Tribunal, was not correct in holding that the sales turnover of gold ornaments studded with imitation stones were jewellery exigible to tax at the rate prescribed in serial No. 22 of the schedule of luxury goods.

As already pointed out, so far as artificial precious stones are concerned, the assessee's counsel conceded that gold ornaments studded with artificial precious stones would be jewellery.

There would be no order for costs.

N.K. Das, J.

5. I agree.


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