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Boots Pure Drug Co. (i) Private Vs. the State of Bombay - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtSales Tax Tribunal STT Mumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in196011STC53Tribunal
AppellantBoots Pure Drug Co. (i) Private
RespondentThe State of Bombay
Excerpt:
.....from the operation of the sales tax act cattle-feeds, that is to say, those articles which go to feed cattle. but perhaps cattle-feed was far too a general expression and, therefore, the legislature made it clear by saying that cattle-feeds would include concentrates. and the legislature further thought that it was not as if that fodder would be the only article which could be included in cattle-feeds there may be other things which may properly fall within the expression "cattle-feeds". therefore, the legislature stated that other concentrates also may fall within the expression "cattle-feeds". the legislature was, however, careful to point out that even so, cotton-seed which may be considered to be a cattle-feed was to be exccluded from the operation of schedule a and what we have to.....
Judgment:
1. This is an appeal from an order may by the Additional Collector of Sales Tax, Bombay City Division, Administration, Bombay, on the 1st October, 1959, upon an application made by the appellants on 2nd May, 1959.

2. The appellants applied to the Additional Collector of Sales Tax to determine under Section 27 of the Act whether a preparation called super-mindif falls within Entry 6 of Schedule A to the Act of 1953. The entry in question is as follows : Cattle-feeds including fodder and other concentrates but excluding cotton seed 3. If super-mindif falls within Entry 6 of Schedule A there can be no question that it is not subject to the payment of tax, because, Schedule A deals with what is called tax-free goods. If, on the other hand, super-mindif does not fall within Entry 6 it follows that it would be subject to the payment of sales tax.

4. The view which the Additional Collector has taken is that the tax is payable under the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1953 (Amended) on the sale of super-mindif and it is the correctness of this view which Mr.

Palkhiwala on behalf of the appellants has challenged on this appeal.

5. Referring to the entry once again, it would be necessary to analyse the entry. It refers to cattle-feeds and says that cattle-feeds include fodder and other concentrates but an article called cotton seed is excluded. Evidently, what is tax-free is the goods called cattle-feeds and the only question which arises upon this appeal is whether the article in dispute, super-mindif, is a concentrate. In support of their contention reference has been made to a considerable amount of evidence. It would appear from the order made by the Additional Collector that the ingredients which go to make up super-mindif are indicated and the purpose for which super-mindif is prepared is also indicated. The ingredients are such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium chloride, iron, copper, cobalt, manganese, iodine and sulphur and the purpose stated is inter alia for body building, for increase in milk yield, for maintaining good health, for blood formation, for increasing the weight of the body and for better utilisation of the protein feed.

Evidence on which reliance has been placed can now be briefly summarised. In a letter dated 26th October, 1959, the Agricultural Chemist, Department of Agriculture, B.S. Poona, wrote to the appellants on the subject of super-mindif. It would appear that a query had been made by the appellants to that authority and in the letter it was stated that mineral mixtures form an essential part of the cattle-feed and that it had been an accepted practice to supplement the concentrates with mineral mixtures for proper nourishment of cattle.

The letter went on to state that super-mindif which is rich in the contents of calcium and phosphorus could be treated as concentrate for feeding cattle. It is true that is the opinion of an Agricultural Chemist, but even so, it has considerable value and there can be no doubt upon this letter that that authority considered super-mindif as a concentrate for feeding cattle. We have next a table published by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, in which reference is made to concentrates and one of the articles mentioned is mineral mixture. Then, there is evidence to show as to how this mineral mixture is prepared and the mineral mixture is prepared from sodium chloride, bonemeal, sodium, iodine, cobalt chloride, magnesium sulphite, copper sulphite, manganese chloride and ferrous sulphate. If the several ingredients which go to form mineral mixture are compared with the active ingredients of super-mindif it will be seen that substantially the ingredients are the same. Reference may next be made to what is called composition of ration at Central Live Stock Research and Breeding Farm, Haringhata and one of the articles mentioned is concentrates and they include what is called mineral mixture. In another table one would find the composition of ration in pound fed in 1952 at the Indian Dairy Research Institute, Bangalore and in the description "name of crop" is mentioned mineral mixture. Mr. Palkhiwala for the appellants has also relied upon the fact that concessional rates are given by the Indian Railway Authorities regarding the carriage of the article called super-mindif. Reference was next made to the Indian Drugs Act and it was pointed out by the Additional Collector that the Drug Control Authority did not consider super-mindif to be a drug. The principal considerations which have weighed with the authority in coming to the conclusion that it does not fall within Entry 6 are that in order to make useful to cattle, super-mindif has got to be added to, or to be mixed up with, other article and, therefore, super-mindif is not a cattle-feed. The other consideration mentioned by the Additional Collector was that super-mindif is a tonic for cattle. As regards the reference to the entries under the Indian Railway Act the Additional Collector took the view that as the entries in the Bombay Sales Tax Act are different it would not be proper to rely upon the concessional rates given by the railway authorities. Mr.

Rao for the State as conceded that super-mindif is a mineral mixture, but he argues that it is a tonic and not a cattle-feed contemplated by Entry 6. Now, because an article is a tonic it does not follow that it is not a cattle-feed. Therefore, to say that super-mindif is a tonic and, therefore, it is not a cattle-feed is really begging the question.

What one has to consider as a matter of substance is whether super-mindif is a cattle-feed contemplated by Entry 6. As one reads the entry, what the Legislature intended was to exempt from the operation of the Sales Tax Act cattle-feeds, that is to say, those Articles which go to feed cattle. But perhaps cattle-feed was far too a general expression and, therefore, the Legislature made it clear by saying that cattle-feeds would include concentrates. And the Legislature further thought that it was not as if that fodder would be the only article which Could be included in cattle-feeds there may be other things which may properly fall within the expression "cattle-feeds". Therefore, the Legislature stated that other concentrates also may fall within the expression "cattle-feeds". The Legislature was, however, careful to point out that even so, cotton-seed which may be considered to be a cattle-feed was to be exccluded from the operation of Schedule A and what we have to consider in determining the question is whether the article called super-mindif, prepared with the ingredients which have been set out above and the purpose for which these ingredients have been used in the preparation, can reasonably be said to be a cattle-feed and looking to the ingredients and to the purpose for which the preparation is made it seems to us clear that super-mindif can properly fall within the description of Entry 6 in Schedule A to the Act. A reference to the entries in Schedule A would show that the Legislature was anxious to make tax-free articles which were of primary importance to a citizen, of course, within the limited sphere of Schedule A and if super-mindif is prepared with the ingredients set out above and for the purpose for which it is prepared it would be difficult to hold that it does not fall within the expression "concentrates" within Entry 6 of Schedule A to the Bombay Sales Tax Act of 1953. The Legislature intended to make the entry cattle-feeds as wide as possible and, therefore, it was stated that cattle-feeds will include fodder and also other concentrates, but would exclude cotton seed only and if one has to read the entry as it is worded, it would be reasonable to hold that super-mindif would fall within Entry 6. Mr. Rao argues that in order to make an article a concentrate within the meaning of Entry 6 it must be done by a process of concentration. What this process of concentration is, it is difficult to follow. One can understand a process of production, a process of manufacture, a process of elimination, a mechanical process, a chemical process and so on. But when one speaks of concentrates, it is really bringing together a collection of several ingredients in order to produce a result and the result, as is shown on the record, is evidently for the purpose of making the cattle strong and also to enable the cattle to produce the result which it is intended to produce. We are not, therefore, prepared to accept the view of the Additional Collector of Sales Tax that super-mindif does not fall within Entry 6.

6. The appeal will, therefore, be allowed, the order of the Additional Collector of Sales Tax set aside and it will be held that super-mindif does fall within Entry 6 of Schedule A to the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1953.


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