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Ganesh Oil Traders Vs. Delhi Terminal Tax Agency - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectOther Taxes
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Appeal No. 1229 of 1979
Judge
Reported in17(1980)DLT29
ActsDelhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 - Sections 178
AppellantGanesh Oil Traders
RespondentDelhi Terminal Tax Agency
Advocates: Arya Girdhari and; Ramesh Chandra, Advs
Cases ReferredDelhi Cloth & General Mills Co. Ltd. v. Mcd
Excerpt:
- - it is unknown in this country to call any oil as ghee merely because it looks like ghee.v.s. deshpande, c.j. (1) petitioner imported palm oil. m.cd. taxed it is vegetable ghee. tax on oil is lower and petitioner claiming that palm oil should have been taxed as oil filed the writ. mcd contended that palm oil resembled ghee in colour and consistency and was used as cooking medium and hence was rightly taxed. (2) palm oil, according to the webstei's international dictionary, is 'fat taken out of flesh of palm fruit'. similarly, vegetable ghee according to that dictionary is fat made by hydrogenation etc. out of vegetable oil. the distinction between oil and ghee thus becomes clear. ghee is a subsequent state of which the prior stage is oil. the question before us is whether the commodities imported by the petitioner are at the oil stage or at the ghee stage. the description.....
Judgment:

V.S. Deshpande, C.J.

(1) Petitioner imported Palm oil. M.CD. taxed it is vegetable ghee. Tax on oil is lower and petitioner claiming that palm oil should have been taxed as oil filed the writ. Mcd contended that palm oil resembled ghee in colour and consistency and was used as cooking medium and hence was rightly taxed.

(2) Palm oil, according to the Webstei's International Dictionary, is 'fat taken out of flesh of palm fruit'. Similarly, vegetable ghee according to that Dictionary is fat made by hydrogenation etc. out of vegetable oil. The distinction between oil and ghee thus becomes clear. Ghee is a subsequent state of which the prior stage is oil. The question before us is whether the commodities imported by the petitioner are at the oil stage or at the ghee stage. The description under which these commodities are imported is an important consideration to be taken into account in determining under which particular item the commodities fall. They are not imported as vegetable ghee, but on the other hand are imported as Palm Oil. The decision of the Supreme Court in Tungabahadra Industries v. The Commercial Tax Officer, : [1961]2SCR14 , was concerned with ground nut oil. The raw material from which ground nut oil was prepared could be exempted from sales tax. While there was no dispute that groundnut oil was oil till it was hydrogenated and became vanaspati, the dispute raised was that after hydrogenation the groundnut oil ceased to be ground nut oil for the purposes of exemption from Sales Tax. This contention was negatived because groundnut oil did not cease to bs groundnut oil even though it was hydrogenated. On these reasoning palm oil does not ceass to bs palm oil because it is refined or because it is bleached or deodorised. It would appear that Palm Oil in its different stages has never been kniwn as vegetable ghee. That terms has been used only for vanaspati which is hydrogenated oil. It is not disputed that the commodities imported by the petitioner have not undergone the process of hydrogenation. It appears to be quite clear that these commodities are oil and not ghee.

(3) The second argument that these commodities have the same consistency, melting point and colour as ghee has does not make the substance ghee. Indian usage of ghee is either an animal product made made from milk either directly or from butter or a vegetable product made from hydrogenated oil. It is unknown in this country to call any oil as ghee merely because it looks like ghee.

(4) The third argument is that these sommodities can be used as ghee. But use of the commodity is not relevant for the purposes of terminal tax. The expressions in both the relevant items in Class I of Tenth Schedule are description of the nature of article and not of the use of the articles.

(5) We are fortified in the view taken above by a prior decision of the Division Bench of Punjab High Court, sitting at Delhi in Delhi Cloth & General Mills Co. Ltd. v. Mcd, 1967 Dlt 3, in which it was held that terminal tax on groundnut oil and similar other edible oils was intended to be paid in accordance with entry 16 of Class I of Tenth Schedule. The expression 'oil of all kinds' is very wide one. There is no reason why palm oil should be excluded from the expression.


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