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The Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax (Law), Board of Revenue (Taxes) Vs. R. Viswambharan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberT.R.C. No. 34 of 1979
Judge
Reported in[1979]44STC399(Ker)
AppellantThe Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax (Law), Board of Revenue (Taxes)
RespondentR. Viswambharan
Appellant AdvocateGovernment Pleader
Respondent Advocate S.A. Nagendran, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredEvans Food Corporation v. State of Kerala
Excerpt:
- - 3. the principle of interpretation of the term 'vegetables' occurring in the entry in a taxing statute such as the sales tax act is too well-known to need repetition......from the concurrent conclusions of the sales tax officer and the deputy commissioner, held that arrow-root is a vegetable and is liable to be assessed as such. the state has preferred this revision against the decision of the tribunal.2. entry 10 of the third schedule to the kerala general sales tax act reads:10. vegetables (other than green ginger), whether roots, green fruits or leaves, used for human consumption including yam, potatoes, lime, sabola and tomatoes, except their manufactured products.by reason of the provisions of section 9 of the act, goods specified in the third schedule shall not be liable to pay tax subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be prescribed. hence the anxiety of the assessee to bring the disputed item within the specified entry.3. the.....
Judgment:

V.P. Gopalan Nambiyar, C.J.

1. The question raised in this revision is whether arrow-root is liable to be assessed as 'vegetables' under entry 10 of the Third Schedule to the Kerala General Sales Tax Act, 1963, or under Section 5A at a more onerous rate. The Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, differing from the concurrent conclusions of the Sales Tax Officer and the Deputy Commissioner, held that arrow-root is a vegetable and is liable to be assessed as such. The State has preferred this revision against the decision of the Tribunal.

2. Entry 10 of the Third Schedule to the Kerala General Sales Tax Act reads:

10. Vegetables (other than green ginger), whether roots, green fruits or leaves, used for human consumption including yam, potatoes, lime, sabola and tomatoes, except their manufactured products.

By reason of the provisions of Section 9 of the Act, goods specified in the Third Schedule shall not be liable to pay tax subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be prescribed. Hence the anxiety of the assessee to bring the disputed item within the specified entry.

3. The principle of interpretation of the term 'vegetables' occurring in the entry in a taxing statute such as the Sales Tax Act is too well-known to need repetition. The accepted principle is that the term must be understood in the popular sense and in the sense known to the world of trade and commerce. The question has arisen under the entry as to whether betel leaves are vegetables or not. After analysing the position, it was ruled by the Supreme Court in Ramavatar Budhaiprasad v. Assistant Sales Tax Officer [1961] 12 S.T.C. 286 (S.C.) that betel leaves are not vegetables. In the course of its discussion, it was stated by the Supreme Court that the word 'vegetables' in taxing statutes is to be understood as in common parlance, i.e., denoting class of vegetables which are grown in a kitchen garden or in a farm and are used for the table. We think that arrow-root more than amply satisfies the conception thus explained by the Supreme Court and answers also to the principles of interpretation sanctioned by the judicial decisions. Arrow-root is one of those vegetables grown both in the kitchen garden and in a farm. It has brisk sales in the market as children's food. Just as carrots, radish, ginger, etc., pass as vegetables, we have little doubt that arrow-root will also qualify for inclusion in the term.

4. A Division Bench of this Court had recently occasion to consider and explain the meaning of the entry in Evans Food Corporation v. State of Kerala 1978 K.L.T. 396. In the light of the principles noticed in the judicial decisions and the popular concept of the term 'vegetables', we are of the opinion that arrow-root is a vegetable within the meaning of entry 10 of the Third Schedule to the Kerala General Sales Tax Act.

The decision of the Tribunal is correct. We dismiss the revision with no order as to costs.


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