M.S. Menon, C.J.
1. This is a petition by the Sales Tax Department under Section 15-B(1) of the General Sales Tax Act, 1125. The period concerned is the period from 1st October, 1957, to 31st March, 1958.
2. The respondent purchased 'firewood' from the forest department of the State, and later sold it at Trivandrum at Rs. 24 per ton as provided in the agreement with the State dated 14th October, 1957. The Sales Tax Department had a contention before the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal that what was sold to the petitioner by the forest department should not be considered as 'firewood'. This contention was discussed and negatived by the Tribunal for reasons which we consider valid. As we are in agreement with the Tribunal on this point the case has to be dealt with on the basis that what was sold by the forest department to the respondent was 'firewood' and that what was sold later by the respondent to its customers was also the same commodity.
3. During the period from 1st October, 1957, to 31st March, 1958, the sale of 'firewood' was taxable only at one point, that is, on the first sale in the State by a dealer who is not exempt from taxation under Section 3(3 ) of the General Sales Tax Act, 1125. This was in pursuance of a notification issued under Section 5(vii) of the Act which provides that the liability to tax shall be only at such single point in the series of sales by successive dealers as may be specified by the Government by notification in the Gazette, and that where the taxable point so specified is a point of sale, the seller shall be liable for the tax on the turnover for which the goods are sold by him at such point, and where the taxable point so specified is a point of purchase, the buyer shall be liable for the tax on the turnover for which the goods are bought by him at such point.
4. What Section 3(3) of the Act provides is that a dealer whose total turnover in any year is less than ten thousand rupees shall not be liable to pay any sales tax for that year. We are not concerned with that exemption in this case.
5. The expression 'dealer' is denned in Section 2(d) of the Act as meaning any person who carries on the business of buying or selling goods. There is an explanation added to the definition which says that a co-operative society, a club, a firm or any association which sells goods to its members is a dealer within the meaning of the clause. The controversy before the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal was whether the State can be considered to be a dealer within the meaning of this definition. The contention of the Sales Tax Department was that it could not be so considered, and of the respondent, that it should be so considered.
6. We consider it unnecessary to go into this controversy. Section 11-A (1) of the General Sales Tax Act, 1125, provides that notwithstanding anything contained in the Act the Government shall in respect of any sale of goods effected by them be entitled to collect by way of tax any amount which a registered dealer effecting such sale would have been entitled to collect by way of tax under that Act. The combined effect of this provision and of Section 5(vii) of the Act and the notification issued thereunder, as we read them, is to approximate the State to.a registered dealer and to restrict the liability to taxation to a single occasion irrespective of the multiplicity of the sales in succession.
7. It is common ground that at the time of the sale by the forest department to the respondent not merely the price but also the sales tax was as a matter of fact collected from the respondent. A second levy under any circumstance in respect of a single point tax is definitely unwarranted, and we must hold that the conclusion reached by the Tribunal is correct, and that this Tax Revision Case should be dismissed. We do so.
8. The petitioner will pay the costs of the respondent.