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State of Kerala Vs. Kakku Bhai and Co. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.S. No. 732 of 1958
Judge
Reported in[1963]14STC487(Ker)
AppellantState of Kerala
RespondentKakku Bhai and Co.
Appellant AdvocateGovernment Pleader
Respondent Advocate S. Narayanan Potti,; P. Karunakaran Nair and; N.K. Varke
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredState of Kerala v. Raghavan Filial
Excerpt:
- .....on what was referred to in exhibit p-1 as the 'net turnover' representing the aggregate of the sale price of goods sold and partly on the aggregate of the amounts collected by way of sales tax from customers, by the plaintiff. that sales tax so collected is not turnover as defined in section 2(k) of the travancore-cochin general sales tax act, 1125, had been held by a division bench in agricultural income-tax and rural sales tax officer, perumbavoor v. c.e. velayudhan [1954] 5 s.t.c. 285. as stated in the judgment therein, the bench was not concerned 'with a registered dealer charging a composite or 'tax included' price'. this decision is authority for holding that turnover as defined did not include sales tax collected as sales tax and not as part of the price from the customers. in.....
Judgment:

S. Velu Pillai, J.

1. This appeal is by the State Government, and is directed against a decree for the refund of sales tax said to have been collected illegally from the plaintiff, a registered dealer, pursuant to exhibit P-1, the assessment order for the year 1950-51. The assessment was made partly on what was referred to in exhibit P-1 as the 'net turnover' representing the aggregate of the sale price of goods sold and partly on the aggregate of the amounts collected by way of sales tax from customers, by the plaintiff. That sales tax so collected is not turnover as defined in Section 2(k) of the Travancore-Cochin General Sales Tax Act, 1125, had been held by a Division Bench in Agricultural Income-tax and Rural Sales Tax Officer, Perumbavoor v. C.E. Velayudhan [1954] 5 S.T.C. 285. As stated in the judgment therein, the Bench was not concerned 'with a registered dealer charging a composite or 'tax included' price'. This decision is authority for holding that turnover as defined did not include sales tax collected as sales tax and not as part of the price from the customers. In this suit also, the appellant had no case in the lower court, that the sales tax collected formed part of the sale price or that it was collected as anything else than sales tax, which the plaintiff was competent to pass on to his customers.

2. The learned Government Pleader relied on the observations of the Supreme Court in George Oakes (Private) Ltd. v. State of Madras A.I.R. 1962 SC. I037, that sales tax so collected can be part of the turnover as defined. The question that directly arose for decision before their Lordships, concerned the vires of the definition of turnover so as to include sales tax collected, introduced by the Madras General Sales Tax (Definition of Turnover and Validation of Assessments) Act, 1954, as falling outside the scope of Entry 54 in the State List in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution. In examining this contention observations were made that sales tax collected can be treated as the price of goods sold, and that there is no immutable distinction in that Act or in the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1939, which it amended, between sale price and sales tax. The correctness of the decision of the Madras High Court in Deputy Commissioner v. Krishnaswamis A.I.R. 1954 Mad. 856 which was also relied on in the Bench decision of the Travancore-Cochin High Court referred to above, was however left open. The observations of the Supreme Court can only mean, that sales tax collected by a dealer may in a proper case be deemed to be part of the sale price and to form part of the turnover within the meaning of the definition even without the amendment. In my view, these observations do not rule out the possibility that such sales tax need not in fact form part of the price. I do not understand their Lordships as laying down a proposition of law that the sales tax collected shall in all such cases be deemed to be part of the sale price and therefore of the turnover. This must depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular case.

3. In the present case, as stated above, the State Government had no case at the trial, that the sales tax collected was part of the sale price and whatever indication is available from exhibit P-1 is to the contrary. My attention was invited to the decision of a single Judge of this Court in State of Kerala v. Raghavan Filial (A.S. No. 686 of 1958; Since reported at [1963] 14 S.T.C. 483 in which it was held that the observations of the Supreme Court though obiter must be held to overrule impliedly the Bench decision above referred to. In my view, the decision of the single Judge is distinguishable on the ground that the State Government had a case properly pleaded that the sales tax collected was part of the sale price.

4. For the foregoing reasons, I hold that the decree under appeal is right and must be affirmed. The appeal is therefore dismissed without costs.


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