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The Thannirangad Service Co-operative Society Ltd. and anr. Vs. State of Kerala - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax;Constitution
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case Number T.R.C. Nos. 144, 155, 156 and 163 of 1979
Judge
Reported in[1980]46STC464(Ker)
AppellantThe Thannirangad Service Co-operative Society Ltd. and anr.
RespondentState of Kerala
Appellant Advocate Ramaseshadri Nathan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateThe Government Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredM. Narayanan Nambiar v. State of Kerala
Excerpt:
- - 2. from the facts stated by the tribunal in its order as well as from the records of assessment available before us it is clearly seen that the amounts collected by way of administrative surcharge and price equalisation charge were included by the assessees in the sale bills issued to the purchasers as part of the price of the goods sold. such being the position, we have no hesitation to hold that the tribunal was perfectly right in taking the view that the amount so collected by the assessee from the purchasers by way of administrative surcharge and price equalisation charge form part of his turnover liable to be brought to tax......in these cases was illegal and without jurisdiction. this point is directly covered against the revision petitioners by the recent ruling of a division bench of this court reported in dhanalakshmi rice & flour mills v. state of kerala reported as m. narayanan nambiar v. state of kerala [1979] 44 s.t.c. 191, with which decision we are in respectful agreement. this contention will also stand rejected.4. we accordingly dismiss these tax revision cases, but, in the circumstances, without any order as to costs.immediately after the pronouncement of judgment the counsel for the revision petitioners orally prayed for the grant of certificates under article 133(1) of the constitution to enable his clients to carry the matter in appeal before the supreme court. we do not however consider these.....
Judgment:

V. Balakrishna Eradi, C.J.

1. The revision petitioners in these tax revision cases are two co-operative societies. These societies had been appointed by the civil supplies department of the State Government as authorised agents for procuring paddy from agriculturists and selling it to the ration shops in the State after getting it dehusked and converted into rice in rice mills. The revision petitioner in T. R. C. No. 144 of 1979 is the Thannirangad Service Cooperative Society Ltd. and the assessment year concerned in that case is 1970-71. The revision petitioner in T. R. C. Nos. 155 of 1979, 156 of 1979 and 163 of 1979 is the Polpully Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. and the assessment years concerned are 1970-71 to 1972-73 (inclusive). While assessing the petitioners to tax under the Kerala General Sales Tax Act (hereinafter called the Act) for the aforementioned assessment years the assessing authority took the view that amounts collected by the assessees from the purchasers (ration shop retail dealers) by way of administrative surcharge and price equalisation charge were liable to be included in their taxable turnover and brought to tax. This view was confirmed on appeal by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner and on second appeal by the Kerala Agricultural Income-tax and Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter called the Tribunal). The legality and correctness of the view so taken by the Tribunal is under challenge by the assessees in these revision petitions.

2. From the facts stated by the Tribunal in its order as well as from the records of assessment available before us it is clearly seen that the amounts collected by way of administrative surcharge and price equalisation charge were included by the assessees in the sale bills issued to the purchasers as part of the price of the goods sold. Section 2(xxvii) of the Act defines the expression 'turnover' and the said definition, omitting words that are not relevant for our present purpose, reads:

'Turnover' means the aggregate amount for which goods are either bought or sold, or supplied or distributed, by a dealer either directly or through another, on his own account or on account of others whether for cash or for deferred payment or other valuable consideration ...

Explanation (2) to the said clause widens the ambit of the said definition by laying down inter alia that:

Subject to such conditions and restrictions, if any, as may be prescribed in this behalf,-

(i) the amount for which goods are sold shall include any sums charged for anything done by the dealer in respect of the goods sold at the time of, or before, the delivery thereof;

(ii)...

(iii) ...

There can be no doubt that any sum which forms a component part of the aggregate amount, for which goods are sold by a dealer, will come within the scope of the expression 'turnover'. It may be that under the scheme promulgated by the State Government, whereunder levy and collection of administrative surcharge and price equalisation charge is provided for, the assessee is bound to pass on to the State Government all such amounts which he realises from his purchasers. But, admittedly, that is not a statutory scheme, but is only an executive order. For the purpose of determining liability to tax under the Act, we are concerned only with the question whether these amounts were collected by the assessee from the purchasers as part of the price. The -facts disclosed by the records show beyond doubt that these amounts were collected by the assessee from the purchasers as part of the purchase price charged for the goods. Such being the position, we have no hesitation to hold that the Tribunal was perfectly right in taking the view that the amount so collected by the assessee from the purchasers by way of administrative surcharge and price equalisation charge form part of his turnover liable to be brought to tax. The decisions of the Supreme Court in Dyer Meakin Breweries Ltd. v. State of Kerala [1970] 26 S.T.C. 248 (S.C.) and Joint Commercial Tax Officer, Division III, Madras v. Spencer & Co. [1975] 36 S.T.C. 188 (S.C.) are clear authorities for this position. There is therefore no merit in the contention urged by the petitioners that the inclusion of the amounts collected by them from the purchasers by way of administrative surcharge and price equalisation charge in the taxable turnover was illegal and without jurisdiction.

3. Another point raised on behalf of the petitioners is that no manufacturing process was involved in the dehusking of paddy and in converting it into rice and that hence the invocation of the power to tax conferred by Section 5A of the Act in these cases was illegal and without jurisdiction. This point is directly covered against the revision petitioners by the recent ruling of a Division Bench of this Court reported in Dhanalakshmi Rice & Flour Mills v. State of Kerala reported as M. Narayanan Nambiar v. State of Kerala [1979] 44 S.T.C. 191, with which decision we are in respectful agreement. This contention will also stand rejected.

4. We accordingly dismiss these tax revision cases, but, in the circumstances, without any order as to costs.

Immediately after the pronouncement of judgment the counsel for the revision petitioners orally prayed for the grant of certificates under Article 133(1) of the Constitution to enable his clients to carry the matter in appeal before the Supreme Court. We do not however consider these to be fit cases for the grant of such certificates, since the questions of law involved are fully covered by decisions already rendered by the Supreme Court and hence it cannot now be said that the questions are of general importance on which a pronouncement by the Supreme Court is now called for. The prayer for the grant of certificates under Article 133(1) of the Constitution will therefore stand rejected.


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