1. The State of Gujarat has sought this reference under section 69 of the Gujarat Sales Tax Act, 1969, as the Gujarat Sales Tax Tribunal held, inter alia, reversing the decision of the Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax on an application made by the opponent-assessee under section 62 of the Gujarat Sales Tax Act, 1969, that the sale of the dental chair is covered under the residuary entry 13 of Schedule III to the aforesaid Act and not entry 73 of Schedule II-Part A, as held by the Deputy Commissioner.
2. The following question is, therefore, referred to us for our opinion :
'Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, sale of dental chair evidenced by bill No. 27/72-73 dated 10th July, 1972, is covered by entry 73 of Schedule II-Part A, or is covered by entry 13 of Schedule III to the Gujarat Sales Tax Act, 1969 ?'
3. We are of the opinion that this reference of the State should be rejected obviously for the following reasons. Entry 73 of Schedule II-Part A of the 1969 Act provides for levy of tax on 'iron and steel safes, almirahs and furniture; upholstered furniture and skeletons of any of them'. We do not think that there are any justifying grounds for us to interfere with the view of the Tribunal since by no stretch of imagination it can be said that the dental chair, which is a special kind of apparatus or tool without which a dental surgeon would not be able to perform his hob as a dental surgeon, is an article of furniture. The dictionary meaning of 'furniture' is well-known. In Webster's Dictionary, Second Edition, 'furniture' has been defined to mean 'an article of convenience or decoration used to furnish a house'. The word 'furniture' means, according to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 'to fit up (an apartment, a house) with all that is requisite, including movable furniture, which is now the predominant notion'. It cannot be said, without violence to the language, that the dental chair is an article of convenience which can be used for the purpose of furnishing a house. That meaning would be nothing shorter than travesty of the language. As stated above, it is a necessary apparatus or tool for doing a job of dental surgeon and the very fact that the said chair is equipped with certain additional types of apparatus which would be very necessary for treating a patient suffering from dental disease supports the view which we are taking in the matter.
4. The result is that the reference should be rejected by answering the question that the sale of the dental chair would be covered by the residuary entry 13 to Schedule III to the Gujarat Sales Tax Act, 1969, as held by the Tribunal. The question is, therefore, answered against the revenue and in favour of the assessee. There will be no order as to costs since the opponent-assessee has not thought fit to appear in person or through an Advocate.
5. Reference answered accordingly.