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Kota Steel Re-rolling Mills Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Commercial Taxes Officer and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B.S.T. Reference Case No. 298 of 1980
Judge
Reported in[1982]49STC80(Raj)
AppellantKota Steel Re-rolling Mills Pvt. Ltd.
RespondentCommercial Taxes Officer and ors.
Appellant Advocate V.K. Singhal, Adv.
Respondent Advocate S.M. Mehta, Adv.
Cases ReferredAssistant Commercial Taxes Officer v. Ramesh Leather Stores
Excerpt:
.....are sold to an automobile dealer. the relevant entry is as under :iron and steel, that is to say,-steel bars (rounds, rods, squares, flats, octagons and hexagons, plain and ribbed or twisted, in coil form as well as straight lengths). 5. the learned counsel submitted that the question whether the bars sold by the assessee fall within the category of iron and steel is a pure question of law and the board of revenue should be directed to state the case and refer the question of law arising out of its order to this court. pyare lal malhotra [1976] 37 stc 319 (sc). it is submitted that in the above case it has been held that only items mentioned in clause (iv) of section 14 of the central sales tax act can be categorised as iron and steel and no other item can be covered by the term 'iron..........according to the additional commissioner it was completely a different commercial commodity than steel bars. the additional commissioner, therefore, held that the articles in question are not iron and steel and are taxable at 10 per cent as it is covered by entry 45: 'tyres, tubes, spare parts and accessories of motor vehicles excluding those meant for tractors' in notification no. f. 5(16)fd (ct)/69-ii dated 8th march, 1969. it was also held that these were essential parts of motor vehicles. the assessee being aggrieved against the aforesaid order, filed a revision before the board of revenue. a division bench of the board by its judgment dated 23rd may, 1978, held that iron and steel has been modified and converted into laminated springs. the laminated springs can at best be.....
Judgment:

N.M. Kasliwal, J.

1. The learned counsel for the parties submitted that the reference application itself be decided on merits.

2. This petition under Section 15(2) of the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act, 1954, has been filed by M/s. Kota Steel Re-rolling Mills (P.) Ltd., Kota (hereinafter referred to as 'the assessee'), for giving a direction to the Board of Revenue to refer the following question along with the statement of the case :

Whether the sale of flat bar on the proper interpretation of the notification dated 1st July, 1975, and Section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act falls within the category of iron and steel

3. Brief facts leading to this petition are that the assessee is a manufacturer of iron and steel of re-rolling mill. The assessee purchases ingots and billets as the raw material and makes flat bars of different sizes after re-rolling them. The flat bars are sold by the assessee by charging tax at 4 per cent under the notification dated 1st July, 1975. The assessee moved an application to the Additional Commissioner under Section 12A'of the Act on 20th August, 1975, to determine the rate of tax on the sale of bars which are sold according to the weight per kg./ p.m.t. and not according to the bar pieces. The Additional Commissioner, vide his order dated 22nd December, 1976, held that in the advertisement the commodity is named as 'robust leaf springs and leaves'. According to the Additional Commissioner it was completely a different commercial commodity than steel bars. The Additional Commissioner, therefore, held that the articles in question are not iron and steel and are taxable at 10 per cent as it is covered by entry 45: 'Tyres, tubes, spare parts and accessories of motor vehicles excluding those meant for tractors' in Notification No. F. 5(16)FD (CT)/69-II dated 8th March, 1969. It was also held that these were essential parts of motor vehicles. The assessee being aggrieved against the aforesaid order, filed a revision before the Board of Revenue. A Division Bench of the Board by its Judgment dated 23rd May, 1978, held that iron and steel has been modified and converted into laminated springs. The laminated springs can at best be considered as a part of a motor part when they are sold to an automobile dealer. The same spring when sold by another iron dealer to a cart or a tonga driver cannot be considered as motor part although it could be used in motors. When springs are assembled and put in a particular shape then only it becomes motor parts. However, the Board of Revenue relied on its earlier decision in Man Structurals v. Commercial Taxes Officer (Revision No. 1312/1975/ST/Jaipur) in which it was held that bars modified and converted into springs, cannot be considered as iron and steel only and it will be taxed as other than iron and steel but not as motor part. The Board of Revenue finally observed that the revision was, therefore, accepted partially. The assessee then submitted an application under Section 15(1) of the Act for making a reference to this Court. The Board by its order dated 16th April, 1979, rejected the reference application submitted by the assessee. Hence this application under Section 15(2) of the Act.

4. Mr. Singhal, the learned counsel for the assessee, contended that under Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, restrictions have been imposed on the said legislature to levy tax in respect of the commodities declared under Section 14 of the said Act and iron and steel is one of the commodities declared for that purpose. The relevant entry is as under :

Iron and steel, that is to say,-

Steel bars (rounds, rods, squares, flats, octagons and hexagons, plain and ribbed or twisted, in coil form as well as straight lengths).

5. The learned counsel submitted that the question whether the bars sold by the assessee fall within the category of iron and steel is a pure question of law and the Board of Revenue should be directed to state the case and refer the question of law arising out of its order to this Court.

6. Mr. Mehta, appearing for the department, contended that no question of law arises in the case in view of the fact that the expression 'that is to say' has already been interpreted by the Supreme Court in State of Tamil Nadu v. Pyare Lal Malhotra [1976] 37 STC 319 (SC). It is submitted that in the above case it has been held that only items mentioned in Clause (iv) of Section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act can be categorised as iron and steel and no other item can be covered by the term 'iron and steel'. It is further contended that the assessee has never used the words 'flat bars' or 'steel laminated springs'. The flat bars under Section 14(iv) of the Sales Tax Act (sic) and as such it is clearly a different commercial commodity than steel bars.

7. The Supreme Court case referred to above is not an authority for holding that the articles in question before us can fall within the term 'iron and steel' as given under entry No. (iv) of Section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act. There is no authority of this Court or the Honourable Supreme Court to hold that the articles in question fall within the meaning of iron and steel as contained in Clause (iv) of Section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act. It has been held by this Court in several cases that the question as to whether fall (sic) within a particular entry or not is a question of law. We are not called upon to express our opinion at this stage on the merits of the case and to decide whether the articles in question fall within the term 'iron and steel' or it is a commodity other than iron and steel. The only question to be determined by us at this stage is whether the question sought to be called from the Board of Revenue is a question of law or not. A Bench of this Court in Assistant Commercial Taxes Officer v. Ramesh Leather Stores (D.B. Civil Misc. Sales Tax Case No. 18 of 1976 decided on 3rd July, 1979) [1982] 49 STC 79 has taken a view that the question as to whether certain goods fall within a particular entry or not is a question of law.

8. In our opinion for the articles in question there is no authority of this Court or the Honourable Supreme Court of India taking one view or the other.

9. We, therefore, allow the application and direct the Board of Revenue to state the case and refer the following question of law to this Court for decision. The parties are left to bear their own costs of this proceeding :

Whether the sale of flat bar on the proper interpretation of the notification dated 1st July, 1975, and Section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act falls within the category of iron and steel.


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