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Arjunlal Madanlal Vs. State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Civil Sales Tax Reference No. 15 of 1973
Judge
Reported in1977WLN(UC)32
AppellantArjunlal Madanlal
RespondentState of Rajasthan
Cases ReferredRamavatar v. Assistant Sales Tax Officer
Excerpt:
.....order to be held an oil seed an article must in common parlance be accepted by common people as an oil seed. unfortunately the assessee has not attempted to place any facts and material on this aspect before us. in the absence of any material therefore it is not possible to hold that 'suwa' is an oil seed and therefore we would answer the question in the negative.;it must inevitably follow that 'suwa' now cannot be considered to be an oil seed.;reference answered in negative - - the petitioner challenged this but failed right upto the board of revenue......of rajasthan issued a notification no. f. 5(4)f.d. (r&t;)/63-x dated 2-3-63 providing the rate of sales tax payable by a dealer in respect of the goods specifying the rate at with sales-tax is. payable. item no. 21 mentions oil seeds, the rate being 2%. another notification was issued no. f.5(155)fd(ct)/65-ii, dated 2-11-65 providing the rate of tax payable by a dealer and included at item 18 oil seeds, the rate being 2%. the assessing authority taking the view that 'suwa' was not covered by any of the items in the said notifications applied the rate of 6% under the residue of goods not covered by any of the specified items. the petitioner challenged this but failed right upto the board of revenue. thereafter he applied to the board of revenue, for making a reference to this.....
Judgment:

Rajindar Sachar, J.

1. In pursuance of an order of this Court dated 1-11-72 the Sales Tax Tribunal by its order of 1-2-73 has remitted the following point of law for determination, namely whether 'Suwa' is an oil seed and as such taxable at 2% under the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act. (hereinafter referred to be the Act).

2. The petitioner is a dealer and one of the items he deals in is 'Suwa'. Section 5 of the Act provides that the rate of tax payable by shall be levied at such rates as may be notified by the State Government. The assessment period in the present case related to 1-4-64 to 31-3-66. In exercise of powers under Section 5 of the Act the Government of Rajasthan issued a notification No. F. 5(4)F.D. (R&T;)/63-X dated 2-3-63 providing the rate of sales tax payable by a dealer in respect of the goods specifying the rate at with sales-tax is. payable. Item No. 21 mentions oil seeds, the rate being 2%. Another notification was issued No. F.5(155)FD(CT)/65-II, dated 2-11-65 providing the rate of tax payable by a dealer and included at item 18 oil seeds, the rate being 2%. The assessing authority taking the view that 'Suwa' was not covered by any of the items in the said notifications applied the rate of 6% under the residue of goods not covered by any of the specified items. The petitioner challenged this but failed right upto the Board of Revenue. Thereafter he applied to the Board of Revenue, for making a reference to this Court and on the refusal by the Board to pass any order, moved an application under Section 15(2)(b) of the Act. This Court allowed the application and by its order dated 1-11-72 directed the Board to refer the following question of law to this Court, namely:

Whether Suwa is an 'oil seed' and as such taxable at 2 percent sales tax under the Rajasthan Sales Tax Act

3. That is how the matter is before us. In the orders of the Tribunal or in the application made for the reference to this Court no material has been placed to indicate what exactly is 'Suwa'. There is no definition of the 'oil seed' in the notifications referred to above or in the Act. In absence of any such definition we must therefore give it a meaning which is commonly understood by a man in the street. As said by the Supreme Court in Ramavatar v. Assistant Sales Tax Officer : [1962]1SCR279 .

4. The word if there is no definition given must be construed not in any technical sense nor from the botanical point of view but as understood in common parlance. It has not been defined in the Act and being a word of every day use it must be construed in its popular sense meaning 'that sense which people conversant with the subject matter with which the statute is dealing would attribute to it. 'It is to be construed as understood in common language.'

5. We have no data before us to show as to how and in what quantity, if any, oil can be extracted from 'Suwa'. No material has been placed by the assessee to show that extracting oil from Suwa is a commercially viable proposition. The argument that it is possible to extract some oil from Suwa would not be enough to term the article as oil seed. An article cannot be termed as oil seed simply because some oil could be extracted from it. In order to be held an oil seed an article must in common parlance be accepted by common people as an oil seed. Unfortunately the assessee has hot attempted to place any facts and material on this aspect before us. In the absence of any material therefore it is not possible to hold that 'Suwa' is an oil seed and therefore we would answer the question in the negative.

6. We may note that by a notification of 1st April, 1973, the oil seed has been defined to mean as defined in Clause (vi) of Section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. The definition in the Central Act says 'oil seeds' that is to say and then goes on to detail a list of 20 items. It is relevant to note that 'Suwa' is not mentioned in any of those items. According to this definition of oil seed given in the Central Sales Tax Act which has been accepted now by the State also 'Suwa' is rot considered an oil seed. The interpretation given to the work 'that is to say' has been held to mean that it is employed to make clear and fix the meaning of what is to be explained or defined and such words are not used to on ploy a meaning while removing a possible doubt for which purpose the word is generally employed vide 1976 Vol. 37 Sales Tax Cases 319. So construed the definition of oil seeds given in the Central Sales Tax Act and also by adoption in Act is now exhaustive. This means that an item not included in the definition of oil seeds. So construed it must inevitably follow that 'Suwa' now cannot be considered to be an oil seed. It is no doubt true that this incorporation of the definition 'Suwa' can be considered an oil seed. The question, is therefore, as already indicated answered in the negative.

7. The reference is answered accordingly. There will be no order as to costs.


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