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Calcutta Dyeing and Bleaching Works Vs. the State of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil;Customs
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberT.C. No. 160 of 1964 (Revision No. 103)
Judge
Reported in[1964]15STC812(Mad)
AppellantCalcutta Dyeing and Bleaching Works
RespondentThe State of Madras
Advocates:C.S. Chandrasekhara Sastry, Adv.
Cases ReferredFiaz Ahmed & Co. v. State of Madras
Excerpt:
- section 16 (1) (c) :[tarun chatterjee & aftab alam,jj] ready and willing to perform-concurrent findings of fact on consideration of evidence on record that appellants-buyers were not ready and willing to perform terms and conditions of agreement for sale - buyers failing to pay balance consideration before agitating matter before supreme court held, concurrent finding cannot be interfered with. section 20: [tarun chatterjee & aftab alam,jj] whether time is the essence of contract held, many instance in contract which repeatedly showed that time was to be of essence of contract were specifically mentioned. clear condition in contract that purchasers would have to definitely deposit balance amount by date stipulated in contract for sale show that time was essence of contract. .....hinges on the definition of 'business' which, according to section 2(d) of the act, includes any trade, commerce or manufacture or any adventure or concern in the nature of trade, commerce or manufacture whether or not any profit accrues from the said trade, commerce, manufacture or concern. it cannot be held that the customs authority which comes into possession of confiscated goods from time to time and periodically sells them in auction is engaged in trade, commerce or manufacture, or adventure in the nature of trade. we have got similar instances, say of a magistrate's court where periodically unclaimed property concerned in offences, accumulate and whose sales are advertised and held. the properties which accumulate in the possession of the customs department usually consist of a.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Ramakrishnan, J.

1. The assessee purchased camphor sold by the Customs Department when they auctioned confiscated goods. He subsequently sold the camphor. Camphor is assessable at the point of first sale by dealer. The assessee contended that the Customs Authority was the first dealer. But the Department repelled that contention and holding that the Customs Authority's sales were not the first sales, assessed the assessee as the first dealer in camphor. This order was confirmed by the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal. The assessee now seeks revision against the above order.

2. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner argued that these sales effected by the Customs Department are regular and periodic. He also referred to a recent decision of this Court reported in Fiaz Ahmed & Co. v. State of Madras, [1964] 15 S.T.C. 2001 where this Court observed that 'something has to be said for the view that the absence of profit motive does not mean that a business is not being carried on'. Nevertheless stress was laid upon the activity in which the dealer was concerned being one of a business nature, so as to attract to him the technical definition of 'dealer' in Section 2(g) of the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959. The definition of dealer again hinges on the definition of 'business' which, according to Section 2(d) of the Act, includes any trade, commerce or manufacture or any adventure or concern in the nature of trade, commerce or manufacture whether or not any profit accrues from the said trade, commerce, manufacture or concern. It cannot be held that the Customs Authority which comes into possession of confiscated goods from time to time and periodically sells them in auction is engaged in trade, commerce or manufacture, or adventure in the nature of trade. We have got similar instances, say of a Magistrate's Court where periodically unclaimed property concerned in offences, accumulate and whose sales are advertised and held. The properties which accumulate in the possession of the Customs Department usually consist of a random collection of goods spotted at the Customs barrier, and detained, and subsequently not delivered to the importer for one reason or other. The Customs Department cannot be considered as being engaged in business as defined in the Act when sales of such goods after their confiscation are held. Even assuming for the sake of argument that a profit motive is not an essential feature of the transaction, and that there is some kind of regularity in the sales effected by the Customs Department, still in the absence of anything to indicate the essential requirement of an activity in the nature of trade, commerce or manufacture or adventure or concern in the nature of trade, we are unable to see how the decision of the lower Tribunal can be held to be incorrect. This revision case is dismissed.


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