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The State of Tamil Nadu Vs. English Electric Company of India Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case No. 156 of 1971 (Revision No. 87)
Judge
Reported in[1977]39STC50(Mad)
AppellantThe State of Tamil Nadu
RespondentEnglish Electric Company of India Ltd.
Appellant AdvocateK. Venkataswami, the Additional Government Pleader No. I
Respondent AdvocateV. Natarajan, Adv. for ;King and ; Partridge, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredAmbattur v. State of Tamil Nadu
Excerpt:
- - 287. it is contended by the learned counsel for the revenue that 20 sales tax cases 287 is no longer good law and in the decision of the supreme court reported in state of tamil nadu v. this view is clearly wrong in view of the clear language used in the government order extracted above. 1,53,502.19, we have to hold that even the condition relating to the subsidising of 25 per cent is satisfied. we are satisfied on the facts and circumstances of this case that whatever material that was possible the assessees have produced and we have no reason to doubt the claim of the assessees that the sum of rs......they claimed exemption in respect of a turnover of rs. 1,53,502.19 on the ground that they are canteen sales. they also claimed to deduct from the taxable turnover a sum of rs. 4,673.46 on the ground that they represent sales return. these are the two items in dispute in this tax revision case and, therefore, it is not necessary to set out any other facts relating to the assessment. in respect of the canteen sales, the assessing officer and the appellate authority in the view that the canteen itself is run by the assessees and not by the employees on a co-operative basis and that, therefore, not liable to be exempted, included the same in the taxable turnover. the tribunal allowed the claim of the assessees on the strength of the decision of this court in deputy commissioner.....
Judgment:

V. Ramaswami, J.

1. The respondent-assessees are dealers in electrical goods. In their return for the assessment year 1965-66, they claimed exemption in respect of a turnover of Rs. 1,53,502.19 on the ground that they are canteen sales. They also claimed to deduct from the taxable turnover a sum of Rs. 4,673.46 on the ground that they represent sales return. These are the two items in dispute in this tax revision case and, therefore, it is not necessary to set out any other facts relating to the assessment. In respect of the canteen sales, the assessing officer and the appellate authority in the view that the canteen itself is run by the assessees and not by the employees on a co-operative basis and that, therefore, not liable to be exempted, included the same in the taxable turnover. The Tribunal allowed the claim of the assessees on the strength of the decision of this court in Deputy Commissioner (Commercial Taxes), Coimbatore Division, Coimbatore v. Thirumagal Mills Limited [1967] 20 S.T.C. 287. It is contended by the learned counsel for the revenue that 20 Sales Tax Cases 287 is no longer good law and in the decision of the Supreme Court reported in State of Tamil Nadu v. Burmah Shell Co. : [1973]2SCR636 , even the canteen sales are liable to be included in the taxable turnover on and from 1st September, 1964. It is true that in view of this decision of the Supreme Court, the assessees would normally be liable to pay sales tax on the canteen sales also. But the Government in exercise of their powers under the Act in G.O. Press No. 2238, Revenue, dated 1st September, 1964, have exempted the turnover 'on all sales by all canteens run by an employer or by the employees on a co-operative basis on behalf of the employer, under a statutory obligation without profit-motive, provided that the employer subsidises at least 25 per cent of the total expenses including the expenses towards the purchases incurred in running the canteen'. Though the assessing officer and the appellate authorities considered the applicability of the Government order exempting the turnover, the Tribunal did not go into that question at all. It is seen from the finding of the assessing officer and the appellate authority that the canteen was run by the employer under a statutory obligation. But the authorities held that the assessees were not eligible for the exemption on the ground that the Government order exempting the canteen sales would apply only to a case where the canteen is run by the employees on a co-operative basis and at least 25 per cent of the total expenses of the canteen was subsidised by the employer and that it will not apply to a case where the canteen itself is run by the employer. This view is clearly wrong in view of the clear language used in the Government order extracted above. Even in respect of a canteen run by an employer under a statutory obligation if it was run without profit-motive and the employer subsidises at least 25 per cent of the total expenses, the employer would be entitled to claim exemption in respect of that turnover. Whether the orders of the assessing officer and the appellate authorities could not be sustained on the ground that the Government order will apply only to canteens run by the employees on co-operative basis, the learned Government Pleader contended that there is no evidence to show that the employer subsidised at least 25 per cent of the total expenses incurred and the only fact we get in the order is that the total expenses incurred by the employer was Rs. 2,48,765.86 and the turnover of canteen sales is Rs. 1,53,502.19. In this connection, he also pointed out that in the assessment year, the Deputy Commercial Tax Officer has stated that the employees of the canteen are also employees of a mess run for the officers and that there is no evidence relating to the apportionment of the wages paid to these employees as between canteen for the workers and the mess for the officers. Though there is a reference to this aspect in the assessment order, the appellate authority did not in fact base his conclusion on this ground. In fact the appellate authority did not even refer to this aspect in his order. He only rejected the same on the ground that the canteen was run by the assessees themselves and that, therefore, the Government order does not apply. As we have already stated this view of the Appellate Commissioner is not correct and even to a canteen run by an employer the Government order will apply, provided the canteen was run on a statutory obligation without profit-motive and the employer subsidises at least 25 per cent of the total expenses. Therefore, on the basis of Rs. 2,48,765.86 as the expenses and the canteen sales amounting to Rs. 1,53,502.19, we have to hold that even the condition relating to the subsidising of 25 per cent is satisfied. We accordingly confirm the order of the Tribunal relating to canteen sales though on a different reason.

2. In regard to sales return of Rs. 4,673.46 the only point was that the credit notes issued by the assessees were not possible of verification with reference to the sales to which they related. It appears that the sale bills covered a larger quantity of the goods and the credit notes only for a smaller quantity. The assessing officer and the appellate authority rejected this claim only on the ground that in respect of some of the items, the sales were stated to be in the previous year and the credit notes also did not refer to the sale bills concerned. We have looked into the orders of the assessing officer and the appellate authority. We are satisfied on the facts and circumstances of this case that whatever material that was possible the assessees have produced and we have no reason to doubt the claim of the assessees that the sum of Rs. 4,673.46 related to the sales return. We have already held in Madras Radiators and Pressings, Avadi Road, Ambattur v. State of Tamil Nadu [1976] 37 S.T.C. 123 (T.C. No. 369 of 1970 decided on 10th April, 1975), that even in respect of sales made in the previous assessment year, the dealer is entitled to claim a deduction from the total taxable turnover, the turnover relating to sales return in the year in which the goods were returned to the dealer. There is no dispute that the sales return in the instant case was during the assessment year 1965-66 though some of the sales related to the previous year. In view of our above-said decision, the assessees are entitled to claim deduction in the assessment year 1965-66. We, accordingly, confirm the order of the Tribunal relating to the sales return also. In the result, the tax revision petition fails and it is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 250.


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