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The State of Tamil Nadu and anr. Vs. Metro Electrical Globes and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case Nos. 243 and 442 of 1971 and 77 of 1973
Judge
Reported in[1977]39STC188(Mad)
AppellantThe State of Tamil Nadu and anr.
RespondentMetro Electrical Globes and anr.
Appellant AdvocateK. Govindarajan, Adv. for ;the Additional Government Pleader No. I
Respondent AdvocateC.S. Chandrasekara Sastri, ;C. Venkataraman and ;C. Natarajan, Advs. in T.C. Nos. 243 and 442 of 1971
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredIn K.V. Narasimulu v. State of A.P.
Excerpt:
- .....held that these globes or lamp-shades and the tin protectors of street lights are not electrical goods or accessories within the meaning of entry 41 and, therefore, could be taxed only at the rate applicable for multi-point tax. it is questioning this view that the revenue had filed these three tax cases.2. it may be mentioned that the decision of the tribunal in t.a. no. 3 of 1967 and t.a. no. 318 of 1966, which related to the cycle seat covers and which was relied on by the tribunal, had been reversed by this court and this court had held that the cycle seat covers are accessories to cycles. but, that does not conclude the point that arises in these cases.3. the learned counsel for the assessee in the first two cases contended that in order to bring an item as electrical goods within.....
Judgment:

V. Ramaswami, J.

1. The assessee in the first two cases, T.C. Nos. 243 and 442 of 1971, is a dealer in electrical goods. The two tax cases relate to the assessment years 1967-68 and 1968-69, but raise a common question as to whether the globes or lamp-shades sold by them are taxable at single point under entry 41 of the First Schedule to the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959, or it is an item of multiple taxation. In the other case, T.C. No. 77 of 1973, the tin protectors covering the street lights is the article in question and there again the question for consideration is whether it is liable for single point taxation under entry 41 or multi-point tax. The assessee in this case is different from that in the other two cases. In all these cases, the Tribunal purporting to follow its earlier decision in T.A. No. 3 of 1967 and T. A. No. 318 of 1966, wherein it had been held that cycle seat covers are not accessories, held that these globes or lamp-shades and the tin protectors of street lights are not electrical goods or accessories within the meaning of entry 41 and, therefore, could be taxed only at the rate applicable for multi-point tax. It is questioning this view that the revenue had filed these three tax cases.

2. It may be mentioned that the decision of the Tribunal in T.A. No. 3 of 1967 and T.A. No. 318 of 1966, which related to the cycle seat covers and which was relied on by the Tribunal, had been reversed by this court and this court had held that the cycle seat covers are accessories to cycles. But, that does not conclude the point that arises in these cases.

3. The learned counsel for the assessee in the first two cases contended that in order to bring an item as electrical goods within the meaning of entry 41, it will have to satisfy the twin tests. Firstly, it should be inherently electrical goods or instrument which is commonly understood as such and, secondly, such article must be one, the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy. In support of his argument, the learned counsel relied on certain decisions also. In William Jacks and Co. Ltd. v. State of Madras [1955] 6 S.T.C. 301, which was a case decided under the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1939, the question for consideration was whether certain articles were electrical goods within the meaning of Section 3(2)(viii) of that Act. The relevant provision read as follows :

All electrical goods, instruments, apparatus and appliances, including fans and lighting bulbs, electrical earthenware and porcelain and all other accessories.

4. After observing that it was neither possible nor desirable for the court to embark on the preparation of an exhaustive list of what constitute 'electrical goods' nor even is it possible to devise a formula of universal application, approved the test formulated by the Tribunal to the effect that only such articles the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy can be termed as 'electrical goods' or appliances. Again, this court in Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes v. Ravi Auto Stores [1968] 22 S.T.C. 172 applied the same test in deciding the question as to whether welding electrodes are electrical goods within the meaning of entry 41 of Schedule I to the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959. In the later decision, this court also observed that intrinsically the goods must be electrical goods and, secondly, their use could not be had without electrical energy. The fact that an article can be used only with electricity may not be a decisive test. It is necessary that, apart from that fact, the article, by its very nature, should also answer the description of 'electrical goods'. It might be seen from these decisions that they were concerned only with the question whether the articles were electrical goods. But, in the instant case, we are concerned with the question whether these lamp-shades which are by themselves not electrical goods could be brought within entry 41 as accessories to such electrical goods. The relevant entry 41, as it stood in the assessment years 1967-68 and 1968-69, read as follows:

All electrical goods, machinery, instruments, apparatus, appliances, accessories and component parts (either sold as a whole or in parts), including fans, lighting bulbs, electrical earthernwares, porcelain and all other instruments, apparatus, appliances, accessories and component parts, the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy.

5. There could be no doubt that the lamp-shades are accessories to electrical lamps. In fact, the finding of the Tribunal is that they were sold for being used as shades for the electrical lamps. But, what the learned counsel for the assessee contended is that even with reference to the accessories, the twin tests applied in the above two decisions would have to be applied and tested in order to bring it within entry 41 and unless the accessories are also articles, the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy it could not be brought within entry 41. We are unable to agree with the contention of the learned counsel. The entry, as it stood prior to its amendment in 1964, was as follows :

All electrical goods, instruments, apparatus, appliances and all such articles, the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy, including fans, lighting bulbs, electrical earthernwares and porcelain and all other accessories and component parts either sold as a whole or in parts.

6. This was later amended in the form in which it is extracted earlier and the reason for such amendment was given in the statement of objects and reasons appended to the amendment bill as follows :

Government have decided to modify entry 41 of the First Schedule to the Act so as to specifically include machinery in the list of articles enumerated in the said item and to make it clear that the expression 'the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy' should be made to qualify only articles other than those specifically enumerated in that entry.

7. It is seen from the original provision and the amended provision that the expression 'the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy' qualify only articles other than those specifically enumerated in that entry and it will not apply to the rest of the accessories to such articles. For example, if the article is a typewriter, though it might be an instrument it could not be brought within entry 41. But if the typewriter is one which is electrically operated since it is an instrument, the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy, it would be brought under that entry. But even in such a case, if the question was with reference to an accessory to that electrical goods or instrument, the qualification of use of energy is not necessary or applicable. In fact, we find that the word 'accessories' has been used in more than one place in entry 41. We are, therefore, of the view that in the case of an accessory to electrical goods, it need not satisfy the tests of its use by power in order to bring it within entry 41. Our view also finds support from two decisions. In State of Tamil Nadu v. Binny's Engineering Works Ltd. [1975] 35 S.T.C. 260, which is a decision of this court, it was held that fuse switch boxes are taxable under entry 41 as component parts or accessories to electrical goods. In K.V. Narasimulu v. State of A.P. [1971] 27 S.T.C. 178, the Andhra Pradesh High Court held that wooden casings and reapers used in electrical wiring fall within the scope of accessories of electrical goods and taxable as such. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the globes or lamp-shades and the tin protectors of lights in the streets are taxable at single point as accessories to electrical goods under entry 41 of the First Schedule. The tax revision petitions are accordingly allowed. The revenue will be entitled to its costs in T.C. Nos. 243 and 442 of 1971. Counsel's fee Rs. 150 in each. There will be no order as to costs in T.C. No. 77 of 1973.


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