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Cutfast Abrasive Tools Private Limited Vs. State of Tamil Nadu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case No. 1287 of 1977 (Revision No. 292 of 1977)
Judge
Reported in[1984]57STC40(Mad)
ActsTamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959
AppellantCutfast Abrasive Tools Private Limited
RespondentState of Tamil Nadu
Appellant AdvocateK. Ramagopal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK.S. Bakthavatchalam, Additional Government Pleader
Cases ReferredIn Sri Sakthi Textiles Ltd. v. State of Tamil Nadu
Excerpt:
- - from the photograph as well as the trade description, it appears that the most important function of this machinery is to act as an abrasive for any substance which comes in contact with the abrasive belt in the machine. if the machinery is worked by electricity and it is not machinery which is intrinsically electrical machinery, then the appropriate entry for single point taxation would be entry 81 of the first schedule, falling within the description 'machinery worked by electricity'.10. in the present case, as we have earlier pointed out, the article dealt in by the assessee was belt-grinding machine whose most important machine-part, as well as function, is to act as an abrasive belt or tool, being operated by an electric motor......year, entry 41 as given below was in force only up to 2nd march, 1975. '41. all electrical goods, machinery, instruments, apparatus, appliances, accessories and component parts (either sold as a whole or in parts), including fans, lighting bulbs, electrical earthenwares, 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.' 3. with effect from 3rd march, 1975, under the amendment act 15 of 1975, entry 41 was split up into many entries, one of which was entry 41-b, which reads as under : '41-b. electrical grinders, mixers, blenders, hair-driers, shavers, washing machines, heaters, cooking ranges, boilers, ovens, geysers, generators, transformers and parts and.....
Judgment:

Balasubrahmanyan, J.

1. In this revision, the question is whether the goods sold by the assessee fell under entry 81 or entry 41 or entry 41-B of the First Schedule to the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959. At the time material for the assessment year in question, namely, 1974-75, entry 81 was as follows :

'81. All machinery worked by (i) electricity, At the point of (ii) diesel, (iii) petrol, (iv) furnace first 5.' sale oil, (v) kerosene, (vi) coal including in the State. charcoal or (vii) any other fuel or power; and parts and accessories of such machinery other than those specifically mentioned in this schedule.

2. During that assessment year, entry 41 as given below was in force only up to 2nd March, 1975.

'41. All electrical goods, machinery, instruments, apparatus, appliances, accessories and component parts (either sold as a whole or in parts), including fans, lighting bulbs, electrical earthenwares, 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.'

3. With effect from 3rd March, 1975, under the Amendment Act 15 of 1975, entry 41 was split up into many entries, one of which was entry 41-B, which reads as under :

'41-B. Electrical grinders, mixers, blenders, hair-driers, shavers, washing machines, heaters, cooking ranges, boilers, ovens, geysers, generators, transformers and parts and accessories of all such goods.'

4. The original entry 41 was re-written by the amending Act of 1975, in the following form :

'All kinds of electrical goods (other than those specified elsewhere in this Schedule), including wires, holders, plugs, switches, castings, cappings, reapers, bends, junction boxes, meter boxes, switch boxes, meter boards, switch boards, electrical earthenware and porcelainware.'

5. According to the Tribunal, 'belt grinding machine' which was being dealt in by the assessee in this case fell within the description of entry 41 up to 2nd March, 1975, and under entry 41-B from 3rd March, 1975, up to 31st March, 1975.

6. The assessee has now brought this revision against the order of the Tribunal. Mr. K. Ramagopal, the assessee's learned counsel, has placed before us an illustrated brochure briefly describing the nature of the belt grinder. From the photograph as well as the trade description, it appears that the most important function of this machinery is to act as an abrasive for any substance which comes in contact with the abrasive belt in the machine. The abrasive belt, however, is operated by a 2 h.p. electric motor fitted with a push-button starter.

7. We can easily dispose of the Tribunal's finding that the belt grinder dealt in by the assessee is an electrical grinder falling under entry 41-B. On the whole some reading of all the classes of articles grouped under entry 41-B, it is quite clear that the reference to electrical grinder is only to a grinder which is an electrical appliance of domestic use which is employed to pulverise or act as a wet grinder or to make dough. Merely because the article being dealt in by the assessee is described as a 'grinder', it cannot be brought within the classification of electrical grinder under entry 41-B.

8. Entry 41 as it stood amended by Act 15 of 1975, does not refer to any electrical machinery at all and only refers to electrical goods. It is true that before this amendment was brought into being by Act 15 of 1975, entry 41 included electrical machinery. But it must contrasted with entry 81 which refers to machinery worked by electricity. There is a cautionary phrase appended to entry 81 which says that machinery worked by electricity refers to machinery other than those specifically mentioned elsewhere in the Schedule. This saving clause shows that there must be a difference between 'electrical machinery' falling under entry 41 (before its amendment by Act 15 of 1975) and machinery worked by electricity. In Sri Sakthi Textiles Ltd. v. State of Tamil Nadu [1979] 43 STC 404 a Bench of this Court had to construe the expression 'electrical machinery' occurring in entry 41 as it stood before its amendment by Act 15 of 1975. They held, following certain earlier decided cases, that electrical machinery must come within the generic expression 'Electrical goods' under that entry. They observed that apart from the fact that electrical goods and electrical machinery under entry 41 must be of such a kind as cannot be used without electricity, they must also by their very intrinsic nature answer the description of electrical goods or electrical machinery.

9. Apart from the principle laid down in this decision, we think we must give due significance to the way in which entry 81 describes 'machinery', namely, as machinery worked by electricity. If the machinery is worked by electricity and it is not machinery which is intrinsically electrical machinery, then the appropriate entry for single point taxation would be entry 81 of the First Schedule, falling within the description 'machinery worked by electricity'.

10. In the present case, as we have earlier pointed out, the article dealt in by the assessee was belt-grinding machine whose most important machine-part, as well as function, is to act as an abrasive belt or tool, being operated by an electric motor. It is quite appropriate, therefore, to describe this item of machinery as one which is worked by electricity, rather than to describe it is as an electrical machinery in its very nature. In its very nature it is only an abrasive machinery.

11. The Tribunal was in error in holding that the article dealt in by the assessee was either electrical machinery or that it fell within the meaning of entry 41 or that it came within the sub-classification of electrical grinder under entry 41-B. The article ought, properly, to be taxed for the purpose of single point taxation only under entry 81, as 'machinery worked by electricity'.

12. Therefore, we modify the Appellate Tribunal's order to the extent that the turnover in question ought to be taxed at the rate of 5 per cent single point under entry 81. The assessee having succeeded in this revision is entitled to his costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 250.


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