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Ashok Leyland Ltd., Ennore, Madras Vs. State of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case No. 44 of 1965 (App. No. 1)
Judge
Reported inAIR1968Mad348; [1967]20STC450(Mad)
ActsThe Sale of Goods Act - Sections 4(2) and 6
AppellantAshok Leyland Ltd., Ennore, Madras
RespondentState of Madras
Excerpt:
- - the sale of goods act, it is well known, contains no indication as to the situs of sale, though it contains rules which apply to a determination of when a sale is concluded, as for instance, by passing of property or by appropriation or by delivery and so on......the appeal is confined only to a turnover of rs. 21,02,712.34, which consists of admittedly inter-state sales of chassis. these sales were not originally brought to tax on the view that they took place prior to 1st july 1957, on which date s. 6, by notification in that regard, was brought into force. the board of revenue disagreed with that view and was of opinion that the inter-state sales, though invoiced or billed prior to 1st july 1957, were actually completed only thereafter by delivery to the out-of-the-state dealers.(2) the board's order shows that it laid great emphasis on the fact that it was the assessee's drivers that drove out the vehicles outside the borders of the state, that the vehicles were also insured in the name of the assessee and thus the right of disposal of.....
Judgment:

Veeraswami, J.

1. This appeal in the form of a tax case is directed against an order of the Board of Revenue dated 20th October 1964, passed in exercise of its suo motu powers of revision. The appeal is confined only to a turnover of Rs. 21,02,712.34, which consists of admittedly inter-State sales of chassis. These sales were not originally brought to tax on the view that they took place prior to 1st July 1957, on which date S. 6, by notification in that regard, was brought into force. The Board of Revenue disagreed with that view and was of opinion that the inter-State sales, though invoiced or billed prior to 1st July 1957, were actually completed only thereafter by delivery to the out-of-the-State dealers.

(2) The Board's order shows that it laid great emphasis on the fact that it was the assessee's drivers that drove out the vehicles outside the borders of the State, that the vehicles were also insured in the name of the assessee and thus the right of disposal of the vehicles vested in the assessee up to the time of the delivery to the buyer. On these facts the Board came to the conclusion that the property in the vehicles passed to the buyers at the time of the delivery to the out of-the-State buyers.

(3) We have examined one of the bills prepared by Ashok Leylands, Ltd. which is the assessee. This invoice bears No. VL 163/57 dated 29th June 1957 and is addressed to the G. M. Delhi Road Transport Authority, Scindia House, New Delhi. The chassis number, the engine number, the particulars of the front and rear tyres, the quantities of the vehicles covered by the invoice and other particulars as to the make and quality, etc. of the vehicles are given. The unit price and the total value of the vehicles is get out and 90 per cent of the total value is indicated. We find from the invoice that it refers to the order of the Delhi Road Transport Authority, No. G.M. 505 of July 30, 1956, and agreement concluded by the assessee on 10th August 1956. It does not appear that the order and the agreement in this and similar documents in other cases have been produced by the assessee or examined by the Board of Revenue in deciding this case. It is not clear to us what the 90 per cent of the value mentioned in the notice represents; whether it is to be collected to the credit of the assessee on delivery of the vehicles out of the State or it merely represents a book entry in other circumstances. When a sale is complete will depend on a number of facts, including the nature of the goods, and the terms relating to appropriation, or the manner of delivery. The Board has merely relied on the facts we mentioned, namely, the assessee's own drivers driving out the vehicles whose insurance also happened to be in the assessee's name. That by itself may not be conclusive and a satisfactory decision cannot be arrived at as to when the inter-State sale was completed merely on those facts.

(4) Further, the Board seems to have paid no attention to Sec. 4(2)(b). That section, along with the other sections, except Ss. 6 and 15, had come into force on and from 5th January 1957. It is true that the whole object of Chapter II is to lay down principles as to where an inter-State sale takes place, and when a sale can be taken to be of an inter-State character. The Sale of Goods Act, it is well known, contains no indication as to the situs of sale, though it contains rules which apply to a determination of when a sale is concluded, as for instance, by passing of property or by appropriation or by delivery and so on. But Sec. 4(2), while fixing the situs, also refers to the time with reference to which the situs is based, the time at which certain events take place or facts are to be found. Clause (a) to sub-section (2) will apply with reference to the time of a contract of sale and Clause (b) with reference to the time of appropriation of the goods to the contract by the seller or by the buyer with or without the assent of one or the other. If this test is applied, namely, appropriation, as is contended for the assessee, the completion of the inter-State sale cannot be determined with reference to the delivery but only with reference to the appropriation itself. The further question would be whether in view of the tests applied by S. 4(2), the conventional tests applied by S. 4(2), the conventional tests as to completion of sales to be found in the Sale of Goods Act will any more apply. The Board has not directed its mind to any of these questions, both factual and legal. In the circumstances we are unable to accept the conclusion of the Board of Revenue.

(5) The tax case is allowed and the Board is directed to dispose of the appeal afresh after examining all the relative documents including the orders and agreements and considering the applicability of Sec. 4(2)(b). No costs.

6. Order accordingly.


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