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Sundaram Industries Private Limited Vs. the State of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case Nos. 323 to 328 and 388 of 1969
Judge
Reported in[1975]36STC95(Mad)
AppellantSundaram Industries Private Limited
RespondentThe State of Madras
Appellant Advocate A.R. Ramanathan, Adv.
Respondent Advocate K. Venkataswami, Additional Government Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredX.V. Sundram Iyengar & Sons v. State of Madras
Excerpt:
- .....body did not pass to the customer as and when they were worked into the chassis in the process of body-building. these facts were taken as leading to the conclusion that the transfer of property in the bus body built on the chassis supplied by the customer as a specific chattel for a certain consideration amounted to a transaction of sale of bus body. the learned judges in that case felt that the specification of specific articles, with their prices given separately in the bills, is of no consequence, in the absence of any contract between the parties to indicate that there was a separate bargain or contract for the purchase of the specified articles which are to be worked into the chassis in the process of body-building. the said decision of this court has since been affirmed by the.....
Judgment:

Ramanujam, J.

1. In all these cases, a common question arises as to whether the bus bodies built by the assessees on the chassis supplied by the customers can be taxed as sales of bus bodies. T. C. No. 326 and 388 of 1969 relate to assessments made under the Central Sales Tax Act and the other cases relate to assessments made under the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959.

2. The assessee in T. C. No. 328 of 1969 had challenged similar assessments made by the assessing authority in respect of the earlier years. When those matters ultimately came to this court, this court held in T. V. Sundram Iyengar and Sons (P.) Ltd. v. State of Madras [1970] 25 S.T.C. 160, that the transaction of building bus bodies on the chassis supplied by the customers are liable to be taxed as sales of goods. It was found on the evidence in that case that the property in the materials passed to the customer only at the time of the delivery of the completed bus body as a specific chattel fitted on to the chassis supplied by the customers, and that the property in the materials which were used in building the bus body did not pass to the customer as and when they were worked into the chassis in the process of body-building. These facts were taken as leading to the conclusion that the transfer of property in the bus body built on the chassis supplied by the customer as a specific chattel for a certain consideration amounted to a transaction of sale of bus body. The learned Judges in that case felt that the specification of specific articles, with their prices given separately in the bills, is of no consequence, in the absence of any contract between the parties to indicate that there was a separate bargain or contract for the purchase of the specified articles which are to be worked into the chassis in the process of body-building. The said decision of this court has since been affirmed by the Supreme Court in Civil Appeals Nos. 2229 to 2231 of 1969 Since reported as X.V. Sundram Iyengar & Sons v. State of Madras [1975] 35 S.T.C. 24 (S.C.).

3. The facts in all these cases are more or less similar to the facts of the cases dealt with by this court in T.V. Sundram Iyengar and Sons' case [1970] 25 S.T.C. 160, except for a minor difference. In the cases dealt with in T.V. Sundram Iyengar and Sons' case [1970] 25 S.T.C. 160, the work of body-building was undertaken in pursuance of what is called 'repair order' from the customer. But, in these cases, the body-building was undertaken in pursuance of certain correspondence between the customer and the assessees. The correspondence is to this effect : The customer requested the assessees to construct a bus body on the chassis to be supplied by him. The assessees required the customer to give specifications of the particular bus body which he required to be constructed on his chassis. After the customer gives his specifications and agrees to the cost quoted by the assessees, the work is undertaken by the assessees. Whether the work is undertaken by the assessees as a result of a 'repair order' placed by the customer, or as a result of correspondence, the factual position appears to be that the assessees agreed to erect a bus body on the chassis supplied by the customer for a specified amount fixed on the basis of the specifications for the bus body given by the customer. There are no materials in these cases to indicate that the property in the materials which have been worked into the chassis in the process of body-building passed to the customer then and there. There is also no separate agreement for the sale of these materials which were worked into the chassis in the process of body-building. On the materials available, the conclusion is inescapable that the property in the bus body built by the assessees passed to the customer only at the time of handing over the completed bus body along with the chassis. Therefore, the transaction would amount only to a sale of bus body by the assessees to the customer.

4. Following the decision given by this court in T.V. Sundram Iyengar & Sons' case [1970] 25 S.T.C. 160, which has since been affirmed by the Supreme Court Since reported as X.V. Sundram Iyengar & Sons v. State of Madras [1975] 35 S.T.C. 24 (S.C.), we have to dismiss the above tax cases and they are accordingly dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 100 in each case.


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