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Union Leather Company Vs. State of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Revision Case No. 10 of 1957
Judge
Reported in[1960]11STC318(Mad)
AppellantUnion Leather Company
RespondentState of Madras
Appellant AdvocateT.T. Srinivasan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG. Ramanujam, Adv. for ;The Government Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredMadras v. State of Madras
Excerpt:
- - 11,80,893-7-7. that plea failed. both these conditions were satisfied in the case of the assessee. both these contentions fail......that declared by section 14-a(1), which runs: 'in respect of the business of the non-resident his agent resident in the state shall be deemed to be the dealer '. the fiction enacted by section 14-a(1) is that with reference to the goods of the non-resident dealers sold within the state of madras, the agent, in this case the petitioner, is deemed to be the dealer. we are unable to see anything in section 14-a(1) or elsewhere in the act, which further limits the operation of the fiction nor can we see anything to support the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that, if the not-resident principal was not taxable, the, agent could not be taxed at all. as a result of the fiction, enacted by section 14-a(1), the primary liability in law is laid on the agent and, for the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Rajagopalan, J.

1. Before the Tribunal the petitioner-assessee denied his liability to be taxed on a turnover of Rs. 11,80,893-7-7. That plea failed. This sum was made up of two items, (1) Rs. 11,65,268-9-9, which represented the turnover in the sales of hides and skins, which belonged to principals not resident within the State of Madras and (2) Rs. 15,624-13-10, which represented the turnover of sales of hides and skins which belonged to resident principals. The assessee acted as the agent for both sets of principals when he sold the tanned hides and skins. We are really concerned at this stage with the liability of the petitioner to be taxed on the first item of the turnover, Rs. 11,65,268-9-9. As we said, the tanned hides and skins, which the assessee sold, belonged to principals, who were not residents within the State of Madras and the assessee was their agent.

2. The learned counsel for the petitioner-assessee contended that the petitioner was not liable to be taxed on this turnover. Two contentions were put forward: (1) Rule 16 (4) under which the petitioner was taxed was ultra vires, as it was in conflict with Article 304 of the Constitution; and (2) since the goods belonged to non-resident principals and those principals themselves were not licensed dealers and further since Rule 16(4) made only transactions of licensed dealers taxable, the petitioner as an agent of unlicensed dealers could not have been taxed when the principals themselves could not have been taxed.

3. The first of the contentions we have to negative in view of our decision in W.P. No. 400 of 1957 Since reported as Abdul Subhan & Co. v. The State of Madras and Anr. [1960] 11 S.T.C. 173, wherein we have upheld the validity of Rule 16(4) and where we have pointed out that there was no real contravention of Article 304 of the Constitution.

4. The next question is whether, despite the fact, that the non-resident principals on whose behalf the tanned skins were sold within the State were not licensed dealers within the scheme of the Sales Tax Act, the petitioner as their agent could be taxed on the turnover of such sales. That the petitioner was a licensed dealer within the State of Madras was never in dispute. The liability of the petitioner, as an agent of non-resident principals to be taxed on the turnover of sales conducted by the petitioner on behalf of those non-resident principals is that declared by Section 14-A(1), which runs: 'In respect of the business of the non-resident his agent resident in the State shall be deemed to be the dealer '. The fiction enacted by Section 14-A(1) is that with reference to the goods of the non-resident dealers sold within the State of Madras, the agent, in this case the petitioner, is deemed to be the dealer. We are unable to see anything in Section 14-A(1) or elsewhere in the Act, which further limits the operation of the fiction nor can we see anything to support the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that, if the not-resident principal was not taxable, the, agent could not be taxed at all. As a result of the fiction, enacted by Section 14-A(1), the primary liability in law is laid on the agent and, for the imposition of that liability he is deemed to be the dealer. In the case of sales of tanned hides and skins that liability can be imposed on an agent only if he is. a licensed dealer. If the agent is not a licensed dealer, despite Section 14-A(1), the liability cannot be imposed. In this case, as we said, that the petitioner was a licensed dealer was never in issue. What Section 14-A(1) declared was that the agent should be deemed to be a dealer. The further requirement of Rule 16(4) of the rules was that he should be a licensed dealer. Both these conditions were satisfied in the case of the assessee. That the non-resident dealer could not have been taxed direct does not really affect the liability of the petitioner, the liability regulated by Section 14-A(1) to which will have to be added the provisions of Rule 16(4) of the (Turnover and Assessment) Rules.

5. The learned counsel for the petitioner referred to India Coffee and Tea Distributing Co., Ltd., Madras v. State of Madras [1958] 9 S.T.C. 769. But that referred only to the ultimate and economic incidence of the tax on the non-resident principal. That should be made clear by Sub-section (3) of Section 14-A, which gives the agent of the non-resident principal a statutory right to recover from that principal whatever that has been collected under the provisions of the Act from the resident agent. Neither the terms of Section 14-A nor the principle laid down in the India Coffee Board's case [1958] 9 S.T.C. 769 supports the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner, that since in this case the non-resident principal could not have been taxed on the turnover, the agent could not be taxed at all.

6. These were the only two contentions on which the taxed liability ultimately sustained by the Tribunal was resisted. Both these contentions fail. The petition fails and is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 100.


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