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Glenrock Wood and Allied Enterprises Vs. the State of Tamil Nadu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case Number T.C. No. 131 of 1970 (Rev. No. 101 of 1970)
Judge
Reported in[1975]36STC316(Mad)
AppellantGlenrock Wood and Allied Enterprises
RespondentThe State of Tamil Nadu
Appellant Advocate S. Swaminathan and ; K. Ramgopal, Advs.
Respondent Advocate K. Venkalaswami, the Additional Government Pleader No. 1
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredIn State of Madras v. B. Tavanappanavar
Excerpt:
.....of these transactions is clearly set out by the petitioners themselves in their letter dated 31st july, 1965, which runs as follows: we are now informed on good authority, by virtue of sections 3 and 4(2)(a), that so far as the deliveries effected by our kerala office to parties inside or outside that state, they must be treated as sales effected in kerala state and subject to the kerala sales tax or central sales tax, as the case may be, and should not be treated as inter-state sales effected by our pandalur office. these facts clearly establish that the sales were effected only by the pandalur office of the petitioners and that the goods were despatched from pandalur in pursuance of the contracts of sales......appellate assistant commissioner on the ground that they had mistakenly submitted the turnover as inter-state, that there was no inter-state sale at all and they had transported the goods to their own depot at calicut and the calicut office only had made local sales in respect of a portion and inter-state sales in respect of the other portion. in the meantime, they had also sent a letter to the assessing officer on 31st july, 1965, setting out the details as to how the transactions in these cases had taken place. since this letter could not have been considered by the assessing officer, the appellate authority considered this letter as well and came to the conclusion that there was no ground to interfere with the order of assessment and that the entire turnover of rs. 2,40,371.89 was.....
Judgment:

V. Ramaswami, J.

1. The petitioners are dealers in timber. In respect of the year 1963-64, they returned a total and taxable turnovers of Rs. 5,19,207.89 and Rs. 2,43,564.05 respectively under the Central Sales Tax Act. The Joint Commercial Tax Officer, Ootacamund, by his order dated 17th March, 1965, determined the taxable turnover at Rs. 2,40,371.89 in the view that the balance of the taxable turnover returned was liable to be included in the Tamil Nadu general sales tax assessment and not in the Central sales tax assessment. Though in effect therefore the return of the assessees themselves was accepted by the assessing officer, they preferred an appeal to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner on the ground that they had mistakenly submitted the turnover as inter-State, that there was no inter-State sale at all and they had transported the goods to their own depot at Calicut and the Calicut office only had made local sales in respect of a portion and inter-State sales in respect of the other portion. In the meantime, they had also sent a letter to the assessing officer on 31st July, 1965, setting out the details as to how the transactions in these cases had taken place. Since this letter could not have been considered by the assessing officer, the appellate authority considered this letter as well and came to the conclusion that there was no ground to interfere with the order of assessment and that the entire turnover of Rs. 2,40,371.89 was inter-State sales liable to be taxed in this State. The assessees preferred a further appeal to the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal. The Tribunal found that the petitioners had not produced any contract to show the nature of it, the name of the buyer, the conditions of delivery and other such details ; but the evidence showed that the sales were effected by the petitioners in their Pandalur office within this State, that they had collected sales tax under the Central Sales Tax Act, that they received C forms from the out-of-State purchasers and produced them at the time of assessment and that the Calicut office of the petitioners only had acted as the agents for open delivery of the goods. The Tribunal also found that the goods were removed from this State in pursuance of contracts of sales and the facts showed that one of the terms of that contract was delivery of the goods outside the State. The Tribunal also pointed out that when originally the sales tax authorities at Calicut wanted to assess the sales as local sales effected by the Calicut office, the representative of the petitioners at Calicut had stated that they were not maintaining any cash book or ledger, that the sales were effected only by the Pandalur office in Madras State and that they were only carrying out the directions of the Pandalur office with regard to the delivery of goods and the mode of delivery to the purchasers in the Kerala State. On these facts, the Tribunal came to the conclusion that they were inter-State sales liable to be taxed in this State.

2. In this petition, the learned counsel for the petitioners contended that there was no inter-State sales at all, that the petitioners who had collected the logs of wood in their stockyard at Pandalur had them transferred to their depot at Calicut and only thereafter the sales were effected locally in some cases at Calicut and in some other cases the Calicut office effected inter-State sales to outside purchasers in Bombay and other places. In this connection he also referred to certain transport permits issued by the forest authorities under Section 35 of the Tamil Nadu Forest Act and the statement of logs received from different dumping points to the stockyard at Pandalur and the delivery note issued by the petitioners to their branch office at Calicut. He then tried to correlate this delivery note with one instance of sales effected on 29th August, 1963, in favour of one Kunhamed Koya of Calicut. The documents evidencing the transport of the goods sold to Kunhamed Koya on 29th August, 1963, of course were prior to the sale effected in favour of Kunhamed Koya. It is also possible to correlate the timber sold to this party with the transport permits and the statement of logs and the delivery note issued by the Pandalur office. But we are unable to agree with the learned counsel for the petitioners that these documents in anyway show that the sales were effected only by the Calicut office after they received the goods at Calicut. The modus operandi in respect of these transactions is clearly set out by the petitioners themselves in their letter dated 31st July, 1965, which runs as follows:

Our main office is situate at Pandalur and all transactions are being directed from there only. We had a large contract for the exclusive supply of certain species to Messrs. Ramesh Chandra Manilal, Calicut, in the year 1962-63. Delivery had to be effected to parties in most cases only after satisfying as to the correctness of the measurements. Collections too had to be made in regard to the supplies. In certain cases as parties may be requiring only sawn timber it was more convenient to have this done in Calicut which has greater facilities than in Pandalur itself to execute such orders when received. It was also more convenient and economical to safely store the logs, etc., rejected by the parties and find a sale rather than bring them all the way back to Pandalur. For all these reasons, we had a small office in Calicut which was only intended for looking after these details. Such of the logs, etc., as were rejected by the parties and taken delivery of by our Calicut representative or were received direct from Pandalur booked 'self were sold to parties in Kerala or despatched to parties outside that State on instructions by our Pandalur office. In the case of all the goods that were despatched by our Pandalur office to Kerala, it was marked as 'self', even in cases against definite orders in order to protect our interests in regard to payment by parties according to mutual understanding and to obviate parties raising any objections regarding measurements or quality at a later date.

In the belief that since the goods were originally despatched from Pandalur which alone dealt with all sales, the Calicut office only carrying out the behests of the main office in the matter of collections, deliveries, etc., and the transactions were made at Pandalur, and invoiced there, we were all along under the impression that these sales must be treated as being effected from Pandalur and subject to Central sales tax and on that basis we made our returns. We are now informed on good authority, by virtue of Sections 3 and 4(2)(a), that so far as the deliveries effected by our Kerala office to parties inside or outside that State, they must be treated as sales effected in Kerala State and subject to the Kerala sales tax or Central sales tax, as the case may be, and should not be treated as inter-State sales effected by our Pandalur office.

3. It is seen from this letter that the sales were effected only by the Pandalur office and the goods were despatched against definite orders ; but the delivery notes were taken as 'self' and instructions were issued to the Calicut office to make open deliveries so that the purchaser could take delivery after satisfying as to the correctness of the measurements. The petitioners were also collecting sales tax under the Central Sales Tax Act and obtained also C forms from the outside purchasers. In respect of all the turnovers determined, except to the extent of Rs. 17,800.31, the petitioners have also produced the C forms. With respect to the turnover of Rs. 17,800.31, they requested the assessing officer time for producing the same stating that they had addressed the respective parties to send them the C forms and that they will be produced as soon as they are received by them from Gujarat and Bombay. These facts clearly establish that the sales were effected only by the Pandalur office of the petitioners and that the goods were despatched from Pandalur in pursuance of the contracts of sales. We agree with the learned counsel for the petitioners that the conduct of the petitioners in obtaining the C form certificates or the statement before the sales tax authorities at Calicut that these transactions are inter-State sales not liable to be taxed by the assessing authorities at Calicut would not preclude the petitioners from contending that they were not inter-State sales at all and that the goods were transported by the petitioners from their depot at Pandalur to their depot at Calicut and the sales were effected either locally or inter-State by the Calicut office only. But certainly any relevant fact stated in those proceedings would be pieces of evidence which could be relied on for considering the question whether the sales were inter-State sales or not.

4. In State of Madras v. B. Tavanappanavar [1974] 33 S.T.C. 601, a Division Bench of this Court to which one of us was a party, the fact of the receipt of the C form was taken as a material consideration for deciding the question because normally it is not expected that a purchaser would give the C form unless he considers that he is purchasing from an outside State seller. We therefore agree with the view of the Tribunal that the transactions in this case are inter-State sales and that the orders of the assessing authorities are not liable to be interfered with. The petition accordingly fails and the same is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee is Rs. 250.


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