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T.i. and M. Sales Limited Vs. the State of Tamil Nadu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case No. 1115 of 1977 (Revision No. 259 of 1977)
Judge
Reported in[1983]52STC94(Mad)
AppellantT.i. and M. Sales Limited
RespondentThe State of Tamil Nadu
Appellant AdvocateR. Narasimhachari and ;N. Varadarajan, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateK.S. Bakthavatsalam, Additional Government Pleader No. I
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredVaiswaner Trading Co. v. State of Gujarat
Excerpt:
.....in that case dealt with the same entry with which we are concerned in the present case, namely, iron and steel, that is to say'.the supreme court also considered the meaning of the expression 'that is to say' given by the privy council as well as the federal court in the two decisions referred to by the high court of andhra pradesh and the high court of kerala, referred to already. in view of this decision of the supreme court, we are clearly of the opinion that there is no force in the contention of the learned counsel for the assessee and we hold that the expression 'that is to say' is exhaustive, enumerative and restrictive of the expression 'iron and steel' and that only those commodities or goods which have been enumerated after the words 'that is to say' will come within the..........:entry no. 2 in the third schedule to the andhra pradesh general sales tax act begins with the words 'iron and steel, that is to say . . .'. those words are of considerable importance. they are explanatory of what iron and steel is. all articles enumerated under that head, either in their crude form or in their manufactured stage or in any of the forms listed under the sub-headings (a), (b), (c) and (d), are treated as various forms of iron and steel.the scope and meaning of the words 'that is to say' following 'land' in entry no. 21 of list ii of the seventh schedule to the government of india act, 1935, has been expressed by the judicial committee in megh raj v. allah rakhia air 1947 pc 72 as introducing the most general concept 'rights in or over land'.by a parity of reasoning,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

The order of the Court was pronounced by

Ismail, J.

1. The assessee is a public limited company and is a dealer in cycles and cycle spare parts, besides being a distributor of tubes and accessories and we are concerned in the present revision case only with tubes. The assessee reported a total and taxable turnover of Rs. 9,76,12,421.89 and Rs. 35,15,327.00 respectively. It disputed the inclusion of Rs. 34,56,080.29, representing the turnover in relation to tubes. The assessee claimed exemption in respect of the same on the ground that the sales were second sales of declared goods, and therefore, they were not liable to be taxed. The assessee's contention was that the tubes were made out of steel strips and coils by the Tube Products of India Ltd., who, in turn, purchased the strips and coils from Messrs. Hindustan Steel Ltd., that the Tube Products of India Ltd., after manufacture of tubes out of steel strips and coils had sold them to the assessee after charging sales tax at 3 per cent, which happened to be the same rate for Central Sales Tax as well as Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Acts ; and that since the tax had been paid under the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act, 1959, the subsequent sale of the tubes by the assessee should be exempted. The assessing officer as well as the Appellate Assistant Commissioner rejected this claim of the assessee and thereafter the assessee preferred an appeal to the Tribunal. The Tribunal also, after elaborately considering the case put forward by the assessee, agreed with the conclusion of the assessing authority and held that the assessee was not entitled to the exemption it claimed. It is against these orders that the present revision case has been preferred.

2. For the purpose of considering the claim put forward by the assessee, it is necessary to set out Section 14(iv) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, before its amendment by the Central Act 61 of 1972. It is the same entry which has been reproduced by the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act also, and therefore, there is no need to reproduce the same provision in the said Act separately. The said Section 14(iv) is as follows :

14. Certain goods to be of special importance in inter-State trade or commerce.--It is hereby declared that the following goods are of special importance in inter-State trade or commerce : . . .

(iv) iron and steel, that is to say,--

(a) pig iron and iron scrap;

(b) iron plates sold in the same form in which they are directly produced by the rolling mill;

(c) Steel scrap, steel ingots, steel billets, steel bars and rods;(d) (i) steel plates,(ii) steel sheets, sold in the same form in which they(iii) sheet bars and tin bars, are directly produced by the rolling(iv) rolled steel sections, mill.(v) tool alloy steel.

3. The argument of Mr. K. K. Venugopal, the learned counsel for the assessee, is that the entry referred to above deals with all kinds of iron and steel or all goods manufactured out of iron and steel, that since the tubes in question have been produced out of steel strips and coils by merely joining together they would constitute iron and steel, that, therefore, they are declared goods under the provisions of the Central Sales Tax Act; 1956, and that consequently the second sales thereof are exempt from the liability to sales tax under the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act. In other words, the argument of the learned counsel is that the expression, 'that is to say' occurring after the expression 'iron and steel' is merely illustrative of the items which can be made out of iron and steel and which have been exempt from tax and is not restrictive or enumerative so as to exempt only what follows the expression 'that is to say'. In support of this contention, the learned counsel drew our attention to a judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in State of Andhra Pradesh v. Sri Durga Hardware Stores [1973] 32 STC 322 . In that case, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was dealing with an identical question in respect of the meaning to be given to the expression 'that is to say' occurring after the expression 'iron and steel'. The Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court stated :

Entry No. 2 in the Third Schedule to the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act begins with the words 'iron and steel, that is to say . . .'. Those words are of considerable importance. They are explanatory of what iron and steel is. All articles enumerated under that head, either in their crude form or in their manufactured stage or in any of the forms listed under the sub-headings (a), (b), (c) and (d), are treated as various forms of iron and steel.

The scope and meaning of the words 'that is to say' following 'land' in entry No. 21 of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Government of India Act, 1935, has been expressed by the Judicial Committee in Megh Raj v. Allah Rakhia AIR 1947 PC 72 as introducing the most general concept 'rights in or over land'.

By a parity of reasoning, the words 'that is to say' occurring immediately after 'iron and steel' in entry No. 2 show that the legislature intended to adopt the most general concept of iron and steel and wanted all forms of iron and steel to be brought within that entry.

4. The next decision to which our attention was drawn by the learned counsel is that of the Kerala High Court in State of Kerala v. C. Moidoo [1972] 29 STC 373 . That also dealt with an entry relating to the Central Sales Tax Act which was as follows:

Oil-seeds, that is to say, seeds yielding non-volatile oils used for human consumption, or in industry, or in the manufacture of varnishes, soaps and the like, or in lubrication, and volatile oils used chiefly in medicines, perfumes, cosmetics and the like.

5. Dealing with the scope of the expression 'that is to say' occurring in the above entry, the Bench of the Kerala High Court stated :

'The Federal Court had to consider the power to legislate 'with respect to intoxicating liquors' and incidentally the words 'that is to say, the production, manufacture, possession, transport, purchase and sale of intoxicating liquors, opium and other narcotic drugs' in Schedule 7, List 2, item 31, of the Government of India Act, 1935, particularly the words 'that is to say' came up for construction and their Lordships observed with reference to these words :

'In our opinion these words are explanatory or illustrative words, and not words either of amplification or limitation.'

6. The same is the view taken by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council where the same words, 'that is to say' occurring in item 21 in List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Government of India Act, 1935, came up for construction and the following observations of the Judicial Committee are apposite :

As to item 21, 'land', the governing word is followed by the rest of the item, which goes on to say, 'that is to say'. These words introduce the most general concept--''rights in or over land'. 'Rights in land' must include general rights like full ownership or leasehold or all such rights. 'Rights over land' would include easements or other collateral rights, whatever form they might take. Then follow words which are not words of limitation but of explanation or illustration, giving instances which may furnish a clue for particular matters; thus there are the words 'relation of landlord and tenant and collection of rents'. These words are appropriate to lands which are not agricultural equally with agricultural lands.

7. These observations were no doubt made by the Federal Court and the Privy Council with reference to the entries in the List of the Seventh Schedule to the Government of India Act, 1935, and therefore while interpreting constitutional entries dealing with legislative powers. It was suggested that this being so, those decisions can have no application in construing the words 'that is to say' occurring in Section 14(vi) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. We do not see the force of this argument. The words 'that is to say' interpreted by the Federal Court and the Privy Council were interpreted as they were, not because of any particular or special rule that must apply in interpreting the entries in the Constitution. We understand the decisions as authority for the proposition that the words 'that is to say' are not words of limitation or amplification but are merely illustrative or explanatory. This rule, we think, must apply wherever such words occur in any statute. We see no reason not to apply this meaning that has been given to the words by the Federal Court and the Privy Council. We are therefore of the view with great respect that the decisions that had proceeded on the basis that Section 14(vi) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, contains a definition of 'oil-seeds' have erred.'

8. In view of the subsequent decision of the Supreme Court in State of Tamil Nadu v. Pyare Lal Malhotra : 1983(13)ELT1582(SC) it must be held that the aforesaid two decisions, namely, the decision of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and that of the High Court of Kerala are not good law. The Supreme Court in that case dealt with the same entry with which we are concerned in the present case, namely, 'iron and steel, that is to say'. The Supreme Court also considered the meaning of the expression 'that is to say' given by the Privy Council as well as the Federal Court in the two decisions referred to by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and the High Court of Kerala, referred to already. While doing so, the Supreme Court observed :

What we have inferred above also appears to us to be the significance and effect of the use of words 'that is to say' in accordance with their normal connotation and effect. Thus, in Stroud's Judicial Dictionary, 4th Edn., Vol. 5, at page 2753, we find :

'That is to say.--(1) 'That is to say' is the commencement of an ancillary clause which explains the meaning of the principal clause. It has the following properties: (1) it must not be contrary to the principal clause; (2) it must neither increase nor diminish it; (3) but where the principal clause is general in terms it may restrict it: see this explained with many examples, Stukeley v. Butler. Hob. 171'.

The quotation, given above, from Stroud's Judicial Dictionary shows that, ordinarily, the expression 'that is to say' is employed to make clear and fix the meaning of what is to be explained or defined. Such words are not used, as a rule, to amplify a meaning while removing a possible doubt for which purpose the word 'includes' is generally employed. In unusual cases, depending upon the context of the words 'that is to say', this expression may be followed by illustrative instances. In Megh Raj v. Allah Rakhia AIR 1947 PC 72 the words 'that is to say', with reference to a general category 'land' were held to introduce, 'the most general concept' when followed, inter alia, by the words 'right in or over land'. We think that the precise meaning of the words 'that is to say' must vary with the context. Where, as in Megh Raj's case AIR 1947 PC 72, the amplitude o f legislative power to enact provisions with regard to 'land' and rights over it was meant to be indicated, the expression was given a wide scope because it came after the word 'land' and then followed 'rights over land' as an explanation of 'land'. Both were wide classes. The object of using them for subject-matter of legislation, was obviously to lay down a wide power to legislate. But, in the context of single point sales tax, subject to special conditions when imposed on separate categories of specified goods, the expression was apparently meant to exhaustively enumerate the kinds of goods on a given list. The purpose of an enumeration in a statute dealing with sales tax at a single point in a series of sales would, very naturally, be to indicate the types of goods each of which would constitute a separate class for a series of sales. Otherwise, the listing itself loses all meaning and would be without any purpose behind it.

9. Thus, this decision of the Supreme Court makes it absolutely clear that the expression 'that is to say' occurring in Section 14(iv) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, was meant to exhaustively enumerate all goods under a given list and was not intended to be merely explanatory or illustrative, but on the other hand it was intended to be restrictive and enumerative.

10. As a matter of fact, the Supreme Court contrasted with the provisions as they were found and as we have extracted already, the provisions introduced as Section 14(iv) by the Central Act 61 of 1972, and held that the said amendment merely confirmed the view they had taken of the expression 'that is to say' occurring in the enactment. In view of this decision of the Supreme Court, we are clearly of the opinion that there is no force in the contention of the learned counsel for the assessee and we hold that the expression 'that is to say' is exhaustive, enumerative and restrictive of the expression 'iron and steel' and that only those commodities or goods which have been enumerated after the words 'that is to say' will come within the scope of the declared goods and they alone will be entitled to the exemption claimed by the assessee in the present case and that no other goods will be entitled to the exemption. Admittedly steel tube is not one of the commodities enumerated in that entry, and therefore, the assessee will not be entitled to any exemption in respect thereof on the ground that the sales of such tubes happened to be second sales in the State.

11. The learned counsel for the assessee then attempted another argument based upon the judgment of the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad in Vaiswaner Trading Co. v. State of Gujarat [1964] 15 STC 586. The head note to that decision states :

Where pieces of rolled steel sections are joined together by rivetting, they still retain the same form in which rolled steel sections are directly produced by the rolling mills within the meaning of entry 4 in Schedule AA of the Bombay Sales Tax Act, 1953. Therefore rivetted baling hoops, which are nothing but pieces of rolled steel sections joined together by rivetting, fall within that entry.

12. The entry with which the Gujarat High Court was dealing with was one corresponding to Section 14(iv)(d)(iv) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, which we have already extracted. With regard to that entry, the question that arose for consideration was, whether the rolled steel sections which were joined together by rivetting still retained the same form in which rolled steel sections were directly produced by the rolling mills or they became a different commercial commodity. In view of one crucial circumstance, we are of the opinion that that decision has no application to the present case. In the present case, it was not argued and it could not have been argued that the material out of which steel tubes are made fell within any one of the items mentioned in Section 14(iv) of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. We have already pointed out that the admitted case of the assessee was that the tubes were made out of steel strips and coils and 'steel strips and coils' is not one of the entries found in Section 14(iv), and therefore, we are of the opinion that the reasoning of the Gujarat High Court in the decision referred to above will have no application to the present case. We come to this conclusion without reference to the very elaborate details given in the order of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal showing the elaborate, varied and different processes that have to be gone through before the steel strips and coils could be converted or made into steel tubes in which the assessee was dealing.

13. Under these circumstances, we are of the opinion that the conclusion of the Tribunal is correct and the revision case is accordingly dismissed with costs of the revenue. Counsel's fee is fixed at Rs. 250.


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