Skip to content


Ratan Chand Chordia Vs. the Special Assistant Commercial Tax Officer (Collection) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case Number Writ Petition No. 894 of 1964
Judge
Reported in[1967]19STC286(Mad)
AppellantRatan Chand Chordia
RespondentThe Special Assistant Commercial Tax Officer (Collection)
Appellant Advocate P.V. Subramanyan, Adv.
Respondent Advocate The Government Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredSundaram Finance Ltd. v. State of Kerala
Excerpt:
- - one is where the terms as well as the surrounding circumstances might indicate that the financier was the owner of the vehicle but had let out the vehicle to the hirer on a hire agreement giving the option to the hirer to purchase the vehicle from the financier on fulfilling the terms and conditions of the hire......money to one mallayan chettiar, shevvapet, salem, for purchasing the lorry m.d.f. 1475, under two hire-purchase agreements, the first one on 11th may, 1959, and the second one on 29th april, 1961. this mallayan chettiar was a sales tax assessee and for arrears of sales tax due from him, the respondent, the special assistant commercial tax officer (collection), salem, attached the lorry in question and was proposing to bring it to revenue sale under the provisions of the revenue recovery act. on the short ground that under the terms of the hire-purchase agreement the vehicle in question belongs to the petitioner, the financier, and not the sales tax assessee mallayan chettiar, the petitioner has sought in this writ proceeding for a writ quashing the proceedings of the respondent.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Ramakrishnan, J.

1. The petitioner in this writ petition for the issue of a writ of certiorari under Article 226 of the Constitution is a financier. He claims to have lent money to one Mallayan Chettiar, Shevvapet, Salem, for purchasing the lorry M.D.F. 1475, under two hire-purchase agreements, the first one on 11th May, 1959, and the second one on 29th April, 1961. This Mallayan Chettiar was a sales tax assessee and for arrears of sales tax due from him, the respondent, the Special Assistant Commercial Tax Officer (Collection), Salem, attached the lorry in question and was proposing to bring it to revenue sale under the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act. On the short ground that under the terms of the hire-purchase agreement the vehicle in question belongs to the petitioner, the financier, and not the sales tax assessee Mallayan Chettiar, the petitioner has sought in this writ proceeding for a writ quashing the proceedings of the respondent attaching the lorry and directing it to be sold. The department's contention in answer to this writ proceeding, was that the data now supplied by the petitioner, which consist of the formal hire-purchase agreements, are not conclusive for determining whether the owner of the lorry is the petitioner or the sales tax assessee, Mallayan Chettiar. The learned Government Pleader appearing for the department referred to the decision of the Supreme Court reported in Sundaram Finance Ltd. v. State of Kerala [1966] 17 S.T.C. 489 where the Supreme Court has visualised two types of hire-purchases. One is where the terms as well as the surrounding circumstances might indicate that the financier was the owner of the vehicle but had let out the vehicle to the hirer on a hire agreement giving the option to the hirer to purchase the vehicle from the financier on fulfilling the terms and conditions of the hire. There can also be another type of hire-purchase agreement where the vehicle really belongs to the hirer who had borrowed money from the financier and as security for the money he has borrowed, he has executed what is termed a hire-purchase agreement, but what is in substance only a security for the loan transaction. . The Supreme Court has also observed that the real nature of the transaction in such cases cannot be determined in all cases from a perusal of the agreement. The surrounding circumstances will also have to be taken into consideration and the Court, in a proper case, can go behind the documents, unless prohibited by statute, and determine the nature of the transaction, whatever may be the form of the documents. It appears that this analysis which is required, before the true nature of the transaction may be ascertained, cannot be done in a writ proceeding, where there is not much scope for calling for evidence at any great length. The proper order in such a case will be to direct the petitioner to seek his remedy in independent civil proceedings. In fact, it is represented that over the same lorry a repairer who had spent a large sum of money for its repair has claimed a lien, and had obtained an order for its attachment pending the disposal of the suit for recovering the repairer's dues. Whatever may be the nature of that suit, it appears reasonable to grant some time to the petitioner also to file a suit, and get appropriate directions from the civil court before the lorry is sold away for realising the sales tax arrears. Therefore, while dismissing the writ petition, I also give a direction that the department shall defer selling the attached lorry for a period of three months from today, to await the orders of the civil court in a suit that might be filed by the petitioner for appropriate reliefs. There will be no order as to costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //