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Gordon Woodroffe and Company (Madras) Private Ltd. Vs. the State of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case Number Tax Case No. 286 of 1964 (Revision No. 196)
Judge
Reported in[1968]21STC120(Mad)
AppellantGordon Woodroffe and Company (Madras) Private Ltd.
RespondentThe State of Madras
Appellant Advocate Padmanabhan of Subbaraya Iyer, Sethuraman and ; Padmanabhan, Advs.
Respondent Advocate The Special Government Pleader
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases Referred and Anr. v. K.I. Abraham
Excerpt:
.....was that inasmuch as the declarations in form xvii were not attached to the monthly returns submitted by the petitioner, they had to be ignored with the result that section 3(3) would be inapplicable. this view is clearly wrong. 263 in relation to section 8(4) and section 13(3) of the central sales tax act as well as the rules framed thereunder prescribing the form of declarations and the manner in which they should be attached to the returns. but we fail to see how this rule enables prescription of a time-limit for submitting the declarations for purposes of section 3(3). the last contention of the learned special government pleader is that since the madras general sales tax rules have been placed before the legislative assembly for its approval, the rules have the force of a statute......section 13(3) of the central sales tax act as well as the rules framed thereunder prescribing the form of declarations and the manner in which they should be attached to the returns. a time-limit was fixed by the rules for filing monthly returns under that act. this court held that the words 'in the prescribed manner' in section 8(4) of the central act did not carry with them a power to make a rule prescribing a time-limit for filing declarations. in doing so, we followed the judgment of the supreme court in civil appeal no. 404 of 1966, since reported as sales tax officer, ponkunnam, and anr. v. k.i. abraham [1967] 20 s.t.c. 367. the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the madras general sales tax act uses similar phraseology. there is nothing in it to justify the contention.....
Judgment:

Veeraswami, J.

1. The matter relates to the assessment year 1961-62 and to a turnover of Rs. 71,225.21. According to the assessee, who is the petitioner, this turnover consisted of sales of component parts in respect of which he filed declaration in Form XVII at the time of check of accounts and before the final order of assessment was made. He claimed that the sales were chargeable to tax at the concessional rate of one per cent. under Section 3(3) of the Madras General Sales Tax Act. The revenue as well as the Tribunal declined to allow the claim and they have agreed in charging the turnover at six per cent.

2. The only point, therefore, is whether the turnover was chargeable only as claimed by the petitioner. The view of the revenue as well as the Tribunal was that inasmuch as the declarations in Form XVII were not attached to the monthly returns submitted by the petitioner, they had to be ignored with the result that Section 3(3) would be inapplicable. This view is clearly wrong. Section 3(3) reads :

Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2), the tax payable by a dealer in respect of any sale of goods mentioned in the First Schedule by such dealer to another for use by the latter as component part of any other goods mentioned in that Schedule, which he intends to manufacture inside the State for sale shall be at the rate of only one per cent, on the turnover relating to such sale.

3. The sub-section has a proviso which is material for purposes of this case and it is as follows :

Provided that the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply to any sale unless the dealer selling the goods furnishes to the assessing authority in the prescribed manner a declaration duly filled in and signed by the dealer to whom the goods are sold containing the prescribed particulars in a prescribed form obtained from the prescribed authority.

4. Section 53 contains the rule-making authority. Sub-section (1) is in the usual form, namely, that the Government may make rules to carry out the purposes of the Act. Clause (1) of Sub-section (2) confers rule-making power in respect of the form and the particulars to be contained in any declaration to be given under the Act, the authority from whom, the conditions subject to which and the fees subject to payment of which any form of declaration prescribed under Sub-section (3) of Section 3 may be obtained, the manner in which the form shall be kept in custody and records relating thereto maintained, the manner in which any such form may be used and any such declaration may be furnished. In exercise of this the State Government framed Rule 22 of the Madras General Sales Tax Rules, 1959. This rule states that the declaration for the purpose of Section 3(3) shall be in Form XVII. Sub-rule (5) of this rule which is relevant is this :

A dealer who claims that a sale is liable to tax under Sub-section (3) of Section 3 shall attach to his return of turnover in which that sale is included the portion marked 'original' of the declaration received by him from the purchasing dealer and shall also produce for inspection the portion of it marked 'duplicate' if the assessing authority, in his discretion, directs him so to do.

5. The petitioner in this case opted under Rule 18 of the Madras General Sales Tax Rules to file monthly returns. Under that rule the dealer shall submit the monthly returns on or before the 25th day of every month in Form A-2. It is not disputed that the declarations in the prescribed form were not attached to the monthly returns as and when they were filed by the petitioner. It is also not in dispute that the declarations in the required form with full particulars were produced at the time of the check of accounts and before the final order of assessment was made. The question, as we mentioned, is whether on the ground that they were not attached to the monthly returns, the petitioner could be denied the benefit of Section 3(3). That point is now covered by authority. This Court had to consider an analogous point in T.Cs. Nos. 8 and 9 of 1964, Since reported as The Tirukoilur Oil Mills Ltd. and Anr. v. The State of Madras [1967] 20 S.T.C. 388 and T.C. No. 221 of 1964, Since reported as The State of Madras v. P. Subbiah Pillai [1967] 20 S.T.C. 263 in relation to Section 8(4) and Section 13(3) of the Central Sales Tax Act as well as the rules framed thereunder prescribing the form of declarations and the manner in which they should be attached to the returns. A time-limit was fixed by the rules for filing monthly returns under that Act. This Court held that the words 'in the prescribed manner' in Section 8(4) of the Central Act did not carry with them a power to make a rule prescribing a time-limit for filing declarations. In doing so, we followed the judgment of the Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 404 of 1966, Since reported as Sales Tax Officer, Ponkunnam, and Anr. v. K.I. Abraham [1967] 20 S.T.C. 367. The proviso to Sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Madras General Sales Tax Act uses similar phraseology. There is nothing in it to justify the contention that unless the declarations were filed along with the returns, they could not be accepted though they were filed before the final assessment was made. The learned Special Government Pleader contends that Sub-section (1) of Section 53 is wide enough to cover a rule prescribing a time-limit for filing declarations in Form XVII. It is true the power under this sub-section extends to make rules to carry out the purposes of the Act. But as we said, the purpose of the Act in the present context has to be ascertained from the proviso to Section 3(3) and if there is nothing in the proviso, as we have held, to indicate that declarations should be filed within a prescribed time, it is obvious that a time-limit could not be prescribed in exercise of the power under Section 53(1). The learned Special Government Pleader then relied on Clause (h) of Sub-section (2) of Section 53 which enables the State Government to frame rules for compelling submission of returns. But we fail to see how this rule enables prescription of a time-limit for submitting the declarations for purposes of Section 3(3). The last contention of the learned Special Government Pleader is that since the Madras General Sales Tax Rules have been placed before the Legislative Assembly for its approval, the rules have the force of a statute. Surely, on that account the rules cannot be equated to an Act of the Legislature, which has got to be passed in accordance with the constitutional requirements. The approval of the Legislature means nothing more than that it is a sort of a check upon delegated legislation, and does not in any way alter the quality or character of the rules as made under the rule-making power. The rules as approved by the Legislative Assembly undoubtedly have the force of law, but not the force of an enactment of the Legislature.

6. The petition is allowed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 100.


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