1. The question in this case is whether welding electrodes are electrical goods to attract entry 41 of Schedule I to the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959. The Tribunal has taken the view that they are not. Its reasoning is that in the instant case welding electrodes are not themselves used with electrical energy. This is with reference to the language employed by entry 41 which is :
All electrical goods, instruments, apparatus, appliances and all such articles, the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy, including fans, lighting bulbs, electrical earthenwares and porcelain and all other accessories and component parts either sold as a whole or in parts.
2. The aspect of the entry relating to the use of the article with electricity only was introduced for the first time in 1959. Prior to that, Section 3(2)(v), the predecessor of the present entry 41, was :
All electrical goods, instruments, apparatus and appliances, including fans, and lighting bulbs, electrical earthenware and porcelain and all other accessories.
3. Articles which fell within entry 41 are taxable at the point of first sale in the State at six per cent.
4. It is contended for the revenue, which is the petitioner before us, that, since welding electrodes cannot be used except with the application of electrical energy, they should be regarded as electrical goods attracting entry 41. In our view, the argument lays too much stress on the user of the article with electrical energy. That, no doubt, is a test for purposes of entry 41, but is not the only test. Before applying that test, the goods must be capable of classification as electrical goods. Though the words are easiry understood in common parlance, it is one of those cases which are more easily understood than defined satisfactorily. Also, as pointed out by this Court in William Jacks and Co., Ltd. v. State of Madras  6 S.T.C. 301 it is neither possible nor desirable to embark on a preparation of an exhaustive list of what constitute 'electrical goods' within the meaning of entry 41. But we are not satisfied that the Tribunal, in the view it took, was erroneous. In William Jacks and Co. Ltd. v. State of Madras  11 S.T.C. 340 this Court held that a lathe fitted with electrical motor which could not be used except with electrical power was not by itself 'electrical goods'. Intrinsically, the goods in question must be electrical goods and secondly their use cannot be had without electrical energy. Merely because an article cannot be used without electricity, it may not be decisive. It is necessary that, apart from that fact, the article, by its very nature, answers the description of 'electrical goods'. For instance, the use of a motor-car cannot be had without batteries or a dynamo fitted to it. But on that account, can it be said that motor-car is 'electrical goods ' The answer, it seems to us, should be in the negative. Likewise, in electroplating, solution of silver or gold particles is used through which electricity is passed in the process of electro-plating. In our view, because electroplating by that process cannot be had without the use of electricity, it cannot be said that the silver or gold particles are electrical goods by themselves. In the same way, electrodes, though cannot be used without electrical energy in welding process, do not appear by themselves to be electrical goods. What, after all, is the difference between silver or gold particles in the solution used in the process of electro-plating and welding electrodes except that, in the latter case, instead of electrodes being in the form of particles, they are in the form of solid rods These copper rods styled as electrodes are conductors of electricity and electricity is used for the purpose of heating up the pointed ends of the rods in the process of welding, so that in the very process the copper rods gradually disappear. We do not say that this phenomenon by itself entirely contributes to testing whether electrodes by themselves are electrical goods. What we have in mind is that electrodes are but copper rods which are melted by electrical power in welding. Looked at from that point of view, it seems to us that welding electrodes are not by themselves electrical goods. That is the view the Tribunal has taken and, in any case, we are unable to say that it is incorrect.
5. The petition is dismissed with costs ; counsel's fee Rs. 100.