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Srinivasa and Co. Vs. the Board of Revenue (Tamil Nadu) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberT.C. No. 499 of 1974 (Appeal No. 14 of 1974)
Judge
Reported in[1978]42STC82(Mad)
AppellantSrinivasa and Co.
RespondentThe Board of Revenue (Tamil Nadu)
Appellant AdvocateS. Athmanathan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK. Venkataswami, Additional Government Pleader
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredCommissioner of Sales Tax v. Bharat Traders
Excerpt:
- .....the best judgment method, accepted the assessee's contention that wooden plugs, round blocks and wooden switch boxes are not electrical goods falling under item 41 of the first schedule to the act liable to assessment at 9 per cent single point under section 3(2) of the act and set aside the assessment in respect thereof under section 3(2) and refixed the estimated turnover at rs. 35,213.19 and assessed it under section 7 of the act.4. the board of revenue exercised its power of suo motu revision under section 34 of the act and issued notice calling upon the assessee to show cause why the order of the assessing officer taxing the turnover in respect of the round blocks, wooden switch boxes, etc., at the higher rate under section 3(2) of the act should not be restored on the ground that.....
Judgment:

Varadarajan, J.

1. This appeal under Section 37 of the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act is by the assessee against the order passed by the Board of Revenue under Section 34 of the Act.

2. The assessee returned a taxable turnover of Rs. 33,691.84 for the year 1971-72 in form A-2. The assessee is a manufacturer of wooden plugs, round blocks, switch-board boxes, etc. and it also supplies those articles on prior orders. After finding that there were discrepancies in the rough and fair day-books, that the purchase of timber for Rs. 527.61 on 11th August, 1970, had not been recorded in the accounts, that there was unexplained discrepancy in the cash balance on 3rd August, 1970, as the rough day-book disclosed a cash balance of Rs. 663.82 while the cash balance according to the fair day-book was only Rs. 81.04 and that no manufacturing accounts or order-book was maintained by the assessee, the assessing officer rejected the assessee's accounts as incomplete and incorrect and resorted to the best judgment method and determined the turnover in respect of single point goods at Rs. 7,279.83 and the turnover in respect of multi-point goods at Rs. 30,844.38, aggregating to Rs. 38,124.21 and fixed the total tax at Rs. 1,180.18 and the balance payable as Rs. 382.99 holding that the turnover of Rs. 7,279.83 in respect of round blocks, switch boxes, etc., was of electrical goods falling under item 41 of the First Schedule taxable at 9 per cent single point under Section 3(2) of the Act.

3. On appeal by the assessee, the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, while agreeing with the assessing officer that the assessee's accounts are incomplete and incorrect and rejecting the accounts as not reflecting the true state of affairs and resorting to the best judgment method, accepted the assessee's contention that wooden plugs, round blocks and wooden switch boxes are not electrical goods falling under item 41 of the First Schedule to the Act liable to assessment at 9 per cent single point under Section 3(2) of the Act and set aside the assessment in respect thereof under Section 3(2) and refixed the estimated turnover at Rs. 35,213.19 and assessed it under Section 7 of the Act.

4. The Board of Revenue exercised its power of suo motu revision under Section 34 of the Act and issued notice calling upon the assessee to show cause why the order of the assessing officer taxing the turnover in respect of the round blocks, wooden switch boxes, etc., at the higher rate under Section 3(2) of the Act should not be restored on the ground that they are accessories and component parts used exclusively in electrical installations and neither intended nor capable of being used for any other purpose. After considering the written objections of the assessee and hearing the assessee's counsel that round blocks, wooden switch boxes, etc., are not intrinsically electrical goods and they do not satisfy the tests prescribed by this court in Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes v. Ravi Auto Stores [1968] 22 S.T.C. 172, the Board found that these materials are essential for the distribution of electrical energy and are electrical goods and it accordingly set aside the order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner and restored the assessing officer's order in regard to those goods.

5. The only point for consideration in this appeal is whether the wooden plugs, round blocks and wooden switch boxes are electrical goods falling under item 41 of the First Schedule to the Act as it stood prior to the amendment by Tamil Nadu Act 15 of 1975. Item 41, as it originally stood, read thus :

All electrical goods, machinery, instruments, apparatus, appliances, accessories and component parts (either sold as a whole or in parts), including fans, lighting bulbs, electrical earthenwares, porcelain and all other instruments, apparatus, appliances, accessories and component parts, the use of which cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy.

6. The learned counsel for the revenue relied upon the decision of a Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in K. V. Narasimulu v. State of Andhra Pradesh [1971] 27 S.T.C. 178, where it has been held that wooden casings and reapers used in electrical wiring fall within the scope of the expression 'all other accessories' of electrical goods mentioned in item 37 of the First Schedule to the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957 and contended that the goods in question, except wooden plugs, would fall under the category mentioned in item 41 of the First Schedule to the Tamil Nadu Act. On the other hand, reliance was placed by the learned counsel for the assessee on the decision of a Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Commissioner of Sales Tax v. Bharat Traders, Bareilly [1974] 33 S.T.C. 3, where the learned Judges have held that the two essential requirements of electrical goods are (1) they must be used by electrical energy and (2) they must answer the description of electrical goods and that wooden gittis (plugs), switch-boards and battens are not worked by electricity but are used in laying or controlling wires carrying electrical energy and in common parlance also they do not answer the description of electrical goods and, therefore, they are not electrical goods within the meaning of item 7 in the concerned notification dated 1st October, 1965, which reads:

Electrical goods, other than equipments, plants and their accessories required for generation, distribution and transmission of electrical energy.

7. The decision will not help the assessee having regard to the fact that item 7 of the notification clearly excludes accessories required for distribution and transmission of electrical energy and wooden gittis, switch-boards and battens are used clearly only for distribution and transmission of electrical energy. But on a reading of item 41 of the First Schedule, as it originally stood, it would be clear that wooden plugs, round blocks, wooden switch boxes, etc., cannot fall under the category of electrical goods, for, it could not be held that their use cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy. These articles are used to fasten the wiring system in fixing up the electrical wiring and it cannot be stated that their use cannot be had except with the application of electrical energy. In these circumstances, we are of the opinion that the Board of Revenue erred in treating these articles as electrical goods falling under item 41 of the First Schedule and that the Appellate Assistant Commissioner was right in holding that they are not electrical goods liable to tax under Section 3(2) of the Act.

8. The appeal is accordingly allowed and the order of the Board of Revenue is set aside and that of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner is restored. The revenue will pay the assessee's costs in this appeal. Advocate's fee Rs. 150.


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