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Ambal and Co. Vs. the Government of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTax Case No. 36 of 1966 (Revision No. 19)
Judge
Reported in[1973]31STC53(Mad)
AppellantAmbal and Co.
RespondentThe Government of Madras
Appellant AdvocateC. Venkatraman, Adv. for ;K. Kumaraswami Filial and ;I.S. Shanbagaraman, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateK. Venkataswami, First Assistant Government Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredIn Hyderabad Deccan Cigarette Factory v. State of A.P.
Excerpt:
- .....customer has to pay rs. 32.00 forgetting 100 tins. we have, therefore, no doubt that in fixing the sale price of the snuff the value of the containers has also been taken into account. it may also be seen that the value of the containers as shown in the accounts is nearly 10 percent, of the value of the goods sold. it could not, therefore, be stated that the containers were of insignificant value. the goods were sold as packed and, therefore, the price includes the value of the container also. the tribunal has also found that the sale price included the value of the packing material.6. the learned counsel for the petitioners contended that there will be no resale value for the containers to the purchasers and, therefore, it could not have been the intention of the parties to purchase and.....
Judgment:

V. Ramaswami, J.

1. The petitioners are dealers in snuff and for the assessment year 1958 59, the total turnover determined by the Additional Commercial Tax Officer, North Madras, was Rs. 13,00,695.47 under the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act. The account books of the petitioners revealed purchase of packing material to the value of Rs. 1,28,018.88 and the balance out of the total turnover determined, represented the actual value of the snuff sold. Snuff is exempted from sales tax and, therefore, only the value of the packing material was subjected to tax. The petitioners objected to this assessment and filed an appeal against the order contending that the entire turnover represented ' the sale of snuff and there was no sale of packing material as such. It may be mentioned that in the bills for sale of snuff the packing materials have not been separately specified and charged by the petitioners. The appeal was dismissed by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. The Tribunal confirmed the Order.

2. In this revision petition, the petitioners contended that the packing materials were given to the customers free and the price charged in the bill represented only the cost of the snuff and that they had no intention to sell the packing materials. As held by the Supreme Court (sic) in the latest decision in Binod Mills Co. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Sales Tax [1972] 29 S.T.C. 413, sales tax can be imposed only on the basis that the dealer sold the packing material to the purchasers of goods. For coming to the conclusion that there was sale of packing material, it has to be found that there was an agreement, express or implied, for the sale of packing material for a price to be paid by the customers. In the present case, it is not disputed that there was no express agreement for the sale of packing material and no price was separately charged for its sale. The only point, therefore, is whether there was any implied sale of the containers to the purchasers.

3. In Hyderabad Deccan Cigarette Factory v. State of A.P. [1966] 17 S.T.C. 624, the Supreme Court in dealing with the question of 'implied sale' of packing materials in the sale of cigarettes made the following observations :

In the instant case, it is not disputed that there were no express contracts of sale of the packing materials between the assessee and its customers. On the facts, could such contracts be inferred The authority concerned should ask and answer the question whether the parties in the instant case, having regard to the circumstances of the case, intended to sell or buy the packing materials, or whether the subject matter of the contracts of sale was only the cigarettes and that the packing materials did not form part of the bargain at all, but were used by the seller as a convenient and cheap vehicle of transport. He may also have to consider the question whether, when a trader in cigarettes sold cigarettes priced at a particular figure for a specified number and handed them over to a customer in a cheap cardboard container of insignificant value, he intended to sell the cardboard container and the customer intended to buy the same It is not possible to state as a proposition of law that whenever particular goods were sold in a container the parties did not intend to sell and buy the container also. Many cases may be visualised where the container is comparatively of high value and sometimes even higher than that contained in it. Scent or whisky may be sold in costly containers. Even cigarettes may be sold in silver or gold caskets. It may be that in such cases the agreement to pay an extra price for the container may be more readily implied.

4. In the present case, the snuff was sold in tin containers. A copy of the price list was placed before us. Taking one example of scented snuff, the rates given are as follows :

SRI AMBAL PARIMALA (SCENTED) SNUFF.

Old rate New rate1/100 K or 10 gr. Tins Rs. 32.00 per kg. 100 tins Rs. 34.001/40 ' 25 ' 29.50 ' 40 ' 31.501/20 ' 50 ' 28.25 ' 20 ' 30.251/10 ' 100 ' 27.00 ' 10 ' 29.001/5 ' 200 ' 26.75 ' 5 ' 28.751/4 ' 250 ' 26.75 ' 4 ' 28.751/2 ' 500 ' 26.75 ' 2 ' 28.751 ' 1000 ' 26.50 ' 1 ' 28.501 ' 1500 ' 38.25 ' 1 ' 41.25

5. It is seen from these rates that the value of the container has been taken into account in fixing the price for the snuff. For instance, 1 kg. tin costs Rs. 26.50 (old rates) while 1 kg. costs Rs. 38.25. If the snuff alone is valued and if the value of 1 kg. of snuff is Rs. 38.25, 1 kg. of snuff would cost only Rs. 25.50 whereas the rate of 1 kg. tin is Rs. 26.50. Similarly, 10 gr. tins making 1 kg. is shown as Rs. 32.00 and as against the price of 1 kg. tin of Rs. 26.50 a customer has to pay Rs. 32.00 forgetting 100 tins. We have, therefore, no doubt that in fixing the sale price of the snuff the value of the containers has also been taken into account. It may also be seen that the value of the containers as shown in the accounts is nearly 10 percent, of the value of the goods sold. It could not, therefore, be stated that the containers were of insignificant value. The goods were sold as packed and, therefore, the price includes the value of the container also. The Tribunal has also found that the sale price included the value of the packing material.

6. The learned counsel for the petitioners contended that there will be no resale value for the containers to the purchasers and, therefore, it could not have been the intention of the parties to purchase and sell the containers. Apart from the fact that there is no evidence to show that the containers had no value to the purchasers, since the sale was as packed with the container and since we have found that the value of the container had also gone into the determination of the price, this ground is not available to the petitioners.

7. In the result, the revision petition fails and it is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 150.


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