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Vernon and Company Private Ltd. Vs. the Government of Tamil Nadu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberT.C. No. 600 of 1975
Judge
Reported in[1979]44STC335(Mad)
AppellantVernon and Company Private Ltd.
RespondentThe Government of Tamil Nadu
Appellant AdvocateS.V. Subramaniam, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK. Venkataswami, Additional Government Pleader
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredState of Tamil Nadu v. Modern Radio Company
Excerpt:
- .....all batteries purchased were used only as accessories for hearing-aids. in this view, the battery cells sold by the assessee were not taken to be accessories to electrical hearing-aids and they were held to be taxable. it is this order of the board of revenue that is now questioned in this tax case.2. item 41 of the list of exemptions grants a complete exemption with reference to 'sale of electrical hearing-aids and accessories by any dealer'. there cannot be any doubt about the fact that the assessee imported these goods only as accessories of hearing-aids, as stated in the assessment order itself. it was stated before us that, though these batteries are liable to be used for transistors as shown on one side of the batteries themselves, yet such kinds of transistors are not.....
Judgment:

Sethuraman, J.

1. This is an appeal against the order of the Board of Revenue dated 19th December, 1974, and this relates to the year 1968-69. The assessee is a limited company dealing in various items relating to hearing-aids. It obtained an import licence for import of hearing-aids. The assessee imported dry-cells from Japan for this purpose. In the battery, it has been mentioned on one side 'for hearing-aids' and on the other side 'for use in transistors'. The assessing authority took the view that the dry batteries sold by the assessee were not intended for exclusive use as hearing-aid batteries and that they would not therefore come within the scope of item No. 41 of the list of exemptions notified under Section 17 of the Sales Tax Act. The assessee appealed to the Appellate Assistant Commissioner, who held that the batteries sold by the assessee as accessories of hearing-aids were exempted from payment of sales tax and, therefore, deleted the turnover relating to it. The Board of Revenue, acting suo motu, sought to revise this order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner and issued the necessary notice to the assessee and held that the batteries sold by the assessee were intended to be used in hearing-aids as well as transistors and that there was no certainty that all batteries purchased were used only as accessories for hearing-aids. In this view, the battery cells sold by the assessee were not taken to be accessories to electrical hearing-aids and they were held to be taxable. It is this order of the Board of Revenue that is now questioned in this tax case.

2. Item 41 of the list of exemptions grants a complete exemption with reference to 'sale of electrical hearing-aids and accessories by any dealer'. There cannot be any doubt about the fact that the assessee imported these goods only as accessories of hearing-aids, as stated in the assessment order itself. It was stated before us that, though these batteries are liable to be used for transistors as shown on one side of the batteries themselves, yet such kinds of transistors are not manufactured in India and, therefore, as far as India is concerned, these batteries are liable to be used only as accessories of hearing-aids. It is not necessary to go into this aspect of the matter as the claim of the assessee for exemption appears to be well-founded in view of the decision of this Court in State of Tamil Nadu v. Modern Radio Company [1977] 40 S.T.C. 366. In that case, the exemption was claimed with reference to dry-cells without which the hearing-aids could not be made use of. The assessing authorities assessed the turnover in dry-cells as if they were electrical goods. The refusal to grant exemption was apparently on the ground that those dry-cells could also be used for other purposes. This Court pointed out that, as the hearing-aids could not be made use of without these dry-cells, they were accessories of electrical hearing-aids and, therefore, they would come within the scope of item 41 of the First Schedule to the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act. Dry-cells do not cease to be accessories of electrical hearing-aids merely because they are capable of being used as accessories for other purposes. What one has to find out is as to what is the purpose for which the said goods were imported and how they were intended to be sold Considered in this background, it is clear that, in the present case, the import was only as accessories of hearing-aids and the transactions by the assessee were also only as accessories of electrical hearing-aids. The turnover was rightly exempted by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner and was erroneously brought to tax by the Board of Revenue. This tax case is, accordingly, allowed and the assessee will be entitled to its costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 250.


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