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The State of Tamil Nadu Vs. Mundran Kala Mandir - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case Number Tax Case No. 228 of 1976 (Revision No. 46 of 1976)
Judge
Reported in[1980]46STC365(Mad)
AppellantThe State of Tamil Nadu
RespondentMundran Kala Mandir
Appellant Advocate The Government Pleader
Respondent Advocate C. Natarajan, Adv.
Cases ReferredCoimbatore v. G. Govindaraju Chettiar
Excerpt:
- .....by an amendment dated 30th october, 1961, the sale of books was expanded into 'sales of reading books including text-books by any dealer' as being eligible for exemption. on 6th january, 1969, there was another g. o. which stated that the exemption was available 'on the sales of reading books including text-books by any dealer'.4. the question is whether the booklet which is before us can be taken to be a reading book. the same question in a somewhat different form came to be considered in s.r. & company v. state of tamil nadu [1978] 42 s.t.c. 99. in that case, there were three publications styled as 'indian overseas bank review', 'ninth annual number-1967-68' published by the indian institute of technology and a souvenir in relation to the 14th annual sports meet, 1968, of.....
Judgment:

Sethuraman, J.

1. This revision arises out of the judgment of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal dated 28th June, 1975. The assessee returned a total turnover of Rs. 96,759.21 and a net assessable turnover of Rs. 18,005.25 for the assessment year 1972-73. The Deputy Commercial Tax Officer determined the assessable turnover at Rs. 1,98,104.92 and before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner the assessee claimed relief to the extent of Rs. 1,69,012 consisting of the following two items: (1) Sale of road maps of Greater Bombay, Rs. 1,08,015.56, (2) Claim for deduction as labour charges, Rs. 60,996.96. The Appellate Assistant Commissioner dismissed the appeal. The Tribunal accepted the assessee's claim not only with reference to these two items of return but also another item of Rs. 11,650 which had not been agitated before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. The present revision is against the correctness of the order of the Tribunal in relation to the items mentioned above and the sum of Rs. 11,650.

2. The first point to be considered is whether the sum of Rs. 1,08,015.56 representing the turnover on road maps of Greater Bombay is liable to be assessed to tax. The so-called map is a publication described as 'Burmah-Shell Guide Map of Greater Bombay'. In page 2 of the publication there is an article on the city of Bombay and its suburbs. It describes first the short history of the city and sets out the places of tourist interest and gives the different postal zones, bus-routes, etc., in the form of a series of maps for being read and used by tourists. At the end, there is information as regards hotels, restaurants, etc.

3. The claim for exemption of the assessee is based on entry 22, G. O. No. 976 dated 28th March, 1959, which brought in this entry exempted sale of books by any dealer with effect from April, 1959. Subsequently, by an amendment dated 30th October, 1961, the sale of books was expanded into 'sales of reading books including text-books by any dealer' as being eligible for exemption. On 6th January, 1969, there was another G. O. which stated that the exemption was available 'on the sales of reading books including text-books by any dealer'.

4. The question is whether the booklet which is before us can be taken to be a reading book. The same question in a somewhat different form came to be considered in S.R. & Company v. State of Tamil Nadu [1978] 42 S.T.C. 99. In that case, there were three publications styled as 'Indian Overseas Bank Review', 'Ninth Annual Number-1967-68' published by the Indian Institute of Technology and a souvenir in relation to the 14th Annual Sports Meet, 1968, of the T.I. Cycles Sports and Recreation Club, Ambattur. The learned Judges who considered a similar claim for exemption under the same entry pointed out that 'reading books including text-books' was not happily worded and that reading books should be understood as books for reading or books meant for reading. Applying this concept the learned Judges held that the three publications were all books for reading so as to be eligible for exemption.

5. In the present case, there is a lot of material to be read in the publication under consideration. As pointed out earlier, it contains the description of Bombay, its history, places of interest and various other details which would be of interest to a tourist or to a visitor who visits it for the first time. Such a book, in our opinion, can very well be classified as a book for reading and, therefore, within the exemption.

6. The next item in dispute is the sum of Rs. 11,650. The assessability of this amount was not the subject-matter of dispute before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. Its assessability was taken up before the Tribunal for the first time. In Deputy Commissioner (C. T.), Coimbatore v. G. Govindaraju Chettiar [1980] 46 S.T.C. 341 (T. C. No. 118 of 1971), the majority decision was to the effect that a point not taken up before the Appellate Assistant Commissioner could not be taken up before the Tribunal for the first time. Following the said decision we hold that the sum of Rs. 11,650 could not have been considered by the Tribunal and its exclusion from exemption, as directed by the Tribunal, is not proper. The result is the tax case revision petition is accordingly allowed. There will be no order as to costs.


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