Decided on July 22,2016

Marico Industries Ltd Respondents


- (1.) In this appeal, by special leave, the State of Madhya Pradesh and its functionaries have called in question the legal acceptability of the judgment and order dated 19.08.2013 passed by the Division Bench of High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Indore Bench in W.P. No. 1198 of 2004 whereby the order dated 05.01.2004 passed by the Additional Commissioner, Commercial Tax in Review case No.80/03/Ind/Entry Tax imposing entry tax on the products, namely, Mediker and Starch (Revive) after declining to entertain the stance of the assessee that "Mediker" being a drug Starch (Revive) being not a chemical, are not liable to levy of entry tax under the Madhya Pradesh Entry Tax Act, 1976, (for short "the E.T. Act"), has been dislodged and both the products have been held not to be within the ambit of entry tax.
(2.) The facts giving rise to the present appeal are the respondent is a manufacturer of hair oil, edible oil, Mediker and Starch (Revive) and other products and is a registered dealer under the Madhya Pradesh Commercial Tax Act, 1994, as well as a dealer under the E.T. Act. The Assistant Commissioner, Commissioner Tax Division II, Indore vide order dated 28.04.2003 imposed entry tax on Mediker treating it as a hair shampoo and "Revive Instant Starch" as a chemical; and as the tax was not paid, interest and penalty were also levied. Being grieved by the aforesaid order the respondent-company preferred Review case No. 80/2003 before the Additional Commissioner, Commercial Tax, Indore. It was contended before the said authority that the entry tax imposed on the assessee on Mediker, which is meant for anti-lice treatment, was illegal being not permissible under any of the entries mentioned in Schedule II of the E.T. Act and there was no material on record to treat starch as a chemical. It was also urged that Mediker is a medicine and hence, it did not attract entry tax. The said submissions were repelled and tax was imposed and on that basis penalty and interest were also levied. Aggrieved by the order passed by the Additional Commissioner, Commercial Tax, Indore, the assessee approached the High Court in Writ Petition No. 1198 of 2004 and the Division Bench referring to the charging Section and the Entries, came to hold that Mediker is basically a medicinal product and starch being not meant for sale but used in production of other articles, could not have been made amenable to entry tax, more so, in the absence of its mention in the Schedule. It was also held that starch is not a chemical.
(3.) Criticising the order passed by the High Court, Mr. C.D. Singh, learned counsel appearing for the State would contend that Mediker, in common parlance, is considered as shampoo and not as a medicine because it is nowhere mentioned in the label of the product that after removal of the lice, it cannot be used again or cannot be used as other shampoos for hair wash. Relying on the decision in Deputy Commissioner v. G.S. Pai, 1980 1 SCC 142 learned counsel for the State would contend that while interpreting entries in sales tax legislation, it is to be borne in mind that the words used in the entries must not be construed in any technical sense nor from a scientific point of view. They should be understood in their popular sense and in the sense which the people conversant with the subject matter with which the statute is dealing, would attribute to it. For the said purpose, learned counsel has also drawn inspiration from United Offset Process Pvt. Ltd. v. Asst. Collector of Customs, Bombay & Ors, 1989 Supp1 SCC 131 Submission of Mr. Singh is that just because the product contains D-Phenothrin EP and is used for treating lice, it cannot be termed as medicament in view of the principles stated in Sunny Industries Pvt. Ltd. v. Collector of Central Excise, Calcutta, 2003 4 SCC 280. According to the learned counsel for the State, Mediker is a kind of shampoo and hence, it is covered under Schedule II of the E.T. Act which incorporates the heading "shampoo of all variant and forms". As far as the Revive starch is concerned, it is urged by Mr. Singh that it is a chemical covered by Entry 55 of Schedule II and consequently it is chargeable to entry tax.;

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