DEPUTY CAIT AND ST KOZHIKODE Vs. A V C AHAMED KOYA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
DEPUTY CAIT AND ST, KOZHIKODE
A.V.C. AHAMED KOYA
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(1.) THE sole question for determination in this case is whether ghee sold in sealed containers comes under entry 39 of Schedule I to the General Sales Tax Act, 1125. That entry reads as follows: "food stuffs sold in sealed containers:" THE Malayalam version of the identical entry occurring in the Keral a General Sales Tax Act, 1963, is in the following terms:
(2.) IN State of Bombay V. Virkumar , A. I. R. 1952 Supreme Court 335, Bose J. extracted the following definition of the expression "foodstuff" given in Webster's INternational Dictionary: 1. Anything used as food. 2. Any substance of food value as protein, fat, etc. , entering into the composition of a food. " and said that it will be seen from the above and other definitions that "foodstuff" has no special meaning of its own, that "it merely carries us back to the definition of 'food' because 'foodstuff' is anything which is used as 'food' ", that so far as 'food' is concerned, it can be used in a wide as well as a narrow sense and that much must depend upon the context and background in which the word occurs.
In the same case Fazl Ali J. considered butter as coming within the expression "foodstuff". Ghee is nothing else than clarified butter, and in Ratansi Hirji v. Emperor (AIR. 1929 Bombay 274), Mirza J. referred to ghee as "a well known article of food".
Ghee is certainly not a staple item of food like rice or wheat, fish or meat; but it is a common additive to staple diets which is intended to make them more nutritious and palatable. In Janardhanan v. Sales Tax Officer (1966 KLT. 175), Govindan Nair, j. held that ghee is a food stuff within the meaning of that expression as used in entry 39 of Schedule I to the General Sales Tax Act, 1125. We see no reason to differ from that conclusion.
(3.) THE true test in a matter like this is: Will the common man consider ghee as a foodstuff or as anything else? THEre can be no doubt that he will consider it as a foodstuff, that is, as an item of food which enters into the composition of a normal diet.
In the light of what is stated above this T. R. C. has to be allowed and we do so. No costs. Allowed.;
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