COMMISSIONER OF SALES TAX Vs. NANDRAM RAMKARAN AGARWAL
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
COMMISSIONER OF SALES TAX
NANDRAM RAMKARAN AGARWAL
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(1.) THIS is a reference under Section 44 (1) of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act. The assessee was purchasing cotton in the market in the name of the mills. The payment was made by the assessee himself and debited to purchase khata but it was credited to the account of the mills when the money was received from the mills. It is admitted on behalf of the department that Messrs Kilachand Deychand and Girdharilal Nanhelal were the appointed agents of the mills for purchasing cotton. The case of assessee is that he has been asked by these purchasing agents of the mills to purchase the cotton in the different markets on behalf of the mills. From his account books also it is clear that he has purchased the cotton in the name of the mills. He has obtained licence from the local authorities for bidding on behalf of the mills and thus the assessee's case is that he is not the owner of the cotton at all; he has purchased the cotton on behalf of the mills and supplied it to the mills and that in such a case there is no question of a sale between the assessee and the mills. This contention was accepted by the Tribunal, but the department contended that the transactions made by the assessee were not on behalf of the mills, they were his own transactions and he had only purchased the cotton in the name of the mills in order to obviate prosecution under the Cotton Control Order, 1949, under which nobody except a mill could purchase cotton above the ceiling price. These transactions were above the ceiling price. The Tribunal did not accept this contention on behalf of the department. On an application made, it has made a reference to this court and the question referred now is:- Whether or not on the facts and circumstances of the case the turnover of Rs. 1,85,305-6-9 representing the value of cotton is liable for sales tax in the hands of the assessee ? The question has to be answered on the facts and circumstances found by the Tribunal and reported in the reference. The facts found are, as stated above, that the assessee was purchasing cotton in the name of the mills and was supplying the same to the mills' agents. In these circumstances, it was perfectly legitimate for the Tribunal to infer that the assessee was acting on behalf of the mills. The authority to the assessee to purchase cotton on behalf of the mills could be given to him by the authorised agents of the mills and such an authority can be inferred from the circumstances proved in the case. No circumstance has been brought out by the department which would indicate that the cotton purchased by the assessee was actually not supplied to the mills or that the price of any part of the cotton came from some source other than the mills. The Tribunal was, therefore, justified in coming to the conclusion that the assessee was acting as an agent on behalf of the mills and that these cotton transactions were not liable to sales tax.
(2.) OUR answer to the reference, therefore, is that on the facts and circumstances of the case the turnover of Rs. 1,85,305-6-9 representing the value of the cotton is not liable to sales tax in the hands of the assessee. The assessee shall get his costs. Counsel's fee is fixed at Rs. 100.;
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