STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. MAHALAXMI STORES
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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(1.)This appeal arises from the judgment of a division bench of the High Court at bombay passed in sales tax reference no. 1 of 1995 dated 22nd February, 1995.
(2.)The Maharashtra Sales Tax Tribunal referred the following question under section 61 (1) of the Bombay Sales Tax act, 1959 (for short, 'the Act1) to the high Court:
"Whether on the facts and circumstances of the case and on a true and correct interpretation of the provision of section 2 (17) of the Bombay Sales Tax Act, was the tribunal justified in holding that crushing of boulders resulting in metal of different sizes ordinarily known as 'gitti' does not amount to manufacture -
(3.)The facts, insofar as they are relevant for our purpose, are as follows: the assessee purchases big sized stones - boulders from registered dealers and crushes them into small sizes known as 'gitti'. It approached the commissioner of sales tax for determination of the question whether converting bigger size boulders into 'gitti' would amount to manufacture. The deputy commissioner held that the process of conversion amounts to 'manufacture' within the meaning of section 2 (17) of the Act. Against the order of the deputy commissioner, the assessee went in appeal before the Maharashtra Sales tax Tribunal. The contention of the assessee that converting boulders into 'gitti' does not involve any manufacturing process within the meaning of the act, was accepted by the tribunal. From that order, the aforementioned question was referred to the High Court at Bombay. Following the judgments of this court in Deputy Commissioner of sales Tax v. Pio Food Packers, chowgule and Co. Pvt. Ltd. and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors. and Sterling foods v. State of Karnataka and Ors. the High Court held that the conversion of boulders into 'gitti did not amount to 'manufacture': It is this view of the High court that is assailed in this appeal by the revenue.
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