SUNRISE ASSOCIATES Vs. GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
GOVT.OF NCT OF DELHI
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Ruma Pal, J. -
(1.)By an order dated 13th October, 1999 in Sunrise Associates vs. Government of NCT of Delhi and others (2000) 1 SCC 420, the decisions of this Court in H. Anraj vs. Government of Tamil Nadu (1986) 1 SCC 414 as well as Vikas Sales Tax Corporation and Anr. vs. Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and Anr. (1996) 4 SCC 433 (in so far as it affirmed the decision in the H. Anraj) have been referred to this Bench for reconsideration.
(2.)The question in H. Anraj was whether sales tax can be levied by States on the sale of lottery tickets. A Bench of two Judges held that a lottery involved (i) the right to participate in the lottery draw, and (ii) the right to win the prize, depending on chance. The learned Judges were of the opinion that while the second right was a chose in action and therefore not goods for the purposes of the levy of Sales Tax, the first was a transfer of a beneficial interest in movable goods and was a sale within the meaning of Article 366 (29-A)(a) of the Constitution and consequently subject to sales tax.
(3.)The immediate cause for the present reference was a decision of the High Court of Delhi dated 17th July, 1998 in Haryana State Lotteries vs. Govt. of NCT 1998 (46) DRJ 397 disposing of a series of writ petitions which construed H. Anraj and held that lottery tickets were goods and are liable to sales tax under the Delhi Sales Tax Act, 1975. Several of the writ petitioners before the Delhi High Court have challenged the decision of the Delhi High Court before this Court. In the appeal preferred by Sunrise Associates, the order of reference was made on the prima facie view that there was no good reason to split a lottery into two separate rights and, therefore, the judgment in H. Anraj required reconsideration. Since in the case of Vikas Sales Corporation vs. Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (supra), a bench of three-Judges had agreed with the decision of H. Anraj, it was necessary that the appeal should be heard by a Constitution Bench.
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