Decided on February 11,2003



- (1.) Question that has come for consideration in this case is whether the Official Liquidator can be treated as registered dealer within the meaning of S.2(viii) of the Kerala General Sales Tax Act (hereinafter called Sales Tax Act) and therefore legally obliged to collect sales tax in respect of sales effected during winding up proceedings.
(2.) The Premier Cable Co. Ltd. (In liquidation) was ordered to be wound up by this Court by order dated 18.6.1998 in CR 2/96. Official Liquidator attached to this Court was appointed as Liquidator of the Company with a direction to take charge of the assets and records of the Company. Total liability of the company comes to more than Rs. 150 crores. On the direction of this Court the entire assets of the company relating to lot 1-2 was sold to the first respondent herein for an amount of Rs.6.25 crores. Official Liquidator then filed C.A. 293/02 before the Company Court to direct the first respondent herein to meet the expenses of any cess or sales tax etc. if any become payable on transportation of the materials anywhere since the Official Liquidator is not collecting or remitting any sales tax at the time of the sale of the assets of the company. C.A. 333/02 was filed by the first respondent for clarifying that they are not liable to pay tax on the purchase of goods covered by lot No. 1-2 under the Kerala General Sales Tax Act. Remaining Lot No. 1-1, 1-3, 1-4 and 1-5 were sold in auction by third respondent herein for Rs. 13.76 crores.
(3.) Question mooted before the learned Company Judge was whether on the sale effected by Official Liquidator, sales tax would be attracted. After passing the order in C.A. 293/02 and connected matter on 30th October, 2002 purchaser had only remitted the bid amount to the Official Liquidator. On the question whether Official Liquidator is duty bound to collect sales tax learned Government Pleader was also heard by the Company Judge. After considering all aspects of the matter learned Company Judge took the view that the Official Liquidator is not bound to collect any tax. Learned Judge held sale conducted by the court through intervention of the Official Liquidator cannot be treated as sale within the meaning of KGST Act. With regard to the machineries learned Company Judge took the view they cannot be treated as taxable item for the second time and as such the claim put forward by the revenue for levy of sales tax was rejected. As far as finished goods are concerned the learned Company Judge took the view the auction purchaser is liable to pay tax.;

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