STATE OF MADRAS Vs. TUNGABHANDRA INDUSTRIES LTD
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
STATE OF MADRAS
TUNGABHANDRA INDUSTRIES LTD., KURNOOL
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(1.)The interpretation of S.2(1), Madras General Sales Tax Act as amended by the Legislastive Assembly of the Andhra State in May 1954 is involved in this case. The assessment relates to the year 1949-50.
(2.)In the return of turnover submitted by the assesee, the tax collected from the purcahsers was excluded. The Sales Tax Department sought to levy tax on this tax on the ground that it formed part of the turnover. The Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal before whom the matter was carried in appeal by the assessee accepted the contention of the assessee and gave relief to him in that respect. The Government have preferred this revision petition against the order of the Appellate Trubunal. Pending this petition, the Andhra State Legislature amended the definition of turnover by subsitituting the following: "Turnover means the total amount set out in the bill of sale (or if there is no bill of sale, the totla amount charged) as the consideration for the sale or purcahser of goods (whether such consideration be cash or deferred payment or any other thing of value), including any sums charged by the dealer for anything done in respect of the goods sold at the time of or before delivery of the goods and any other sums charged by the dealer, whatever be the description, name or object there of".(We are not concerned in this enquiry with the other provisions of the amended section).Prior to the amendment, S. 2 (1) read thus: "Turnover means the aggregate amount for which goods are iehter bought by or sold by a dealer whether for cash or for deferred payment or other valuable consideration, provided that the proceeds of the sale by the person, of agricultural or horticultural produce grown by himself or grown on any land in which he has an interest, whether as owner, usufructuary mortgagee, tenant or otherwise, shall be excluded from his turnovver".Interpreting the definition of turnover as it stood prior to the amendment by the Legislature of the Andhra State a Bench of the Madras High Court in -- Dy Commr. of Commercial Taxes, Coimbatore v. Messrs. M. Krishnaswamy Mudaliar, AIR 1954 Mad 856 (A) declared that the tax collected by a dealer did not constitute part of the turnover and therefore was not liable to be taxed again. Recently, we took the same view in -- State of Andhra v. Shree Bajranga Jute Mills Ltd., Guntur, AIR 1955 Andhra 241 (B). But subsequent to the rendering of the judgment in that case, the learned Government Pleader brought to our notice the amended definition and requested us to reconsider the matter in the light of this amendment.
(3.)It is contended by the learned Advocate-General for the Government that the amended definition is of wider import and brings within its ambit the tax collected by the dealer and the judgment of the Madras High Court based on the unamended definition cannot govern this case. According to him, the clause "and any other sums charged by the dealer whatever be the description, the name or object thereof" takes in the tax collected by the seller. The expression, "whatever be the description, the name or object thereof", continues the Advocate-General, is significant and embraces every item mentioned in the bill or paid into the hands of the seller.It is urged that the clause "including any sums charged by the dealer for anything done in respect of the goods sold at the time of or before the delivery of the goods and any other sums charged by the dealer whatever be the description, name or object thereof" has reference to "the total amount set out in the bill of sale". In our opinion, this construction is opposed to the plain and ordinary meaning of the language of the sub-section.The total amount set out in the bill can have refernece only to the consideration for sale and it is in the consideration that these sums, charges etc., are included. So what is made comprehensive is the consideration for sale. To adopt the other interpretation woiuld be straining the language a bit too much. If so, coulda tax collected by a dealer come within the meaning of consideration for sale?
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