SAIFUDDIN EBRAHIMBHAI VADNAGARWALLA Vs. ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF COMMERCIAL TAXES
LAWS(CAL)-1976-4-17
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on April 30,1976

SAIFUDDIN EBRAHIMBHAI VADNAGARWALLA Appellant
VERSUS
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF COMMERCIAL TAXES Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Ramendra Mohan Dutta, J. - (1.)In this application the main point which is involved is whether sales tax is liable to be exempted on "rubberised cotton fabrics", of which the petitioner is a dealer, in respect of the period from January, 1970, till 6th April, 1975. In other words, whether "rubberised cotton fabrics" would come within the meaning of "cotton fabrics" as provided under item 19 of the First Schedule to the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 (Act 1 of 1944), which has been referred to in the explanation to Rule 3(28)(a) and (b) of the Bengal Sales Tax Rules, 1941, to give the meaning of the expression "cotton fabrics". The said item 19 of the Act of 1944 provides as follows:
19. Cotton fabrics. -- 'Cotton fabrics' means all varieties of fabrics manufactured either wholly or partly from cotton, and include dhoties, sarees, chadars, bed-sheets, bed-spreads, counterpanes and table-cloths, but do not include any such fabrics -- (a) if it contains 40 per cent or more by weight of wool; (b) if it contains 40 per cent or more by weight of silk ; or (c) if it contains 60 per cent or more by weight of rayon or artificial silk;.

(2.)Under Rule 3(28){a) and (b) of the Bengal Sales Tax Rules, 1941, framed under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act (6 of 1941), and as was in force up to 6th April, 1975, it was provided as follows:
(3.)In calculating his taxable turnover a registered dealer may deduct from his turnover the following, namely: --
(28)(a) Sales of cotton fabrics, rayon or artificial silk fabrics, woollen fabrics and tobacco other than cigarettes ; (b) Sales of cotton fabrics, rayon or artificial silk fabrics and woollen fabrics when dyed or printed after they come out of the mill/loom ; (c) Sales of mill-made cotton fabrics embroidered after they come out of the mill. Explanation. -- In this clause, the expressions 'cotton fabrics', 'rayon or artificial silk fabrics', 'woollen fabrics' and 'tobacco' respectively have the same meaning as in items 19, 22, 21 and 4 of the First Schedule to the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 (1 of ,1944).

3. The facts shortly are as follows: Petitioner No. 2, S. Yahya & Co., is a registered dealer under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941, and also under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, and holds proper registration certificates. The petitioners are dealing in various commodities including rubberised cotton fabrics, rubberised cotton belting, etc., in which both cotton and rubber are mixed up by a manufacturing process. In respect of the said items the petitioners claim exemption in its returns filed with the sales tax authorities on the ground that they come within the meaning of the expression "cotton fabrics", which had been exempted from such sales tax. The granting of such exemption was withdrawn by the authorities concerned in respect of the period commencing from January to December, 1970, and, accordingly, the petitioner preferred appeals, but the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes also dismissed such appeals. The petitioners have claimed relief in this application not only in respect of the said four quarters of 1970 but also the periods subsequent thereto up to 6th April, 1975, after which an amendment was brought into the aforesaid provision by substitution of a new Rule 3(28)(a) whereby "rubberised cotton fabrics" were not included within the exempted articles and such exemption was withdrawn and made taxable.

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