S. N. Variava, J. -
(1.) (for himself and on behalf of N. Santosh Hegde, B. P. Singh, H. K. Sema, JJ.) :- These Appeals are against the Judgment dated 12th December, 1996 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The Appeals have been placed before this Bench pursuant to an Order of this Court dated 16th January, 2002.
(2.) Briefly stated the facts are as follows :
The Appellants provide consultancy services including Computer Consultancy Services. As part of their business they prepare and load on customers computer custom made software (for sake of convenience hereinafter referred to as uncanned software) and also sell Computer Software Packages off the shelf (hereinafter referred to as canned software). The canned Software Packages are of the ownership of companies/persons, who have developed those software. The Appellants are licensees with permission to sub-licence these packages to others. The canned software programmes are programmes like Oracle, Lotus, Master Key, N-Export, Unigraphics, etc.
(3.) In respect of the canned software the Commercial Tax Officer, Hyderabad, passed a provisional Order of Assessment under the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957 hereinafter called the said Act holding that the software were goods. The Commercial Tax Officer accordingly levied sales tax on this software. The Appellate Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes also held that the software were goods and liable to tax. However, the matter was remanded back for purposes of working out the tax.;