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Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. Vs. Commercial Tax Officer Circle-V, Raipur, (6) Chhattisgarh and Ors. - (High Court of Chhattisgarh) (08 Mar 2019)

Items or goods which cannot be fitted into broad entries into schedule of taxing statute are only required to be taken to residuary entry


Other Taxes

The Appellants had approached the writ Court by filing Writ Petition. In the said writ application, the taxability of a widely known drink "Frooti" manufactured by the Appellant-Company and its inclusion under Entry 14 of Schedule II of the Chhattisgarh Entry Tax Act, 1976 at the rate of 2% by the Assessing Authority came to be assailed before the learned Single Judge.

An argument was made that "Frooti" being a product of fruit will fall in the Residual Entry of Schedule-II of the Act, 1976 and therefore, liable to be taxed at the rate of 1% and not 2%. The learned Single Judge did examine such submission of the Appellants whether 'Frooti' being a fruit juice would be required to be considered under the Residuary Entry or can be read into Entry 14 of Schedule-II Part I of the Act, 1976. The learned Single Judge, repelled the argument of the Petitioners. Aggrieved by the impugned judgment, the present appeal has been preferred.

Merely because the Legislature did not show fruit juices as a separate Entry or have not mentioned the word 'including fruit juices' in Entry 14 of Schedule-II of the Act, 1976, it does not mean that "Frooti" ceases to be a non-alcoholic drink or a beverage. The Entry existing in the Act, 1976 as it stands today, will also encompass fruit juices like "Frooti" under Entry 14 and it has to be taxed at the rate indicated in the said Entry.

The learned Single Judge has rightly concluded that, only items or goods which cannot be fitted into the broad entries into the schedule of the taxing statute or definition, is required to be taken to the residuary entry. Entry 14 of Schedule-II of the Act, 1976 as it stands today will also include drinks like "Frooti" and it is not required to be taken to the Residuary Entry on the argument that, it is a fruit product.

The Court further records that, any reliance placed on the Fruit Products Order, 1955 would be required to be understood within the ambit and object of such legislation. Since the interpretation is in relation to a taxing statute vis-à-vis an Entry therein, even though other legislations or similar legislations could have shown fruit juices by name in a particular entry, non-mention of the same will in no manner can compel present Court to accept the argument of the Appellants that "Frooti" by virtue of being a fruit product is not required to be treated as a non-alcoholic drink or beverage. No interference is warranted with the impugned order of the learned Single Judge. The appeal is dismissed.


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