United Copiex (India) Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of
Sales Tax  INSC 447 (25 March 1996)
S.C. (J) Sen, S.C. (J) Jeevan Reddy, B.P. (J) Sen, J.
JT 1996 (3) 658 1996 SCALE (3)181
Civil Appeals Nos. 4822-25 of 1996 (Arising out of S.L.Ps. (C) Nos. 11306,
11307, 11308 and 11309 of 1994)].
this case we have to decide whether 'rubber flaps' manufactured by the
appellant can be classified under sub- entry (2) of Entry 43 in the Schedule to
the Uttar Pradesh Sales Tax Act, 148. The relevant Entry in the Schedule has
been set out in the judgment of the High Court as under:
Motor vehicles including motor cars, motor taxi cabs, motor cycles, motor cycle
combinations, motor scooters, mopeds, motorettes, motor omni-buses, motor vans,
motor lorries, motor trucks, jeeps, station wagons and chassis of motor
vehicles and bodies or tankers or motor caravans built or meant for mounting on
chassis of motor vehicles, but excluding tractors whether on wheels or on
Components, parts and accessories of vehicles specified in sub-entry (1) above,
including tyres and tubes, batteries and trailers adapted for use along with
the said vehicles, other than such trailers as are predominantly used along
with any other vehicles." The appellants are manufacturers of rubber flaps
which are used for giving support to the rubber tubes used in the tyres of
motor vehicles. The contention of the appellant is that such rubber flaps do
not fall under any of the items specified in the Schedule and, therefore, they
should be taxed as unclassified items for which the rate of tax is 8%.
Assessing Officer, however, taxed the turnover of the rubber flaps under
sub-entry (2) of Entry 43 of the said Schedule, treating the rubber flaps to be
an accessory of motor vehicles.
first appeal to the Statutory Appellate Authority failed. The assessee
thereafter appealed to the Tribunal. The Tribunal noted the argument of the assessee
that the flaps were used between the wheel rim and the tyre tube of bus, trucks
and other heavy vehicles, rubber flaps were manufactured from rubber and that
the assessee had treated flaps taxable as unclassified item in the category of
rubber products. The Tribunal also took note of the two judgments placed before
it but distinguished them on facts.
pointed out that in the case of Modi Rubber Ltd. v. State of Kerala Government
(1991) 81 STC 225, Kerala High Court held that rubber flaps came under the
category of 'rubber products'. But in the Uttar Pradesh Act, there was no
separate classification of rubber products as taxable goods. Hence no decision
about taxability of rubber flaps could be taken in the light of the Kerala
case came before the Allahabad High Court for Revision under Section 11 of the
U.P. Sales Tax Act. The High Court held that "in the face of the
undisputed fact that the article in question is used for the protection and
support of rubber tubes in the wheels of heavy automobiles there seems to be no
escape from the conclusion that the rubber flap has to be treated as accessory
of motor vehicle.
there is no direct evidence about the sale of the rubber flap in automobile
market yet in view of its exclusive use it can be presumed that it is an item
which is sold in the automobile market." In the case of State of Orissa v. Dunlop India Ltd., (1993) 91 STC
379, it has specifically been mentioned that flap is commercially a distinct
identifiable commodity available for sale in the automobile market. The High
Court upheld the decision of the Tribunal that the rubber flaps were taxable as
'accessory' of motor vehicle.
judgment is now under appeal in this Court.
sub-section (d) of Section 3A of the U.P. Sales Tax Act, 1948 a dealer has to pay
tax on the turnover in respect of goods specified in the Schedule to the Act at
such rate as the State Government may by notification declare. Sub-section (e)
of Section 3A provides for goods other than those referred to in clauses (a),
(b), (c), (d) of Section 3A will be charged the tax at the rate of 8%. The
contention of the assessee is that rubber flaps manufactured by it do not fall
under any of the specific heads in the Schedule and, therefore, the only way to
tax rubber flaps is by taking recourse to sub-clause (e) of Section 3A(1).
43 of the Schedule is in two parts. The first part [sub-entry (1)] deals with
motor vehicles. Motor cars, motor taxi, cabs, motor cycles, motor cycle
combinations, motor scooters, mopeds, motor trucks, jeeps, station wagons,
chassis of motor vehicles etc. have all been included in this sub-entry. The
second part [sub-entry (2)] relates to components, parts and accessories of
vehicles mentioned in sub-entry (1) including tyres, tubes, batteries and
certain types of trailers.
'rubber flap' can at all be treated as an accessory is a debatable issue. From
what has been brought on record rubber flap is a protective device. It is
placed between the tube and the rim, possibly to save the tube from coming into
direct contact with overheated rims on long drives. In the Central Excise &
Tariff Act, flaps have not been treated as accessories of motor vehicles. Flaps
are taxable under Tariff Item 40.12 under the Heading Solid or Cushion Tyres,
Interchangeable Tyre Treads and Tyre Flaps of Rubber. That means the flaps will
not come under the heading "parts and accessories" of motor vehicles
in Entry 87.05 in Chapter 87 of that Act. It is well accepted that the entries
in the Schedule to the Excise Act have been stated in the language of the
market place and are to be understood as the market-people understand them. If
the flaps are treated as Car accessories in market parlance, then there is no
reason to treat it separately and independently as an item of rubber product in
however, cannot conclude the dispute raised in this case but is a good
indication of the legislative intent. The flaps have not been understood or
treated as accessories of motor vehicles by the legislature in another central
that as it may, the short question in this case is, having regard to Entry 43
in the Schedule to the U.P. Sales Tax Act, can it be said that the 'rubber
flaps' manufactured by the assessee can come within the phrase 'components,
parts and accessories of vehicles specified in sub-entry (1)? 'Rubber flaps'
can hardly be described as an accessory of a vehicle. Meaning of 'accessory',
according to the Webster Comprehensive Dictionary, International Edition, is 'a
person or thing that aids subordinately; an adjunct;
accompaniment'. The 'rubber flap', which is used to protect the tubes of the tyres,
is not an adjunct, appurtenance or accompaniment to a motor vehicle. At the
highest, it can be said that it increases the life of a tube by keeping it away
from direct contact with the rim of a wheel. Sub-entry (1) does not include tyres
and tubes or any other component, part or accessory within the description of
'motor vehicles'. Tyres and tubes have been specifically and separately
mentioned in sub-entry (2) alongwith 'components, parts and accessories of
vehicles specified in sub-entry (1)'. The flap may be used as an adjunct to the
tyre or an extra piece of rubber to give additional protection to the tubes. It
may, at the highest, be an accessory of an item falling under sub-entry (2) of
Entry 43, but it cannot be treated as an accessory of the motor vehicle itself
which falls in sub-entry (1). Even on the basis of facts as found, it cannot be
said that the 'tyre flaps' will fall within the description of 'components,
parts and accessories of vehicles specified in sub-entry (1)'.
distinction was pointed out in the case of Modi Rubber Ltd. v. State of Kerala, (1991) 81 STC 225. In that case, Kerala
High Court had to deal with the following two Entries:
FIRST SCHEDULE Goods in respect of which single point tax is leviable under
sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of Section 5.
Sl. Description of Point of Rate of goods levy tax -------------------------------------------
39.Rubber products At the point 8 other than of first sale those speci- in the
State fically ment- by a dealer ioned in this who is liable Schedule. to tax
under section 5.
vehicles, At the point 15." motor vessels, of first sale motor engines, in
the State chassis of motor by a dealer vehicles, who is liable trailers, motor
to tax under bodies built section 5.
chassis of motor vehicles, bodies built for motor vessels, or engines, and
spare parts and accessories thereof.
Dealing with Entry 138, it was observed by the Court:
for the Revenue submitted that rubber flaps manufactured and sold by the
revision petitioner are accessories of the spare parts of motor vehicles, specified
in entry 138 of the First Schedule to the KGST Act. We are of the view that
entry 138 refers to motor vehicles, motor vessels, motor engines, etc., and
spare parts and accessories thereof, which means spare parts of motor vehicles,
motor vessels, motor engines, etc. The words 'accessories thereof' in entry 138
of the First Schedule have reference to motor vehicles, motor engines, etc.,
and not the 'spare parts', immediately preceding the words occurring in the
entry. The Appellate Tribunal was in error in holding that rubber flaps
manufactured and sold by the revision petitioner are accessories of spare parts
of motor vehicles, coming under entry 138 of the First Schedule to the KGST
Act." In the instant case, Entry 43 has been split up into two parts. The
first part deals with motor vehicles etc. and the second part deals with
components, parts and accessories of vehicles mentioned in the first part. Tyres
and tubes are included in the phrase 'components, parts and accessories of
vehicles'. A protective cover like a rubber flap may be treated as an accessory
of something which is an accessory of the motor vehicle. But that will not make
the protective cover an accessory of the motor vehicle itself.
question may arise whether the accessory of a tyre tube can be anything but
accessory of the motor vehicle itself. In other words the accessory of a part
must of necessity be the accessory of the composite whole which is the motor
vehicle in this case. This interesting question need not be pursued in this
case. 'Tyres and Tubes' and 'Motor Vehicles' have been classified separately
That means tyres and tubes have not been included in motor vehicles. A rubber
flap will be, if at all, an accessory of the tyre or the tube falling in
sub-entry (2) and not of motor vehicles in sub-entry (1). The Legislature in
its wisdom has classified the tyres and tubes separately in sub-entry (2) and
not along with motor vehicles in sub- entry (1). A flap being an accessory of
an article falling under sub-entry (2) cannot be classified as an accessory of
an article falling in sub entry (1).
conclusion of the hearing of the case, we were referred to some amendments made
in sub-entry (1) which does not have any material bearing on the dispute raised
in this case. It is not necessary to refer to these amendments.
of the view that this appeal must succeed and is allowed. The judgment of the
High Court dated January
18, 1994 is set aside.
There will be no order as to costs.
APPEALS NOS. .........................................of 1996 (ARISING OUT OF
S.L.Ps. (C) NOS. 11306, 11307, 11308 and 11309 of 1994)].
view of our judgment in Civil Appeal No. ...........of 1996 (arising out of
S.L.P. (C) 11305 of 1994), the above appeals are allowed. There will be no
order as to costs.