Bros. Vs. Joint Commercial Officer, Madras  INSC 351 (14
S. Rangnathan, S. Ramaswamy, K.
1991 AIR 1017 1990 SCR Supl. (3) 61 1991 SCC (1) 514 JT 1990 (4) 750 1990 SCALE
General Sales Tax Act, 1959: Section 3(3) and item no. 3 Schedule I--Car Seat
Covers--Whether articles adapted generally as parts and accessories of motor Vehi-
appellant is a registered dealer under Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act 1 of
1959. The appellant has been carrying on business in the manufacture and sale
of Auto seats covers, upholstery materials etc. in leather, plastic cloth and
other materials. The taxable turnover for the year 1971-72 was Rs.2,61,812.74
and for 1972-73 it was Rs.1,31,650.05. The claimed car seat cover manufactured
& supplied by him to the customers to be chargeable to Sales tax at 3/2 per
cent. The assessing authorities levied sales Tax under section 3(3) read with
Item 3 of Schedule 1st of the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act at 13% and taxed
ac- cordingly. This was upheld on appeal by the Assistant Com- missioner and on
further revision by the Appellate Tribunal and also by the High Court. The
legality thereof questioned in these appeals.
appellant contended that car seat covers upholstery cannot be considered to be
accessories to automobiles. Since such of those accessories which would be
convenient for use, for the use of the motor vehicles as a whole for an effec- tive
use of the vehicles and not as a part of such vehicle are exigible to tax at
13%. Reliance was placed on the following judgments.
Motors v. State of Karnataka,  54 STC 308; Commissioner,
Sales tax, U.P. v. Free India Cycle Indus- tries,  26 STC 428 and Shadi
Cycle Industries v. Commissioner of Salestax, U.P.,  27 STC 56.
respondent contended that the accessories for motor vehicles must be those that
aid or an addition for conven- ience or use of the motor vehicle and they may
also be supplementary or secondary to any one or all the parts of the motor car
even without effectiveness the use of the entire motor vehicle, and reliance
was placed on Khetty Traders v. State of Madras,  32 STC 346; State of
Madras v. E.A.N. Meerakasim Carnatic Seat Company,  32 STC 463; S.M.
Brothers v. 62 Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Hyderabad Division-I,
Hyderabad & Ors.,  39 STC 182 and The Commissioner of Sales Tax v. Jayesh
(India) Agencies,  57 STC. 128.
the question: Whether car seat covers and articles adapted generally as parts
and accessories of the motor vehicle.
dismissing the appeals, the Court,
1. The correct test would be whether the article or articles in question would
be an adjunct or an accompani- ment or addition for the convenient use of
another part of the vehicle or adds to the beauty, elegance or comfort for the
use of the motor vehicle or a supplementary or secondary to the main or primary
Whether an article or part is an accessory cannot be decided with reference to
its necessity to its effective use of the vehicle as a whole. General
adaptability may be relevant but may not by itself be conclusive. [66G]
Another test may be whether a particular article or articles or parts, can he
said to be available for sale in an automobile market or shops or places of
manufacture; if the dealer says it to be available certainly such an article or
part would be manufactured or kept for sale only as an accessory for the use in
the motor vehicle. [66H-67A]
the test that each accessory must add to the convenience or effectiveness of
the use of the car as a whole is given acceptance many a part in the motor car
by this process would fail outside the ambit of the accessories to the motor
car. That would not appear to be the intention of the legislature. [67B]
appellants in the instant case manufacture car seat covers, upholstery for sale
as a automobile part in he regular course of business. Therefore, they are exigible
to Sales tax at 13% under entry 3 of Schedule 1st read with section 3(3) of the