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2023 (5) TMI 290 - SC - CST, VAT & Sales Tax
Classification of goods - medicated talcum powder - classifiable under Entry 79 of the First Schedule to Kerala General Sales Tax Act, 1963 or not - whether medicated talcum powder is medicine or drug, or a cosmetic, or in terms of the statutes in question, medicated talcum powder? - HELD THAT:- In the present case, the clear legislative intent, of inserting a carefully worded entry, which was a “hybrid” one, i.e. describing an article that contained medicinal ingredients, as well as those used for cosmetics, and yet placing such a creature (“neither beast nor fowl” so to say) in the category of cosmetics, ruled out altogether any interpretive scope of classifying it as a medicinal preparation, or drug or medicine. Therefore, this court cannot fault the High Court for drawing the conclusion that it did.
Tamil Nadu case [[2014 (5) TMI 413 - MADRAS HIGH COURT]] - HELD THAT:- The legislative history of the entry is telling. Talcum powder, lipsticks, lip salve, nail polish, nail varnishes, nail brushes, toilet powders, baby powders, talcum powders, powder pads, etc. clearly showed that all manner of talcum powder fell within Entry, i.e. Item 1. After the amendment, with effect from 01.04.1994, the explanation was added. The explanation specifically stated that items “listed above” “even if medicated or as defined in Section 3” (of the Drugs Act) “or manufactured on the license issued under the said Act will fall under this item”. The explanation included, in Item 1, Part F medicated talcum powder, regardless that the license to manufacture it, was under the Drugs Act. The pointed reference to toilet powders, baby powders, talcum powders, powder pads, along with the additional words “even if medicated” again, like in the Kerala case, is decisive.
In the present case, the TNGST was consciously amended to include talcum powder, whether or not medicated in the specific entry or class of entries, enumerating cosmetics. Hence, like in the Kerala case [[2008 (9) TMI 845 - KERALA HIGH COURT]], the plain meaning of that taxation head or entry had to be given, as there was no ambiguity. Consequently, the findings recorded by the High Courts are justified.
This court is of the view that both sets of appeals have to fail - Appeal dismissed.