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2015 (11) TMI 1146 - GAUHATI HIGH COURT

2015 (11) TMI 1146 - GAUHATI HIGH COURT - [2015] 83 VST 542 (Gau) - Challenge to the luxury tax is levied on the hospitals in view of the amended definition of the “luxury provided in a hospital” by virtue of the amendment to clause (7A) to section 2 of the Assam Tax on Luxuries (Hotels and Lodging Houses and Hospitals) Act, 1989 - Held that:- It is pertinent to note that in judgment in Godfrey(supra) the Supreme Court has laid down the test to determine whether the facility is a luxury or other .....

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uxury tax. Besides, the Assam legislature has brought about an amendment to the Assam Tax on Luxuries (Hotels and Lodging Houses and Hospitals) Act, 1989, specifically to define the “luxuries provided in a hospital” with a determinate connotation. The said definition includes the facilities like air-conditioner and television provided to the patient or his attendant is within the ambit of a luxury. - The dissection of the definition of “luxury provided in the hospital” consists of multiple compo .....

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0/2009, 5221/2009. - Dated:- 28-5-2015 - MR. K. SREEDHAR RAO AND MR. P. K. SAIKIA, JJ. For the petitioners : Dr Ashok Saraf Sr Advocate For the respondents : Sri S Saikia Standing Counsel, Tax deptt. JUDGMENT Chief Justice(Acting) Heard the petitioners and the respondents. 2) In these petitions there is challenge to the luxury tax is levied on the hospitals in view of the amended definition of the luxury provided in a hospital by virtue of the amendment to clause (7A) to section 2 of the Assam T .....

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al medical services and any medical test . 3) The all-Assam Non-government Health Establishment Association, formed by the private hospitals and nursing homes, have filed the above petitions challenging the validity of the levy of luxury tax. 4) Dr Ashok Saraf, the learned senior counsel for the petitioners, relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in Godfrey Phillips India Ltd and another v. State of U.P. and others[(2005) 2 SCC 515] and made a specific reference to the observations of the S .....

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is understood as meaning something which is purely for enjoyment and beyond the necessities of life, there can be no doubt that entertainments, amusements, betting and gambling would come within such understanding. Additionally, entertainments, amusements, betting and gambling are all activities. 'Luxuries' is also capable of meaning an activity and has primarily and traditionally been defined as such. It is only derivatively and recently used to connote an article of luxury. One can ass .....

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S.T.: (1981) 2 SCC 141,145 although doubted in its indiscriminate application in State of Bombay vs. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha : AIR 1960 SC 610. In the latter case this Court was required to construe Section 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act which read: "Section 2(j) provides that 'industry' means any business, trade, undertaking, manufacture or calling of employers and includes any calling, service, employment, handicraft or industrial occupation or avocation of workmen". 81. .....

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sent context indicates a commonality or shared features or attributes of the including word with the included. 83. Hence on an application of general principles of interpretation, we would hold that the word 'luxuries' in Entry 62 of List II means the activity of enjoyment of or indulgence in that which is costly or which is generally recognized as being beyond the necessary requirements of an average member of society and not articles of luxury . 5) It is strenuously contended that the .....

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ral, relied on the decision of the Kerala High Court in Ayurveda Hospital Managements Associations and others v. State of Kerala and others[(2012) 56 VST 327(Ker)] to contend that it falls within the legislative competence of the State to levy luxury tax on the hospitals where the facilities like air-conditioner and television are provided to the patient or his attendant during their stay at the hospital for treatment. 7) Upon through consideration of the submissions made at the Bar and the deci .....

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ed, any facility like the air-conditioner and television provided to the patient or his attendant in a private hospital should definitely be construed as a luxury and liable for luxury tax. Besides, the Assam legislature has brought about an amendment to the Assam Tax on Luxuries (Hotels and Lodging Houses and Hospitals) Act, 1989, specifically to define the luxuries provided in a hospital with a determinate connotation. The said definition includes the facilities like air-conditioner and televi .....

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