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All-Assam Non-government Health Establishment Association and G.N.R.C. Ltd, Versus State of Assam represented by the Commissioner and Secretary, Finance department. and Others

2015 (11) TMI 1146 - GAUHATI HIGH COURT

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 otherwise, “the requirements of the common man is a determinative factor .....

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ment 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 components: a residence provided to a patient or his attendant in the hos .....

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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 Tax on Luxuries (Hotels and Lodging Houses and Hospitals) Act, 1989. .....

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rnment 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 Supreme Court in paras 74, 77, 81 and 83, which reads as follows. 74. .....

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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 assume that the coupling of these taxes under one entry was not fortuit .....

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plication 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. We are aware that the maxim of noscitur a sociis may be a treacherou .....

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s 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 air-conditioner and television facility is not a luxury, since the p .....

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pital 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 decisions cited it is pertinent to note that in para 83 of its judgment .....

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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 television provided to the patient or his attendant is within the ambit of .....

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