COMMISSIONER of VAT, DELHI in the case of M/s Divine International vide order number:- 64/CDVAT/2005 dated 14 December, 2005, determined the taxability of religious/god picture printed on metallic foils.
The main question was whether religious/god pictures printed on metallic foils are covered under Entry No. 45 of the First Schedule of DVAT Act i.e. under religious pictures not used as calendars and is an exempted item.
The commissioner of VAT, Delhi finally said that “Religious pictures not for use as calendar” and thus not covered under Entry No. 45, such pictures are general unscheduled item attracts tax @ 12.5% u/s4(1)(e) of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act of 2004. Determined accordingly.
BEFORE SHRI R.K. VERMA, COMMISSIONER, VAT : DELHI
Date of Order : 14.12.05
M/s Divine International
201, Vardhman North Ex Plaza,
Netaji Subhash Place,
Pitampura, Delhi-110 088.
Present for the Applicant : Sh. R.N. Sharma, CA
Present for the Department : Sh. V.K. Kandpal, DR
The above named applicant has filed this application on 28/09/05 u/s 84 of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004. The question posed for determination under the aforesaid provision of law is as under :
Whether religious/god pictures printed on metallic foils are covered under Entry No. 45 of the First Schedule of DVAT Act i.e. under religious pictures not used as calendars and is an exempted item?
The application has been made in the prescribed format DVAT 42 and a fee of Rs. 500/- has been paid by Pay Order No. 482712. The applicant who is registered vide TIN No. 07110279335 with the Department is stated to be engaged in trading of religious pictures printed on metal foils, not used as calendars. The case of the applicant is that the item in question is nothing but a religious picture not for use as calendar and is covered by Entry No. 45 of the First Schedule and thus exempt from tax. The submission made by the applicant is as under:
(i) That in various dictionaries the meaning of a ‘picture’ has been given as to be a painting, drawing or photograph, drawing of lines and shapes, painting of printing on a surface and show a person, a thing or a scene and representation or image on surface e.g. a painting, drawing as a work of art, a mental image or idea and the word ‘religious’ denoted a concern with the religion or a connection with the religion in general or in particular. The word is also used to describe an object, belief or event which is connected with religion.
(ii) That a Calendar on the other side, consists of pages printed to show the dates, days, weeks and months of a particular year. The Calendars may and may not have the pictures of the gods or goddesses. The primary purpose of a Calendar is to exhibit the dates, days, weeks and months etc. in a particular year and not to depict the religious picture.
(iii) That the products of the applicant do not contain any information as that of a Calendar and hence, are not usable for any purpose other than for religious prayers and offerings.
Therefore, while placing copies of some of such pictures and sample thereof on record the applicant requested that the item be held to be falling within the ambit of Entry No. 45 of the First Schedule.
The DR opposed the request of the applicant and submitted that Entry No. 45 of the First Schedule does not cover the case of the applicant because the Entry clearly reflects that only such religious pictures as could be used as calendars but have not been so used come within a fold of this Entry. The entries refers to such religious and simply printed (normally on papers) pictures as could also be used as calendars.
I have heard the arguments put up from both sides as well as gone through the application filed and the material placed on behalf of the applicant. The relevant Entry No. 45 of the First Schedule appended to the DVAT Act 2004 which reads as “Religious pictures not for use as calendar” has also been minutely seen. The meaning of the word “religious pictures” given in various dictionaries as referred to by the Counsel for the applicant have also been taken into account. On giving ample consideration to the arguments made before this Court, the material place on record and the provisions of law as it existed on date, this Court is of the opinion that religious pictures printed on metallic foils do not fall within the ambit of this entry. Such pictures are the general unscheduled goods and are liable to be taxed at the rate of 12.5% u/s 4(1)(e) of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act of 2004. Determined accordingly.
Commissioner, VAT, Delhi
No. 40 Dated: 20/12/05
2. STO (Policy)
3. Bar Association
4. Guard File
Commissioner, VAT, Delhi