Recycling of beer and IMFL bottles to draw purchase tax: SC | India News

NEW DELHI: Beer and liquor manufacturers procuring empty bottles from scrap dealers to refill and sell their produce are in for a few hiccups as the Supreme Court ruled that brewers and distillers are liable to pay purchase tax on procurement of empty bottles.
Manufacturers, including Mohan Breweries and Distilleries Ltd, had challenged the Tamil Nadu commercial tax officer’s decision to impose purchase tax on empty beer and Indian Made Foreign Liquor bottles from unregistered dealers on the ground that these bottles were not part of the manufacturing process. The law mandates that purchase tax will be levied on any item “consumed”, “used”, “or otherwise” in the manufacture of beer and IMFL.
The brewers and distillers argued that the bottles were recycled after use by consumers and were refilled with beer and IMFL. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari had to look up dictionaries as much as law books to examine the meaning of the words ‘use’, ‘consume’ and ‘or otherwise’ to arrive at a conclusion that empty bottles procured from scrap dealers were liable for purchase tax.

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