Case Law Details

Case Name : Sodexo SVC India Private Limited. Vs The State of Maharashtra and Others (Bombay High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition No. 5653 OF 2010
Date of Judgement/Order : 20/03/2015
Related Assessment Year :

The   Petitioner   Company   is   conducting   a   business   of providing   pre­printed   Sodexo   Meal   Vouchers   (For   short   “the   said Vouchers”).   The case made out in the Petitions is that the Petitioner Company enters into a contract with its customers for issuing the said vouchers.   The customers of the Petitioner in turn distribute the said vouchers   to   their   employees   who   are   the   actual   users   of   the   said vouchers.    It is stated that the Petitioner Company has contracts with various affiliates such as restaurants, departmental stores, shops, etc. Under the affiliate contracts, the affiliates are required to provide food  and other items on presentation of the said vouchers by the users.   The affiliates are bound to honour vouchers once presented by the users. The affiliates after receiving the said vouchers, present the same to the Court Petitioner   Company.     On   receipt   of   the   vouchers,   the   Petitioner reimburses the affiliates after deducting service charges.

The  case  made   out  in   the   Petition   is   that  the   Petitioner Company   has   obtained   certificate   of   authorization   from   the   Reserve Bank of India under Section 7 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act,   2007   (for   short   “the   said   Act   of   2007”)   to   operate   a   payment system for issue of meal and gift vouchers in the form of ‘paper based vouchers’ and ‘smart meal cards’ with effect from 25th  June 2009.   In these two Petitions, we are concerned with the paper based vouchers.

Issue which arises in these Petitions is whether the said vouchers  are the goods within the meaning of the Municipal Corporations Act which are capable of being consumed, used or sold.

In   this   case,   we   are   dealing   with   the   printed   paper vouchers.   As pointed out earlier, the printed vouchers are sold to the customers for the value which is printed on the said vouchers.  In turn, the   customers   hand   over   them   to   a   user   who   uses   the   same   for acquiring   food   and   beverages.     Even   going   by   the   scheme   of   the Petitioner, the said vouchers are sold by the Petitioner to its customers. Therefore, the said vouchers which are printed on paper are the goods within the meaning of the said Municipal Corporations Act.   After the vouchers are brought within the limits of the Municipal Corporations Act, the same are capable of being sold.   The said vouchers which are capable of being sold, delivered and possessed have its own utility.  The same   cannot   be   equated   with   a   lottery   ticket   which   merely   an actionable   claim.     The   said   vouchers   cannot   be   equated   with electromagnetic waves.

The stand taken by the Pune Municipal Corporation in the Writ Petition No.5653 of 2010 is that the said vouchers will fall in the category of printed material which attracts Octroi of 2% in terms of the Octroi   Rules.     For   the   reasons   recorded   above,   we   are   unable   to persuade ourselves to take a view that the said vouchers are not the goods for the purposes of levy of LBT and Octroi.   The same are the goods which are capable of being used, consumed or sold within the Municipal   Corporation   limits.     Therefore,   the   challenge   in   these

Petitions by the Petitioner must fail.

Supreme Court Judgment in above at the below link :-

Sodexo Vouchers are not liable for Octroi or LBT :SC

Download Judgment/Order

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  1. hari babu says:

    One aspect that is not clear in the judgement is – what is the value to be taken for the purpose of payment of Octroi/LBT? Whether it is printing cost of the vouchers or Value of the materials that can be purchased on the strength of vouchers?

    For ex., the printing cost of a booklet can be Rs.50/- Then Octroi/LBT is payable on this value. The value of vouchers in the booklet may be Rs.3,000/- which enables the employee to buy meals/goods worth Rs.3,000/-. Octroi/LBT is not payable on this amount. The reason being the vendor say for ex., a Hotel or a departmental stores is already paying Octroi/LBT on the goods brought into the local limits by him. Then, if Octroi/LBT is charged again on Rs.3,000/-, then it amounts to double taxation.

    The above aspect is not clear. Request our readers to throw light on the above issue.

  2. Devdatta says:

    So does it mean that the user will have bear the tax for this octroi/LBT? i.e. does the user has to pay more for the food/item he is buying using the coupons? Or it will not have any effect to the user’s payment calculation?

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