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 :-