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B. Sreerangiah Setty and Sons Vs. Commercial Tax Officer, Kolar Circle, Kolar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition Nos. 620 and 622 of 1959
Judge
Reported in[1962]13STC314(Kar)
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226
AppellantB. Sreerangiah Setty and Sons
RespondentCommercial Tax Officer, Kolar Circle, Kolar and anr.
Appellant AdvocateK. Srinivasan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateD.M. Chandrasekhar, High Court Government Pleader
Excerpt:
.....has to be made is a mere matter of detail in regard to which it was not necessary for the legislature itself to make a law, and that being so, it was perfectly within the competence of the legislature to empower the government to fill up those subsidiary details. 13. these writ petitions therefore fail and are dismissed......oil were also taxed. it is in pursuance of this latest amendment to schedule ii in this way by the state government that the petitioner's sales of groundnut seeds and groundnut oil were taxed by the sales tax authorities in the present cases. 4. mr. srinivasan contends that the amendments were made to schedule ii from time to time by the state government in exercise of the power conferred on it by the proviso appearing under section 3(4) of the act, were beyond its competence inasmuch as that proviso was an invalid statutory conferring as it did unguided, naked and arbitrary power on the state government exceeding the limits of permissible delegation. 5. the relevant statutory provisions are these : section 3(1)(a) provides that every dealer shall pay for each year a tax on his total.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Somnath Iyer, J.

1. The petitioner in these cases assails the validity of the proviso appearing under section 3(4) of the Mysore Sales Tax Act, 1948.

2. The material facts are these : The petitioner purchases groundnuts, sells a part of them, and expels oil out of the remainder. He was assessed to sales tax during the assessment years 1953-54 and 1954-55 in respect of his turnover not only relating to the sales of groundnut seeds but also the sales of groundnut oil made out of the groundnut seeds purchased by him.

3. Under the provisions of the Mysore Sales Tax Act, 1948, at one stage till 14th December, 1948, all purchases of groundnut seeds were taxable and all sales of groundnut oil were also taxable. But from the turnover relating to the sales of groundnut oil, the price for which the groundnut seeds had been purchased by the dealer had to be deducted with the result that there was in effect no double taxation. With effect from 14th December, 1948, all purchases of groundnut seeds for export were taxable and all sales of groundnut oil and cake were also taxable. But with effect from 1st April, 1951, all sales of groundnut seeds were taxed and all sales of groundnut oil were also taxed. It is in pursuance of this latest amendment to schedule II in this way by the State Government that the petitioner's sales of groundnut seeds and groundnut oil were taxed by the Sales Tax Authorities in the present cases.

4. Mr. Srinivasan contends that the amendments were made to schedule II from time to time by the State Government in exercise of the power conferred on it by the proviso appearing under section 3(4) of the Act, were beyond its competence inasmuch as that proviso was an invalid statutory conferring as it did unguided, naked and arbitrary power on the State Government exceeding the limits of permissible delegation.

5. The relevant statutory provisions are these :

Section 3(1)(a) provides that every dealer shall pay for each year a tax on his total turnover for such year.

Sub-section (4) reads : 'For the purposes of this section and the other provisions of this Act, turnover shall be determined in accordance with the rules contained in schedule II of this Act :

Provided that the State Government shall have the power to vary any part of the schedule after duly notifying the changes in the official Gazette.'

6. It is contended that the determination of the turnover and the rules in accordance with which such determination may be made are matters in regard to which the legislature alone has the competence to make a law and that therefore if the legislature made rules contained in schedule II to the Act, it had no power to bestow competence on the State Government to vary these rules, and if it did so, as it has done in this case, it delegated to the Government, power which was not delegatable. It is with the validity of this contention with which we are concerned in this case.

7. It is now well-settled law that although an essential legislative function is not delegatable, the legislature has the competence to delegate to a designated authority the power to fill up all subsidiary details if the law enacted by the legislature contains a clear enunciation of the legislative policy underlying the enactment.

8. Now the legislative policy underlying the Sales Tax Act is that the turnover of a dealer shall be taxed. The rules contained in schedule II provided for the manner in which the turnover shall be determined. What was delegated to the Government was the power to vary those rules so as to provide for the determination of the turnover in a manner different from that directed by the rules made by the legislature.

9. I am not disposed to agree with the argument addressed before us by Mr. Srinivasan that the enactment of the rules contained in schedule II to the Act in accordance with which the turnover of a dealer had to be determined, constitutes to any extent or in any sense a matter involving an essential legislative function. Those rules, to my mind, in so far as they are relevant for the purpose of this case, amounted to no more than the details relating to the law made by the legislature imposing a sales tax on the turnover of a dealer. If the legislature had not made such rules but had left it to the State Government to formulate rules for the determination of the turnover, it could not have been successfully contended that the power conferred on the Government to make those rules was not delegatable. In my opinion, the manner in which the determination of the turnover of a dealer has to be made is a mere matter of detail in regard to which it was not necessary for the legislature itself to make a law, and that being so, it was perfectly within the competence of the legislature to empower the Government to fill up those subsidiary details.

10. Mr. Srinivasan, however, submitted to us that since the schedule to the Act was part of the Act, the power conferred on the Government to make amendments to the schedule would amount to a power conferred on it to amend the Act and that therefore the conferment of that power amounted to excessive delegation.

11. The argument, in my opinion, is too widely stated to merit acceptance, and the answer to that argument is that contained in the pronouncement of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Edward Mills Co., Beawar v. The State of Ajmer : (1954)IILLJ686SC , in which their Lordships pointed out that the power conferred on the Government to amend the schedule to the Minimum Wages Act did not involve the conferment of power in excess of permissive delegation. I do not see why we should take a different view in the present case in which all that the State Government was empowered to do was to shift from time to time in accordance with and having regard to the local conditions with which the Government alone could be familiar, the point of the levy of sales tax. Indeed that is all that the State Government did in this case.

12. I am therefore of the opinion that there is no basis for the contention advanced that the proviso appearing under section 3(4) of the Mysore Sales Tax Act, 1948, has for any reasons to be regarded as invalid or unconstitutional.

13. These writ petitions therefore fail and are dismissed. But in the circumstances, we make no order as to costs.

Iqbal Husain, J.

14. I agree.

15. Petitions dismissed.


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