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Sri Krishna and Co. and anr. Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in[1962]13STC61(AP)
AppellantSri Krishna and Co. and anr.
RespondentGovernment of Andhra Pradesh
Appellant Advocate A.V.S. Ramakrishnaiah, Adv.
Respondent Advocate The Third Government Pleader
DispositionRevision dismissed
Excerpt:
- .....the words 'agricultural produce' occurring in that rule include fruits also. it is true that the word 'agriculture' is a wide expression and can be used so as to include horticulture. but what we have to consider is whether those words are used in the rule so as to comprise horticulture. that expression is capable of being used in a narrow sense also. so the meaning has to be gathered from the purpose of the enactment, the text, and the sense in which it is used.7. as pointed out by their lordships of the supreme court in commissioner of income-tax v. raja benoy kumar sahas roy [1957] 32 i.t.r. 466 there arevarious meanings ascribed to the term 'agriculture' in various dictionaries and it is significant to note that the term has been used both in the narrow sense of the cultivation of.....
Judgment:

Chandra Reddy, C.J.

1. The notification issued by the Government of the erstwhile Hyderabad State dated 15th April, 1953, is challenged as being repugnant to Rule 5 of the Turnover and Assessment Rules framed under the Hyderabad General Sales Tax Rules, 1950.

2. The contention urged is that while Rule 5 directs the levy of sales tax on agricultural produce at the purchase point, the notification directs the levy of sales tax on fresh fruits and books which are not exempted from the levy of the tax. According to the learned counsel fruits being comprehended within the expression 'agricultural produce', the notification in question is repugnant to the rule and therefore, must be struck down as ultra vires.

3. Since the controversy ranges round the notification and the rule, it is useful to read them here. The notification says:-

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 7 of the Hyderabad General Sales Tax Act, 1950 (XIV of 1950), the Rajpramukh is pleased to make the following modification with effect from the 1st May, 1953, in respect of the tax payable under Sub-section (1) of Section 4-

(1) on books which are not exempt from the tax under the Act; and

(2) on fresh fruits: In a series of sales by successive dealers or casual traders the tax shall be levied at one point only on the first seller in the State who is not exempt from the levy of the tax.

4. Sub-rule (2) of Rule 5 runs as follows:-

In the case of the undermentioned goods the turnover of a dealer for the purpose of these rules shall be the amount for which the goods are bought by the dealer..

(f) Linseed, turmeric, dhania and other agricultural produce including all kinds of dals and paddy (husked or unhusked) not otherwise exempted under the said Act, but excluding (cotton seed) sugar-cane, tea and coffee seeds.

5. The point sought to be made by Sri Ramakrishnaiah is that as Rule 5 contemplates levy of tax on agricultural produce at the purchase point and that expression takes in fruits also, the notification issued by the Government should not be inconsistent with this rule.

6. If the words 'agricultural produce' occurring in Rule 5(2)(f) were to cover fruits also, the argument of the learned counsel will be admissible. If, on the other hand, that expression does not cover fruits, the notification cannot be attacked as being unconstitutional. So the main point for consideration is whether the words 'agricultural produce' occurring in that rule include fruits also. It is true that the word 'agriculture' is a wide expression and can be used so as to include horticulture. But what we have to consider is whether those words are used in the rule so as to comprise horticulture. That expression is capable of being used in a narrow sense also. So the meaning has to be gathered from the purpose of the enactment, the text, and the sense in which it is used.

7. As pointed out by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Commissioner of Income-tax v. Raja Benoy Kumar Sahas Roy [1957] 32 I.T.R. 466 there are

various meanings ascribed to the term 'agriculture' in various dictionaries and it is significant to note that the term has been used both in the narrow sense of the cultivation of the field and the wider sense of comprising all activities in relation to the land including horticulture, forestry, breeding and rearing of livestock, dairying, butter and cheese-making, husbandry etc.

8. In that case their Lordships were interpreting the expression 'agricultural income' as employed in the Indian Income-tax Act. In view of the amplitude of the definition of 'agricultural income' it has been decided that the income from forest land grown with sale and piyasal trees was agricultural income and having regard to the circumstances that the assessee planted fresh trees when the original ones had completely fallen, the whole of the income derived from the forest could not be treated as non-agricultural income. The actual decision is not of any avail to the petitioner having regard to the scope of the definition of 'agricultural income' in the Indian Income-tax Act.

9. We may now proceed to consider whether the words 'agricultural income' are used in a broad sense so as to comprehend horticulture with reference to the provisions of the Hyderabad General Sales Tax Act, 1950. Section 2(m) which defines 'turnover' furnishes a key to the mind of the Legislature in this behalf. The proviso to Section 2 (m) reads:

The process of the sale by a person of agricultural or horticultural produce grown by himself or grown on any land in which he has an interest whether as owner, usufructuary mortgagee, tenant or otherwise shall be excluded from his turnover.

10. It is plain from this provision that having regard to the juxtaposition of the two words, the Legislature did not intend to use the expression 'agriculture' as including horticulture. The very fact that the section used two different expressions to denote the two categories of the produce indicates that a wide connotation could not be attributed to the word 'agriculture' used in the Act. If the intendment of the section was to include horticultural produce such as fruits in the word 'agriculture', another word 'horticulture' would not have been employed. It is a cardinal rule of construction of statutes that every word should be given some meaning and that no word is redundant. In view of the fact that these two words are used in apposition to each other, we are inclined to the view that each of them is confined to the category that is denoted by the two different words. If that is the sense in which the section itself has employed these words, we cannot ascribe a different meaning to the word 'agriculture' used in the rule.

11. In Commissioner of Income-tax v. Sundara Mudaliar [1950] 18 L.T.R. 259 a Bench of the Madras High Court referring to the definition of the word 'agriculture' in the Madras Estates Land Act as including horticulture observed that it gave an indication that the word 'agriculture' was used in a narrower sense. It is for the reason, it has been held, that the decisions bearing on the definition of that word as contained in the Madras Estates Land Act would afford no assistance in deciding a matter under the Indian Income-tax Act.

12. For these reasons we hold that the expression 'agricultural produce' in Rule 5 is confined only to the agricultural produce understood in a narrow sense and excludes horticultural produce. Therefore, the notification now impugned is not obnoxious to Rule 5(2)(f) of the Turnover and Assessment Rules. It follows that the notification is valid and cannot be successfully attacked.

13. In the result, the revision fails and is dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.

14. As the same principle applies to T. R. C. Nos. 18 of 1960, 15 of 1960 and 56 of 1960, they are also dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 50 in each of them.


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