Chandra Reddy, C.J.
1. All the three revision cases raise a common question relating to the meaning to be given to the words 'gold or silver bullion', occurring in Section 6 of the Hyderabad General Sales Tax Act, 1950.
2. T.R.C. No. 91 of 1958 relates to the assessment year 1954-55, T.R.C. No. 92 of 1958 to the year 1955-56 and T.R.C. No. 93 of 1958 to the assessment year 1953-54. The petitioners are a firm of dealers in gold, silver and jewellery at Kothagudem, Khammameth District. Their business consists of buying pure gold, adding to it base metal like copper and selling it as sovereign gold.
3. The plea of the petitioners before the Department was that this turnover was not exigible to tax for the reason that they had already paid tax at the rate of four annas per cent and, consequently, they were entitled to the benefit of Section 6(1) of the Hyderabad General Sales Tax Act. This did not prevail with the Department which was of opinion that the metal sold by the assessee was not gold bullion coming within the ambit of Section 6(1) and as such the turnover was liable to tax.
4. The appeals carried by the assessee to the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal were unsuccessful.
5. In these revision cases filed against the order of the Tribunal rejecting the appeals, it is urged by Sri Mallikarjuna Rao that the expression 'gold or silver bullion' is of wide import and takes in gold or silver mixed with base metals like copper or lead. We are unable to accede to this proposition. If really the intention of the Legislature was that every metal which could be described as gold or silver should claim exemption under Section 6(1), the word 'bullion' need not have been employed and the words 'gold or silver' would have served the purpose. It is a golden rule of construction of statutes that every word used in a statute is presumed to serve a specific purpose and is not a mere redundancy.
6. The following are some of the meanings given to the word 'bullion' in the Oxford Dictionary :-
(i) precious metal in the mass;
(ii) gold or silver in the lump, as distinguished from coin or manufactured articles; also applied to coined or manufactured gold or silver when considered simply with reference to its value as raw material;
(iii) solid gold or silver (as opposed to mere showy imitations);
(iv) impure gold or silver.
7. In our opinion, the last meaning is synonymous with gold or silver ore before it is refined. It is also worthy of note that the second meaning given in the dictionary also indicates that it is applicable only to pure gold silver.
8. In Wharton's Law Lexicon the following meaning is given :-
Bullion is uncoined gold and silver in the mass. Those metals are called so, either when smelted from the native ore and not perfectly refined; or when they are perfectly refined, but melted down into bars or ingots, or into any unwrought body, of any degree of fineness.
9. It is also significant that in Currency and Bank Notes Act, 1928 (Chapters XVIII and XIX Geo. 5 C. 13) 'bullion' is defined as including any coin which is not current and legal tender in the United Kingdom. This inclusive definition gives the indication that but for this definition bullion would not take in coins not current and legal tender in the United Kingdom.
10. In this connection, it is not altogether out of place to refer to the relevant, provisions of the Madras General Sales Tax Act. As against items 10 and 11 of Sub-section (2-A) of Section 3, the following expressions are used:
Item (10) Bullion and specie.
Item (11) Jewellery made of bullion and/or specie excluding precious stones.
11. This makes it abundantly clear that the legislature has used these expressions as containing two different concepts, 'bullion' being equated only to pure gold. If the word 'bullion' could cover every form of gold or silver, it was unnecessary for the use of the word 'specie'.
12. Similarly, in the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957, the use of the expression 'bullion and specie' in items 12 and 13 also is a pointer in the same direction.
13. For these reasons, we have reached the decision that the expression 'gold or silver bullion' connotes only pure gold or silver and it does not take in gold or silver mixed with copper or lead.
14. In these circumstances, we uphold the order of the Tribunal and dismiss these revisions with costs in T.R.C. No. 91 of 1958. Advocate's fee Rs. 75.