V. Bhargava, J.
1. These sales tax references Nos. 368 to 377 of 1953 are connected and have been heard together. In all these ten cases the question referred to this Court for opinion by the Judge (Revisions) Sales Tax is :-
Whether linseed oil is edible oil within the meaning of notification No. S.T. 117/X-923/1948, dated 8th June, 1948?
2. This question has been referred to us as the dealers concerned with these ten references are all dealers in linseed oil and the question arose whether tax on their turnover in respect of linseed oil was to be calculated at the rate applicable to edible oils or at the rate applicable to non-edible oils in view of the notification referred to in the question. The Sales Tax Officer who first made the assessment held that linseed oil is a non-edible oil. The Judge (Appeals) Sales Tax came to the view that linseed oil is edible oil and for this purpose he relied mainly on the Report on the Marketing of Linseed in India, 1938 Edition, published by the Manager of Publications, Delhi. The Judge (Revisions) disagreed with the Judge (Appeals) Sales Tax and held that linseed oil is non-edible oil. In giving his decision in the various revision applications that were before him he did not fully put down his reasons but referred to the reasons which were given by him in another case relating to assessment of sales tax on M/S. Bishambhar Nath Oil Mills, Chandausi, Moradabad. A copy of the revisional order passed by the Judge (Revisions) in that case was produced before us by learned counsel for the .Sales Tax Commissioner and we find that the only reason given by the learned Judge (Revisions) for holding that linseed oil is non-edible oil is that it was not commonly used as such in the State of Uttar Pradesh-He held that the mere fact that linseed oil could be taken as food would not bring it in the category of edible oils. It appears to us that in giving this decision the learned Judge (Revisions) misinterpreted the word 'edible.' The word 'edible' came up for consideration before a learned single Judge of this Court in the case of Kamla Kant Misra v. State (1951) A.L.J. 348 and it was held there that the word 'edible' as used in Section 2 of the U. P. Oil Seeds and Oil Seeds Product Control Order, 1945, should be interpreted to mean fit to be eaten as food. This decision was given after a consideration of the meaning of the word 'edible' as given in various dictionaries. We may say with great respect that we agree with the interpretation and consider that the word used in the notification now in question before us must also be given the same meaning, i.e., fit to be eaten as food. The criterion laid down by the learned Judge (Revisions) as to whether it is commonly used in the State is on the face of it incorrect, because, if this criterion was to be applied in every case to decide whether an article is edible or not, numerous articles which no one can doubt are edible would have to be held to be non-edible. There are articles of food which are highly priced, as for example the pistachios and because of their high price, the majority of the residents of this State cannot find it possible to purchase pistachios, and consequently, pistachios are not commonly used in this State. Even learned counsel for the Commissioner of Sales Tax had to admit that an article like pistachios could not possibly be used by more than one resident out of one thousand in this State. If used by so few persons, it cannot be said to be an article commonly used and on the interpretation put by the learned Judge (Revisions), it must be held that pistachios are non-edible. We have taken one example but such examples can be multiplied. The mere fact that the Act is of local application in Uttar Pradesh should not have been held by the Judge (Revisions) to indicate that the criterion should be whether the article mentioned is commonly used in this State. The local applicability of the Act could only be taken into consideration for finding whether the article in question can be held to be fit to be eaten as food in this State. So far as linseed oil is concerned, the . Judge (Revisions) himself in his revisional order proceeded on the basis that linseed oil can be eaten which implies that according to him linseed oil is fit to be eaten. He did not at any stage hold that linseed oil, though fit. to be eaten in other States, is not fit to be eaten in Uttar Pradesh. The Report on the Marketing of Linseed in India, referred to earlier by us, clearly shows that not only is linseed oil fit to be eaten but that taking into account its consumption in this country as a whole the main purpose for which linseed oil is used is consumption as food and at least in large parts of Madhya Pradesh it is commonly used as a food article. Even in Uttar Pradesh, it forms a part of food articles. There is no mention at any stage that the mixture of linseed oil in mustard oil makes the mixture unfit for consumption as food. Linseed oil thus being an article which is fit for being eaten as food was clearly edible oil. In this connection we may also refer to the remarks of a Division Bench of this Court in State v. Bal Makund (1954) A.I.R. 1954 All. 97 where a question arose as to whether linseed oil was an article of food under Section 4 of the U. P. Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 6 of 1926 and it was held that linseed oil was an article of food. It may be noticed that in that case also the question whether linseed oil was an article of food arose when interpreting a provision of an Act which was applicable only locally in the State of Uttar Pradesh. That decision also thus supports the view taken by us. As a result we answer the question referred to us in the affirmative. The dealers in each of the references shall be entitled to their costs of the references which we fix at Rs. 150 in each case.