V. Bhargava, J.
1. We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner on this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.
2. The petitioner is a dealer in foodgrains, a commodity sales of which are liable to sales tax under Section 3 of the U. P. Sales Tax Act. By a notification issued on 30-9-1956 under sec. 4 of the U. P. Sales Tax Act, as amended from time to time, the State Government directed that the provisions of Section 3 of the said Act shall not apply to sale of foodgrains on certain conditions. The principal condition was that the dealer concerned must obtain an exemption certificate after paying fees laid down in that notification.
The amount of fees payable depended on the amount of turnover of the dealer. It was first contended by learned counsel for the petitioner that this notification issued by the State Government fell under the provisions of Clause (a) of Section 4 of the U. P. Sales Tax Act. In our opinion, this is not so. The notification does not exempt sales of foodgrains in general, as contemplated by Clause (a) of Section 4, of the said Act. What the notification does is to exempt sales of foodgrains by certain dealers, the dealers being those who obtain exemption certificates in accordance with the terms laid down in the notification.
There was a further condition that each such dealer has to observe conditions laid in the rules framed under the U. P. Sales Tax Act. This wastherefore, a case where sales of foodgrains by particular dealers were exempted and there was no exemption of sale of foodgrains in general. Such an order could be passed by the State Government in the exercise of powers under Clause (b) of Section 4 of the Sales Tax Act. Under that clause, the Government also had the right to prescribe fees. These fees were not fees for issuing exemption certificates. The fees, as is indicated by the provisions of the law itself, are really in lieu of the sales tax and that is why the maximum amount prescribed by the Legislature is a substantial amount of Rs. 8000. In effect, the fees permitted by the Legislature in Clause (b) of Section 4 of the Sales Tax Act are capitalised taxes rather than the fees for the issue of exemption certificates.
The discretion was given to the Government to lay down the scale of fees. The Government in the notification prescribed slabs of the turnover and the amount payable by a dealer whose turnover fell within a particular slab. The principle on which the Government laid down the scale of fees does not appear to be in any way against the object indicated by Section 4 (b) of the U. P. Sales Tax Act.
3. It is also to be noticed that the only effect of the notification is that each dealer has the option of either obtaining an exemption certificate after paying the amount due from him in accordance with the notification or of not taking the advantage of this notification, so that the provisions of Section 3 of the U. P. Sales Tax Act would apply to him and his turnover of sale of foodgrains would be liable to tax in accordance with that provision of law.
It is thus open to the petitioner either to claim benefit of the notification after payment of the fees prescribed, or, in the alternative, he need not make that payment, in which case he can be assessed to tax in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Act.
4. The contention of learned counsel that this notification should be held to be valid to the extent that it grants exemption from tax on sales of food-grains, whereas the portion of the notification imposing conditions should be held to be invalid, must be rejected. It was within the competence of the Government to prescribe fees under Section 4 (b) of the U. P. Sales Tax Act and, as long as the terms of the notification fall within the four corners of the provisions of law, the notification cannot be declared void. It is only optional for the petitioner either to take advantage of this notification or ignore it and be governed by the general provisions of the law.
5. There is no force in this petition. It is rejected.