R.L. Gulati, J.
1. At the instance of the Commissioner of Sales Tax, Lucknow, the Additional Judge (Revisions) Sales Tax, Agra, has submitted a statement of the case with the following question of law for our opinion :
Whether under the circumstances of the case purchases of dal worth Rs. 3,13,324 made by the assessee treated as first purchases in the hands of the assessee and thus assessment on the above purchases on the assessee is valid
2. The assessee is a dealer in foodgrains, oil-seeds and dal. During the assessment year 1965-66, it claimed exemption from purchase tax on the turnover of purchases of dal worth Rs. 3,13,324 on the ground that the dal having been purchased from the dal mills within U.P., the assessee was not the first purchaser. This contention of the assessee has been upheld by the revising authority on the view that the processed dal purchased by the assessee is not a different commodity from the whole dal purchased by the dal mills and, as such, the dal mills would be the first purchaser and would be liable to tax and not the assessee. This view of the revising authority is in accordance with the view expressed by this court in a number of cases. But recently there has been an amendment to Section 3-D of the Act. Explanation II has been added to Sub-section (1) of Section 3-D by U. P. Act No. 2 of 1970. That explanation reads:
In Section 3-D of the principal Act, in Sub-section (1), the existing explanation shall be numbered as Explanation I, and after Explanation I as so numbered the following explanation shall be inserted and be deemed always to have been inserted, namely-
Explanation II.-For the purposes of this sub-section, split or processed foodgrains, such as in the form of dal, shall be deemed to be different from unsplit or unprocessed foodgrains, and accordingly, nothing in this sub-section shall be construed to prevent the imposition, levy or collection of the tax in respect of the first purchases of split or processed foodgrains merely because tax had been imposed, levied or collected earlier in respect of the first purchases of those foodgrains in their unsplit or unprocessed form.
3. The amendment is retrospective. In view of this amendment it has to be held that the split or processed dal purchased by the assessee is different from the whole dal purchased by the dal mills, so that the purchase tax can be levied on the first purchase of each of such commodity. Admittedly, the assessee was the first purchaser of the processed or split dal and was liable to pay purchase tax.
4. We accordingly answer the question in the affirmative in favour of the department and against the assessee. In the circumstances, however, we make no order as to costs.