R.L. Gulati, J.
1. The Judge (Revisions) Sales Tax, Bareilly, has submitted this and the connected references under Section 11(1) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act inviting the opinion of this Honourable Court on the following question of law:
Whether ice is water and is exempt under Section 4(1)(a) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act, 1948?
2. The assessee is engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of ice. The assessment years involved are 1961-62 to 1965-66. There is no dispute about the turnover. The dispute relates to the assessability of tax on the turnover of ice. It was contended before the Sales Tax Officer that there was no difference between ice and water and since the sale of water was exempt under Section 4(1)(a) of the Act, the turnover of ice should also be exempted. The Sales Tax Officer did not accept this contention and levied tax on the turnover of ice. The assessee filed an appeal, but did not succeed. Thereafter the assessee went up in revision, but the revision was also dismissed. Hence this reference.
3. Under Section 4(1)(a), the sale of water is exempt from tax. The short question involved in this case is as to whether ice and water are the same thing. It is true that ice is manufactured from water without addition of any chemical or substance. The chemical composition of ice and that of water is the same, but even then ice cannot be regarded as water. It is a matter of common experience that while water is generally available free, ice is always sold in the market.
4. It is now well settled that unless it is defined in the Act or the Rules, a term in the Sales Tax Act must be interpreted in a sense in which it is understood generally and in the commercial world and not in a technical sense, 'Chemically, ice and water may have the same composition, but in commercial and popular sense they are different commodities.
5. We accordingly answer the question in the negative. The Commissioner of Sales Tax is entitled to the cost of this reference, which we assess at Rs. 100. There shall be only one set of cost.