Satish Chandra, J.
1. The petitioner is a registered company. At its factory at Kanpur it produces various kinds of oil from oil-seeds. It established a solvent extraction plant for recovery of oil from oil-cakes and rice bran. In the course of sales tax assessment proceedings the petitioner claimed that the solvent rice bran sold by it was exempt from tax. The Sales Tax Officer did not agree and by an assessment order dated 26th March, 1973, passed for the assessment year 1968-69, it held that the de-oiled rice bran was neither cattle fodder nor oil-cake and, therefore, it was not exempt from tax. It appears that the same point was involved in different assessment orders either before the Sales Tax Officer or in appeal. With a view to seek a final decision of the question from this court the petitioner instituted a writ petition challenging the validity of the aforesaid assessment order.
2. In the Survey of India's Export Potential of Oil-Cakes, Vol. IV, page 1, de-oiled rice bran is described thus:
De-oiled rice bran: Rice bran is a bye-product of rice (paddy) and is the basic raw material for rice bran oil. During the process of rice-milling, the layer round the endosperm is removed together with a portion of the polishing. This separated layer is called 'rice bran'. The quantity of rice bran obtained is variable as it depends upon the degree of polishing. Bran constitutes roughly 6 to 10 per cent of paddy rice. Bran is normally used as cattle feed.
3. The petitioner processes paddy as follows: During the process of shelling and husking the paddy in order to get the grain of rice, it is subjected to polishing. In the process of polishing the rice, the outer layer of the rice grain is removed and comes out in the form of a powder. This powder is called rice bran. The rice bran is then put through the solvent extraction plant as a result of which the oil content of the bran is separated and the residue is known as de-oiled rice bran. The petitioner sells the de-oiled rice bran to various companies and firms which, according to the Sales Tax Officer, use it as a raw material for manufacturing poultry feed. In paragraph 15 of the writ petition it has been asserted that de-oiled rice bran is also used as cattle feed.
4. According to Notification No. ST-911/X dated 31st March, 1956, cattle fodder including green fodder was exempted from sales tax. On 16th July, 1956, the State Government issued another notification modifying the earlier one. Under it, 'cattle fodder including green fodder, chuni, bhusi, chhilka, chokar, cotton seed, gowar and oil-cake' were all exempted from tax.
5. According to the petitioner, the de-oiled rice bran is either cattle fodder, or chuni, or oil-cake within the meaning of this notification and so, it is exempt from tax. The Sales Tax Officer held that from enquiry from various firms to which the petitioner sells the de-oiled rice bran it appears that this bran is used by them as raw material for manufacturing poultry feed. His information shows that this product can be called raw material for cattle fodder and not cattle fodder itself. He also rejected the contention that this product was oil-cake, when, according to him, it was cake simpliciter, and so was not exempt from tax.
6. In the Survey of India's Export Potential of Oil-Cakes, mentioned above, it has been stated at page 2:
The de-oiled rice bran is mainly used as an ingredient for mixed feed for poultry and pigs in more advanced countries like the U.K., Japan and the U.S.A. in addition to being used as cattle feed.
7. At page 29 it is stated that the utility of de-oiled rice bran as an animal feed is not yet known to many compound feed manufacturers.
8. This statement in an official report coupled with the allegation in paragraph 15 of the writ petition that de-oiled rice bran is used as a cattle feed, and coupled with the significant fact that this assertion in the writ petition has not as such been denied in the counter-affidavit, leads us to believe the case of the petitioner that de-oiled rice bran is used, inter alia, as cattle feed.
9. The word 'fodder' has been defined in the Chambers's 20th Century Dictionary as 'food supplied to cattle: feed'. Thus, it seems to us, that there is no material difference between 'cattle fodder' and 'cattle feed'. Anything, which is used as cattle feed, could as well be called cattle fodder within the meaning of the aforesaid notification. In our opinion, the de-oiled rice bran was covered by the expression 'cattle fodder' in the aforesaid notification and was, as such, exempt from sales tax.
10. In the result, the writ petition succeeds and is allowed. The respondents are directed to modify the assessment order dated 26th March, 1973, excluding therefrom the turnover of the petitioner in respect of the de-oiled rice bran. The petitioner would be entitled to his costs.