1. The Additional Judge (Revisions), Sales Tax, Allahabad, has referred the following question for our opinion :
Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the Additional Revising Authority was legally justified in its finding that the rice bran (kana) is a cattle fodder within the meaning of Notification No. ST-3471/X dated 16th July, 1956 ?
2. The assessee manufactures rice. In the course of milling paddy for the manufacture of rice, apart from rice, rice bran is also produced. The petitioner sold rice bran to mills which extract oil from rice bran and also to other wholesale dealers. It appears that the sale of rice bran was not subjected to tax at the initial stage. Thereafter, proceedings under Section 21 of the Act were started by the Sales Tax Officer and rice bran was subjected to tax. On an appeal being filed by the assessee, the appellate authority held that although rice bran was used as a cattle fodder, but inasmuch as oil was also extracted from it and as it had not been admitted by the assessee that he had sold the rice bran for use as a cattle fodder, the sale would not be exempt from tax. On a revision being filed by the assessee, the revising authority held that the bulk of rice bran is used for fodder for cattle and only a small portion is used for the purpose of extracting oil. It also held that the primary use of rice bran was as a food for cattle.
3. The learned standing counsel contended that inasmuch as rice bran was also used for the purpose of extracting oil, it could not be treated as a cattle fodder. On the findings recorded by the Judge (Revisions), it is difficult to accept this contention. It cannot be denied that rice bran is primarily used for feeding cattle. The fact that a small portion of it is also used for extracting oil, will not alter the character of the commodity. It is a settled rule of interpretation that commodities have to be classified in accordance with their normal use and words in a notification have to be interpreted as understood in common parlance. As rice bran is used primarily for feeding cattle and, as in common parlance, it would be classified as a cattle fodder, it is not possible to take the view that it would go outside the purview of cattle fodder only on account of the special use to which it was put by some consumers.
4. We, accordingly, answer the question in the affirmative, in favour of the assessee and against the department. The assessee is entitled to its costs which is assessed at Rs. 100. Counsel's fee is assessed at the same figure.