1. This reference is being treated as a revision in view of U.P. Ordinance No. 27 of 1978.
2. The assessee, in the assessment year 1970-71, carried on the business of purchase and sale of jari booti. These purchases were made by him locally. He claimed exemption in respect of their turnover, as under Notification No. ST-3609/X--900(21)-69 dated 1st July, 1969, medicines and Pharmaceuticals were-liable to a single point tax, only at the point of sale by the importer or at the point of sale by the manufacturer. The Sales Tax Officer took the view that the jari booti sold by the assessee was not a medicine and taxed it as an unclassified item. An appeal filed by the assessee failed. The revising authority, however, has taken the view that jari bootis sold by the assessee were medicines and, as the purchases were made locally, no tax was exigible on the sales and purchases.
3. Sri V.D. Singh, the standing counsel, contended that it was not clear from the findings recorded as to whether every variety of jari booti sold by the assessee had medicinal properties, and that as jari booti cannot be used straightway as a medicine, the revising authority was in error in treating every one of them to be so. The word 'medicine' has not been statutorily defined and, as such, the meaning given in common parlance has to be attributed to it. A medicine is a substance or preparation used in the treatment of diseases. The substance must have curative power so as to make it effective for treatment of ailments. A substance, which has a curative power need not be used in the very form in which it naturally occurs. It will retain its character as a medicine even though some processing is required before it becomes fit for use by human beings or other living creatures. Jari bootis are medicinal herbs, which are found in forests, as they are also termed as 'ban aushadhi': see 'Brihat Hindi Kosh' (edited by Kalika Prasad, Raj Ballabh Sahai and Mukundi Lal Srivastava). They thus possess medicinal properties. The fact that they cannot be used straightway as a medicine, but required being reduced to powder or changed in some other form, or combined with other drugs to make them more effective does not alter their medicinal quality. These herbs are valued and sold primarily for their medicinal qualities as recognised in the ayurvedic system of medicine. They were rightly treated as medicines by the revising authority and, as the assessee had purchased them locally, no tax was exigible on their turnover.
4. The revision fails and is dismissed. As none has appeared on behalf of the assessee, there shall be no order as to costs.