Bishambhar Dayal, C.J.
1. This is a reference under Section 44 of the M. P. General Sales Tax Act. The assessee, Purohit Lodge is a registered dealer in vegetarian meals and sweets. Before the assessing officer, his contention was that the sales of cooked food amounting to Rs. 1,50,537.54 were not liable to tax since the assessee was in the position of a dhaba-wala and was entitled to exemption. The exemption created by the Government is for cooked food excluding sweetmeats, cakes, pastries, biscuits, chocolates, toffees, lozenges and peppermint drops when prepared and sold by tandurwalas, dhabawalas, lohawalas, khomchawalas and halwais. In substance, therefore, the exemption is in favour of these kinds of dealers in respect of cooked food alone excluding sweets and other prepared foods which are not served fresh. The terms 'tandurwalas', 'dhabawalas' etc., have not been defined and have, therefore, to be understood in the ordinary sense in which they are understood by common men. The sales tax department has found that the assessee is the biggest hotel-keeper and a prominent member of the hotel-owners' association. The assessee not only serves food to those who come to his shop to take the same but he also keeps a counter for selling sweets and namkeen which are freely sold in sufficient quantity. The sales tax department also held that the terms 'tandurwalas', 'dhabawalas' etc., refer only to small businessmen who themselves cook fresh food and serve it. We agree that these terms are applicable to small units and those terms cannot be applied to the assessee which has large sales of sweets and namkeen and maintains a big establishment with waiters etc.
2. These are all matters of fact on which no interference is possible by this court. Consequently, our answers to the questions referred to are as follows:-
(1) On the facts and circumstances of the case, the turnover of the bhojanalaya of the assessee is not exempt from sales tax under Notification No. 965-V-ST dated 31st March, 1964.
(2) The conclusion drawn by the Sales Tax Officer is based upon material on record.
(3) It is correct to hold that the categories described in the said Notification No. 965-V-ST dated 31st March, 1964, are small operators who themselves or with the help of a few personal servants prepare food and also serve the same and that, therefore, the bhojanalaya of a size as that of the assessee is not covered by the terms of the said notification and is not exempt from sales tax.
(4) The interpretation put upon the said Notification No. 965-V-ST dated 31st March, 1964, by the Sales Tax Tribunal (Board of Revenue) is correct.
3. Parties will bear their own costs of this reference.