1. By this reference Under Section 44(1) of the Madhya Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1958, made at the instance of the Commissioner of Sales Tax, Madhya Pradesh, the Board of Revenue (Tribunal) has referred to us the following question of law :
Whether turmeric was included in Entry No. 44 of Schedule IV to the Madhya Bharat Act under Notification No. 37/VII/SR dated 15th March, 1955, and, therefore, sales of turmeric became liable to tax from 1st April, 1955, or whether turmeric was included in this Entry of Schedule IV with effect from 26th January, 1956, under Notification No. 10/VII/SR dated 21st January, 1956, and sales of turmeric became liable to tax with effect from 26th January, 1956?
2. The question arises in this manner. The non-applicant deals in what are called kirana goods. Tax was assessed on sales of these goods, including haldi or turmeric, for the period 1st April, 1955, to 31st March, 1956. The Sales Tax Officer, Ujjain, overruled the non-applicant's contention that sales of turmeric were taxable only from 26th January, 1956, when an amendment of item 44 of Schedule IV, specifically including turmeric in that item, was brought into force Under Section 5 of the Madhya Bharat Sales Tax Act, 1950. The non-applicant's appeal succeeded on that point, but the Commissioner of Sales Tax, acting suo motu, revised and restored the order of the Sales Tax Officer. Against that order, the non-applicant filed an appeal to the Board, which accepted his case on this point. Thereupon, as indicated earlier, the Board made this reference at the instance of the Commissioner.
3. The following three notifications made Under Section 5 of the Madhya Bharat Sales Tax Act are relevant:
Item 44. Date of commencement,(i) Kirana (excluding dry fruits)Amchur 1st April, 1955.(ii) Kir ana (excluding dry fruits)jaise 27th May,1953Amchur...ityadi ityadi.(iii) Kir ana (excluding dry fruits)jaise 26th January, 1956Amchur...haldi...ityadi ityadi,
4. Having heard the counsel, we have found the opinion that the view taken by the Board is not quite correct. The word 'kirana' is a compendious expression which covers within its ambit goods of all sorts which are commonly vended by a grocer. The nearest English equivalent of that word is groceries : Daulat Ram Raunaq Ram v. The State  6 S.T.C. 443. It is well-settled that when an expression like kirana is used in a taxing statute, it must be interpreted in a popular sense as commonly understood in the general usage and known in trade and commerce. 'The object of the Excise Tax Act is to raise revenue, and for this purpose to class substances according to the general usage and known denominations of trade. In my view, therefore, it is not the botanist's conception as to what constitutes a 'fruit' or 'vegetable' which must govern the in terpretation to be placed on the words, but rather what would ordinarily in matters of commerce in Canada be included therein': His Majesty the King v. Planters Nut and Chocolate Company Limited  C.L.R. (E.C.) 122 at page 128. The same view was taken in K.V. Varkey v. Agricultural Income-tax and Rural Sales Tax Officer, Peermade  5 S.T.C. 348 and Madhya Pradesh Pan Merchants Association, Santra Market, Nagptir v. State of Madhya Pradesh (Sales Tax Department)  7 S.T.C. 99. It is not disputed before us and is indeed otherwise obvious that the word kirana as understood in the popular and commercial sense undoubtedly includes turmeric.
5. It is, however, urged that since turmeric was inculded in item 44 for the first time on 26th January, 1956, it should be regarded as not having been included in that item prior to that date. In our opinion, the short answer to this argument is that such specific mention is often made under the influence of excessive caution and, if the words of taxing enactment clearly impose a charge, expressio unius will not be exclusio alterio in such cases.
6. Item 44 as in force from 1st April, 1955, named 'kirana' and then specified certain kinds of goods without indicating that the specific mention was merely illustrative of the goods. That being so, it was not really free from doubt whether all goods included within the meaning of the compendious word 'kirana' were within the ambit of item 44. Since the words did not clearly and unambiguously impose the obligation, the item should be interpreted in favour of the subject. All doubt was, however, dispelled when the word 'jaise' meaning 'such as' was introduced between 'kirana' and the goods thereafter specified in item 44. The addition of that word clearly indicated that the specific mention of certain kinds of goods was merely illustrative and not exhaustive of the kinds of goods enumerated in that item and this was reinforced by the addition of the words 'ityadi ityadi' meaning 'etcetera etcetera'. Since, as shown, turmeric is undoubtedly within the meaning of the word 'kirana', we are of opinion that sales of turmeric became taxable as from 27th May, 1955.
7. In the view we have taken, our answer to the question referred to us is that sales of turmeric became taxable under item 44 with effect from 27th May, 1955.
8. We direct the non-applicant to pay all costs of this reference. Hearing fee Rs. 50.