1. The questions referred to this Court under Section 24 (1)of the Orissa Sales Tax Act, 1947, by the Member Sales TaxTribunal are as follows :
'(1) Whether in the facts and circumstances of thecase the Tribunal is right in directing reduction of the taxrate from 7 per cent or 5 per cent as the case may beto 2 per cent only, for the quarter ending 30th June1958 : .
Whether in the facts and circumstances of the case the Tribunal is right in its finding that the restrictions and conditions specified in Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act 1956 will apply to the quarter ending 30th June 1958 when Section 15 of the Central Tax Act came into force from 1st October 1958 and was evidently inoperative prior to that date.'
2. The Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, was placed on the statute book on the 21st December 1956. But the commencement clause authorises the Central Government, by notification, to appoint different dates for the operation oi the different provisions of that Act. It is conceded by Mr. Ghosh for the Sales Tax Department that Section 14 of that Act along with most of the other provisions was brought into force on 1st July 1957. Under Clause (ii) (a) of that Section cotton fabrics were declared to be 'goods ef special importance in inter State trade or commerce'. But Section 15 of the Act -- which stated that under every sales tax law of a Slate the tax payable in respect of such declared goods shall not exceed 2 per cent of the sale price --was not brought into force on that date. It was brought Into force only on the 1st October 1958.
In the meantime, Parliament passed another Act known as the Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act 1957 (Central Act No. 58 of 1957) for the purpose of levying additional duties in respect of goods declared to be of 'special importance to inter State trade or commerce.' Section 7 of that Act is as follows :
'7. It is hereby declared that the following goods, namely sugar, tobacco, cotton fabrics, rayon er artificial siik fabrics and woollen fabrics are of special importance in inter State trade or commerce and every sales tax law of a State shall, in so far as it imposes or authorises the imposition of a tax on the sale or purchase of the declared goods, be subject as from the 1st day of April 1958, to the restrictions and conditions specified in Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act 1956.'
This Act (No. 58 of 1957) was brought into force on the 24th December 1957.
3. It was contended on behalf of the Sales Tax Department that though Section 7 of Act 58 of 1957 expressly stated that with effect from 1st April 1958 the restrictions and conditions specified in Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act 195S shall apply so far as the imposition of sales tax on declared goods was concerned, nevertheless, Parliament was under the impression that by the 1st April 1958 Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act would be brought into force, but as in fact it came into force only on the 1st October 1958 the provisions of Section 7 of Act 53 of 1957 would not be available in respect of reduction of sales, tax payable on cotton fabrics. When Parliament passed Act 58 of 1957 and brought it into force on the 24th December 1957 it was fully aware of the fact that the Central Sales Tax Act was on the statute book and that most of its provi-sions including Section 14 had by then come into force. Sec-tion 15 of that Act had not yet been brought into force. If 1 with that knowledge the Parliament expressly stated, in Sec-tion 7 of Act 58 of 1957 that the restrictions imposed by Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act shall apply on 1-4-1958, the ordinary rule of construction would be that those restrictions would apply irrespective of whether Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act was actually brought into force on 1-4-1958 or not.
4. The Tribunal's view was therefore right and the point of law raised by the Department was so untenable that it should not have been taken up before the Tribunal or here.
5. The answers to the questions are therefore as follows :
(i) Tribunal was right in reducing the rate of sales tax to two per cent for the quarter ending on 30th June 1958.
(ii) The Tribunal was right in its view regarding the applicability of the restrictions and conditions specified in Section 15 of the Central Sales Tax Act, in respect of declared goods for the quarters ending 30th June 1958.
6. The reference is answered accordingly. The petitioner must pay costs to the opposite party. Hearing fee is assessed at Rs. 50/- (Fifty rupees) only.
7. I agree.