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The State of Punjab Vs. Parkash Chand Kishan Kumar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectSales Tax
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberGeneral Sales Tax Reference No. 4 of 1970
Judge
Reported in[1974]33STC37(P& H)
AppellantThe State of Punjab
RespondentParkash Chand Kishan Kumar
Appellant Advocate L.K. Sood, Adv.-General
Respondent AdvocateNone
Cases ReferredGanesh Trading Co. v. State of Haryana and Anr.
Excerpt:
- sections 80 (2) & 89 & punjab motor vehicles rules, 1989, rules 85 & 80: [t.s. thakur, cj, jasbir singh & surya kant, jj] appeal against orders of state or regional transport authority imitation held, a stipulation regarding the period of limitation available for invoking the remedy shall have to be strictly construed. that is because any provision by way of limitation is in the nature of a restraint on the remedy provided under the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply..........conclusion are as under:the first ground taken by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that wheat chokar of the value of rs. 7,484.94 sold by the petitioner-firm falls under item 15 of schedule b of the punjab general sales tax act, 1948, and is, therefore, not liable to sales tax. the simple question for decision before me is whther wheat chokar which is bran falls under item 15 of schedule b of the punjab general sales tax act, 1948, and item 15 is husk of all foodgrains and pulses. bran has been defined in bhargwa's standard anglo-hindi illustrated dictionary as 'husk of ground corn, chokar'.in the shorter oxford english dictionary as 'the husk of wheat, barley, oats, etc., separated from the flour after grinding; techn. the coarsest portion of this'.in odham's dictionary as.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Bal Raj Tuli, J.

1. This order will dispose of G.S.T. References Nos. 4, 10 and 11 of 1970 as the question of law referred to this court for decision is the same, that is:

Whether 'bran', that is, chokar of wheat or gram is husk of wheat or gram and, if so, whether it falls within the scope of item 15 of Schedule B to Section 6, appended to the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948?

2. The Sales Tax Tribunal, Punjab, by its order dated 4th April, 1969, in State of Punjab through Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab v. Parkash Chand Kishan Kumar, Nabha, held that chokar of wheat is husk and is covered by item 15 of Schedule B appended to the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948. His reasons for this conclusion are as under:

The first ground taken by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that wheat chokar of the value of Rs. 7,484.94 sold by the petitioner-firm falls under item 15 of Schedule B of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, and is, therefore, not liable to sales tax. The simple question for decision before me is whther wheat chokar which is bran falls under item 15 of Schedule B of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, and item 15 is husk of all foodgrains and pulses. Bran has been defined in Bhargwa's Standard Anglo-Hindi Illustrated Dictionary as 'husk of ground corn, chokar'.

In the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as 'the husk of wheat, barley, oats, etc., separated from the flour after grinding; techn. the coarsest portion of this'.

In Odham's Dictionary as 'husk of ground oats, wheat, etc., separated from the flour after grinding and used as meal, the coarsest part of the grain'.

In the Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary as 'the inner husks of corn sifted from the flour', and in Encyclopaedia Britannica as 'the material obtained from the outer coat of cereals; the ground husk of grain. It is used largely as a feeding stuff for horses, cattle and poultry and for packing and in cleaning and polishing goods. It is used also as a human food specially as an aid to digestion, either alone or with flour to make muffins and brown bread'.

From these definitions it is clear that bran is the husk of wheat separated from the flour after grinding and is the coarsest portion of the same which is used largely as a feeding stuff for horses, cattle and poultry and it is the inner husk as distinguished from the outer husk, which is the outer covering of wheat grain and this outer husk is removed from the grain at the time of thrashing. It is common knowledge that the outer husks of wheat are dry and leafy in texture and are of no value at all and for that reason they are not collected by the farmers at the time of thrashing when they are removed and separated from the grains. They are not marketable commodities and the Legislature would not have meant to include in Schedule B these commodities which are neither of any value nor collected nor marketed. It has been urged that item 15 covers only outer husks of wheat grains which are strawy in texture and are not meant for animal consumption. But as discussed above, they are worthless, they are not marketable commodities and they are not collected by the farmers at the time of thrashing of wheat and they are not obtainable in the market. It could not be the intention of the Legislature to refer in Schedule B to such commodities as no useful purpose would be served by such reference. Chokar on the other hand is a marketable commodity and is used for animal consumption and the Legislature must have meant this commodity when it inserted item 15. In any case, as discussed in the earlier part of this order, wheat chokar comes under the ordinary meaning of husk of wheat. I, therefore, hold that wheat chokar is covered by item 15 of Schedule B of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948.

3. In his order dated 3rd December, 1969, the Tribunal further observed that ' 'bran' is the outer husk of wheat separated from the flour after grinding. Grinding of wheat takes place after thrashing and winnowing. After thrashing only outer husk which is dry and leafy in texture and is of no value is separated by winnowing; the inner husk remains intact and is separated after the wheat grain has undergone the process of grinding. Hence 'bran' is only the inner husk (chokar) of wheat'.

4. A Division Bench of this Court in Maman Chand Kundan Lal v. The State of Haryana and Anr. [1970] 25 S.T.C 458, held that gram chhilka, which is nothing but the brown skin taken off the seed, is either gram husk covered by item 15 of Schedule B to the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, or fodder covered by item 54 of the same schedule, and is, therefore, exempt from sales tax.

5. Another Division Bench of this Court in Ganesh Trading Co. v. State of Haryana and Anr. [1971] 27 S.T.C. 340 at p. 355; 1971 P.L.R. 64, held that the word chokar is included in the word 'husk' as used in item No. 15 in Schedule B. Schedule B to the Act enumerates the goods which are exempt from the payment of sales tax and item 15 in that schedule reads 'husk of all foodgrains and pulses'. The learned Judges referred to the meaning of 'husk' in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and in Hindi-Punjabi Kosh, published by the Department of Punjabi, Patiala, in its edition 1953, where it is defined to mean 'atte da chhanas, kanak, jaon ade da chhilka, chhan, bura'. In the Anglo-Hindi-Punjabi Glossary of Administrative and General Terms, published by the Department of Languages, Punjab, edition 1962, the Hindi meaning of the word 'bran' is chokar, bhusi. It was observed that the definition of the word 'bran' as given in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary covers chokar also.

6. It is thus evident that the question of law referred to this court for opinion has already been answered by two Division Benches of this Court and respectfully agreeing with the reasoning of those two decisions, we answer the question of law, referred to us, in the affirmative. Since the decisions of the above-noted Division Benches were rendered during the pendency of these references, we make no order as to costs.


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