S.S. Sandhawalia, C.J.
1. The meaningful question that has been formulated for consideration by the Full Bench is :
Whether the Punjab General Sales Tax (Haryana Amendment and Validation) Act, 1972 (Haryana Act No. 19 of 1972), is ultra vires of the Constitution of India in so far as it imposes retrospectively the sales tax on wheat thresher discs and pumping sets ?
2. The chequered history of this case giving rise to the issue aforesaid needs recounting, albeit briefly. This writ petition was preferred a full decade ago to challenge inter alia the retrospective imposition of sales tax on pumping s6ts (which were being marketed by the petitioner-firm) by the Punjab General Sales Tax (Haryana Amendment and Validation) Act, 1972 (Haryana Act No. 19 of 1972). Along with a number of other writ petitions raising a similar challenge, this writ petition also came up for consideration by the Division Bench which by its lucid order dated 15th February, 1973, referred the question mentioned at the very outset for decision by the Full Bench.
3. On 2nd August, 1976, all the connected writ petitions came up for hearing before a Full Bench of this Court. However, the Government of Haryana had meanwhile by instructions issued on 4th June, 1974, directed that the levy of sales tax on the sale of threshers and discs be exempted. Consequently those writ petitions in which the sole challenge was to the imposition of sales tax on wheat threshers and discs were rendered infructuous and disposed of as such. The rest of the writ petitions in which other contentions were available were referred back to the Division Bench for determination on merits.
4. In the present writ petition the challenge had been rested squarely on Article 19 of the Constitution. However, at the time of the earlier hearing before the Full Bench, because of the proclamation of emergency, the operation of the said article stood suspended. Consequently it was directed that the present writ petition shall be kept pending but the stay order granted in favour of the petitioner was vacated. That is how the matter is before us now.
5. It seems wholly unnecessary to burden this judgment with any digression on principle or detailed discussion of earlier precedents. It suffices to mention that a firm reliance on behalf of the respondents was placed on the Division Bench judgment of this Court in Birla Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mills Ltd., v. State of Haryana  43 STC 158. Therein the common question in fifteen writ petitions formulated for decision by the Bench was as under :
Whether the retrospective effect given to the definition of 'dealer' in Section 2(c) of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973, with effect from the 7th September, 1955, by virtue of the first clause of Sub-section (3) of Section 1 thereof suffers from the vice of unconstitutionality?
After an exhaustive discussion on principle and relying on the binding precedent of the final court the answer thereto was rendered in the negative and it was held that the retrospectivity given by the statute was valid.
6. Faced with the aforesaid impregnable wall of precedent, Mr. R. N. Narula, the learned counsel for the petitioner, was fair enough to take the stand that he was unable to raise any meaningful challenge to the ratio in Birla Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mills' case  43 STC 158, nor was it denied that the same would now cover the question before us in favour of the respondents. Accordingly, affirming the view in Birla Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mills' case  43 STC 158, we answer the question posed at the outset in the negative to hold that the imposition of the sales tax with retrospective effect was valid.
7. Mr. R. N. Narula had then candidly stated that no other question in fact now survives. The writ petition is, therefore, dismissed but in view of the very fair stand taken by the learned counsel for the petitioners we decline to burden them with costs.
S.S. Surinder Singh, J.
I.S. Tiwana, J.