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The State of Rajasthan Vs. Rao Takhat Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectExcise
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 531 of 1972
Judge
Reported in1972WLN958
AppellantThe State of Rajasthan
RespondentRao Takhat Singh and ors.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredCape Brendy Syndicate v. I.P.C.
Excerpt:
rajasthan excise act, 1950 - section 16 and rajasthan land reforms & resumption of jagirs act, 1952--sections 2(h) & 47--section 16 prohibits distillation without licence--jagirdar claiming compensation for income from excise--held, provisions of rajasthan land reforms and resumption of jairs act over ride provisions of excise act.;while the excise act prohibits a party from manufacture of excisable articles & deriving income therefrom without licence, clause 2(h) of the second schedule to the rajasthan land reforms and resumption of jagirs act permits the granting of compensation.;the rajasthan land reforms and resumption of jagir act shall override all the laws in force. we do not think that the rajasthan excise act was any exception and, therefore, for the purposes of..........second ground, which is rather unusual is that clause 2(h) of the second schedule to the rajasthan land reforms and resumption of jagirs act, 1952, which authorises the payment of compensation to a jagirdar, because his excise administration and the production or manufacture of excisable articles in jagir lands was taken over, to be calculated on the basis of average income of three years preceding the basic year, arose out of a mistake because the rajasthan legislature was oblivious of the rajasthan excise act. although on the basis of the grounds aforesaid the prayer should have been only for the disallowance of the payment of compensation relation to this head of income, the state of rajasthan has prayed that the entire compensation awarded to the jagirdar must not be paid and a writ.....
Judgment:

B.P. Beri, J.

1. This is a petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India preferred by the State of Rajasthan against Shri Takhat Singh, Jagirdar of Thikana Jawas, praying for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the award of the Jagir Commissioner dated 7*-2-1969 and the judgment of the Board of Revenue dated 5-5-1971, It is also prayed that a writ of prohibition restraining respondent No. 1 from claiming the award in the sum of Rs. 80,600/-be issued.

2. While we have faithfully indicated the prayers made in the writ petition the body of the petition, however, contains a simple grievance. It relates to the grant of compensation for excise income, the average of three years whereof comes to Rs. 22,325 66p for the purposes of computing the compensation. The grounds of attack are that Section 16 of the Rajasthan Excise Act, 1950 prohibits distillation without licence and it came into force on 1-7-1950. Deriving any income, which was prohibited by Section 16 of the Excise Act was violation of law and the Jagirdar. respondent No. 1. was not entitled to any compensation on that score. The second ground, which is rather unusual is that Clause 2(h) of the Second Schedule to the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952, which authorises the payment of compensation to a Jagirdar, because his excise administration and the production or manufacture of excisable articles in jagir lands was taken over, to be calculated on the basis of average income of three years preceding the basic year, arose out of a mistake because the Rajasthan Legislature was oblivious of the Rajasthan Excise Act. Although on the basis of the grounds aforesaid the prayer should have been only for the disallowance of the payment of compensation relation to this head of income, the State of Rajasthan has prayed that the entire compensation awarded to the Jagirdar must not be paid and a writ of prohibition, quite contrary to the accepted principles underlying a writ of prohibition, is sought. The respondent No. 1 has filed an answer to the petition, saying that Section 47 of the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act has an overriding effect and the petition must fail when compensation is expressly provided to a Jagirdar whose jagir has been resumed under the heading income derived from excise.'

3. We have heard learned Counsel for the parties. Learned Counsel for the State agrees that according to the allegations contained in the petition the dispute relates merely to the income arising under the head of excise although in the prayer clause the grant of the entire compensation has been assailed. We shall have to ignore the prayer clause and proceed to determine the precise controversy between the parties.

4. Section 16 of the Rajasthan Excise Act prohibits the manufacture of excisable articles except in accordance with the terms and conditions of a licence granted thereunder. On the basis of this section, the State contends, granting of compensation to a Jagirdar on account of the production or manufacture of excisable articles in jagir lands is clearly illegal. The relevant portion of the Second Schedule to the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act reads:

2. Gross Income.-The gross income of a Jagirdar for the basic year shall be the total income from his jagir lands under the following heads:.

(h) The amount of compensation paid in cash by the Government to the Jagirdar taking over the excise administration and the production or manufacture of excisable articles in jagir lands calculated on the basis of average income of three years, preceding the basic year..

While the Excise Act prohibits a party from manufacture of excisable articles and deriving income therefrom without licence, Clause 2(h) of the Second Schedule to the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act permits the granting of compensation. The conflict between these two provisions of law can be settled by reference to Section 47 of the Rajasthan Land Reform and Resumption of Jagirs Act, which reads as follows:

47. Act to over-ride other laws -- Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the provisions of this Act and of the rules and orders made thereunder shall have effect notwithstanding anything therein contained being inconsistent with any existing Jagir law or any other law for the time being in force.

The provisions of Section 47 of the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act have an overriding effect over any other law for the time being. in force. Crawford in his classics 'Interpretation of Laws,' Article 311 quoting the passage from Crosby v. Patch (18) Calif. 438) says.--

As laws are presumed to be passed with deliberation, and with full knowledge of all existing ones on the same subject, it is but reasonable to conclude that the Legislature, in passing a statute, did not intend to interfere with or abrogate any former law relating to the same matter, unless the repugnancy between the two is irreconcilable. Bowen v. Lease 5 Hill 226. It is a rule says Sedgwick, that a general statute without negative words will not repeal the particular provisions of a former one, unless the two Acts are irreconcilably inconsistent. The reason and philosophy of the rule,' says the author, is, that when the mind of the legislator has been turned to the details of a subject, and he has acted upon it, a subsequent statute in general terms, or treating the subject in a general manner, and not expressly contradicting the original Act, shall not be considered as intended to affect the more particular or positive previous provisions, unless it is absolutely necessary to give the latter Act such a construction, in order that its words shall have any meaning at all.

Prima facie it would appear that Section 16 and Clause 2(h) are irreconcilable. The Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act was a deliberate step of the Legislature to implement the political philosophy of agrarian reforms and, therefore, to compensate the people who were deprived of privileges they had enjoyed compensation at the rates which they considered just was provided and to avoid all doubts and disputes in the matter they gave this law a superior and over-riding effect to express the intention of the Legislature by providing that the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act shall override all the laws in force. We do not think that the Rajasthan Excise Act was any exception and, therefore, for the purposes of compensation we shall have to give effect to Section 47 and Clause 2(h) of Schedule II of the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act notwithstanding Section 16 of the Excise Act Clause 2(h) of the Second Schedule as a matter of fact crystalises compensation for a privilege which was available in certain parts of Rajasthan and we are not prepared to hold that it repeals the provisions of Section 16.

5. Now we come to the second argument raised in the petition. Time honoured traditions tell us that the legislatures act deliberately and are aware of the existing laws. The petitioner, State of Rajasthan, imputes ignorance to the legislature about the existence of the provisions of the Excise Act on account of which a mistake has occurred in providing Clause 2(h) of the Second Schedule. In substance the argument is that the Rajasthan Legislature was not aware of the provisions of the Rajasthan Excise Act at the time of the passing of the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act. We are not prepared to attribute such ignorance to the legislature & we have no hesitation in rejecting this contention of the State Government in this behalf. A Court is not at liberty to make laws however strongly it may feel that Parliament his overlooked some necessary provision or has even been over-reached by the pro-motors of a private Bill is the opinion expressed in Cape Brendy Syndicate v. I.P.C. (1921) 2 KB. 403 (414).

6. The respondent No. 1 endeavoured to raise the plea of res judicata, which, it was urged, could be spelt out from the reading of the entire reply. We decline to accept the argument because the plea has not been specifically raised.

7. No other point has been raised. The writ petition is dismissed with costs. The stay order dated 26-4-1972 is vacated.


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