1. The subject-matter of dispute in this tax case is a turnover of Rs. 54,000 in respect of which the assessee, petitioner herein, claimed exemption as second sale of handmade matches. The assessing authority refused exemption on the ground that since the sale by the manufacturer alone had been exempted specifically by a Government Order, the sale by the assessee should be taken as the first taxable sale inside the State and therefore the turnover in question cannot be exempted. The said view of the assessing authority was not accepted by the Appellate Assistant Commissioner on appeal, who held that the fact that the sale by the manufacturer, of handmade matches from whom the assessee had effected purchases had been exempted will not make the assessee's sale as the first sale, and that in view of the fact that there has been an earlier sale inside the State by the manufacturer to the assessee, the assessee's sale will not be the first sale in the State. The said order of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner was questioned by the Revenue by filing an enhancement petition in an appeal filed by the petitioner against the other portions of the assessment order. The Tribunal has held that in the series of sales of handmade matches taking place in this State, the first sale by the manufacturer to the assessee has been exempted by the said Government Order, that the exemption under the said Government Order being only in relation to the sale effected by the manufacturer, the benefit of that exemption cannot apply to the subsequent sales of handmade matches, as the said Government Order does not confer general exemption in relation to handmade matches, that therefore, all the subsequent sales of the said handmade matches are not covered by the said Government Order and that the petitioner's sale of handmade matches being the first taxable sale inside the State, the same is liable to be taxed and cannot have the benefit of the exemption. The said view of Tribunal has been challenged before us.
2. However, we are not in a position to say that the Tribunal has committed an error in this case. Admittedly, the exemption granted by the Government is only a specific exemption and that exemption is limited to sales effected by the manufacturer of handmade goods. Therefore, it is only a particular sale that has been exempted and it is not a general exemption relating to the handmade matches in general. The petitioner has admittedly purchased from a manufacturer of handmade matches, whose turnover did not exceed Rs. 50,000. So that sale gets exempted by the exemption notification issued by the Government. The petitioner's sale being the subsequent sale, which is the first taxable sale inside the State, the same is liable to be taxed. According to the learned counsel for the petitioner, the taxable event being the first sale in the State and the first sale having been exempted, there is no tax liability in respect of the subsequent sales in respect of the same goods. If the contention of the petitioner were to be accepted, the specific exemption will result in a general exemption and as already stated in this case the exemption is not a general exemption in relation to the handmade matches, but the exemption is limited only to the sale by the manufacturers whose total production in a year did not exceed Rs. 50,000. That exemption covers only the sale effected by the manufacturer and it does not contemplate exemption being granted in respect of the subsequent sales relating to the handmade matches. We are not in a position to construe the exemption notification issued by the Government in this case as a general notification exempting handmade matches in general. If the sale of handmade matches by the manufacturer is exempted, then the sale by the petitioner in this case, who has purchased the goods from the manufacturer, becomes the first taxable sale inside the State. As we have already held that the exemption in relation to a particular sale will not be available to other subsequent sales, the taxing statute has to operate in respect of other sales, and the petitioner's sale becomes taxable being the first taxable sale inside the State. We, therefore, hold that the Tribunal in this case has come to the right conclusion in holding that the petitioner is not entitled to the exemption to Rs. 54,404.00. The tax case is therefore dismissed.
3. Petition dismissed.