Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. The petitioner was charged in the Court of the Sub-Divisional First Class Magistrate of Gobichettipalayam with failure to submit a return under the Madras General Sales Tax Act and with fraudulently evading payment of tax, offences which were said to fall within Section 15 (a) and (d) of the Act respectively. The Magistrate held that the charge under Section 15 (a) had been proved and fined the petitioner one anna, ordering him in default of payment to undergo simple imprisonment for one day. At the time the charge was laid the petitioner admittedly was not required by the Act to make any return. During the course of the hearing the Provincial Government made an amendment to Rule 11 which, if made on the 1st April, 1940, would have meant that the petitioner would have been liable to make a return. It is manifest that by an amendment of the rules in one year an act or omission in the previous year cannot be made an offence and the learned Advocate-General has Very properly stated that the conviction of the petitioner cannot be supported. The amendment of the rules could not create an offence retrospectively and the petitioner has been unlawfully convicted. The petition will be allowed and the conviction and sentence set aside. This does not mean that for other purposes the amended rule may not have retrospective effect and the allowing of this petition is entirely without prejudice to the validity of the amendment in other respects.