1. These two appeal are preferred by the Public Prosecutor against the judgment of the District Magistrate, Ramanathapuram, against the acquittal of the accused in C.C. Nos. 176 and 177 of 1961. The Sales Tax Officer, on examining the accounts relating to a rice mill licensee, Iberamsa Rowther, found that the accused Pichai Mudaliar had not brought into his account the sales turnover of rice to an extent of Rs. 21,217 for the year 1955-56. The inspection is said to be on 27th February, 1959. After investigation, a complaint under Section 15(2) of the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1939, was filed on 20th October, 1959. After the inspection but before the laying of the complaint, the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959, came into force, and the General Sales Tax Act, 1939, was repealed.
2. It was contended by the learned counsel for the accused in the lower Court that as the prosecution was laid under Section 15(2) of the Madras General Sales Tax Act, and as the new Act had come into force on 1st April, 1959, no prosecution can be launched under the old Act and that such prosecution is not mnintainable in law. This contention was accepted by the trial Court. It held that the prosecution was not sustainable and, therefore, acquitted the accused.
3. Unfortunately, the decision of the Supreme Court in Kapur Chand Pokhraj v. State of Bombay  S.C.R. 250 was not brought to the notice of the District Magistrate. Dealing with Section 48(2) of the Bombay Sales Tax Act, which provides that notwithstanding the repeal of the said Act, the repeal shall not affect or be deemed to affect any right, title, obligation or liability already acquired, accrued or incurred, Subba Rao, J., held that the words 'liability incurred' are very general and comprehensive and ordinarily take in both civil and criminal liability. There was no reason why the all comprehensive word should not carry its full import but be restricted to civil liability alone The learned Judge further observed that the context does not compel any such limitation. Under the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959, Section 61 provides that the repeal of the Sales Tax Act, 1939, shall not affect the previous operation of the said Act or any right, title or obligation or liability already acquired, accrued, or incurred. The wording of the saving Section, Section 61 of the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959, is the same as found in Section 48(2) of the Bombay General Sales Tax Act, 1953, and therefore the decision of the Supreme Court holds goods in this case also. The Order of acquittal, therefore, is erroneous and is hereby set aside. The case will be re-tried by the District Magistrate of Ramanathapuram.