Skip to content


Bijoynagar Tea Co., Ltd. and ors. Vs. Indian Tea Licensing Committee - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1943Cal156
AppellantBijoynagar Tea Co., Ltd. and ors.
RespondentIndian Tea Licensing Committee
Excerpt:
- .....by the owner of the tea estate during the financial year, shall be an amount bearing to the crop basis of the estate as determined by the committee in accordance with the principles set forth in the schedule the ft same proportion as the indian export allotment for the financial year in question bears to the total of the crop basis of all tea estates in india for that year.2. the relevant portion of the schedule referred to in section 14(2) is this:crop basis mentioned in section 14(2) of the act will include the following:(1) the crop basis of a tea estate for each financial year shall on and from 1st april 1938, be the crop basis which was ascertained for such tea estate for the financial year 1937-1938, or the highest figure fixed for any year after investigation by the.....
Judgment:

1. These three appeals under Clause 15, Letters Patent, are by the owners of three tea gardens one in the Terai in the district of Darjeeling, and two in the Doars in the district of Jalpaiguri. They are direct. ft ed against the decision of Edgley J. dismissing three appeals preferred by them under 8.1, Tea Control Act, 1988, against three orders of the Indian Tea Licensing Committee constituted under the Tea Control Act, 1938, (hereinafter referred to as 'the Committee'), determining their export quota for the year 1988-39 under Section 14 of the said Act. The material portion of Section 14 is in these terms:

(2) The export quota of a tea estate, that is, the total quantity of tea which may be exported by the owner of the tea estate during the financial year, shall be an amount bearing to the crop basis of the estate as determined by the committee in accordance with the principles set forth in the Schedule the ft same proportion as the Indian export allotment for the financial year in question bears to the total of the crop basis of all tea estates in India for that year.

2. The relevant portion of the schedule referred to in Section 14(2) is this:

Crop Basis mentioned in Section 14(2) of the Act will include the following:

(1) The Crop Basis of a tea estate for each financial year shall on and from 1st April 1938, be the crop basis which was ascertained for such tea estate for the financial year 1937-1938, or the highest figure fixed for any year after investigation by the committee, whichever be higher, in accordance with the rules under the Tea Control Act, 1933, with the addition of allowances for special hardship determined under Rules 4 and 5 framed under Section 23, Tea Control Act, 1933.

(2) Allowances for young areas, i.e., tea planted from 1st January 1926 onwards to be added automatically in accordance with scales that may be fixed for different localities in the prescribed manner.

3. The material rules framed under the Tea Control Act, 1983, referred to in Clause (1) of this schedule are these:

1. In these rules:

(2) 'Crop Basis of a tea estate' means the maximum production of a tea estate in any one of the years 1929, 1930, 1931 and 1932 with the addition of an allowance for young clearings on the scale set forth in the first Schedule;

(3) 'Young clearings' means (a) areas planted with tea subsequently to the year 1927 not in re-placement of abandoned areas, and (b) areas planted or replanted subsequently to the year 1927 in replacement of old tea uprooted or abandoned where no crop from the uprooted or abandoned areas was taken into consideration in arriving at the maximum production.

2. The export quota of a tea estate shall be that amount of tea which bears the same proportion to the crop basis of the estate as the total Indian over-seas export allotment bears to the total of the crop basis of all tea estates.

3. The owner of a tea estate desiring to be allotted an export quota in any financial year shall, on or before 1st February in the preceding year, furnish to the committee a statement showing the crop basis of such estate. Failing such application and the supply of such further information as the Committee. may call for under Sub-section (1) of Section 20 of the Act the Committee may refuse to allot any quota.

4. The Governor-General-in-Council may, in cases of special hardship, permit the Committee to modify the application of the foregoing rules.

4. The scales referred to in clause (2) of the schedule to the Act of 1938 were prescribed by the Tea Control Rules, 1938. These rules were notified on 16th July 1938. The relevant portion of these rules is this:

4. (a) The owner of a tea estate which contains young areas or replanted areas may apply to the Committee on or before 30th September 1938, for an addition to the crop basis of the tea estate in respect of the young areas and replanted areas concerned....

(b) On receipt of an application under Sub-rule (a) the Committee may grant an addition to crop basis of the scale prescribed in the attached Schedule 1 (allowances for young areas) for the locality concerned after making the deductions specified below : (1) any special hardship or 'young clearings' allowance included in the crop basis for the year 1937-1938, in accordance with the rules under the Tea Control Act 1933, in respect of the young clearings concerned; (2) any yield which the young areas concerned contributed to the production of the estate in that one of the years 1929 to 1932 taken by the estate for the purposes of its crop basis. If satisfactory evidence of such contribution is not forthcoming, the Committee shall make a deduction not greater than that shown in Schedule 2 (contributions by young areas).

5. Schedule 1 referred to in Rule 4 (b), Tea Control Rules,l938, gives certain round figures for different localities in India including Terai and Doars, as allowances for young areas in lbs. per acre. Schedule 2 mentioned in Rule 4(b)(2) of the aforesaid rules gives the contributions by young areas to the yield in the years 1929 to 1932. While determining the crop basis of the three tea estates in question under Clause (1) of the schedule to the Act of 1938 the Committee have taken the crop basis of each of these three tea estates for the financial year 1937, 1938 as the crop basis of a tea estate as defined in Rule 1(2), Tea Control Rules, 1933, and have added to this crop basis allowances for special hardship under Rule 4 of these rules. In determining the allowances for young areas under Clause (2) of the schedule to the Act of 1938, they have made deductions mentioned in Sub-clause (1) and (2) of Rule 4(b) under the Act of 1938, from the figures for Terai and Doars mentioned in Schedule 1 to the said rules.

6. Edgley J. has come to the conclusion that the Committee. have correctly determined the crop basis of these three estates in accordance with the principles set forth in the schedule to the Act of 1938. He has accordingly dismissed these appeals with costs to be taxed according to the scale followed in connexion with the suits on the original side of this Court (scale No. 2). The contentions of the appellants in these appeals are these:

(1) that the crop basis ascertained for the financial year 1937-1938 in accordance with the rules under the Tea Control Act 1933, includes also allowances for special hardship determined under Rule 4 of the said rules;

(2) that the rules relating to deductions specified in Rule 4 (b) of the 1938 rules are ultra vires; (3) that there is no satisfactory evidence of the yield which the young areas in these three tea estates contributed to the production of these tea estates in one of the years 1929 to 1932, and (4) that the costs decreed by the trial Judge are excessive.

7. As regards the first contention it appears from Rule 2 of the rules of 1933 that the export quota of a tea estate was that amount of tea which bore the same proportion to the crop basis of that estate as the total Indian overseas export allotment bore to the total of the crop basis of all tea estates in India. By Rule 3 the owner of a tea estate was required to furnish to the Committee a statement showing the crop basis of such estate on or before a certain date. The crop basis of a tea estate was defined in Rule 1(2) of the said rules. The crop basis of a tea estate within the meaning of Rules 2 and 3, therefore, is the maximum production of a tea estate in any of the years 1929 to 1932 with the addition of an allowance for young clearings on the scales set forth in schedule 1 attached to the rules. Rule 4 provided that if any hardship was caused to a particular estate by the application of Rules 1 to 3 the Governor-General-in-Council might modify the application of these rules to that particular tea estate.

8. The words 'crop basis' were defined in the rules of 1938. This definition excluded the allowances for special hardship granted under Rule 4. Clause (1) of the schedule to the Act deals with the same subject. The presumption, therefore, is that the Legislature in this clause used the same language in the same sense. The words 'crop basis' in this clause, therefore, should have the meaning given to them by their definition in the rule of 1933. The contention of the appellants is that this rule of presumption does not apply. The argument in support of this contention is this: In Clause (1) of the schedule to the Act of 1933 the words are 'crop basis ascertained in accordance with the rules under the Tea Control Act, 1933.' The words 'the rules under the Tea Control Act, 1933' mean not only Rules 1 to 3 but all the rules including Rule 4 under the Tea Control Act, 1933. The allowances for special hardship were granted under Rule 4. They must, therefore, be a part of the crop basis ascertained for that tea estate within the meaning of Clause (1) of the schedule to the Act of 1938. In Clause (1) it is stated that the allowances for special hard, ship determined under E. i are to be added to the crop basis ascertained in accordance with the rules. If the allowances under B. 4 were already included in the crop basis ascertained in accordance with the rules which according to the appellants include Rule 4, why are they to be included again in the crop basis? The answer of the appellants is this: The power of granting allowances under Rule 4 of the 1933 rules from year to year was taken away by the new Act with the result that tea estates would not be entitled to claim any additional allowance on : grounds of special hardship caused by the operation of the new Act during its lifetime.

9. Under Section 14(3) of the new Act the crop basis of a tea estate may be re-determined by the Committee if the Committee is satisfied that there exist grounds of special hardship arising out of circumstances not under the control of the owner or of any previous owners of the estate and relating to conditions existing prior to the 1st day of April 1933. There is no other provision in the Act for allowances for special hardship on any other ground. The contention of the appellants is that the reason for this omission was the provision in the last part of Clause (1) of the schedule, as one more hardship allowance granted under Rule 4 of the 1933 rules was considered by the Legislature to be sufficient to meet cases of hardship which might arise by operation of the new Act during its lifetime. Now, what are the cases in which hardship is likely to be caused by operation of the new Act? Mr. Gupta said that these were the cases of tea estates which at the time when the new Act was passed were entirely young areas. His con. tention was that although Clause (2) of the schedule provided for allowances for young areas, tea estates which consisted entirely of young areas would get no benefit under this clause.

10. The definition of young clearings in the rules of 1933 excluded the plantings of 1926 and 1927 with the result that, in view of the definition of crop basis in the rules of 1933, excepting the contributions, if any, from these plantings to the maximum production, in any one of the years 1929 to 1932 of tea estates which consists entirely or in part of plantings in 1926 and 1927, no allowances could be included in their crop basis on account of any increase in the yield from these plantings during the lifetime of the Act of 1933. This caused hardship to these estates. Allowances were, therefore, made for such hardship from year to year during S the lifetime of the Act of 1933 under Rule 4 of the 1933 rules. As regards the plantings from 1928 allowances were made during the lifetime of the Act in accordance with the table given in Schedule 1 to the rules of 1933.

11. In 1937-38, therefore, all areas planted with tea from 1926 either wholly or in part got allowances. These were maintained by Clause (1) of the schedule to the Act of 1938. This Act, however, does not provide for allowances from year to year for (inter alia) natural increase in the yield from the plantings from 1926 during its lifetime by any rule similar to E. 4 of the rules of 1933. The ' object of this omission was to bring such allowances under Clause (2) of the schedule to the Act of 1938. If at the time when the Act of 1938 came into operation the age and condition of the plantings from 1926 in a particular tea estate were such that there would be no natural increase in their yield during the lifetime of this Act, that tea estate would not get any allowance under Clause (2) of the schedule to the new Act and no hardship would be caused to such a tea estate so long as the new Act would remain in force. Where, however, the age and condition of plantings from 1926 in a particular estate are such that there would be an increase in their yield during the lifetime of the new Act no hardship will be caused to such estate after the new Act comes into operation as it will get an allowance under Clause (2) of the schedule to the new Act. We are of opinion that the crop basis ascertained in the year 1937-38 referred to in Clause (1) of the schedule to the Act of 1938 means the crop basis as defined in E. 1 of the rules of 1983 and that it does not include hardship allowance granted under Rule i of the said rules.

12. As regards the second contention, Schedule 1 of the rules framed under the Act of 1933 specifies allowances in round figures for young clearings in each of the five years from 1933 to 1938. These allowances appear to have been roughly assumed to be the average production of tea per acre planted in a particular year. The crop basis of a particular tea estate in 1937-38 included the allowances for young clearings up to that year. The object of the Act of 1938 was also to give proper allowances for young areas also based on assumed average production of tea per acre but differentiated as stated in the next paragraph. This allowance must necessarily absorb the allowances, if any, granted under the rules of 1933 in 1937-38. Clause (2) of the schedule of the Act, therefore, would exclude allowance, if any, in-, eluded in Clause (1) of the said schedule. The allowances under Clause (2) therefore, are supplementary allowances. The rules of 1933 made no distinction between different localities in India. Clause (2) of the schedule of the Act of 1938, however directs that distinction should be made between different localities. The scale in Schedule 1 of the rules framed under the Act of 1938 cannot be the scale which the Central Government was authorised to fix by rules under Clause (2) of the schedule of the Act of 1938 as these rules lay down that the allowances under Clause (2) would be the figures for each locality specified in the said schedule minus certain deductions.

13. In framing rules for supplementary allowances under Clause (2) of the schedule of the Act of 1938 the Central Government had to keep two objects in view, viz., (1) the assumed average production of tea per acre in each locality and (2) the contributions from each garden in the locality already included in the crop basia determined under Clause (1) of the schedule. Schedule 1 of the rules of 1938 contains the assumed average production per acre in each locality. Rules i (b)(1) and (2) refer to the contributions already included in the crop basis determined under Clause (1) of the schedule of the Act of 1938. Could the Central Government while carrying out the two objects of Clause (2) frame the rules in any other way? The appellant said that both these objects could have been attained and one definite figure could have been fixed for all gardens in each locality in India if by the rules it was provided that from the average production for each locality as mentioned in Schedule 1 of the rules the average of contribution for all gardens in each locality included in their crop basis determined under Clause (1) of the schedule of the Act would be deducted. It is doubtful whether such ah average could have been struck or, whether such average would have been a fair deduction. If by statute the Central Government had the power to frame rules as regards deductions it is not open to us to say whether the rules relating to deductions are fair or not. The figures mentioned in Schedule 1 of the rules of 1938 are not stated in the rules to be the scales referred to in Clause (2) of the schedule of the Act of 1938. They are the assumed averages of production of tea per acre in different localities in India. The supplementary allowances for a particular tea estate in each locality under the rules is the figure fixed for that locality in Schedule 1 of the rules minus the deduction specified in Rule 4(b). The rules as a whole, therefore, carry out the two objects of clause (2). In framing these rules, therefore, the Central Government did not exceed its power under Clause (2) of the schedule of the Act.

14. As regards the third contention we have no doubt that the learned Judge was right in holding that there was satisfactory evidence of the yield which the young areas in the three estates in question contributed to the production of these estates in one of the years 1929 to 1932. As regards the fourth contention, the costs were entirely in the discretion of the learned Judge and we are in a position to say that the learned Judge has not used his discretion properly. All the contentions raised in these three appeals fail. The appeals are accordingly dismissed with costs. There will be, however, only one hearing fee in all these appeals. The hearing fee in these three appeals is assessed at thirty gold mohurs. The other costs of the respondent will be assessed under the Appellate Side Rules. The appellants in each of these three appeals will pay one-third, of the total costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //