SUBRAMONIA IYER Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) The petitioners are six stamp vendors who were licenced under the Cochin Stamp Act, VI of 1083, and the rules framed thereunder, and whose licenses are still in force. They used to receive a commission on the sales effected by them at the following rates as per the order of the Government of Cochin in the Public and Political Department, No. M3.38490/22 dated 21.10.1948 (Ext. B):
a) Commission on 1 anna receipt stamps - 3%
b) do on non judicial stamp papers - 5% on stamp papers upto and inclusive of Rs. 5/- and 3% on stamp papers upto and inclusive of Rs. 100.
c) do judicial stamps and stamp papers - 1 1/2 % upto and inclusive of Rs. 100.
(2.) We are only concerned in this case with item (b) above. R.35 of the rules framed by the Government of Travancore-Cochin in exercise of the powers conferred on them by S.78 and 79 of the Travancore-Cochin Stamp Act, 1125, provides:
The rate of discount that will be allowed to the licenced vendors on their purchase will be 3% on all denominations of stamps of and below the value of Rs. 50 in the Deviculam and Peermade Taluks; 3% on one anna receipt stamps in all places and 2% on all other denominations in places other than Deviculam and Peermade Taluks.
and on the strength of this rule the Government have rejected the request of the petitioners for payment of commission in accordance with the provisions of Ext. B.R. 32 of the said rules has no doubt restricted the sales by the vendors to stamps of denominations of and below Rs. 50 but their case is that as far as the stamps they are still authorised to sell are concerned they are entitled to commission at the rates specified in Ext.B. According to them R. 35 does not stand by itself and should be construed in the light of the proviso to R. 36.
(3.) R. 36 reads as follows:
Cases in which no discount is allowed. No discount shall be given on the purchase of any stamps exceeding Rs. 50 in value, nor on any stamps applied on material furnished by the purchaser himself. Provided that the rates of discount allowed to licenced stamp vendors under the Cochin Stamp Rules shall continue to be in force during the currency of the licenses issued under the above said Rules.
It is agreed that the portion of the rule which preceds the proviso serves no useful purpose in the light of R. 32 which has restricted sales by the vendors to denominations of and below Rs. 50 and the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners is that in view of this the proviso should be deemed to be, in effect, attached not to R. 36 but to R.35. There can be no doubt that if the words Provided that the rates of discount allowed to licensed stamp vendors under the Cochin Stamp Rules shall continue to be in force during the currency of the licenses issued under the aforesaid Rules occurred in R. 35 instead of R. 36 the petitioners prayer is justified and that this petition should be allowed.;
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