G LINGAIAH Vs. SUPERINTENDENT OF EXCISE
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
SUPERINTENDENT OF EXCISE
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(1.) 1. The petitioner is a licensee for Makhtbal and Kodangal groups
of toddy shops for two consecutive excise years, 1969-70 and 1970-71.
He is the sole licensee in both the yearsi In 1969-70 he was allotted
certain trees of which some of them were neither tapped nor even
marked, as the petitioner did not pay the tree-tax or tree owner's
rent. In these writ petitions he claims that by virtue of sab-rule (4)
of Rule 13 of the Andhra Pradesh Excise (Tapping of Trees and
Toddy Shops Special Conditions of Licences) Rules, 1959, hereinafter
called the rules, he is entitled to tap those trees without paying any
tree-tax or tree owner's rent even in the year 1970-71i Writ Petition
No. 4923 of 1970 is concerned with the Makhtal group of abkari
shops and Writ petition No. 5228 of 1970 is concerned with the
Kodangal group of shops.
(2.) Sri Dasaratha Ramayya, the learned counsel for the petitioner
argues that with the intention of giving incentives to the abkari licensees
and to induce them to bid at the auctions and become licensees
for successive years the rule makers have introduced rule 13 (4) and
thereunder exempted licensees for successive years from paying free-
tax and tree owner's rent altogether He strongly relies upon the
language of sub-rule (4) which reads as follows :-
"The trees that remain untapped at the expiry of the
licence shall be given for tapping without payment of tree-
tax and tree owner's rent to such shop for which the trees
were allotted, subject to the condition that the same shop
is acquired during the ensuing year and the licensee or one
of the licensees of the shop is also the same"
(3.) In particular the learned counsel relies upon the three words
that occur in the sub-rule which are "untapped", "tapping" and
"allotted". From the sub-rule in general and from the use of the
three words in particular, the learned counsel wants to infer the
intention of the rule making authority that if there are any trees
allotted in the previous year, the licensee who continues to he the
same for the succeeding year also, can tap in the succeeding year
those trees which were untapped iu the previous year, without any
payment of tree-tax and tree owner's rent. This exemption, according
to this contention, is unqualified and is available, despite the fact
that no such tree-tax and tree owner's rent was paid in the previous
year. In other words the contention comes to this :-If a person is a
licensee for two years and was allotted some trees in the first year.
he can tap them in the next year without paying any tree-tax or
tree-owner's rent either in the first year or in the second year.
Well, this is certainly an extraordinary claim. One of the
purposes of the A.P. Excise Act is the levy of excise duty and collection
of revenue. It is certainly not to encourage drinking of toddv,
sendhi or liquor, hut to regulate is If Sri Dasaratharamayya's
contention is accepted, it would lead to a very amazing result that
this particular rale is intended to encourage tapping, sale of alcohol
aud liquors without paying any tree-tax and tree owner's rent.;
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