Decided on December 16,1970



Sankar Prasad Mitra, J. - (1.) In this reference under Section 63(2) of the Bengal Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1944, the question is as follows : "Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, and on a correct interpretation of Rule 4(2)(a), the Appellate Tribunal was justified in holding that the market value for unsold paddy, if sold in the next year to the procurement department, must be calculated under rule 4(2)(a) on the procurement rate of the accounting year and not at the average price at which paddy had been sold in the locality during the previous year, and in remanding the case to the Agricultural Income-tax Officer with direction to that effect?"
(2.) It appears that the points raised in the statement of facts are all academic so far as the accounting year in question is concerned. The accounting year is 1359 B. S., that is to say, from the 14th April, 1952, to the 13th April, 1953. Mr. Das appearing for the department has been very fair indeed. True to the traditions of the Bar he has drawn our attention to the West Bengal Foodgrains (Intensive Procurement) Order, 1952, which was made by the Governor of West Bengal in the exercise of the power conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946, and in particular by Clauses (c), (d), (f), (h), (i) and (j) of Sub-section (2) of that section, read with the notification of the Government of India in Department of Food No. PY 603/2/i, dated the 21st October, 1946. The order was passed with the concurrence of the Central Government. By sub-paragraph (4) of paragraph 3 of this order all producers of foodgrains were prohibited from selling or otherwise disposing of their stock leaving aside the stock required for family consumption to any person save at the prescribed scale and no person was to buy or otherwise receive such foodgrains from such a producer. Paragraph 3 of Form A(1) of this order also directed the producers not to deal with or dispose of any portion of stock owned or possessed by them (barring what is required for family consumption) at the rate prescribed by the State Government in that behalf until further orders.
(3.) Mr. Das has also drawn our attention to Order No. 397 F. D./F/P 4P-21/52, dated the 14th January, 1953, which was published in the "Calcutta Gazette, Extraordinary", dated the 14th January, 1953 (Part I, pages 41, 42). By this order the Governor of West Bengal with the concurrence of the Central Government had also fixed the maximum prices per maund at which rice in husk (paddy) of different varieties may be bought or sold in wholesale quantities in several districts.;

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