VEDULAPALLI SATYANARAYANA MURHTY Vs. STATE OF MADRAS
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
VEDULAPALLI SATYANARAYANA MURHTY AND BROTHERS
STATE OF MADRAS
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Rao, C.J. -
(1.)I agree. Viswanatha Sastri, J.(2) The petitioners in these revision petitions are merchants carrying on business, mainly in cocoanuts, in several places in the East Godavari and Krishna Districts, which during the relevant period fromed part of the State of Madras. They sold cocoanuts to merchants mostly in Madhya Pradesh and also in a few other places outside the State of Madras. The goods were delivered outside the State to the several buyers.The petitioners, were assessed to tax under the Madras General Sales Tax Act for assessment years 1949-50 and 1950-51 on sales of the nature described above. The assessee, petitioners in these revision petitiioners, objected to the levy of tax on sales effected by them after 26-1-1950 and before 31-3-1951, on the ground that such levy is illegal, as a result of Art. 286(1) of the Constitution which came into force on 26-1-1950.
(2.)The revision petitions first came on for hearing before Chandra Reddy and Unamaheswaram JJ., who could not reach an agreed decision. Chandra Reddy J., was of the opinion that the assessments objected to, were valid under the proviso to Cl. (2) of Art. 286 and the Order of the President made thereunder. Umamaheswaram J., was inclined to the view that cl. (1) of Art. 286 and the explanation to that clause would govern the cases and that the assessments would be illegal in the facts were such as to warrant the application of the Explanation.Chandra Reddy J. was for dismissing the revision petitions, but directed the cases to be placed before the Chief Justice for being posted before a third Judge on the ffoting that there was a difference of opinion between him and Umamaheswaram J. Under S. 12-B, Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1939, read with S. 98, Civil P. C. and Cl. 36 of the Letters Patent, it is only if there is a difference in opinion between the twoJudges of a Division Bench, the point on which there is a difference between them should be referred to a third Judge.Umamaheswaram J., though inclined to a contrary opinion, did not in terms dissent from the view of Chandra Reddy J., but suggested the reference of the cases to a Full Bech. In -- East India Match Factory v. State of Madras, 1954-2 Mad LJ 585 (A) a Division Bench of the Madras High Court, which had to construe Art. 286 of the Constitution, was of the opinion that cl. (2) of Art. 286 applied to cases like the present.In -- Subbarayudu v. The State, (S) AIR 1955 Andhra 87 (B) a Full Bench of this Court laid down that decision of the Madras High Court given prior to the establishment of this Court, should be followed by this Court in the same manner in which the Madras High Court followed its own decisions and that if a Division Bench of this Court doubted the correctness in law of a decision rendered before 5-7-1954 the proper course was to refer the matter for the decision of a Full Bench.Chandra Reddy J., followed the decision of the Madras High Court above referred to, while Umamaheswaram J., doubted its correctness and decided that the revision petitions should in accordance with the rule of practice laid down by the decision of the Full Bench of this court, be heard by a Full Bench. These cases were then directed to be posted before us.
(3.)In the course, of his Judgment, Umamaheswaram J., felt bound to enter a caveat against the opinion of the Full Bench in (S) AIR 1955 Andhra 87 (B). With due respect to the learned Judge, the working rules formulated by the Full Bench. serve to minimise the uncertainty and confusion arising from conflicts of judicial opinion, and the resulting disturbance of settled titles and transactions and at the same time, afford reasonable scope for the progressive and orderly development of Judg-made Law.
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