GOPAL RAO EKBOTE,J. -
(1.)THIS revision petition is directed against the order of the Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal made in Tribunal Appeal No. 341 of 1964 on 29th November, 1965.
(2.)THE respondents are Sri Satyanarayana Cloth Dyeing and Printing (Kalamkari) Labour Works, Tuni. The disputed turnover of Rs. 98,739-1-6 relates to the sale of kalamkari cloth, which was taxed at 9 per cent, on the ground that it superfine cloth. The contention of the assessee, however, was that the sale of kalamkari cloth is exempt from tax according to G. O. Ms. No. 376 dated 23rd June, 1954. The assessing authority as well as the first appellate authority held that the exemption does not apply to the turnover in question as the accounts do not show any specific classification as kalamkari cloth in the goods sold, and rejected the exemption claimed by the assessee. On an appeal to the Tribunal, the Tribunal took the view that G. O. Ms. No. 376 dated 23rd June, 1954, exempts kalamkari cloth from the levy of sales tax. The Tribunal also considered the question as to whether the G. O. issued under the Madras General Sales Tax Act continues to hold the field even after the passing of the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act on 15th June, 1957. The Tribunal was of the opinion that the G. O. still occupies the field and consequently allowed the appeal and quashed the assessment order. It is this view that is now challenged in this revision petition.
Two contentions were raised before us by the learned Government Pleader. It was firstly contended that since the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1939, was repealed by the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, such a repeal takes away the effect of the notification G. O. Ms. No. 376 dated 23rd June, 1954, and it was no more a good law from the date when the Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act came into force. Reliance in that behalf was placed upon the proviso to section 41. We do not think that the argument can prevail. Section 41 no doubt repeals the Madras General Sales Tax Act if 1939. But the proviso, which is really a saving clause, saves two things. The first part of the proviso saves the right, title, obligation or liability already acquired, accrued or incurred under the repealed Act. Secondly, it also saves anything done or any action taken including a notification issued under the repealed Act. It further states that any act done or action taken shall be deemed to have been done or taken in the exercise of the powers conferred by or under the new Act as if this Act were in force on the date on which such a thing was done or action was taken. The result of this saving clause is that in spite of the repeal of the Madras Act, the notification issued under the Madras Act is saved and is deemed to have been issued under a corresponding provision of the new Act. It is not doubted that under the new Act also, the State Government has got the power to issue the notification exempting certain transactions from the levy of sales tax. The argument, however, was that along with the Act this notification also went out. And it was contended that the notification at best will apply to only those transactions which were conducted under the old Act and would not apply to transactions which took place subsequent to the coming into force of the Andhra Pradesh Act. We do not find any justification for any such argument on the saving clause. Apart from, saving the right, title and obligation, it saves the notification issued under the old Act also. The words "subject thereto" do not mean that the notification issued under the old Act would apply only to the old right, title or obligation. If the intention of the Legislature was to make the old law, whether incorporated in the Act, Rules, Regulation, or notification, applicable only to the old transactions, nothing would have been easier to state it so clearly. The intention of the Legislature, however, was not only to save the right, title and obligation arising under the old Act, but also to save any notification issued under the old Act. It treats as if the notification was issued under the new Act. The fact that the deeming provision says as if the Act were in force at the time when the notification was issued does not alter the effect of the saving clause, that is to say, that the notification issued under the old Act is saved. It is true that the transaction with which we are concerned is a new transaction which came into existence only after the Andhra Pradesh Act was brought into force. The question really is as to what law should apply to such a transaction. It is not doubted that such a transaction would be governed by the law prevailing on the date when the transaction took place. What has therefore to be found out is what was the law prevailing on the date when the transaction took place. The new Act was in force, and by virtue of section 41, the notification issued under the old Act was also continued to be effective. Thus apart from the Act, G. O. Ms. No. 376 dated 23rd June, 1954, also was continued and was effective on the date when the transaction took place. It was not admittedly replaced or cancelled. That was the law which was in force on the date when the transaction took place. If that is so, then if the notification grants exemption in regard to kalamkari transactions we fail to see how sales tax can be levied on transactions relating to kalamkari cloth. The Tribunal, therefore, in our view, was right in holding that G. O. Ms. 376 dated 23rd June, 1954, was in force as law on the date when the transactions took place, and that kalamkari transactions were exempt from the levy of sales tax.
(3.)THE learned Advocate appearing for the revision-petitioner cited Indira Sohanlal v. Custodian of Evacuee Property [1956 S. C. J. 171]. We do not think that case has any bearing upon the facts of the present case.