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Sitaram Vs. State of Rajasthan [1994] INSC 511 (5 October 1994)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)

CITATION: 1995 AIR 356 1995 SCC (1) 257 JT 1994 (6) 629 1994 SCALE (4)602

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1.The appeals arise from Writ Petition No. 1808 of 1988 and batch dated 18-8-1989 of the Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court following its earlier judgment dated 17-5-1989 in Writ Petition No. 1340 of 1986 and batch. In the High Court, clause (17-A) added to Section 3 and class Molasses added to Section 41(2)(d) of the Rajasthan Excise Act, 1950 as amended by the Rajasthan Excise Amendment Act (8 of 1985) were impugned. The Division Bench after exhaustive consideration of all the controversies declared that the Amendment Act 5 of 1985 was enacted by the State Legislature under Entry 33(a) of List III (Concurrent List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Therefore, the State Legislature was competent to enact the said Amendment Act except Condition Nos. 3(1)(11) and 3(2) of the licences in form M-I as they are repugnant to the provisions of clauses (3), (4) and (7) of the Molasses Control Order.

The State did not prefer any appeal as regards the declaration of the said aforesaid provisions to be ultra vires of the State Legislature. But +From the Judgment and Order dated 18-8-1989 of the Rajasthan High Court in C.W.P. No. 1805 of 1988 258 being dissatisfied with the judgment of the Division Bench the appellants had sought leave and this Court granted leave under Section 136 of the Constitution.

2.It was contended by Mr Makwana, learned counsel for the appellant that exercising the power under Entry 52 of List I, (Union List), the Industrial Development Regulation Act, 1951 was enacted by Parliament, Item 25 of the Schedule relates to the sugar industry. Molasses is a byproduct of the mother liquor of sugar. It is also controlled by the Molasses Control Order, 1961 made by the Central Government exercising the power under Section 18-G of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 and that therefore the State Legislature is devoid of competency to enact the Amendment Act. We find no force in the contention. Entry 52 of List I (Union List) of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution envisages to enact law relating to industries the control of which by the Union is declared by Parliament by law to be expedient in the public interest. Undoubtedly, Act 65 of 1951 was enacted in exercise of this power and Section 18-G gives power to the Central Government to regulate the items of industries enumerated in the Act 65 of 1951. However, Entry 24 and Entry 8 of the State List of the Seventh Schedule gives power to the State Legislature to make law relating to intoxicating liquors, that is to say, the production, the manufacture, possession, transport, purchase and sale of intoxicating liquors. Entry 24 is the reserve power of the State Legislature subject to Entry 7 and Entry 52 of List I to enact the law relating to the industries. Entry 33 of the Concurrent List gives power to Parliament as well as the State Legislature to enact law regulating trade and commerce in and the production, supply and distribution of (a) the production of any industry where the control of such industry by the Union is declared by Parliament by law to be expedient in the public interest, and imported goods of the same kind as such products.

Therefore, Parliament as well as the State Legislature have been given the power to enact a law regulating trade and commerce in and the production, supply and distribution of "the products of any industry" obviously dealt with under Entry 52 of Union List. Clause (17-A) as inserted by the Amendment Act defines molasses, thus:

"Molasses means the mother liquor produced in the final stage of the manufacture of sugar or khandsari sugar by the vacuum-pan process or open pan process from sugarcane or gur."

3. Section 4 of the Amendment Act provides that in clause (d) of subsection (2) of Section 41 of the principal Act after the expression "excisable article" the expression "or molasses" shall be added. Section 17 of the Rajasthan Excise Act deals with establishment and licensing of distilleries and warehouses subject to certain restrictions contained therein. As seen Section 3(17-A) merely defines the molasses without any further consequences. Section 41 gives power to the State Government to make rules for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the Rajasthan Excise Act or other law for the time being in force relating to excise revenue (d) regulating the import, export, transport or possession of any excisable article.

259 of Section 4 of the Amendment Act "or molasses" has also been added to clause (d) of sub-section (2) of Section 41.

4. Thereby, it would appear that the Legislature intended to regulate the import, export, transport or possession of molasses. The question is whether the Amendment Act is repugnant to the provisions of the Industries Development Regulation Act or the Molasses Control Order, 1961 made by the Central Government exercising the power under Section 18-G of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 65 of 1951. Clause (17-A) inserted by the Amendment Act is in pari materia is the definition given in clause 2(a) of the Molasses Control Order, 1961 which came into effect for the State of Rajasthan with effect from 1-11-1975. The question, therefore, is whether Section 4 of the Amendment Act introducing molasses in clause (d) of sub-section (2) of Section 41 of the Rajasthan Excise Act, 1950, is repugnant to the provisions of the Molasses Control Order or any other relevant order occupied under Act 65 of 195 1. The Molasses Control Order, 1961 regulate restriction on sale, clause (3), restriction on removal, clause (4), storage of molasses, clause (5), grading of molasses, clause (6) and pricing maximum for the sale regulated by clause (7). As seen the operation of the Molasses Control Order and the operation of the Amendment Act have not occupied the same field nor run into collision course. It is seen that the Amendment Act was made by the State Legislature exercising the power under Entry 33(a) of the Concurrent List read with Entry 24 of State List as molasses is a by-product of a sugar industry covered by the Industries Development Regulation Act. The Amendment Act does not enter into the occupied field of the Molasses Control Order. There is no inconsistency in their operation and that therefore both the Amendment Act and the Molasses Control Order would harmoniously co-exist and operate in their respective fields. The State Legislature had thereby made the Amendment Act regulating the import, export, transport or possession of molasses within the State of Rajasthan. Thus, we find that the Amendment Act is within the legislative competence under Article 246(3) of the Constitution. The appeals are dismissed accordingly but without costs.

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