Excise Commissioner. U.P., Allahabad Vs.
Ram Kumar  INSC 141 (5 May 1976)
SINGH, JASWANT SINGH, JASWANT RAY, A.N. (CJ)
SARKARIA, RANJIT SINGH SHINGAL, P.N.
CITATION: 1976 AIR 2237 1976 SCR 535 1976 SCC
CITATOR INFO :
R 1977 SC1691 (7) R 1977 SC2149 (13) RF 1979
SC 621 (29,30) F 1980 SC1285 (12,27,30,31,33,34,44,53) RF 1980 SC2018 (21) D
1981 SC1374 (6) D 1987 SC 993 (12,13) RF 1991 SC 735 (22) R 1992 SC1393 (8,9) R
1992 SC2169 (19)
Evidence Act-Estoppel against Government in
exercise of legislative, sovereign or executive powers-U.P. Excise Act
1910-Sec. 24. 28, 31, 33, 40 and 41- Whether excise duty can be levied on
unlifted stock of liquor.
U.P. Sales Tax Act 1948, sec. 3A and
4-Whether exemption from payment of sales tax can be withdrawn- Estoppel.
The State of Uttar Pradesh has under the U.P.
Excise Act, 1910. the exclusive right or privilege of manufacturing and selling
liquor in that State. Section ''4 of the Act provides that subject to the
provisions of s. 31 the Excise Commissioner may grant to any person a licence
for the exclusive privilege of manufacturing or of supplying any country liquor
etc. Section 31 provides for the conditions for the grant of licence. Section
33 invests the authority granting a licence to require the grantee to execute a
counterpart agreement in conformity with the tenor of the licence. Section 28
authorises imposition of an excise duty or a countervailing duty by The local
Government on any excisable article. Sections 40 and 41 of the Act empower the
State Government and the Excise Commissioner subject to the previous sanction
of the Government to make rules. Para 38 of the Excise Manual which contains
the rules made under the Act shows that there are 4 licence fee systems in
vogue. One of such systems is the auction fee system under which the amount of
licence fee is determined by competition amongst bidders at an auction. The
respondents were the highest bidders at various auctions. Before holding the
auctions, the rates of excise duty and prices of different varieties of country
liquor and also the conditions of licence were announced. No announcement was
made as to whether the exemption from sales tax in respect of sale of country
liquor granted by the notification dated 6-4-1959 was or was not likely to be
withdrawn. one of the conditions of the licences was that the licensee shall
lift each month certain quota of liquor and on the failure to lift the monthly
quota the licensee shall be liable to pay compensation to the state Government
calculated at the rate of duty per litre on the unlifted quota. On the day
following the day when the licences were granted, the Government of U.P. issued
a notification under s. 3A and 4 of the U.P. Sales Tax Act, 1948, superseding
the earlier notification exempting the payment of sales tax and imposing sales
tax on the turnover in respect of country spirit at the rate of 10 P. per
The respondents having failed to lift and
sell the minimum quotas of liquor the appellant called upon them to pay by way
of compensation the amount; of excise duty on the shortfalls.
Aggrieved by the demand, the respondents
moved the High Court under Art. 226 of the Constitution for issue of
appropriate writ or direction restraining the appellants from recovering the aforesaid
amounts. The respondents in special appeals also challenged the notification
issued under the sales Tax Act on the ground that the State Government did not
announce at the time of the action that the earlier notification was likely to
be withdrawn and that the appellant informed the respondents at the time of the
auction that there was no sales tax on the sale of country liquor. The
appellants were, therefore, estopped from making the demand in respect of the
sales tax and recovering the same from them. The High Court allowed all the
petitions in to.
On appeal by special leave, 533
HELD: (1) Neither s. 28 nor s. 29 nor any
other provisions of the Act authorise the levy of the amounts sought to be
recovered from the respondents. The demand made by the appellant though
disguised as compensation is in reality a demand for excise duty on unlifted
quantity of liquor which is not authorised by the provisions of the Act.
[538-A-C] Bimal Chandra Banerjee v. State of
Madhya Pradesh,  1 S.C.R. 844, followed.
Panna Lal and Ors. etc. v. State of Rajasthan
and others,  I S.C.R. 219. distinguished.
(2) Sections 3A and 4 of the U.P. Sales Tax
Act clearly authorise the State Government to impose sales tax. The fact that
sales of country liquors had been exempted from sales tax by the earlier
notification could not operate as estoppel against the State Government and
preclude it from subjecting the sales to tax if it felt impelled to do so in
the interest of the revenues of the State. There can be no question of estoppel
against the Government in exercise of its legislative sovereign or executive
powers (case law reviewed). The Government cannot divest itself of the right
incidental to its office by conduct which in the case of a private person would
amount to estoppel. The six appeals therefore, are partly allowed
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: CIVIL APPEALS
Nos: 276-395 AND 397-404 OF 1975 Appeals by Special Leave from the Judgments
and orders dated 21.2.72., 8.3.72., 2].2.72., 10.3.72., 21.3.72., 16.]2.71.,
24.3.72., 21.3.72.. 21.3.72., 22.3.72., 25.2.72., 8.3.72., 21.2.72., 10.3.72.,
8.3.72. 10.3.72 10.3.72., 18.2.72., 16.l2.71. 9.3.73., 8.3.72.,25.2.72.,
16.12.71., 25.3.72., 15.3.72., 25.3.72., 25.2.72., 25.3.72., 25.2.72., 14.3.72.,
.14.3.72., 21.3. 2.,14.3.72., 14.3.72. 21.3.72.,21.3.72., 14.3.72., 25.3.72.,
25.372., 21.3.72., 21.3.72., 21.3.72, 21.3.72., 24.3.72, 24.3.72., 24.3.72.,
24.3.72., 25.3.72., 21.3.72., 3.4.72., 21.3.72., 3.4.70. 24.3.72., 24.3.72
24.3.72., 24.3.72., 24.3.72., 24.3.72, 25.372., 25.3.72., 25.3.72 25.372.,
25.372., 3.4.72., 3.4.72., 3.4.72., 3.4.72., 3.4.72., 14-3.72. 3.9.71.,
3.9.71., 16.7.71., 14.3.71., 29.3.72., 14.3.72., 14.3.72., 14.3.72, 5.4.72.,
5.4.72., 5.1.72., 5.4.72., 18-2-72., 23.2.72., 10.3.72., 20.1.72., 9.1.72.,
31.1.72.. 31.1.72., 31.1.72., 31.1.72., 8.3.72., 2.2.72 3.2.72., 25.2.72.,
2.2.72., 10.3.72., 4.2.72., 25.9.72., 25.9.72, 6.10.72., 1.2.73., 13.2.73.,
30.1.73., 9.4.73., 13.2.73., 14.2.72., 13.3.72., 13.3.72., 24.3.72., 18.7.72., 4.9.73..
25.2.72, 17.5.71., 21.3.72., 3.4.72., 21.3.72., 16.7.71., 5.4.72., In Special
Appeal Nos. 616, 643, 617, 644/74 and Civil Misc Writ Nos.
2268,448,2280,2254,2255/69 and Special Appeal Nos 730 752,
647,615,611,648,645605,610/71 and Civil Misc. Writ No.
149/68 and Special Appeal No.86, 796.775/71
and W.P No. 450 69 and Writ No 451, 218, 5706 2915/69,S. A. No..690/71 C.
Misc Writ No.3037/69 and S.A. No.613/71 and
C. Misc Writ No.2090/69 and Civil Misc. Writ Nos 2094, 2119, 2122, 2172, 2188
2189 -92, 2180 2182, 2187,2256, 2273, 2274,2276-2279, 2282-2284.2334 2347,
2576,2608-2611,2649 2690,2742-2743, 2759,2760,2811,2850,
2916,2918,2919,3075,3400/69 and 543- 546, 786,1039,1246, 1248, 2169,3881,
4035,4428,4563,4821,211,250, 256, 7253, 607, 614, 618.628,7655.691-694, 729.
732. 751, 776, 787, 799. 805171 and Civil Misc. Writ
No.1525,1529,3387.7051,7253, 7588, 7575, 7980 and Special Appeal Nos.6,102,
115, 166,309/72 and 1902/73 and Special Appeal No.774171 and Civil Misc. Writ
No. 2121/69,2194/69 70,3375/69 and writ Petition No.3627/70,260/71
534 B. Sen and o. P. Rana for the Appellant.
Yogeswar Prasad, S. K. Bagga and (Mrs.) S.
Bagga, for the Respondent in CA 399/75 and 400-405/75.
(Miss) Kamlesh Bansal, for Respondent in CAs.
310, 312, 238,403,357,and 313/75 L. C. Goyal, for Respondent in CA No. 396/75.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
JASWANT SINGH, J.-This batch of 127 appeals by special leave which are directed
against various judgments rendered by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
in writ petitions and special appeals and relate to enforcement of certain
obligations of licensees for retail vend of country liquor shall be disposed of
by this judgment.
The facts leading to these appeals are The
State of Uttar Pradesh has,, under the U.P. Excise Act 1910 (Act No.
IV of 1910) (herein after referred to as 'the
Act') which contains provisions relating to all aspects and manifestations of
intoxicating liquors and intoxicating drugs, that is to say, their import,
export, transport, manufacture, sale and possession, the exclusive right or
privilege of manufacturing and selling liquor in that State.
Section 24 of the Act lays down that subject
to the provisions of section 31, the Excise Commissioner may grant to any
person a licence for the exclusive privilege- (1) of manufacturing or of
supplying by wholesale, or of both, or (2) of selling by wholesale or by
retail, or (3) of manufacturing or of supplying by wholesale, or of both and or
selling by retail any country liquor or intoxicating drug within any local
Section 31 provides that every licence,
permit or pass granted under the Act shall be granted- (a) on payment of Such
fee (if any);
(b) subject to such restrictions and on such
(c) shall be in such form and contain such
particulars, as the Excise Commissioner may direct either generally or in any
particular instance in this behalf; and (d) shall be granted for such period as
the State Government may, in like manner, direct.
Section 33 of The Act invests the authority
granting a licence under the Act to require the grantee to execute a
counterpart a agreement in conformity with the tenor of his licence and to give
such security for the performance of such agreement or to make such deposit in
lieu of security as such authority may think fit.
Section 28 of the Act which deals with
imposition of excise duty or countervailing duty reads:- "28. (1) Duty on
excisable article.-An excise duty or a countervailing duty as the case may be
at such rate or rates as 535 the Local Government shall direct, may be imposed,
either A generally or for specified local area, on any excisable article- (a)
imported in accordance with the provisions of section 12 (1); or (b) exported
in accordance with the provisions of section 13; or (c) transported; or (d)
manufactured, cultivated or collected under- any licence granted under section
17; or (e) manufactured in any distillery established, or any distillery or
brewery licensed, under section 18 ...." Section 29 of the Act lays down
the manner in which the duty may be levied. One of the ways provided in the
section for levy of the duty is by payment upon issue for sale from a warehouse
established or licensed under section 18(d) of the Act.
Sections 40 and 41 of the Act empower the State
Government and the Excise Commissioner (subject to the previous sanction of the
Government) to make rules for the purposes set out therein. These rules are
contain in the Excise Manual, Uttar Pradesh (Volume I).
Paragraph 38 of the Excise Manual shows that
there are four licence-fee systems in vogue in the State of Uttar Pradesh. One
of such systems is 'The auction fee system' under which the amount of licence
fees inter alia for the retail sale of' country spirit under the distillery
system and for the manufacture and retail sale of country spirit under the out still
system is determined by competition among bidders. According to paragraph 332
licences for the wholesale and retail vend of intoxicants are usually granted
for the excise year which commences from April 1 and lasts upto March 31.
In accordance with the requirements of the
auction system, auctions were held throughout Uttar Pradesh during the months
of February and March, 1969 on various dates and at various places for the
grant of licences to sell country spirit by retail at the specified shops
during the excise year 1969-70.
Before holding The auctions, rates of` excise
duty and prices of different varieties of country liquor as also the conditions
of' licences for sale of county spirit for 1969- 7() were announced. No
announcement was, however, made as to whether the exemption from sales tax in
respect of sale of country liquor granted vide Notification No. ST 1149/X-
802(33)-51 dated April 6,, 1959. issued under section 4 of the U.P. Sales Tax
Act, 1948 was or was not likely to be withdrawn. The respondents herein
participated in the aforesaid auctions and being the highest bidders were
granted licences for retail sale of country spirit for the period beginning
from April t, 1969 to the end of March., 1970.
536 Each one of these licences contained
infer alia the following condition:- "3. (a) The licensee shall lift each
month the proportionate quota for the month, if any, fixed for his vend and
deposit still head duty realisable thereon. On his failure to lift the monthly
proportionate quota in any month, he shall be liable to pay compensation to the
State Government at the rate equal to the rate of still-head duty per litre of
spiced spirit and still head duty per litre of plain spirit as may be in the
area in which the shop is situated on the quantity falling short of such
monthly proportionate quota and such com pensation shall be paid by the 7th of
the month following the month to which such shortfall relaters.
(b) He shall be bound to sell the whole
quantity of country spirit obtained for the shop from the warehouse on his
failure to do so, he shall be liable to pay to the State Government
compensation at the rate equal to the rate of stillhead duty per litre of
spiced spirit and stillhead duty per litre of plain spirit as may be in force
in the area in which the shop is situated on the unsold quantity of country
spirit during the period of the contract to which the licence relates.
(c) In the event of the licensee being
required to pay compensation to State Government under the aforesaid condition
due to the short lifting of the quota or non-deposit of such compensation, the
amount of said compensation may be realised from the amount of security
deposited by him. The resultant deficiency in the amount of security shall be
made good by the licensee within seven days of such adjustment. The case the
short lifting of proportionate monthly quota or short deposit of compensation
continues for two consecutive months or the license fails to make up the
deficiency in the amount of security within the prescribed period of seven days
his licence may be cancelled in addition to the recovery of the deficiency in
payment of compensation as arrears of land revenue." On the day following
the commencement of the aforesaid licences i.e. on April 2, 1969, the
Government of Uttar Pradesh issued Notification No. ST-1603/X-900 (12)/67 under
section 3-A and 4 of the U.P. sales Tas Act, 1948, superseding the earlier
Notification No. ST 1149/X-802 (33)- 51 dated April 6, 1959, issued under
section 4 of the U. P.
Sales Tax Act, 1948, and imposing sales tax
on the turnover in respect of the country spirit at the rate of ten paise per
rupee at the point of retail sale with immediate effect.
The respondents herein having failed to lift
and sell the minimum quotas of liquor prescribed in their licences were
required by the excise authorities of the State to pay, by way of compensation,
the amounts of excise duty leviable on the short-falls. Aggrieved by this
demand, the respondents moved the High Court under Articles 226 537 Of the
Constitution for issue of appropriate writ or directions retraining the
appellants herein from recovering the aforesaid amounts contending inter alia
that the condition of their licences on the basis of which the demand was made
was invalid, unconstitutional and unenforceable.
The respondents in six appeals Nos. 399 to
404 of 1975 also challenged Notification No. ST-1608/X-900(12)/67 (dated April
2, 1969) (supra) which superseded the earlier Notification No. ST
1149/X-802(33)51 dated April 6, 1959 and imposed sales tax on the turnover in
respect of the country.
liquor at the rate of ten paise per rupee at
the point of retail sale by the vendor with effect from April 2, 1969 on the
ground that since the state Government did not announce at the time of the
aforesaid auction that Notification No. ST 1149/X-802(33)51 dated April 6,
1959, was likely to be withdrawn and the sales of country. liquor were likely
to be subjected to the levy of sales tax during the excise year and in reply to
the query made by them at the time of the auction they were told by the
authorities that there was no sales tax of the sale of country liquor. the
appellants herein were estopped from making the demand in respect of sales tax
and recovering the same from them. The High Court allowed all these petitions
in to. Having failed to secure certificates of fitness from the High Court, the
appellants applied for and obtained special leave to appeal from this Court.
The common question of law that arises for
determination in all these appeals is whether the condition incorporated in the
licences of the respondents that they would lift the fixed minimum quantity of
liquor and sell the same at their allotted shops and in case of their default
or failure to d(h so, they would be liable to pay compensation equal to the
amount of excise duty leviable on the unlifted quantity is valid and
enforceable. This point is no longer res integra. In Bimal Chandra Banerjee v.
State of Madhya Pradesh(1) this Court held that:
"No tax can be imposed by any bye-law or
rule or regulation unlegs the statute under which the subordinate legislation
is made specially authorises the imposition. In the present case, the
legislature has levied excise duty or countervailing duty on the excisablc
articles which have been either imported.
exported. transported, manufactured.
cultivated or collected under any licence granted under section 13? or
manufactured in any distillery or brewery established or licensed number the.
Act; and the State Government has not been empowered to - levy any duty on
liquor which the contractors failed to lift. Therefore, the State Government
was exercising a power which it did not possess and hence the rule imposing the
condition in the licences and the demand notices are invalid." Thus the
aforesaid question arising for determination by us stands already settled by
the ratio of the decision of this Court in Bimal Chandra Banerjees case
(supra.) (1)  1 S.C.R. 844.
538 It will also be noticed that neither
section 28 nor section 29 nor any other provision of the Act authorises the
levy of the amounts sought to be recovered from the respondents.
The decision of this Court is Panna Lal and
etc. v. State of Rajasthan and ors.(1) which
is sought to be relied upon on behalf of the appellants is clearly
distinguishable. In that case, the contractual obligation of the appellants to
pay the guaranteed sum or the stipulate(d sum mentioned in the licences was not
dependent on the quantum on liquor sold by them and no excise duty was charged
or chargeable on undrawn liquor under the licences.
The excise duty there was collected only in
relation to the quantity and quality of the country liquor which was drawn.
We have, therefore, not the lightest
hesitation in holding that the demand made by the appellants though disguised
as compensation, is in reality a demand for excise duty on the unlifted
quantity of liquor which is not authorised by the provisions of the Act. This
being the sole point involved in appeals other than Appeals Nos. 399 to 404 of
1975 the former Appeals cannot succeed. In the result they are dismissed with
Appeals Nos. 399 to 404 of 1975 which raise
another point as well viz. the validity of the appellants' demand from the
respondents in respect of sales tax at the rate of ten paise per rupee on the
retail sales of country spirit made by the latter with effect from April 2,
1969 stand on a slightly different footing. Section 3-A and 4 of the U.P.
Sales Tax Act, 1948 clearly authorise the
State Government to impose sales tax. The fact that sales of country liquor had
been exempted from sales tax vide Notification No. ST 1149/X-802(33)-51 dated
April 6 1959 could not operate as an estoppel against the State Government and
preclude it from subjecting the sales to tax if it felt impelled to do so in
the interest of the Revenues of the State which are required for execution of
the plans designed to meet the ever increasing pressing needs of the developing
society. It is now well settled by a catena of decision that there can be on
question of estoppel against the Government in the exercise of its legislative,
sovereign or executive powers.
While speaking for the Court in M. Ramanathan
Pillai v. State of Kerala(2) the learned Chief justice quoted with approval the
following statement contained in American Jurisprudence 2d. at page 783
paragraph 123:- "In American Jurisprudence 2d at page 783 paragraph 123 it
is stated ''Generally. a state is not subject to an estoppel to the same extent
as an individual or a private corporation." otherwise, it might be
rendered helpless to assert its powers in government. Therefore as a general
rule the doctrine of estoppel will not be applied against the State in its governmental
public or sovereign capacity." (1)  t S.C.R. 219 (2)  2 S.C.C.
539 In State of Kerala and Anr. v. The
Cawalior Rayon Silk Manufacturing (Wvg.) Co. Ltd. Ltd.(l) where the respondent
company established itself in the State of Kerala for production of rayon cloth
pulp on an understanding that the Government would bind itself to supply raw
material and later the Government on finding that it was not able to supply the
material undertook not to legislate for the acquisition of the private forests
for a period of 60 years if the company purchased forest lands for the purpose
of its supply of raw material and accordingly, the company did purchase 30,00
acres of private forests from an estate for Rs. 75 lakhs for the aforesaid
purpose but the Government enacted Act 26 of 1971 expropriating vast forest
areas without paying compensation as a measure of agrarian reform whereupon the
respondent company sought to invoke the doctrine of equitable estoppel against
the Government, Palekar, J. delivering the majority judgment observed:-
"We do not see how an agreement of the Government can preclude legislation
on the subject. The High Court 'has rightly pointed out that the surrender by
the Government of its legislative powers to be used for public good cannot
avail the company or operate against the Government as equitable
estoppel." Approving the decision of the House of Lords in Howell v.
Falmouth Boat Construction Co. Ltd. ( ') where the observations of Lord Denning
in Robertson v. Minister of Pensions (8) that the action of the War office
which was an agent of the Crown in assuming authority over the matter and
assuring the appellant who had been serving on the army that his disability had
been accepted as attributable to military service bound the Crown and through
the Crown the Minister of Pensions, who while administering the Royal warrant
issued by the Crown has to honour all assurances given by or on behalf of the
Crown were unequivocally disapproved by observing that the character or an act
done by an officer of a Government, however high or low in the hierarchy in
face of a statutory prohibition, is not affected by the fact that it had been
induced by a misleading assumption of authority and neither a Minister. nor any
subordinate officer of the Crown can, by conduct or representation, bar the
Crown from enforcing a statutory prohibition. It was held by Bench of this
Court ill Assistant Custodian Exacuee Property and ors.
v. Brij Kishore Agarwala and Ors(4) that the
Evacuee Department was not bound by the reply given by the Assistant Custodian
to the first respondent's enquiry that the property in question was not an
Following the above decision. the High Court
of Jammu & Kashmir has in Malhotra and Sons and Ors. v. Union of India and
ors (5). rightly held that .- "The courts will only bind the Government by
its promises to prevent manifest injustice or fraud and will not make the
Government a slave of its policy for all times to come when (1)  2 s.c.c.
(2)  A.C. 837 (3)  1 K.B. 227 (4)
 1 S.C C. 21.
(5) A.I.R. 1976 J. & K. 41.
540 the Government acts in its Governmental,
public or sovereign capacity." We may as well refer here to the celebrated
decision Of the Supreme Court of the United States in Federal Crop Insurance
Corporation v. Morrill(1). In that case where the agents of the petitioner a
wholly Government owned Corporation, created by the Federal Crop Insurance Act
to insure producers of wheat against loss in yields due to unavoidable causes
including drought, advised the respondents in ignorance of and contrary to the
duly promulgated controlling regulation which expressly precluded insurance
coverage of spring, wheat re-seeded on winter wheat acreage that their entire
460 acres spring wheat crop including the spring wheat which had been reseated
on winter wheat acreage in the 1945 crop year was insurable by the Corporation
and recommended to the Corporation ranch office acceptance of the respondents
formal application which, however, did not disclose that any part of the
insured Crop was reseeded and the Corporation accepted the application and a
few months later, most of the respondents' crop was destroyed by drought, and
the Corporation on the loss being notified to them refused to pay the loss on
the ground that the wheat crop insurance regulations expressly prohibited the
insurance of spring wheat which was re-seeded on winter wheat acreage, the
Court by majority held that though a private insurance Corporation would be
bound on similar facts. the same was not true of a Government Corporation
engaged in the insurance field and the latter was not estopped from repudiating
The following observations made by the court
in Federal Crop Insurance Corporation v. Merrill (supra) are worth quoting:-
"It is too late in the day to urge that the Government is just another
private litigant, for purposes of charging it with liability, whenever it takes
over a business therefore conducted by private enterprise or engages in
competition with private ventures.. Whatever the form in which the Government
functions, anyone entering into an arrangement with the Government takes the
risk of having accurately ascertained that he who purports to act for the
Government stays within the bounds of his authority.
And this is so even though, as here, the
agent himself may have been unaware of the limitations upon his
authority...."Men must turn square corners when they deal with the
Government", does not reflect a callous outlook. It merely expresses the duty
of all courts to observe, the conditions defined by Congress for charging the
public treasury." In his Treatise on the Law of Estoppel, Melville M. Bigelow
has stated that in State v. Williams,(2) State v. Bevars,(2) and Wallace v.
Maxwell(4) it has been held that estoppel does not operate against the
Government or its assignee.
(1) 332 U.S. 380-92 L cd. 10.
(2) 94 N.Car. 891.
(3) 86 N. Car. 588.
(4) 10 Ird. 110.
541 The High Court was, therefore, clearly in
error in ignoring that the Government cannot divest itself of the right
incidental to its office by conduct which, in the case or a private person,
would amount to estoppel and in characterizing the demand for sales tax made by
the appellants as illegal. Accordingly Appeals Nos. 399 to 404 of 1975 are
partly allowed, and it is held that the demand made by the appellants from the
respondents in these appeals in respect of sales tax on the turnover of sales
of' country spirit made by them between April B, 2, 1969 and March 31, 1970 was
valid and could not be struck down. The parties in these six appeals shall pay
and bear their own costs.
P.H.P. Appeals partly allowed.