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Report No. 30

40. Kerala Cochin case.-Again, in State of Kerala v. Cochin Coal Co. Ltd. [AIR 1961 SC 408: (1961) 2 SCR 219], the Supreme Court explained what was meant by the expressions "Export" and "Import" as follows:-

'The concept of export in Article 286 postulates, just as the word "import", the existence of two termini between which the goods are intended to move or between which they are intended to be transported, and not a mere movement of goods out of the country without any intention of their being landed in specie in some foreign post.

41. Deputy Commissioner v. Devar, ILR (1964) 1 Mad 383.-The High Court of Madras in Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes v. Devar and Company, [ILR (1964) 1 Mad 383], made some pertinent observations on the expressions of "import" and "export". On p. 387. it was observed:-

'The course of import or export covers a range of integrated activities. These activities are similar in character and cover the same field whether in respect of export or import. We shall, however, deal with the course of import as the instant case is concerned with import; but we have no doubt that the course of export is precisely of the same pattern as that of import. One is the reverse of the other. The Supreme Court of the United States used the expression Export Stream. We are having in mind the following passage in Empresa Siderurgica, S.A. v. Merced, 93 L Ed. 1276 (1280):-

"It is the entrance of the articles into the export stream that marks the start of the process of exportation. Then there is certainly that the goods are headed for their destination and will not be diverted to domestic use. Nothing less will suffice."

If we can coin the expression import stream, it would not be a mere metaphor but it would serve to illustrate the true significance of the course of import. A stream has its starting point and the end and so has the import course. When does the import begin and when does it end? What is the interval between its commencement and termination? These are the vital questions the answer to which would solve the problem before us.

The import taken as a whole from start to finish, or the course of import to use the language of the Constitution makers or the Parliamentarian, consists of a bundle of interlined and interlaced activities spread over a duration of time, beginning from the goods going through the customs gate of the exporting country and ending with the crossing of the customs barricade of the importing country. The import stream dries up and ceases to flow after the customs department of the importing State levies the duty and thereby declares the eligibility of the goods to be cleared and mingled with the general mass of goods and merchandise in the country.'.

Section 5 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 - Taxation by the States of Sales in the Course of Import Back

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