Report No. 61
6.10. State to secure restoration to citizen.-
Not much argument is needed in support of the proposition that the State, as the sovereign charged with the advancement of justice, ought to see that what belongs to the citizen is restored to him. The machinery by which this objective is to be achieved, and the provision to be made to achieve it and other matters, are matters of detail rather than of principle. A legislative provision dealing with this problem must take us to the point of the ultimate destination of the amount. The provision in most State laws relating to Sales Tax leave the matter at the stage of vesting the money in the State, or satisfy themselves with prescribing penalties for the illegal realisation of tax.
It is obvious that if a satisfactory legislative formula can be devised which carries out the objective mentioned above in the fullest manner, it would not only advance substantive justice, but also make for a clarification of the law in a field where some such clarification or declaration of the law appears to be eminently needed. The general proposition in the Contract Act1 for restitution gives effect to a well-established principle of the common law; and what is needed is a provision which works out this principle in the particular field of taxation in an effective manner.
1. Section 72, Indian Contract Act, 1972.
(b) Constitutional position