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Report No. 60

3.44. Section 8 and "Enactment".-

The matter can also be considered in relation to section 8. Section 8 provides that where an enactment is repealed and re-enacted, references to the repealed enactment in other instruments shall be construed as references to the re-enacted one. The expression "enactment" in section 8 came up for consideration before the Supreme Court.1 The material facts were these: Under the East Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, section 6 read with Schedule B, entry 37, the following goods were exempt from tax:--

"All goods on which duty is, or may be, levied under the Punjab Excise Act, 1914."

In 1955, Parliament enacted the Medicinal and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties) Act. Section 21 of the Act repealed any State law corresponding to the Act, in force in any State. The question arose whether the exemption from sales tax could be claimed in respect of goods on which duty was levied under the Central Act of 1955. The argument of the State was that since the exemption in Punjab Act of 1948 referred to the "Punjab Excise Act, 1914", which had now been repealed, no exemption could be claimed. The State further argued that section 8 of the General Clauses Act (relating to construction of references to re┬Čenacted Act) did not apply, because the Act repealed was not a Central Act and, therefore, was not an "enactment". The Supreme Court rejected this argument and held that section 3(19) of the General Clauses Act did not contain any limitation that it would apply only to Central Acts.

1. State of Punjab v. Sukh Dev Sarup Gupta, AIR 1970 SC 1641 (1642), para. 3.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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