State of Punjab v. Jalandhar Vegetables – Interpretation of Statutes

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The court held that “In considering a taxing Act, the court is not justified in straining the language in order to hold a subject liable to tax.” In this case, the East Punjab Sales Tax Act, 1948 as it stood in 1953 did not provide any machinery for assessing a firm, which has been dissolved. Though the firm, which the Act treated as a separate entity, existed during the entire period for which tax was to be levied and at the time when assessment proceeding commenced, it escaped liability on its dissolution before completion of assessment for want of machinery in the Act to complete the assessment in such a contingency. It was held to be a case of lacuna which cannot be cured by interpretation.

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