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Interpretation of Ambiguous Schedule Entry 2 adjectives and 2 nouns, Value Added Tax - VAT-CST

Issue Id: - 117006
Dated: 10-2-2021
By:- Sagar Phadke
Interpretation of Ambiguous Schedule Entry 2 adjectives and 2 nouns

  • Contents

Wording in question is

"Processed or Dehydrated Vegetables and mushrooms".

There is no comma, nowhere in the set of words.

Possible interpretations -

a) Processed or Dehydrated Vegetables ------ a big pause ---- and mushrooms.

This implies that the Adjectives - Processed + Dehydrated both apply only to 1 noun - i.e. Vegetable.

Thus there would be -

(i) Dehydrated Vegetables

(ii) Processed Vegetables

(iii) Mushrooms

b) "Processed or Dehydrated ------ a big pause ---- vegetables and mushrooms"

This implies that the Adjectives Processed + Dehydrated are having a disjunctive "or" in between them to signify that satisfaction of any 1 test is acceptable. While the 2 nouns vegetables + mushrooms are placed with "and" being conjunctive.

Thus there could be (i)

(i) Dehydrated Vegetables

(ii) Processed Vegetables

(iii) Dehydrated Mushrooms

(iv) Processed Mushrooms

Which interpretation would hold good?

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Posts / Replies

Showing Replies 1 to 7 of 7 Records

1 Dated: 11-2-2021

(i) Dehydrated Vegetables (ii) Processed Vegetables (iii) Dehydrated Mushrooms (iv) Processed Mushrooms.

Above interpretation is correct. Apply the principle of Rule of Noscitur A Sociis (Rule of construction) which is a secondary rule of interpretation of a statute. The meaning of a word is to be derived from its associate words. In other words, the meaning of a word is to be judged by the company it keeps. The word 'and' says that the word 'or' is to applied for vegetables and mushrooms both.

2 Dated: 13-2-2021
By:- Sagar Phadke

Thanks a Lot. SETHI SIR

Some of references found -

The word ‘and’ signifies conjuction and not disjunction. [Sahara India (Firm) v. CIT (2008) 300 ITR 403 (SC)] = 2008 (4) TMI 4 - SUPREME COURT

it was well established principle of statutory interpretation that the word “or” is normally disjunctive and the word “and” is normally conjunctive. Both of them could be read as vice-versa, but that interpretation was adopted only where the intention of legislature was manifest. [Raghunath International Ltd v. Union of India (2012) 280 ELT 321 (Allahabad), ] = 2012 (11) TMI 951 - ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

3 Dated: 13-2-2021

Dear Sagar Phadke Ji Thanks for your response. I shall go through case law and revert.

4 Dated: 13-2-2021

Dear Mr.Sagar Phadke,

The following is the extract from Mega Exemption Notification No.25/12-ST dated 20.6.12 as amended :-

Exemption from S.T. is available to the following services

"12. Services provided to the Government, a local authority or a governmental authority by way of construction, erection, commissioning, installation, completion, fitting out, repair, maintenance, renovation, or alteration of -




(d) canal, dam or other irrigation works;



Other irrigation works stand for tube well, well, rivulet etc.

Now please let me know what do you understand by above (d) and what is role of the word, 'OR' here as 'disjunctive' or 'conjunctive' . ? What message do you get from the construction of this (d) ?

Truly speaking, so far I have not perused the case laws cited by you, being busy. I shall go through the same after your response to this is posted here and shall again revert.

5 Dated: 14-2-2021

Dear Sagar Phadke,

You did not respond to above cross query dated 13.02.2021. So I am explaning on my own.

"canal, dam or other irrigation works;"

Canal, dam, Tube well, wells, rivulets etc. qualify for exemption only if all these are used for irrigation purpose only otherwise not.Now we can say that all words are integrated to the word 'irrigation' despite 'coma' and 'or'.

6 Dated: 23-2-2021
By:- Ganeshan Kalyani

Sri Kasturi Sir, I am impressed with the legal maxim used by you to explain the querist. Thanks for your efforts.

7 Dated: 23-2-2021

Dear Ganeshan Kalyani Ji,

Thank you very much. I do not hesitate to learn from you. You are possessing old head on young shoulders. You are very humble and disciplined and knowledgeable person. You never boast of your virtues. These are my spontaneous thoughts about you. No exaggeration at all.


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