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OVERVIEW OF THE ENTRY TAX JUDGMENT 9 MEMBER BENCH

Other Topics - By: - Puneet Agrawal - Dated:- 16-11-2016 - As we are well aware that constitutional validity of Entry Tax laws of several states was in challenge before the 9 Judges Constitution Bench of the Hon ble Supreme Court led by the Hon ble Chief Justice of India. Despite the law laid down in 1960s in the two Constitution Bench judgements of the Hon ble Supreme Court in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. case and Automobile Transport Ltd. case, the constitutional validity of entry tax has been subjec .....

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urt in order to examine whether the earlier Constitution Bench judgements in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. case (5 Judges) and Automobile Transport Ltd. case (7 Judges) laid down correct principles of law. More precisely, the issue examined by the Supreme Court was whether entry tax per se constitutes violation of Article 301 of the Constitution of India if it is not discriminatory in nature. Hearing of this matter commenced on 19thJuly 2016, and the hearing continued on a day-to day basis till 21stSept .....

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;à‑vis the goods manufactured within a local area qua the goods imported from outside that local area and therefore whether it is an impediment to the freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse throughout the territory of India enshrined in Article 301. Counsels on behalf of the State Government endeavored to justify levy of entry taxes by raising the presumption that public purpose is always inherent in levy of taxes and making a distinction between discrimination and deliberate/pu .....

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Only such taxes as are discriminatory in nature are prohibited by Article 304(a). It follows that levy of a non-discriminatory tax would not constitute an infraction of Article 301. Clauses (a) and (b) of Article 304 have to be read disjunctively. A levy that violates 304(a) cannot be saved even if the procedure under Article 304(b) or the proviso there under is satisfied. The compensatory tax theory evolved in Automobile Transport case and subsequently modified in Jindal s case has no juristic .....

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