JINDAL STAINLESS LTD.& ANR. Vs. STATE OF HARYANA & ORS.

Coram

S.H. KAPADIA, ALTAMAS KABIR, B. SUDERSHAN REDDY, P. SATHASIVAM, SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR

Citation

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Head Notes

*Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. vs. The State of Assam and Ors. (1961) 1 SCR 809; and **The Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. vs. The State of Rajasthan and Ors. (1963) 1 SCR 491 - referred to. *Keshav Mills Co..Ltd. vs. Commisioner of Income-tax, Bombay North (1965) 2 SCR 908; **Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community and Anr. vs. State of Maharashtra and Anr. (2004) Suppl. 6SCR1054= (2005) 2 SCC 673; and G.K. Krishnan and Ors. vs. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors. (1975) 2 SCR715= (1975) 1 SCC 375 - referred to. Case Law Reference: (1961) 1 SCR 809 referred to para 2 (1963) 1 SCR 491 referred to para 2 (1965) 2 SCR 908 referred to para 4 (2004) Suppl. 6SCR1054 referred to para 5 (1975) 2 SCR715 referred to para 8 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 3453 of 2002. From the Judgment & Order dated 21.12.2001 of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in WP No. 6630 of 2000. Gopal Subramanian, ASG. Manjit Singh, ASG, Shanti Bhushan, Nagendra Rai, Harish N. Salve, A. K. Ganguli, Dhruv Agarwal, Anoop G. Chaudhary, Rakesh K. Khanna, Jagdeep Dhankar, A. Mariarputham, Rakesh Dwivedi, Rajeev K. Virmani, F.S. Nariman, R.K. Aggarwal, T. R. Andhyarujina, Dr. Debi Pal, A.K . Ganguli, Soli J. Sorabjee, T.L.V. Iyer, K.K. Venugopal, Satish Chandra Mishra, Dr. D.P. Pal, Ravindra Shrivastava, Mahabir Singh, S.B. Upadhyay, Soli J. Sorabjee, Anil Kher, Shambhu Prasad Singh, V. Shekhar, Sunil Kumar, Dr. Devi Prasad Pal, Ashok Saraf, P.P. Rao, Shyam Divan, Ravindra Shrivastava, V.A. Mohta, Ajit Kumar Sinha, Ravindra Shrivastava, Dr. A.M. Singhvi, Kashmiri Lal Goyal, S.K. Bagaria, Dr. Manish Singhvi, Manjit Singh, Shail Kumar Dwivedi, AAG., Ejaz Maqbool, Rajesh Jain, Garima Kapoor, Wasif Gilani, Sakshi Banga, Faraz Khan, A.T.M. Sampath, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Farrukh Rasheed, M. Paikaray, Shantanu Sagar, Smarhar, Abhishek Kumar Singh, Rajesh Pathak, Prema Kumari Singh, B.B. Singh, Abhrotosh Majumdar, M.P. Jena, Ankur Saigal, Bina Gupta, Gaurav Singh, Tripti Ray, Gopal Singh, Vimla Sinha, R. Gopalakrishnan, Vinay Kumar Sharma, Devanshu Kumar Devesh, H.K. Puri, Priya Puri, V.M. Chauhan, S.K. Puri, Rajiv Agnihotri, Rajesh Kumar, Sanjay Grover, Indra Sawhney, Kamini Jaiswal, K.K. Mani, Ankit Swarup, Lakshmi Raman Singh, Mohan Pandey, Kunal Verma, Ankit Dalela, M.A. Krishna Moorthy, U.A. Rana, Minal Majumdar(for Gagrat & Co.,), Prabhat Kumar, Alok Sangwan, Naresh Bakshi, Praveen Kumar, Rajiv Agnihotri, P.N. Puri, P.K. Manohar, Manoranjan Paikaray, Rashmi Khanna, Shailja Sinha, Surya Kant, Sunil Kumar Jain, Ajay K. Bhatia, Aneesh Mittal, Bibek Mohanti, P.K. Basu Majumdar, Jagmohan Sharma, Siddharth Jain, Mark Wright, V.N. Koura, Paramjeet Benipal, Aruna Mathur, Amarjeet Singh Girsa, Vimal Dubey (for Arputham, Aruna & Co.,), K.R. Sasiprabhu, Kirti Mishra, Mukti Chowdhary, Shantanu Krishna, Preetika Dwivedi, Anant Prakash, Amit Singh, Rahul Dua, Ananda Sen, K.V. Mohan, Mukta Dutta, Sandeep Narain, Rashmi Virmani (for S. Narain & Co.,), Sanjay Grover, K.L. Janjani, Roy Abraham, Seema Jain, Vimlesh Kumar, Himinder Lal, P.J. Sahu, P. Shukla, Radha Shyam Jena, Anil Shrivastav, Sushil Kumar Jain, Mr. Tarun Johri, Vijay Kumar, Pankaj Kumar, Vishwajit Singh, Ravinder Narain, Sonu Bhatnagar, Ajay Aggarwal, Kanika Gomber, Mallika Joshi, Rajeshwari Shukla, Rajan Narain, Manoj Kumar Das, Sibo Sankar Mishra, R. Nedumaran, Soumik Ghosal, Shirin Khajuria, Kamakshi S. Mehlwal, Harkesh Chand Aggarwal, B. Vijayalakshmi Menon, Sujata Kurdukar, Harikesh Singh, Kamal Mohan Gupta, S. Nanda Kumar, Jaimon Andrews, Achin Goel, Satish Kumar, Anjali Chauhan, V.N. Raghupathy, Vinoo Bhagat, Ashok Mathur, Dayan Krishnan, Gautam Narayan, Nikhil Nayyar, Nikhil Menon, T.V.S. Raghavendra Sreyas, Romy Chacko, Navneet, (for Corporate Law Group,), Jatinder Kumar Bhatia, Kamlendra Mishra, Kavin Gulati, Rasmi Singh, T. Mahipal, P.V. Dinesh, P.V. Vinod, P. Rajesh, T.P. Sindhu, Sacchin Puri, Kaadambari Puri, Abhisth Kumar, Shourjyo Mukherjee, T.V. George, Umesh Kumar Khaitan, Sanjeev K. Kapoor, Snehal Kakrania, Avinash Menon, Vishal Gupta, Prateek Jalan, Gopal Krishna Jain, Mihir Kumar, Ajay Bhargava, Vanita Bhargava, Abhijeet Swaroop, Susmit Pushkar (for Khaitan & Co.,), Alok Yadav, M.P. Devanath, Manish Kumar Saran, Ginny J. Rautray, Dhamendra Rautray, Kanchan Kaur Dhodi, S.P. Singh Chauhan, Balaji Srinivasan, Madhusmita Bora, K.K. Lahiri, Puneet Bali, Rohit Sharma, Gaurav Kejriwal, Devashish Bharuka, Devanshu Kumar Devesh, Milind Kumar, Vinay Kumar Sharma, Aarohi Bhalla, A.M. Prasad, Gunnam Venkateswara Rao, Kapil Mishra, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Vandana Mishra, Ashutosh Sharma, Gopal S. Narayanan, Pankaj Bhagat, Dr. Sushil Balwada, Sukumar Pattjoshi, Sudarsh Menon, Akshat Shrivastava, P.P. Singh, Inderjeet Yadav, Anup Jain, Vinay Jain, Dinesh Kumar Garg, S.P. Singh Chauhan, Nikhil Jain, Rakesh Dahiya, Vikram Singh Gulia, Pawan Upadhyay, Santosh Mishra, Param Mishra, Sharmila Upadhyay, Parmanand Pandey, Kamal Mohan Gupta, Amlan Kumar Ghosh, Baby Krishnan, R. Sathish, Aruneshwar Gupta, Nikhil Nayyar, T.V.S. Raghavendra Sreyas, C. Mukund, P.V. Saravana Raja, Bijoy Kumar Jain, Ranjith K.C., S. Udaya Kumar Sagar, Bina Madhavan(for Lawyer's Knit & Co.,), Sanjay Grover, Sonali Jaitley, Bhargava V. Desai, Rahul Gupta, Nikhil Sharma, M.P. Jena, Ankur Saigal, Bina Gupta, Gaurav Singh, Tripti Ray, B. Krishna Prasad, B.Y. Kulkarni, Abhimanyu Mahajan, Shally Bhasin Maheshwari, Anne Mathew, Rishi Maheshwari, C.N. Sree Kumar, E.C. Agrawala, Mahesh Agarwal, Rishi Agrawala, Gaurav Goel, Radhika Gautam, D. Durga Devi, Lakshmi Raman Singh, E.M.S. Anam, Ejaz Maqbool, Gopal Singh, Vimla Sinha, Manish Kumar, H.K. Puri, Priya Puri, V.M. Chauhan, S.K. Puri, Janaranjan Das, Swetaketu Mishra, P.P. Nayak, Malini Poduval, Ruby Singh Ahuja, Manu Aggarwal, Vedanta Varma, R.N. Karanjawala, Manik Karanjawala, for Karanjawala & Co., M.K. Dua, U.A. Rana, Mrinal(for Gagrat & Co.,), Praveen Kumar, Rajiv Agrihotri, Prem Sunder Jha, Sushil Kumar Jain, Sushma Suri, Sunil Kumar Jain, Ajay K. Bhatia, Aneesh Mittal, Bibek A Mohanti, P.K. Basu Majumdar, Jagmohan Sharma, Siddharth Jain, Anurag Dubey, Meenesh Dubey, Anu Sawhney, S.R. Setia, Shrish Kumar Misra, T.G. Narayanan Nair, Prabha Swami, Deba Prasad Mukherjee, R.V. Kameshwaran, Y. Prabhakara Rao, V.N. Koura, Paramjeet Benipal, Aruna Mathur, Amarjeet Singh Girsa(for Arputham, Aruna & Co.,), Puneet Bali, Rohit Sharma, Wills Mathews, D.K. Tiwari, M.K. Michael, Anurag Singh, Shakil Ahmed Syed, S. Janani, Shiv Kumar Suri, M.P. Vinod, Ajay K. Jain, Deepak Prakash, Vijay Pratap Singh, K.S. Rana, B.S. Banthia, B.K. Satija, Roy Abraham, Seema Jain, Vimlesh Kumar, Himinder Lal, Ramesh Babu M.R., P.K. Sahu, P. Shukla, Radha Shyam Jena, Rajiv Tyagi, Chanchal Biswal, Prashant Kumar, L.K. Bhushan, Swati Malik, Rahul Prasanna Dave, Sanjay R. Hegde, A. Rohen Singh, Ramesh K. Mishra, Ramesh S. Jadhav, Vikrant Yadav, Sanjay Kapur, Vijay Nayar, Rajit Jonaja, Subramonium Prasad, Jay Kishor Singh, Ajay Jain, D.P. Singh, Alka Agrawal, Mr Vinay Kumar Garg, Ex-parte, A. Raghunath, Manoj Kumar Das, Sibo Sankar Mishra, Ravinder Narain, Sonu Bhatnagar, Ajay Aggarwal, Meenakshi Grover, Kamaldeep Dayal, Rahul Chugh, Raghav Shankar, Kanika Gomber, Mallika Joshi, Rajeshwari Shukla, Rajan Narain, C. Mukund, S. Sukumaran, Anand Sukumaran, Bhupesh Kumar Pathak, Meera Mathur, Azeem H. Laskar, Sachin Das, Abhijit Sengupta, B.V. Deepak(for T.T.K. Deepak & Co.,), Kaushik Poddar, Sanjay Jain, Abratosh Majumdar, R.M. Patnaik, V.K. Sidharthan, Vijay Kumar, Sharad Kapoor, Jagjit Singh Chhabra, Samar Vijay Singh, Jaswant Persoya, Dileep Tandon, R.B. Phookan, Shailesh Madiyal, Neha Pookan, Jagjit Singh Chhabra, Hrishikesh Baruah, Nishant Das, Devashish Baruah, M.L. Gope, Romy Chacko, C.K. Sasi, Ng. J.R. Luwang, Naveet(for Corporate Law Group,), K. Rajeev, Kavin Gulati, Rashmi Singh, T. Mahipal, S. Thananjayan, Srikala Gurukrishna Kumar, Sanjay Sen, Rana S. Biswas, Achintya Dwivedi, Mridul Chakraborty, Sharmila Upadhyay, Senthil Jagadeesan, T.V. George, Rupesh Kumar, Gaurav Agrawal, Pawan Shree Agarwal, M.P. Devanath, Kanchan Kaur Dhodi, Puneet Bali, Rohit Sharma, Gaurav Kejriwal, Devanshu Kumar Devesh, Milind Kumar, Jogy Scaria, Kaushik Poddar, Tapesh Kumar Singh, Kaushik Poddar, Samir Ali Khan, Prem Prakash, Parijat Sinha, Reshmi Rea Sinha, Vikram Ganguly, Manish K. Bishnoi, Sanjai K. Pathak, Partha Sil, Ghanshyam Joshi, Somiran Sharma, Chiraranjan Addey, V.K. Monga, Raghenth Basant, Liz Mathew, M.T. George, Punit Dutt Tyagi, C.D. Mullherkar, Anupam Singh, Y. Raja Gopal Rao, Dr. I.B. Gaur, Punam Kumari, Kiran Suri, Shibashish Misra, Rajiv Sankar Roy, Pranab Kumar Mullick, Manjula Gupta, Prashant Jha, Satya Mitra Garg, Sanjeeb Panigrahi, Siddhartha Chowdhury, C.D. Singh, Sunny Choudhary, Purshottam S.T., Utsav Sidhu, Samprti Phukan, Filza Moonis, Shoumik Ghoshal, Aditya Singh, Shashank Singh, K. Ramesh, Dr. Indra Pratap Singh, Rajesh Prasad Singh, Nisha Bagchi, Anupam Srivastava, B. Sunita Rao, Jayant Kumar Mehta, Kunal Verma, Anup Jain, Vinay Jain, V. Madhukar, Rajeev Sharma, D. Durga Devi, Vikas Mehta, S.K. Sabharwal, Niraj Sharma, Jai Prakash Pandey, Bishwajeet Dubey, Ambuj Agrawal(for Suresh A. Shroff & Co.,), P.V. Yogeswaran, Ratan K. Singh, Nikhilesh Krishnan, Mayank K. Wadhwa, Rauf Rahim, Prabhat Chaurasia, Sacchin Puri, Kaadambari Puri, Neeraj Dubey, Rameshwar Prasad Goyal, Vipin Kumar Jai, Arvind Minocha, A.V. Rangam, Buddy A. Ranganadhan, Sanand Ramakrishnan, Rajeev Mishra, Parmanand Pandey, Aniruddha P. Mayee, Nilkanta Nayak, Rucha A. Mayee, Soumik Ghoshal, Ashwarya Sinha, Shwetabh Sinha, Ambhoj Kumar Sinha, Atul Jha, D.K. Sinha, K.V. Bharathi Upadhyaya, Dr. S.K. Verma, Kunal Verma, Anup Jain, Vinay Jain, Rakhi Ray, Kumud Lata Das, A.S. Bhasme, Brajesh Pandey, Arun Kumar Beriwal, Kunal Verma, Anup Jain, Vinay Jain, Manali Singhal, Abhijat P. Medh, Ruchi Sharma, Kshatrshal Raj, Santosh Sachin, Ajay Choudhary, Ashish Wad(for J.S. Wad & Co.,), (for Temple Law Firm,), Asha G. Nair, Ashish Gopal Garg, Shweta Garg, S. Ravi Shankar, Subhalakshmi V.B., Yamunah Nachiar, Ratan K. Singh, Nikhilesh Krishnan, Mayank K. Wadhwa, Rauf Rahim, Prabhat Chaurasia, P.N. Puri, R. Chandrachud, Sunil Roy, Dr. M.V.K. Moorthy, Anisetty Chandramohan, T. Anamika, Ranjana Roy, Abhishek Rao, Sandeep Goyal, Sushma Sharma, Ravindra Bana, Amit Pawan, Vikash Verma, G.N. Reddy, Anitha Shenoy, Manoj Goel, Shuvodeep Roy, Jaiyesh Bakshi for the appearing parties.

Subject

Taxation: Entry Tax - Validity of Entry Tax enactments - Court being of the view that law laid down by Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in Atiabari Tea Co.* and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd.**, needs reconsideration, referred the matter to larger Bench, inter alia on the aspects of: Interplay/interrelationship between Article 304(a) and Article 304(b) of the Constitution of India; the significance of the word "and" between Article 304(a) and 304(b); the significance of the non obstante clause in Article 304; the balancing of freedom of trade and commerce in Article 301 vis--vis the State's authority to levy taxes under Article 245 and Article 246 of the Constitution read with the appropriate legislative Entries in the Seventh Schedule, particularly in the context of movement of trade and commerce; whether Article 304(a) and Article 304(b) deal with different subjects? Whether the impugned taxation law to be valid under Article 304(a) must also fulfil the conditions mentioned in Article 304(b) including Presidential assent? Whether the word "restrictions" in Article 302 and in Article 304(b) includes tax laws? Whether validity of a law impugned as violative of Article 301 should be judged only in the light of the test of non-discrimination? Does Article 303 circumscribe Article 301? Whether "internal goods" would come under Article 304(b) and "external goods" under 304(a)? Whether "per se test" propounded in Atiabari's case should or should not be rejected? Whether tax simpliciter constitutes a restriction under Part XIII of the Constitution? Whether the word "restriction" in Article 304(b) includes tax laws? Is taxation justiciable? Whether the "working test" laid down in Atiabari makes a tax law per se violative of Article 301? Inter-relationship between Article 19(1)(g) and Article 301 of the Constitution?"- Constitution of India, 1950 - Articles 19(1)(g), 245, 246, 301, 302, 303, 304(a) and (b) - Supreme Court Rules, 1966 - O. 7, r.2. Supreme Court Rules, 1966: O. 7, r.2 - Reference to larger Bench - Test - Discussed - Applying the test laid down in Keshav Mills Co..Ltd.* and Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community**, Court felt that on a number of aspects a larger Bench of Supreme Court needs to revisit the interpretation of Part XIII of the Constitution including various tests propounded in the judgments of the Constitution Bench of this Court in Atiabari Tea Co. and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. - Entry Tax - Precedent - Administration of Justice.

Judgment

1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL No. 3453 of 2002 Jindal Stainless Ltd. & Anr. ... Appellants versus State of Haryana & Ors ... Respondents with S.L.P. (C) Nos. 10003 of 2004, 10007 of 2004, 10129 of 2004, 10133 of 2004, 10134 of 2004, 10153 of 2004, 10154 of 2004, 10156 of 2004, 10161 of 2004, 10164 of 2004, 10167 of 2004, 10206 of 2004, 10207 of 2004, 10232 of 2004, 10366 of 2004, 10381 of 2004, 10382 of 2004, 10384 of 2004, 10385 of 2004, 10391 of 2004, 10402 of 2004, 10403 of 2004, 10404 of 2004, 10407 of 2004, 10417 of 2004, 10449 of 2004, 10493 of 2004, 10495 of 2004, 10497 of 2004, 10501 of 2004, 10505 of 2004, 10539 of 2004, 10557 of 2004, 10563 of 2004, 10566 of 2004, 10567 of 2004, 10568 of 2004, 10569 of 2004, 10571 of 2004, 10694 of 2007, 10704 of 2004, 10706 of 2004, 10708 of 2004, 10736 of 2004, 10906 of 2004, 10907 of 2004, 10908 of 2004, 10909 of 2004, 10910 of 2004, 10923 of 2004, 10929 of 2004, 10977 of 2004, 1101 of 2007, 11012 of 2004, 11266 of 2004, 11271 of 2004, 11274 of 2004, 11320 of 2004, 11326 of 2004, 11328 of 2004, 11329 of 2004, 11370 of 2004, 12424-12425 of 2008, 1288 of 2007, 12959 of 2007, Transferred Case (C) No. 13 of 2004, S.L.P. (C) Nos. 13327 of 2008, 13806 of 2007, 13889 of 2008, 14070 of 2007, 14232- 14252 of 2008, 14380 of 2005, 14454-14778 of 2008, 14819 of 2007, 14820 of 2007, 14821 of 2007, 14823 of 2007, 14824 of 2007, 14826 of 2007, 14828 of 2007, 14829 of 2007, 14830 of 2007, 14832 of 2007, S.L.P. (C) Nos. 14833 of 2007, 14835 of 2007, 14837 of 2007, 14838 of 2007, 14839 of 2007, 14841 of 2007, 14842 of 2007, 14845 of 2007, 14846 of 2007, 14847 of 2007, 15082-15085 of 2007, 15161 of 2008, 15164 of 2

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(C) Nos. 18066-18067 of 2008, 34253 of 2009, 34859 of 2009, 18582 of 2008, 18850 of 2008, 18870 of 2008, 18871 of 2008, 19019 of 2008, 19026 of 2008, 19120 of 2008, 19372 of 2008, 19421 of 2008, 19425 of 2008, 19460 of 2008, 19470 of 2008, 19714 of 2008, 19722 of 2008, 19731 of 2008, 19737 of 2008, 19802 of 2008, 19873 of 2008, 19876 of 2008, 20068 of 2008, 21117-21125 of 2008, 21127 of 2008, 21506 of 2008, 21509 of 2008, 21510 of 2008, 19227 of 2009, 1820 of 2010, .....CC 886 of 2010, .....CC 1082 of 2010, 4387 of 2010, 4388 of 2010, 4389 of 2010, 4390 of 2010, 23990 of 2009, 24430 of 2009, 24822 of 2009, 26509 of 2009, 28696 of 2009, 29868 of 2009, 30383 of 2009, 35038 of 2009, 33176 of 2009, 5308 of 2010, 3387 of 2010, 4511 of 2010, 5309 of 2010, 4572 of 2010, 4362 of 2010, 104 of 2010, Writ Petition (C) Nos. 11 of 2010, 42 of 2010, 43 of 2010, 44 of 2010, 46 of 2010, 48 of 2010, 63 of 2010, 71 of 2010, S.L.P. (C) Nos. 11281 of 2004, 6037 of 2010, 5151 of 2010, 6723 of 2010, 6770 of 2010, 6762 of 2010, 6763 of 2010, 6765 of 2010, 6772 of 2010, 4102 of 2010, 12739 of 2009, 4720 of 2010, 6811 of 2010, 7021-7022 of 2010, 7356 of 2010, 7426 of 2010 and 7776 of 2010. ORDER On 18th December, 2008, when some of the cases in the present batch came for hearing before a Division Bench of this Court to which one of us, Kapadia, J., was a party, the Division Bench of this Court found that some of the High Courts before which the State Entry Tax stood challenged 8 had taken the view that clause (a) and clause (b) of Article 304 of the Constitution of India are independent of each other and that if the impugned law stood saved under Article 304(a) then it need not be tested with reference to clause (b) for determining its validity. Accordingly, on that date, the Division Bench of this Court referred to the Constitution Bench 10 questions, the most important of which being - whether the State enactments relating to levy of entry tax have to be tested with reference to both Article 304(a) and Article 304(b) of the Constitution and whether Article 304(a) is conjunctive with or separate from Article 304(b)? Consequently, the matter stood referred to the Constitution Bench of this Court. Accordingly, on 16th March, 2010, the entire batch of cases came for hearing before the Constitution Bench in which the lead matter is Jindal Stainless Ltd. & Anr. v. State of Haryana & Ors.. When the hearing commenced before the Constitution Bench, we found that the assessees (original petitioners in the High Courts) are heavily relying upon the tests propounded by a 5-Judge Bench of this Court in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. v. The State of Assam and Ors., (1961) 1 SCR 809, which tests subject to the clarification, stood reiterated in the subsequent judgment delivered by a larger Bench of this Court in the case of The Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. v. The State of Rajasthan and Ors., (1963) 1 SCR 491. In fact, it may be stated that the Constitution Bench of this Court delivered the judgment in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. (supra) on 26th September, 1960. Soon 9 thereafter, on 4th April, 1961, after hearing arguments in full, a 5-Judge Bench of this Court came to the conclusion that the matter needs to be referred to a larger Bench. In the circumstances, a 7-Judge Bench of this Court decided the matter in Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra) on 9th April, 1962 reiterating the tests laid down in Atiabari's case (supra) subject to one clarification. The question, therefore, which we need to answer, in the first instance, before going into the validity of each of the State Laws impugned before us is - Whether after 49 years, this Court should revisit the tests propounded in the earlier decisions in the case of Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra)? At this stage, it may be mentioned that the States whose Entry Tax Laws have been challenged have contended before us that the tests propounded in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra) have failed to strike a balance between the "freedom of trade and commerce" under Article 301 of the Constitution and the States' authority to levy taxes under Articles 245 and 246 of the Constitution read with the appropriate Legislative Entries in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. The states, therefore, sought revisiting of the aforestated two decisions in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra) by a larger Bench. 10 In Keshav Mills Co. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Income-tax, Bombay North, (1965) 2 SCR 908 at p. 921, a Constitution Bench of this Court enacted circumstances in which a reference to the larger Bench would lie. It was held that in revisiting and revising its earlier decision, this Court should ask itself whether in the interest of the public good or for any other valid and compulsive reasons, it is necessary that the earlier decision should be revised? Whether on the earlier occasion, did some patent aspects of the question remain unnoticed, or was the attention of the Court not drawn to any relevant and material statutory provision, or was any previous decision bearing on the point not noticed? What was the impact of the error in the previous decision on public good? Has the earlier decision been followed on subsequent occasions either by this Court or by the High Courts? And, would the reversal of the earlier decision lead to public inconvenience, hardship or mischief? According to the judgment in Keshav Mills case these and other relevant considerations must be born in mind whenever this Court is called upon to exercise its jurisdiction to review and revisit its earlier decisions. Of course, in Keshav Mills case a caution was sounded to the effect that frequent exercise of this Court of its power to revisit its earlier decisions may incidentally tend to make the law uncertain and introduce confusion which must be avoided. But, that is not to say that if on a subsequent occasion, the Court is satisfied that its earlier decision was clearly erroneous, it should hesitate to correct the error. In conclusion, in Keshav Mills case, this Court observed that it is not possible to lay down any 11 principles which should govern the approach of the Court in dealing with the question of revisiting its earlier decision. It would ultimately depend upon several relevant considerations. In the case of Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community and Anr. v. State of Maharashtra and Anr., (2005) 2 SCC 673, a Constitution Bench of this Court observed that, in case of doubt, a smaller Bench can invite attention of Chief Justice and request for the matter being placed for hearing before a Bench larger than the one whose decision is being doubted. Applying the tests laid down in the aforestated two cases, i.e., Keshav Mills Co. Ltd. and Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community (supra), we find that on number of aspects a larger Bench of this Court needs to revisit the interpretation of Part XIII of the Constitution including the various tests propounded in the judgments of the Constitution Bench of this Court in the aforestated two cases, namely, Atiabari Tea Co. and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra). Some of these aspects which need consideration by larger Bench of this Court may be briefly enumerated. Interplay/interrelationship between Article 304(a) and Article 304(b). The significance of the word "and" between Article 304(a) and 304(b). The significance of the non obstante clause in Article 304. The balancing of freedom of trade and commerce in Article 301 vis-`-vis the States' authority to levy taxes under Article 245 and Article 246 of the Constitution read with 12 the appropriate legislative Entries in the Seventh Schedule, particularly in the context of movement of trade and commerce. Whether Article 304(a) and Article 304(b) deal with different subjects? Whether the impugned taxation law to be valid under Article 304(a) must also fulfil the conditions mentioned in Article 304(b), including Presidential assent? Whether the word "restrictions" in Article 302 and in Article 304(b) includes tax laws? Whether validity of a law impugned as violative of Article 301 should be judged only in the light of the test of non-discrimination? Does Article 303 circumscribe Article 301? Whether "internal goods" would come under Article 304(b) and "external goods" under Article 304(a)? Whether "per se test" propounded in Atiabari's case (supra) should or should not be rejected? Whether tax simpliciter constitutes a restriction under Part XIII of the Constitution? Whether the word "restriction" in Article 304(b) includes tax laws? Is taxation justiciable? Whether the "working test" laid down in Atiabari makes a tax law per se violative of Article 301? Inter-relationship between Article 19(1)(g) and Article 301 of the Constitution? These are some of the questions which warrant reconsideration of the judgments in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra) by a larger Bench of this Court. In conclusion, we may also mention that though the judgments in Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra) came to be delivered 49 years ago, a doubt was expressed about the tests laid down in those two judgments even in the year 1975 in the case of G.K. 13 Krishnan and Ors. v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors., (1975) 1 SCC 375 by Mathew, J., vide para 27, which reads as under: "Whether the restrictions visualized by Article 304(b) would include the levy of a non-discriminatory tax is a matter on which there is scope for difference of opinion. Article 304(a) prohibits only imposition of a discriminatory tax. It is not clear from the article that a tax simpliciter can be treated as a restriction on the freedom of internal trade. Article 304(a) is intended to prevent discrimination against imported goods by imposing on them tax at a higher rate than that borne by goods produced in the State. A discriminatory tax against outside goods is not a tax simpliciter but is a barrier to trade and commerce. Article 304 itself makes a distinction between tax and restriction. That apart, taxing powers of the Union and States are separate and mutually exclusive. It is rather strange that power to tax given to States, say, for instance, under Entry 54 of List II to pass a law imposing tax on sale of goods should depend upon the goodwill of the Union Executive." (emphasis supplied) For the aforestated reasons, let this batch of cases be put before Hon'ble Chief Justice of India for constituting a suitable larger Bench for reconsideration of the judgments of this Court in Atiabari Tea Co. and Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. (supra). ............................J. (S.H. Kapadia) ............................J. (Altamas Kabir) ............................J. (B. Sudershan Reddy) 14 ............................J. (P. Sathasivam) ............................J. (Surinder Singh Nijjar) New Delhi; April 16, 2010