05 October 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 415 of 1964






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/10/1964


CITATION:  1965 AIR 1174            1965 SCR  (1) 581

ACT: Kerala  Profession Tax (Validation and  Re-assessment)  Act, 1958 (Act No.  XIV of 1958), s. 2.Whether violative of  Art. 276 of the Constitution. Travancore  District  Municipalities Act 23  of  1116  M.E.- Section 325--Power to make and amend rules under the section whether  includes power to give retrospective  operation  to rules.

HEADNOTE: The  Quilon  Municipality levied,  in  the  pre-Constitution period,  a  profession  tax under powers  conferred  by  the Travancore  District  Municipalities Act (Act 23  of  11  16 M.E., corresponding to 1940 A.D.). The tax was leviable on a half-yearly basis on companies and persons transacting busi- ness  in  the  municipal area for not less  than  a  certain period  in a year.  The rates were laid down in rule  16  of the  Second  Schedule to the aforesaid Act, and  were  on  a graduated  scale  varying with the income of  the  assessee. Under  Rule 18(2), as it originally stood the income  of  an assessee transacting business inside as well as outside  the area of the Municipality was to be deemed to be a prescribed percentage  of  the  turnover of  the  business  inside  the Municipality.  A proviso was however added to Rule 18(2)  in 1947  which laid down that in the case of the assessees  who were assessed to income-tax under the Travancore  Income-tax Act,  the income for the purpose of levying  the  profession tax  would  be  computed in the following  manner  i.e.  the profits  earned  by  the  assessee in  the  whole  State  as disclosed  by  the assessment under the said  Act  would  be divided  in the proportion of the turnover of  the  business inside  and  outside the Municipality and the  portion  thus found  attributable  to the business in the  Municipal  area would  be subjected to profession tax.  In 1950,  after  the promulgation  of the Constitution, s. 3 of the  Finance  Act (Act 25 of 1950) repealed the Travancore Income-tax Act  and replaced it by the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922.   Thereafter Municipalities  in  Travancore  began to  construe  the  re- ferences  to  the Travancore Income-tax Act in  rule  18  as



references  to  the Income-tax Act, but this  procedure  was held to be illegal by the Travancore Cochin High Court by  a judgment  delivered  in 1955.   The  appropriate  authority, thereupon by Notification dated 15th February 1956,  amended rule 18 to provide, Inter alia, that, with effect from  1-4- 50 references to the Travancore Income-tax Act in that  rule would  be read as references to the Indian  Income-tax  Act, and  income  under  the proviso to  sub-rule  (2)  would  be computed  with reference to the income in the whole  of  the Indian  Union  instead  of  the  income  in  the  whole   of Travancore State.  The amended proviso was also struck  down by  the High Court, on the ground that it was  retrospective in  operation.  Thereupon the Kerala Legislature passed  the Kerala  Profession  Tax (Validation and  Reassessment)  Act, 1958  (Act 14 of 1958) which in s. 2 provided that the  levy of the tax under the aforesaid amendment would remain  valid and would not be open to challenge on the ground that it had retrospective operation.  ’Me respondents who were taxed  by the Quilon Municipality under the amended proviso challenged the  Validating Act before the Kerala High Court  contending that  it  was a post-Constitution law which  in  imposing  a profession 582 tax  of  more than Rs. 250 per year on  certain  classes  of assessees  contravened  the  terms of  Art.  276(2)  of  the Constitution.  This contention was upheld by the High Court. Aggrieved  thereby, the Quilon Municipality appealed to  the Supreme Court. It  was contended on behalf of the appellants that what  the impugned  Act did was merely to adapt the machinery for  the assessment and levy of the tax to a situation arising out of the  repeal  of  the  Travancore  Income-tax  Act  and   its replacement  by  the  Indian Income-tax  Act  in  1950,  and therefore  there was no contravention of Art.  276(2).   Nor was  the Article contravened by the retrospective  given  to the provision in question. HELD:     (i)  The proviso to rule 18(2) introduced in  1947 was not a mere machinery provision.  Under rule 18(2) as  it originally  stood  the income of all  assessees  transacting business  both inside and outside the Municipality was,  for the purpose of levying profession tax, computed on the basis of  a percentage of the turn-over inside  the  municipality. The  proviso  created a different procedure in the  case  of those  who were assessed to income-tax by linking  up  their income  for  the purpose of the profession  tax  with  their profits in the whole State as assessed under the  Travancore Income-tax  Act.   Thus a new class of assessees  came  into being which had not existed before the proviso was  enacted. The method of computing income laid down in the proviso  was also  likely  to  result in a  different  incidence  of  tax liability  in the case of those covered by it.   Considering all  this,  the  argument that the proviso  did  not  affect either  the basis or the incidence of the tax, could not  be accepted. [588 F]. (ii) The  amendment of 1956 linked up the  determination  of the profits liable to profession tax with the Indian Income- tax  Act  instead of the Travancore Income-tax  Act.   Also, under the amended proviso to rule 18(2), the profits in  the whole  of  the Indian Union and not merely in the  State  of Travancore,  would be the basis of computing income for  the purpose  of levying profession tax.  The provisions  of  the Indian and Travancore Income-tax Acts were different and the territory  of the Indian Union was much larger than that  of Travancore, and these differences were likely to affect  the tax  liability of those covered by the said amendment.  [590



E-F]. (iii)     The  argument  that  the  Kerala  Legislature  was competent  to give retrospectivity to a validating  law  and that  since the legislature had validated the  amendment  to the  proviso  as from April 1950, the amendment  was  valid, could not be accepted.  The proviso had been given operation subsequent  to the commencement of the Constitution and  the provisions  of Art. 276 would therefore stand in the way  of the legislature which validated it. [590 F-H]. Mst.  Jaclao Bahuji v. Municipal Committee, Khandwa,  [1961] 2 S.C.R. 636, distinguished.

JUDGMENT: CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeals Nos. 415 to  419 of 1964. Appeals  from the judgment and decree dated April 12,  1961, of  the  Kerala  High Court in O.P. Nos. 88 of  56,  240  of 1956E, 117 of 1957, 50 of 1958 and 156 of 1958. C.   K. Daphtary, Attorney-General and V. A. Syeid Muhammad, for the appellants (in all the appeals). G.   B.  Pai,  J. B. Dadachanji, O. C. Mathur  and  Ravinder Narain for the respondents (in all appeals).  583 The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Mudholkar J. The only point which arises for decision before us  in  this group of five appeals from  a  common  judgment delivered by the High Court of Kerala in six writ petitions, five  of which were preferred by the respondents and one  by M/s.   Brooke  Bond  (India) Ltd., is whether s.  2  of  the Kerala  Profession  Tax (Validation and  Reassessment)  Act, 1958 (Act No. XIV of 1958) is invalid on the ground that  it violates the provisions of’ Art. 276 of the Constitution. The relevant part of Art. 276 of the Constitution runs thus:               "276(1)  Notwithstanding anything  in  Article               246  no  law  of the Legislature  of  a  State               relating to taxes for the benefit of the State               or  of  a municipality district  board,  local               board  or  other local  authority  therein  in               respect  of professions, trades, callings,  or               employments  shall  be invalid on  the  ground               that it relates to a tax on income.               Provided   that  if  in  the  financial   year               immediately preceding the commencement of this               Constitution there was in force in the case of               any  State or any such municipality, board  or               authority   a  tax  on  professions,   trades,               callings  or  employments  the  rate,  or  the               maximum  rate, of which exceeded  two  hundred               and  fifty  rupees  per annum,  such  tax  may               continue to be levied until provision’ to  the               contrary is made by Parliament by law, and any               law  so made by Parliament may be made  either               generally  or  in relation  to  any  specified               States,     municipalities,     boards      or               authorities." It  is common ground that before the Constitution came  into force the Quilon Municipality had, in exercise of the  power conferred by s. 91 of the Travancore District Municipalities Act,  23  of  1116  M.E.  corresponding  to  the  year  1940 (hereafter referred to as the Act) imposed a profession  tax upon every company and every person who, among other things, transacts business within the limits of the municipality for not  less than a certain period during a year.   Sub-section



(1)  of  s.  91 further provides that a  company  or  person liable  to pay the tax shall pay a half-yearly tax  assessed in  accordance with -the rules mentioned in Schedule H.  ’Me Schedule contains, amongst other things, rules, and rules 16 and  18  are the only rules relevant  for  consideration  in these appeals.  Rule 16 sets out slabs of half-yearly income for  the purpose of assessment of companies and  persons  to the LlSup./65---12 584 tax.  In this rule the assesees are divided into 12 classes. In  the first class come assessees whose half-yearly  income exceeds  Rs.  21,000 who have to pay a tax of  Rs.  275  per half-year.   Next  below it is cl. (2) which  provides  that those  whose half-yearly income exceeds Rs. 18,000 but  does not exceed Rs. 21,000 shall pay a tax of Rs. 225 every half- year.   The liability of assessees whose incomes  are  below Rs.  18,000  goes on diminishing in each lower  slab.   Then there is a proviso to sub-r. (1) which runs thus               "Provided  that  a company  whose  half-yearly               income is more than twenty-one thousand rupees               shall,  notwithstanding anything contained  in               this or any other rule, pay in addition to the               maximum half-yearly tax of rupees two  hundred               and  seventy-five and  additional  half-yearly               tax  on such excess calculated at the rate  of               one  rupee  per  one hundred  rupees  or  part               thereof."               With  respect to assessees falling within  the               first   slab  the  proviso  thus  imposes   an               additional  tax over and above Rs.  275  every               half-year.   We  are not  concerned  with  the               remaining   sub-rules  of  r.  16.   Rule   18               contains three sub-rules but we are  concerned               ,only with sub-rr. (1) and (2) and they are as               follows :               "(1) Where a company or person transacts busi-               ness in any half-year exclusively in the  area               of a single municipality, the income of such -               company or person from the transaction of such               business  shall,  for the purpose  of  levying               profession-tax under this Act during the half-               year, be deemed to be-               (a)   where  income-tax  is assessed  on  such               company or person under the Travancore Income-               tax  Act  for the year, comprising  the  half-               year,  one-half  of the amount  at  which  the               profits   and  gains  of  such  business   are               computed  under  Section 8 of  the  Travancore               Income-tax  Act for the purpose  of  assessing               the income-tax; and               (b)   where the amount of the said profits and               gains  is  not  ascertainable  or  where  such               company  or person is not assessed to  income-               tax,  such  percentage as our  Government  may               prescribe,  of the turn-over of  the  business               transacted  in  the area of  the  municipality               during  the  half-year or where this  is  also               unascertainable during the corresponding half-               year of the previous year.                585               (2)   Where  a  company  or  person  transacts               business partly in the area of a  municipality               and  partly outside such area, the  income  of               such company or person from the transaction of



             business  in  the  area  of  the  municipality               shall, for the purpose of levying  profession-               tax  under  this  Act, be  deemed  to  be  the               percentage prescribed under clause (b) of sub-               rule  (1)  of  the turnover  of  the  business               transacted  in such area during the  half-year               or the corresponding half-year of the previous               year, as the case may be."               By  a  notification  of August  28,  1947  the               appropriate  authority empowered by s. 325  of               the  Act  to frame rules added  the  following               proviso to sub-r. (2) :               "Provided  that  in the case of a  company  or               person  assessable  to income tax,  the  total               profits  earned  by the company or  person  as               disclosed by the Income-tax assessment for the               whole State for the year comprising the  half-               year  for  which the profession tax is  to  be               levied, shall be divided in the proportion  of               the  turn-over of the business of the  company               or person in the Municipality and outside, for               purposes of assessment to profession tax." By  the operation of s. 3 of the Indian Finance Act,  25  of 1950  the Travancore Income-tax Act stood repealed  and  the municipal   authorities  construed  the  reference  to   the Travancore  Income-tax  Act  in  sub-r.  (1)  of  r.  18  as reference to the Indian Income-tax Act.  They also construed the  reference  to  the Travancore  Income-tax  Act  in  the proviso  to  sub-r. (2) in the same way.  In  Harrisons  and Crosfield Ltd. v. Commissioner of Quilon Municipality(1) the Travancore-Cochin High Court held that the proviso had  only provided  for the adoption of certain  figures  representing the total profits as disclosed by the Income-tax  assessment for  a  particular year in which the emphasis was  upon  the assessable  area, which, after the coming into force of  the Indian  Income-tax  Act in the State  of  Travancore  became impossible of ascertainment and that, therefore, the  entire proviso was rendered obsolete.  Thereafter, the  appropriate authortiy   amended  sub-rr.  (1)  and  (2)  of  r.  18   by notification dated February 15, 1956 as follows : "(1) In clause (a) of sub-rule (1) of rule 18- (1)  I.L.R. 1955 T.C. 1003. 586 .lm15 (a)  for the words ’Travancore Income Tax Act’ wherever they occur,  the words and figures ’Indian Income Tax Act,  1922’ shall be substituted. (b)  for the word and figure ’Section 8’ the word and figure ’Section 10’ shall be substituted. (2)  In the proviso to sub-rule (2) of Rule 18 for the words ’whole State’ the words ’whole of the Indian Union’ shall be substituted.  These amendments shall be deemed to have  come into effect from 1st April 1950." The  validity  of the amendments was challenged  before  the High Court in Highland Produce Co. Ltd. v. The Commissioner, Alleppey  Municipal Council(1) on the ground that the  power conferred  by S. 325 of the Act to frame rules could not  be exercised so as to give retrospective operation to any rule. The High Court accepted the contention add thereupon Act  14 of 1958, the validity of S. 2 of which is challenged  before us,  was enacted by the Kerala Legislature.  That  provision reads thus               "Validation  of  the  levy  or  collection  of               profession  tax under the Travancore  District               Municipalities Act, 1116 : Notwithstanding any



             judgment,  decree or order of any  court,  the               amendments  to the Taxation and Finance  Rules               contained  in Schedule It to,  the  Travancore               District  Municipalities Act, 1116 (XXIII  of,               1116)   made  by  Notification  No.  LS.   11-               13975/55/ DD dated 15th February, 1956 of  the               Government of the former State of  Travancore-               Cochin,  shall  be deemed to  have  come  into               force with effect from the first day of April,               1950  and the validity of the levy or  collec-               tion of profession tax made under the said Act               and  Rules shall not be called in question  on               the  ground  that the amendments made  by  the               notification   aforesaid   cannot   have   any               retrospective  operation, and  any  profession               tax  so  levied  but  not  collected  may   be               collected  as if the said amendment  had  been               validly made with effect from the first day of               April, 1950." It  will be clear from the language of this  provision  that the   legislature  purported  to  validate  the   levy   and collection   of  the  tax  under  the  amended  proviso   by validating  the  amendment of the proviso.  The  High  Court struck down this section and now the (1)  O.P. Nos. 196 to 202 of 1955 decided in October, 1956.  587 Quilon Municipality and its Commissioner have come up before us in appeal. The learned Attorney-General who appears for the  appellants contends  that  what  the Act does is merely  to  adapt  the machinery  for  the  assessment and levy of  the  tax  to  a situation  arising  out  of the  repeal  of  the  Travancore Income-Tax  Act by s. 3 of the Indian Finance Act, 1950  and replacing  that  Act  by the  Indian  Income-tax  Act.   It, therefore,   according  to  him,  does  not   infringe   the provisions  of  Art.  276  of  the  Constitution.   He  also contends  that  the retrospectivity given to  the  provision does  not infringe the aforesaid  constitutional  provision. In support of the contention he has relied upon the decision in Mst.  Jadao Bahuji v. Municipal Committee Khandwa(1). Before dealing with the effect of the amendment made to  the proviso  added  in  the year 1947  we  must  first  consider whether  the proviso merely purported to create a  machinery for implementing the tax.  We will assume that under s.  325 of  the  Act  it was competent to the  State  Government  of Travancore  to  enact the proviso which it did in  the  year 1947.  If we look at r. 18 (2) as it stands it is clear that it did provide the means of assessing profession tax upon  a company or person transacting business partly     in     the area of the municipality and partly outside such area. Under sub-r.  (2)  what the assessing authority had to do  was  to ascertain  what was the turnover of the business  transacted by the    assessee  within the municipal area and  calculate the profits which the assessee will be deemed to have earned on the basis of the percentage prescribed by the  Government under  cl. (b) of sub-r. (1).  Thus, the basis for  taxation was  the amount of profits deduced in this manner.  Now,  if we look at the proviso as it stood when it was first enacted in February, 1947 it would be clear that it contemplates the division of the profits earned by the assessee in the  whole State  between  the  turn-over of the  business  within  the municipal area and the turn-over of the business outside the area.   The total profits would, under the proviso,  be  the amount disclosed by the income-tax assessment for the  whole State and their division was to be in the proportion of  the



turnover of the business within the municipality and outside it.   Obviously,  therefore,  what the proviso  did  was  to introduce a new basis for assessment of the taxable  income. We  say  so because the assessment of profits  in  this  way links  up  their computation with the  income  assessed  for levying  income-tax.   Under the Travancore  Income-tax  Act only a certain set of deductions (1)  [1961] 2 S.C.R. 636. 588 were permissible.  Now, if an assessee has in fact  expended money  for  certain  purposes  but  such  expenses  are  not allowable deductions under the Travancore Income-tax Act, it would follow that the profits calculated by reference to the income-tax  assessment  may  work  out  higher  than   those actually  earned by the assessee.  We do not know  what  was the  percentage prescribed by the Government  of  Travancore under  cl.  (b) of sub-r. (1) of r. 18. But it  is  possible that  the  assessable profits determined with  reference  to that  provision  may have been less  than  those  determined under  the  proviso.   In any case it cannot  be  said  with certainty that the profits arrived at would have been  iden- tical  in  the  two cases.  From the  fact  that  the  State enacted  the proviso it would not be unreasonable to  assume that the State thereby expected that the municipality  would earn more income than under a computation made under  sub-r. (2) of r. 18 read with cl. (b) of sub-r. (1) of r. 18. Another thing which the proviso of 1947 did was to take  out of the category of assessees dealt with by sub-r. (2) of  r. 18  such companies or persons as were assessable to  income- tax.   Sub-rule  (2)  as it  stood,  treated  companies  and persons  transacting  business  partly in the  area  of  the municipality  and  partly  outside such area  on  a  uniform footing irrespective of the question whether a company or  a person  was  assessed to income-tax or not.  For  the  first time  the  proviso put in a separate class  those  who  were assessed to income-tax.  The proviso thus affected the basis of  assessment  of  tax and did not  merely  deal  with  the procedure for assessing the tax. In the circumstances we cannot accept the contention of  the learned  Attorney-General  that the proviso did  not  affect either  the  basis or the incidence of the  tax  but  merely provided a machinery for implementing the tax. Therefore, while dealing with the amendment made in the year 1956 we have to bear in mind that it was made in a provision concerning  the basis of taxation.  The question then  would be  whether  the amended proviso was likely  to  enhance  an assessee’s liability.  No doubt, the object was to adapt the earlier  proviso to the situation created by the  repeal  of the Travancore Income-tax Act.  But whatever was its object, we  have to ascertain its effect on an assessee’s  liability to pay the profession tax. The proviso as it originally stood had linked up the  deter- mination  of the profits liable to tax under the rules  with the Travancore Income-tax Act.  The amendment of sub-r.  (1) of 589 r.  18  has  the effect of linking it  up  with  the  Indian Income-tax  Act.  By the amendment of the proviso the  words "the  whole of Indian Union" are now to be read therein  for the  words  "the whole State".  Mr. Pai for  the  respondent contended  that  in consequence of the amendment  the  total profits  earned by a company or person as disclosed  by  the income-tax statement for the whole of India will now have to be  divided  in the same proportion as the turnover  of  the business  of the company or person within  the  municipality



bore  to  the turn-over outside the  municipality,  ’or  the purpose  of  assessment  of the tax.  The  result  of  this, according to him, may sometimes be that a much larger amount of profits will have to be taken into account for  assessing the  tax than under the unmended proviso.  He says that  the amount   of  assessable  profits  would  depend   upon   the permissible  deductions under the Indian Income-tax Act  and that  if they are fewerthan before the result would be  that assessable  profits determine( under the  Indian  Income-tax Act would be higher than those under the Travancore  Income- tax Act.  As no detailed comparison of the provisions of the Travancore  Income-tax  Act as it force at the date  of  the amendment  with those of the Indian Income-tax Act was  made during the argument, we are not in a position to say whether in  fact the assessable profits under the Indian  Income-tax Act  would have been larger than those under the  Travancore Act at that time.  We cannot, however, deny the  Possibility of  the permissible deductions under the  Indian  Income-tax Act  being fewer than those under the Travancore Act  as  it stood at the date of its repeal.  Again, since the amendment introduces  a  different  statute with  reference  to  which assessable profits are to be ascertained it is possible that the  amended proviso may enhance the tax liability not  only of  assesees  falling  within the first  slab  but  also  of assessees falling in the lower slabs. Mr.   Pai has sought to demonstrate by reference  to  actual figures  that  in  respect of certain  periods  the  present assessee’s liability to pay the tax as ascertained under the amended proviso would be higher than what it would have been under the amended proviso.  These figures are to be found in three statements filed in the High Court by the  respondents and marked as Ex 4, 13 and 23.  The statements are identical and we would on refer to the first of them. In column 1 of Ex. 4 is mentioned the year of assessment; in the   second   column  the  turnover   within   the   Quilon Municipality  is set out; in the third column the  turn-over relating to profits 590 assessable  to Travancore income-tax Act is set out; in  the fourth column the turnover in India is set out; in the fifth column  income  assessable under the  Travancore  Income-tax Act,  had it been in force, is set out; in the sixth  column income assessed under the Indian Income-tax Act is set  out. From  these  figures income computed as per  proviso  to  r. 18(2) before its amendment has been set out.  If ’X’ is  the figure  in col. 5, ’Y’ is the figure in col. 3 and  ’Z’  the figure in col. 2, the amount of Income before the  amendment of  the  proviso  would then be x/y x Z. We  might  call  it ’The(1) [i.e. .’taxable income (1)’].  In tie last column of the statement the taxable income computed as per the proviso after  its  amendment  is set out.  This is  arrived  at  by ,dividing  the income assessed under the Indian  Income-tax. Act  which we will call ’A’ by the turn-over in India  which we  will call ’B’ and multiplying it by the turnover  within the  Quilon Municipality i.e. ’Z’.  The taxable income  thus arrived  at i.e. A x Z  might be called ’TI (2)’.  It  would appear by the comparison of the figures in col. 7 with those in col. 8 that in respect of the periods ending on June  30, 1949;  June 30, 1950; June 30, 1951; June 30, 1954 and  June 30,  1955  TI(2)  is lower than TI(1).  But  in  respect  of periods ending on June 30, 1152; June 30, 1953 and June  30, 1956  TI(2)  is  higher than TI (1).   Since  the  Attorney- General  does not accept the correctness of the  figures  in columns  2 to 5 we will regard them as merely  hypothetical. But  even  on the basis of these hypothetical figure  it  is



apparent that by applying the amended proviso the quantum of liability  to pay tax on the same turn-over with respect  to the same period would, in certain cases, be higher than what it  would have been by applying the unmended  proviso.   The burden  of  tax is thus liable to be  increased  in  certain circumstances. We  have already pointed out that the amendment of 1956  was to  operate  as from April, 1950, that is, from a  point  of time coinciding with the repeal of the Travancore Income-tax ct.   But then the proviso is given operation subsequent  to the commencement of the Constitution, and the provisions  of Art.  276  would stand in the way of the  legislature  which validated it. The  learned Attorney General relying upon the  decision  of this Court in Mst.  Jadao Bahuji’s case(1) contended that he Kerala legislature was competent to give retrospectivity  to a  validating  law  and  that  since  the  legislature   has -validated he amendment to the proviso as from April,- 1950, the amendment is valid and took effect from that date.   The decision upon (1)  [1951] 2 S.C.R. 636.  591 which he has relied is distinguishable.  That was a case  in which  the Validating Act had validated the imposition of  a tax in excess of Rs. 50 not for a period subsequent to March 31,  1939  but  for  a  period  prior  to  that  date.   The contention  of the assessee was that as the  Validating  Act was  passed subsequent to the coming into force of s.  142-A of  the  Government  of India Act, 1935 it  was  beyond  the competence  of the provincial legislature.  This  contention was rejected by this Court.  The case before us. however, is different because the Validating Act purported to validate a profession tax to an extent above Rs. 250 subsequent to  the commencement  of  the Constitution.   The  following  obser- vations of this Court in that case in fact militate  against the contention of the learned Attorney-General :               "There  can  be  no doubt that if  a  law  was               passed  after  the  amendment  and  sought  to               impose  taxes  on professions  etc.,  for  any               period after March 31, 1939, it had to conform               to  the limit prescribed by s. 142-A(2).   The               prohibition in the second subsection  operated               to  circumscribe  the  legislative  power   by               putting  a  date-line  after which  a  tax  in               excess  of Rs. 50 per annum per person  for  a               period  after  the  date-line  could  not   be               collected unless it came within the  proviso."               (p. 642). For  all  these reasons the amendment  must,  therefore,  be regarded as violating the provisions of Art. 276 and we hold that the Kerala Legislature was incompetent to enact s. 2 of the Validating Act.  We accordingly dismiss the appeals with costs.  There will be one set of hearing fees. Appeals dismissed. 592