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Not unconstitutional = The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996= Apex court confirmed the High court order = The High Court has held that The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 (for short “the BOCW Act”); The Building and Other Construction Workers

REPORTABLE

The Indian Constitution preamble

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1830 0F 2008
M/S DEWAN CHAND BUILDERS & — APPELLANT
CONTRACTORS
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA & ORS. — RESPONDENTS
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1831 0F 2008
AND
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1832 0F 2008

J U D G M E N T

D.K. JAIN, J.:

1. These appeals, by special leave, arise out of judgment and final

order dated 28th February, 2007 in W.P.(C) No.3620/2003 [connected
with W.P.(C) Nos.216-17 of 2006]; W.P.(C) Nos.7480-81/2006 & CM
No. 5879/2006, and W.P.(C) Nos.7485-87/2006 & CM No.5886/2006]
rendered by the High Court of Delhi, whereby, the said petitions
were dismissed with costs of `25000/-. The High Court has held
that The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of
Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 (for short “the
BOCW Act”); The Building and Other Construction Workers
(Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Central
Rules, 1998, (for short the “1998 Central Rules”); The Building
and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996 (for short
“the Cess Act”) and The Building and Other Construction Workers
Welfare Cess Rules, 1998 ( for short “the Cess Rules”) are
constitutionally valid and within the competence of the Parliament
as the levy under the impugned enactments is a “fee”, referable
to Entry 97 of List-I of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution
of India.

2. Since all the appeals involve a common pure question of law, these

are being disposed of by this common judgment. For deciding the
subject issue before us viz. constitutional validity of the Cess
Act, even a reference to the factual aspects is unnecessary,
except to note that the appellant in these appeals is a
contractor, engaged in building and other construction works in
the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

3. However, before addressing the contentions advanced on behalf of

the parties, it will be useful to survey the relevant provisions
of both the Acts and the Rules.

4. The background in which the BOCW Act was enacted, is set out in

the Statement of Objects and Reasons, appended to the Bill
preceding its enactment. To better appreciate the legislative
intent, it would be instructive to refer to the following extract
from the Statement of Objects and Reasons :
“It is estimated that about 8.5. Million workers in the
country are engaged in building and other construction
works. Building and other construction workers are one of
the most numerous and vulnerable segments of the unorganized
labour in India. The building and other construction works
are characterized by their inherent risk to the life and
limb of the workers. The work is also characterized by its
casual nature, temporary relationship between employer and
employee, uncertain working hours, lack of basic amenities
and inadequacy of welfare facilities. In the absence of
adequate statutory provisions, the requisite information
regarding the number and nature of accidents is also not
forthcoming. In the absence of such information, it is
difficult to fix responsibility or to take any corrective
action.
Although the provisions of certain Central Acts are
applicable to the building and other construction workers
yet a need has been felt for a comprehensive Central
Legislation for regulating their safety, health, welfare and
other conditions of service.”

5. A fairly long preamble to the BOCW Act is again indicative of its

purpose. It reads thus:

“An Act to regulate the employment and conditions of
service of building and other construction workers and
to provide for their safety, health and welfare measures
and for other matters connected therewith or incidental
thereto.”

Further, Section 1(4) of the BOCW Act makes it clear that it:
“……applies to every establishment which employs, or had
employed on any day of the preceding twelve months, ten
or more building workers in any building or other
construction work.”

Some of the definitions under Section 2 of the BOCW Act,
relevant for these appeals are:

(b) “beneficiary” means a building worker registered
under Section 12;
(c) “Board” means a Building and Other Construction
Workers’ Welfare Board constituted under sub-
section (1) of Section 18;
(d) … … …

(e) “building worker” means a person who is employed
to do any skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled,
manual, supervisory, technical or clerical work
for hire or reward, whether the terms of
employment be expressed or implied, in connection
with any building or other construction work but
does not include any such person-
(i) who is employed mainly in a managerial or
administrative capacity; or
(ii) who, being employed in a supervisory
capacity, draws wages exceeding one
thousand six hundred rupees per mensem or
exercises, either by the nature of the
duties attached to the office or by
reason of the powers vested in him,
functions mainly of a managerial nature;
(f) … … …
(g) “contractor” means a person who undertakes to
produce a given result for any establishment,
other than a mere supply of goods or articles of
manufacture, by the employment of building workers
or who supplies building workers for any work of
the establishment; and includes a sub-contractor;
(h) … … …
(i) “employer”, in relation to an establishment, means
the owner thereof, and includes,-
(i) in relation to a building or other
construction work carried on by or under the
authority of any department of the
Government, directly without any contractor,
the authority specified in this behalf, or
where no authority is specified, the head of
the department;
(ii) in relation to a building or other
construction work carried on by or on behalf
of a local authority or other establishment,
directly without any contractor, the chief
executive officer of that authority or
establishment;
(iii) in relation to a building or other
construction work carried on by or through a
contractor, or by the employment of building
workers supplied by a contractor, the
contractor;
(j) … … …
(k) “Fund” means the Building and Other Construction
Workers’ Welfare fund of a Board constituted under
sub-section (1) of Section 24.”

The scheme of the BOCW Act is that it empowers the Central
Government and the State Governments to constitute Welfare Boards to
provide and monitor social security schemes and welfare measures for
the benefit of the building and other construction workers. Section
7 requires every employer in relation to an establishment to which
the BOCW Act applies to get such establishment registered. Section
10 makes this requirement mandatory and therefore, without such
registration, the employer of an establishment, to which the BOCW
Act applies, cannot employ building workers.

Chapter IV of the BOCW Act contains provisions stipulating the
registration of building workers as beneficiaries and requires
certain contributions to be made by such beneficiary at such rate
per month as may be specified by the State Government. Where the
worker is unable to pay his contribution due to any financial
hardship, the Board can waive the payment of such contribution for a
period not exceeding three months at a time.
Chapter V of the BOCW Act sets out the constitution and
functions of the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare
Boards. Section 24 sets out the provision for the constitution of
the Welfare Fund and its application.

Part III of Chapter VI of the BOCW Act contains provisions
concerning the safety, health and welfare of the construction
workers generally and with reference to specific kinds of
activities.

It is thus, clear from the scheme of the BOCW Act that its sole
aim is the welfare of building and construction workers, directly
relatable to their constitutionally recognised right to live with
basic human dignity, enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of
India. It envisages a network of authorities at the Central and
State levels to ensure that the benefit of the legislation is made
available to every building and construction worker, by constituting
Welfare Boards and clothing them with sufficient powers to ensure
enforcement of the primary purpose of the BOCW Act.

6. The means of generating revenues for making effective the welfare

provisions of the BOCW Act is through the Cess Act, which is
questioned in these appeals as unconstitutional.

7. The Statement of Objects and Reasons to the BOCW Act explained
that it had been considered “necessary to levy a Cess on the
cost of construction incurred by the employers on the building
and other construction works for ensuring sufficient funds for
the Welfare Boards to undertake the social security Schemes and
welfare measures.” Simultaneously with the enactment of the
BOCW Act, the Parliament enacted the Cess Act. The Statement
of Objects and Reasons to the Cess Act noted that the intention
was to “provide for the levy and collection of a Cess on the
cost of construction incurred by the employers for augmenting
the resources of the Building and Other Construction Workers’
Welfare Boards constituted by the State Governments under the
Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of
Employment and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 1995.”

Section 2(a) of the Cess Act defines the term “Board” to mean
the Board constituted by the State Government under sub-section (1)
of Section 18 of the BOCW Act. Section 2(d) of the Cess Act adopts
all of the definitions contained in the BOCW Act and reads as under:

“2(d) words and expressions used herein but not defined and
defined in the Building and Other Construction Workers
(Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act,
1996 shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them
in that Act.”
Section 3 of the Cess Act, the charging Section, reads as
under:
“3. Levy and collection of Cess: (1) There shall be levied
and collected a Cess for the purpose of the Building and
Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and
Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, at such rate not exceeding
two per cent, but not less than one per cent of the cost of
construction incurred by an employer, as the Central
Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,
from time to time specify.
(2) The Cess levied under Sub-section (1) shall be
collected from every employer in such manner and at
such time, including deduction at source in relation to
a building or other construction work of a Government
or of a public sector undertaking or advance collection
through a local authority where an approval of such
building or other construction work by such local
authority is required, as may be prescribed.
(3) The proceeds of the Cess collected under Sub-section
(2) shall be paid by the local authority or the State
Government collecting the Cess to the Board after
deducting the cost of collection of such Cess not
exceeding one per cent of the amount collected.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1)
or Sub-section (2), the Cess leviable under this Act
including payment of such Cess in advance may, subject
to final assessment to be made, be collected at a
uniform rate or rates as may be prescribed on the basis
of the quantum of the building or other construction
work involved.”

Section 4 of the Cess Act requires “every employer” to file a
return in the manner prescribed. Section 5 spells out the process
for the assessment of the Cess payable, while, Section 8 provides
for interest payable in the event of a delayed payment of Cess.
Section 9 stipulates penalty for non-payment of the Cess within the
specified time. There is an internal mechanism of appeal under
Section 11 for an employer who is aggrieved by the assessment order
made under Section 5.

In exercise of the power conferred under Section 14 of the Cess
Act, the Central Government framed the Cess Rules. Rule 3 thereof
defines the cost of construction for the purpose of levy of Cess as
under:
“3. Levy of Cess- For the purpose of levy of Cess under Sub-
section (1) of Section 3 of the Act, cost of construction
shall include all expenditure incurred by an employer in
connection with the building or other construction work but
shall not include-
-cost of land;
-any compensation paid or payable to a worker
or his kin under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923.”

Rule 4 of the Cess Rules makes it mandatory for deduction of
Cess payable at the notified rates from the bills paid for the
building and other construction work of a Government or a Public
Sector Undertaking. Rule 5 prescribes the manner in which the
proceeds of Cess collected under Rule 4 shall be transferred by such
Government office, Public Sector Undertakings, local authority, or
Cess collector, to the Board. The powers of the Assessing Officer
and the Board of Assessment are enumerated in Rules 7 to 14 of the
Cess Rules.

8. It is manifest from the overarching schemes of the BOCW Act,
the Cess Act and the Rules made thereunder that their sole
object is to regulate the employment and conditions of service
of building and other construction workers, traditionally
exploited sections in the society and to provide for their
safety, health and other welfare measures. The BOCW Act and
the Cess Act break new ground in that, the liability to pay
Cess falls not only on the owner of a building or
establishment, but under Section 2(i)(iii) of the BOCW Act “in
relation to a building or other construction work carried on by
or through a contractor, or by the employment of building
workers supplied by a contractor, the contractor.” The
extension of the liability on to the contractor is with a view
to ensure that, if for any reason it is not possible to
collect Cess from the owner of the building at a stage
subsequent to the completion of the construction, it can be
recovered from the contractor. The Cess Act and the Cess
Rules ensure that the Cess is collected at source from the
bills of the contractors to whom payments are made by the
owner. In short, the burden of Cess is passed on from the
owner to the contractor.

9. Although both the statutes were enacted in 1996, the Central
Government in exercise of its powers under Section 62 of the
BOCW Act notified the Delhi Building and Other Construction
Workers (RE&CS), Rules, 2002 (for short “the Delhi Rules”) vide
Notification No. DLC/CLA/BCW/01/19 dated 10th January, 2002.
Accordingly, Government of NCT of Delhi constituted the Delhi
Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board vide
Notification No. DLC/CLA/BCW/02/596 dated 2nd September, 2002.
Thus, the Cess Act and the Cess Rules are operative in the
whole of NCT of Delhi w.e.f. January, 2002.

10. As noted above, the principal ground for challenge to the
validity of the Cess Act is the lack of legislative competence
of the Parliament. Mr. Uday Joshi, learned counsel appearing on
behalf of the appellant, strenuously urged that the impost
levied by the Cess Act is a compulsory and involuntary
exaction, made for a public purpose without reference to any
special benefit for the payer of the Cess. It was argued that
there exists no co-relationship between the payee of the Cess
and the services rendered and therefore, the levy is in effect
a tax. It was submitted that the maintenance of a separate
corpus, i.e., Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare
Fund, which also vests in the State, is a cloak to cover the
true character of the levy, which is to be utilized for the
benefit of the building worker, is in fact a `tax.’

11. Asserting that the Cess Act in fact provides for the levy of
tax although it is termed as Cess, it was contended that no tax
can be levied or collected in terms of Article 265 of the
Constitution of India, except by authority of law. In other
words, the power to make a legislation imposing a tax has to be
traced with reference to a specific Entry in the Lists in the
Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. According to the learned
counsel, the subject matter of the present statute i.e. the
Cess Act being fully covered by Entry 49 in List II (State
List) pertaining to taxes on “lands and buildings”, the power
to levy Cess would not be available to the Parliament, based on
the assumption of residuary power.

12. Per contra, Mr. R.P. Bhatt, learned senior counsel appearing on
behalf of the respondents, defending the constitutional
validity of the subject legislation, stressed that the Cess Act
is within the legislative competence of Parliament with
reference to Entry 97 of List I in the Seventh Schedule. In
the written submissions filed on behalf of the respondents, it
is pleaded that the charging Section in the Cess Act makes it
clear that the levy is attracted when there is an activity of
building and construction. The collection of cess on the cost
of construction is for enhancing the resources of the Building
& other Construction Workers’ Welfare Boards constituted under
the BOCW Act. The Cess so collected is directed to a specific
end spelt out in the BOCW Act itself; it is set apart for the
benefit of the building and construction workers; appropriated
specifically for the performance of such welfare work and is
not merged in the public revenues for the benefit of the
general public.

13. It is evident from the contentions raised on behalf of the
appellant that there is a two pronged attack on the legislative
competence of the Parliament to enact the Cess Act: (i) it is a
`tax’ and not a `cess’ because no element of quid pro quo
exists between the payer of the cess and the beneficiary and
(ii) if it is a `tax’ then it is a tax on “lands and buildings”
falling within the ambit of Entry 49 List II (the State List)
of the Seventh Schedule, ousting the legislative competence of
the Parliament.

14. Thus, the core issue arising for consideration is whether the
cess levied under the scheme of the impugned Cess Act is a
`fee’ or a `tax’. Before embarking on an evaluation based on
the said submissions, it would be apposite to briefly examine
the concept of `tax’ and `fee’.
15. The question whether a particular statutory impost is a `tax’
or `fee’ has arisen as a challenge in several cases before this
Court, which in turn necessitated the demarcation between the
concepts of `Cess’, `tax’ and `fee’. The characteristics of a
fee, as distinct from tax, were explained as early as in The
Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras Vs. Sri

Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shirur Mutt1 (generally

referred to as the `Shirur Mutt’s Case’). The ratio of this
decision has been consistently followed as a locus classicus in
subsequent decisions dealing with the concept of `fee’ and
`tax’. The Constitution Bench of this Court in Hingir Rampur
Coal Co. Ltd. Vs. State of Orissa2 was faced with the challenge

to the constitutional validity of the Orissa Mining Areas
Development Fund Act, 1952, levying Cess on the petitioner’s
colliery. The Bench explained different features of a `tax’, a
`fee’ and `cess’ in the following passage:
“The neat and terse definition of Tax which has
been given by Latham, C.J., in Matthews v. Chicory
Marketing Board (1938) 60 C.L.R. 263 is often cited
as a classic on this subject. “A Tax”, said Latham,
C.J., “is a compulsory exaction of money by public
authority for public purposes enforceable by law,
and is not payment for services rendered”. In
bringing out the essential features of a tax this
definition also assists in distinguishing a tax
from a Fee. It is true that between a tax and a fee
there is no generic difference. Both are compulsory
exactions of money by public authorities; but
whereas a tax is imposed for public purposes and is
not, and need not, be supported by any
consideration of service rendered in return, a fee
1 AIR 1954 SC 282

2 1961 (2) SCR 537
is levied essentially for services rendered and as
such there is an element of quid pro quo between
the person who pays the fee and the public
authority which imposes it. If specific services
are rendered to a specific area or to a specific
class of persons or trade or business in any local
area, and as a condition precedent for the said
services or in return for them cess is levied
against the said area or the said class of persons
or trade or business the cess is distinguishable
from a tax and is described as a fee. Tax recovered
by public authority invariably goes into the
consolidated fund which ultimately is utilised for
all public purposes, whereas a cess levied by way
of Fee is not intended to be, and does not become,
a part of the consolidated fund. It is earmarked
and set apart for the purpose of services for which
it is levied.”
(Emphasis
supplied by us)

It was further held that,

“It is true that when the Legislature levies a fee
for rendering specific services to a specified area
or to a specified class of persons or trade or
business, in the last analysis such services may
indirectly form part of services to the public in
general. If the special service rendered is
distinctly and primarily meant for the benefit of a
specified class or area the fact that in benefiting
the specified class or area the State as a whole
may ultimately and indirectly be benefited would
not detract from the character of the levy as a
fee. Where, however, the specific service is
indistinguishable from public service, and in
essence is directly a part of it, different
considerations may arise. In such a case it is
necessary to enquire, what, is the primary object
of the levy and the essential purpose which it is
intended to achieve. Its primary object and the
essential purpose must be distinguished from its
ultimate or incidental results or consequences.
That is the true test in determining the character
of the levy.”
(Emphasis supplied by us)
16. On the basis of the above considerations, this Court in the
aforementioned case, examined the scheme of the Act impugned in
that case in depth and opined that the primary and the
principal object of the Act was to develop the mineral areas in
the State and to assist in providing more efficient and
extended exploitation of its mineral wealth. The Cess levied
did not become a part of the consolidated fund and was not
subject to an appropriation in that behalf. It went into a
special fund earmarked for carrying out the purpose of the Act
and thus, its existence established a correlation between the
Cess and the purpose for which it was levied, satisfying the
element of quid pro quo in the scheme. These features of the
Act impressed upon the levy the character of a `fee’ as
distinct from a `tax’.

17. Recently in State of W.B. Vs. Kesoram Industries Ltd. & Ors.3,
the Constitution Bench of this Court, was faced with a
challenge to the Constitutional validity of the levy of Cesses
on coal-bearing lands; tea plantation lands and on removal of
bricks earth. Relying on the decision in Hingir Rampur Coal
Co. Ltd (supra), speaking for the majority, R.C. Lahoti, J. (as

His Lordship then was), explained the distinction between the
terms `tax’ and `fee’ in the following words: (SCC HN)

“The term cess is commonly employed to connote a Tax
with a purpose or a tax allocated to a particular
thing. However, it also means an assessment or levy.

3 (2004) 10 SCC 201
Depending on the context and purpose of levy, cess
may not be a tax; it may be a fee or fee as well. It
is not necessary that the services rendered from out
of the Fee collected should be directly in
proportion with the amount of Fee collected. It is
equally not necessary that the services rendered by
the Fee collected should remain confined to the
person from whom the fee has been collected.
Availability of indirect benefit and a general nexus
between the persons bearing the burden of levy of
fee and the services rendered out of the fee
collected is enough to uphold the validity of the
fee charged.”

18. In the light of the tests laid down in Hingir Rampur (supra)
and followed in Kesoram Industries (supra), it is manifest that
the true test to determine the character of a levy, delineating
`tax’ from `fee’ is the primary object of the levy and the
essential purpose intended to be achieved.

19. There is no doubt in our mind that the Statement of Objects and

Reasons of the Cess Act, clearly spells out the essential purpose,
the enactment seeks to achieve i.e. to augment the Welfare Fund
under the BOCW Act. The levy of Cess on the cost of construction
incurred by the employers on the building and other construction
works is for ensuring sufficient funds for the Welfare Boards to
undertake social security schemes and welfare measures for
building and other construction workers. The fund, so collected,
is directed to specific ends spelt out in the BOCW Act. Therefore,
applying the principle laid down in the aforesaid decisions of
this Court, it is clear that the said levy is a `fee’ and not
`tax’. The said fund is set apart and appropriated specifically
for the performance of specified purpose; it is not merged in the
public revenues for the benefit of the general public and as such
the nexus between the Cess and the purpose for which it is levied
gets established, satisfying the element of quid pro quo in the
scheme. With these features of the Cess Act in view, the subject
levy has to be construed as `fee’ and not a `tax’. Thus, we uphold
and affirm the finding of the High Court on the issue.

20.At this juncture, we may also deal with the argument of learned

counsel appearing for the appellant that, since there exists no
`quid pro quo’ between the payer (contractors) of the fee and the
ultimate beneficiary (workers) of the services rendered, the said
levy is in fact a tax. While it is true that `quid pro quo’ is one
of the determining factors that sets apart a `tax’ from a `fee’
but the concept of quid pro quo requires to be understood in its
proper perspective.

21.A Constitution bench of this Court in Kewal Krishan Puri and

Anr. Vs. State
of Punjab and Anr.
4
,

while dealing with

provisions of the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act,
1961, held that the element of quid pro quo must exist between
the payer of the Fee and the special services rendered. Taking
note of the well recognized distinct connotations between `tax’
and `fee’, the Bench observed that a `fee’ is a charge for
special service rendered to individuals by the Governmental
agency and therefore, for levy of fee an element of quid pro

4 1980 (1) SCC 416
quo for the services rendered was necessary; service rendered
does not mean any personal or domestic service and it meant
service in relation to the transaction, property or the
institution in respect of which the fee is paid. A significant
principle deduced in the said judgment was that the element
of quid pro quo may not be possible, or even necessary, to be
established with arithmetical exactitude but even broadly and
reasonably it must be established, with some amount of
certainty, reasonableness or preponderance of probability that
quite a substantial portion of the amount of fee realized is
spent for the special benefit of its payers. Each case has to
be judged from a reasonable and practical point of view for
finding an element of quid pro quo.

22.In Sreenivasa General Traders and Ors. Vs. State of Andhra

Pradesh and Ors.5, a Bench of three learned Judges, analysed,

in great detail, the principles culled out in Kewal Krishan
Puri (supra). Opining that the observation made in the said

decision, seeking to quantify the extent of correlation between
the amount of fee collected and the cost of rendition of
service, namely: “At least a good and substantial portion of
the amount collected on account of fees, may be in
neighbourhood of two-thirds or three-fourths, must be shown
with reasonable certainty as being spent for rendering services
in the market to the payer of fee” appeared to be an obiter,
the Court echoed the following views insofar as the actual quid

5 (1983) 4 SCC 353
pro quo between the services rendered and payer of the fee was
concerned:

“The traditional view that there must be actual quid pro
quo for a fee has undergone a sea change in the subsequent
decisions. The distinction between a tax and a fee lies
primarily in the fact that a tax is levied as part of a
common burden, while a fee is for payment of a specific
benefit or privilege although the special advantage is
secondary to the primary motive of regulation in public
interest. If the element of revenue for general purpose of
the State predominates, the levy becomes a tax. In regard to
fees there is, and must always be, correlation between the
fee collected and the service intended to be rendered. In
determining whether a levy is a fee, the true test must be
whether its primary and essential purpose is to render
specific services to a specified area of class; it may be of
no consequence that the State may ultimately and indirectly
be benefited by it. The power of any legislature to levy a
fee is conditioned by the fact that it must be “by and
large”
a

quid
pro quo

for
the services rendered. However,

correlationship between the levy and the services rendered
(sic
or) expected is one of general character

and
not of

mathematical exactitude. All that is necessary is that there
should be a “reasonable relationship” between the levy of
the Fee and the services rendered.”
(Emphasis supplied)

23.Viewed from this perspective, the inevitable conclusion is that

in the instant case there does exist a reasonable nexus between
the payer of the Cess and the services rendered for that industry
and therefore, the said levy cannot be assailed on the ground that
being in the nature of a `tax’, it was beyond the legislative
competence of Parliament.

24.Having reached the conclusion that the levy by the impugned Act

is in effect a `fee’ and not a `tax’, we deem it unnecessary to
deal with the second limb of the challenge, viz. the impost is a
tax on “lands and buildings”, covered by Entry 49 in List II of
the Seventh Schedule.

25.In view of the aforegoing discussion, we do not find any

infirmity in the conclusions arrived at by the High Court while
upholding the validity of the impugned Acts. All the appeals,
being bereft of any merit are dismissed with costs, quantified at
`25,000/- in each set of appeals.

…………………………………….

(D.K. JAIN, J.)
……………………………………….

(ASOK KUMAR GANGULY, J.)
NEW DELHI;
NOVEMBER 18, 2011.
ARS

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