The Excise (Malt Liquors) Act, 1890

The Excise (Malt Liquors) Act, 1890 (Act No. 13 of 1890) was enacted with the view to its application to the Sea Customs Act, 1878 (Act No. 8 of 1878) to malt liquors. Malt liquors mean and include the wine, beer, etc. containing high quantity of Alcohol. Such highly contained alcoholic products were taxed in respect of their export to another country. The Act is an ancestral legislation brought into operation in British period dealing with imposition of excise duty on transacting Malt liquor products including export thereof.

The provisions of Sections 2 to 5 of the Excise (Malt Liquors) Act, 1890 dealing with amendment of the Excise Act, 1881 (Act No. 22 of 1881) are repealed by The Excise Act, 1896 (Act No. 12 of 1896). Similarly, the provisions of Section 6 to 7 relating to amendment of the Bengal Excise Act, 1878 are repealed by The Bengal Excise Act, 1909 (Act No. 5 of 1909). And also saving provision relating Legislative authority of Bengal Council provided under Section 8 of the original Act is repealed by same, The Bengal Excise Act, 1909.

The Section 150 of the Sea Customs Act, 1878 dealing with allowing of drawback of excise-duty which is paid on Indian manufactured spirit which exported to any other country under its section 138 by Customs-Collector at the port of exportation. This provision of Sea Customs Act, 1878 is made applicable to Malt Liquors manufactured in Pakistan also, by Section 9 of the Excise (Malt Liquors) Act, 1890. However, such application of Section 150 thereof was replaced with Customs Act, 1969, by the Section 3 and 2nd Schedule of The Bangladesh laws (Revision and Declaration) Act, 1973 (Act no. 7 of 1973) and made it applicable to the Malt Liquors or spirits manufactured in Bangladesh.

The Law Commission of India in its Second Interim Report, 2014 (Report no. 249) titled ‘Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal’, while doing study upon “Legal Enactments : Simplifications and Streamlining (LESS)” has recommended repeal of about 88 laws and ordinances promulgated during World War II period as those enactments are inconsistent with modern one. This list of enactments includes The Excise (Malt Liquors) Act, 1890 also for its repeal.

There was already a law on this issue relating to Spirits namely, The Excise (Sprits) Act, 1863 (Act No. 16 of 1863) which was enacted with the motive to make special provisions as to levy of the Excise-duty payable on Spirits which are used absolutely in Arts and Manufactures or even in Chemistry. The only difference can be seen apparently, is mobility of spirits including malt liquors inside and outside India. The Act of 1890 deals with matters of export while the Act of 1863 deals with matters inside the country.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan