This chapter examines the trade, commerce, and intercourse clauses in the Indian Constitution. Part XIII of the Indian Constitution consists of Articles 301 to 305 and encompasses ‘Trade, Commerce and Intercourse within the territory of India’. The focus of this chapter is on the controversy surrounding compensatory taxes. It first compares the Indian framework with Australian law on trade, commerce, and intercourse, before discussing the controversy over compensatory tax that began with Section 3 of the Assam Taxation (On Goods Carried by Roads or Inland Waterways) Act 1954 and whether the concept of compensatory tax has a place in Indian constitutional law. It then considers the Indian Supreme Court ruling in the Atiabari and Automobile Transport cases and concludes by analysing unresolved questions, such as whether the imposition of entry tax levied under Entry 52, List II, violates Article 301.
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