While examining the question whether pulses fall in the category of grains to get an exemption from the levy of Environment Compensation Charge (ECC), the Delhi High Court has observed that pulses indeed comes under the category of food grains.“Pulses are food grains,” observes Delhi HC examining exemption from ECC

“There is no reason to limit the scope of the word ,,grains” to exclude any essential commodity falling within that classification. The word ,,grains” in the context of foodstuff would obviously imply ,,food grains”, and the said term plainly include pulses,” the court said.

The question arose after a petition was filed by a food processing association seeking clarification in the levy of ECC on vehicles carrying pulses.

Narela Food Processing Industries Welfare Association sought clarification on ECC, which was mandated by the SC order passed in 2015, wherein freight vehicles passing through the National Capital were asked to pay the ECC. However, vehicles carrying essential commodities like food grains and oil tankers were exempted.

Meanwhile, the petitioner brought to the court’s notice that the trucks carrying pulses were also charged ECC as the state government assumed cereals as food grains, not pulses.

Explaining it further, the court in its order, said, “In terms of logic, this is akin to a fallacy of “illicit major”: a formal fallacy in categorical syllogism that arises because a major term is undistributed in the major premise, but distributed in the conclusion (All A are B; no C are A; therefore, no C are B). For example, all dogs are mammals; no cats are dogs; therefore, no cat is a mammal.”

“Whilst it is correct that cereals are food grains, however, that does not mean that pulses are not. Food grains is a larger group and would include both cereals and pulses,” it added.

The court also draw reference from several enactments saying that the term food grains, as commonly understood, includes pulses. The government of India also treats pulses as part of food grains. The statistical data published by the government in this regards of agricultural production also includes data regarding the production of pulses.