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The Municipal Corporation of the City of Solapur Vs. the Solapur Agricultural Produce Market Committee - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 509 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1978Bom184; (1977)79BOMLR361; 1978MhLJ9
ActsBombay Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1939 - Sections 4(1), 4(2), 4(2B), 4(4) and 5; Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act, 1925; Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949
AppellantThe Municipal Corporation of the City of Solapur
RespondentThe Solapur Agricultural Produce Market Committee
Appellant AdvocateBhimrao N. Naik, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateM.L. Dudhat, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....markets act (bom. xxii of 1939), sections 4 and 5 and notifications issued under section 4 - bombay municipal boroughs act (bom. xxviii of 1925)--bombay provincial municipal corporations act (bom. lix of 1949).;the special enactment contained in section 4(2b) of the bombay agricultural produce markets act, 1939, and the notifications dated april 25, 1964 and may 1, 1965, override all other powers given to the municipal corporations under the municipal boroughs act, 1925, bye-laws made thereunder, and the provisions of the bombay provincial municipal corporation act, 1949.;the sholapur municipal corporation had no right to establish any cattle market in the suit area for the purchase and sale of cattle enumerated in the notifications issued under section 4 of the bombay agricultural.....1. on march 21, 1966, the respondent, sholapur agricultural produce market committee, sholapur filed regular civil suit no. 225 of 1966, in the court of the civil judge, senior division, sholapur, against the municipal corporation of the city of sholapur, the appellant in the above second appeal, for a declaration that the municipal corporation of the city of sholapur, which will be hereinafter referred to as the 'municipal corporation', had no right to establish or authorise or allow to be established any cattle market in the suit area for the purchase and sale of cattle enumerated in the two notifications, referred to in the suit, and by reason of the assumption of regulation of marketing of cattle by the plaintiff-market committee; and for an injunction restraining the municipal.....
Judgment:

1. On March 21, 1966, the respondent, Sholapur Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Sholapur filed Regular Civil Suit No. 225 of 1966, in the Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Sholapur, against the Municipal Corporation of the City of Sholapur, the appellant in the above Second Appeal, for a declaration that the Municipal Corporation of the City of Sholapur, which will be hereinafter referred to as the 'Municipal Corporation', had no right to establish or authorise or allow to be established any cattle market in the suit area for the purchase and sale of cattle enumerated in the two Notifications, referred to in the Suit, and by reason of the assumption of regulation of marketing of cattle by the plaintiff-Market Committee; and for an injunction restraining the Municipal Corporation from doing anything which would interfere with the Market Committee's exclusive right to conduct and regulate the marketing o cattle and for that reason to restrain the Municipal Corporation from levying and collecting, fees on the sale of cattle (Shingoti) and for that reason also to restrain the Municipal Corporation from auctioning the monopoly of collecting fees on the sale of cattle (Shingoti), as published by the Municipal Corporation in some of the local papers.

2. The case made out on behalf of the Market Committee in the plaint, was as follows:

The Market Committee was established under Section 5 of the Bombay Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1939. In exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (4) of Section 4 of the said Act, the Government declared North and South Sholapur Talukas, as market area for the purposes of the said Act, in respect of bullocks, he-buffaloes, she-buffaloes, cows, horses, sheep, goats and fodder in addition to rice, wheat, Jowar, Bajari, etc. under the Notification No. APM. 27 (Sholapur) dated April 25, 1964, published in the Maharashtra Government Gazettee of May 21, 1964. The said Notification was as under:

'The Bombay Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1939. No. APM-27 (Sholapur):-- Whereas by Commissioner, Poona Division, Poona's notification No. APM-27 (Sholapur), dated 12th August, 1959 issued under the provisions of Subsection (1) of Section 4 of the Bombay Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1939 (Bom. XXII of 1939) the Commissioner, Poona Division, Poona was pleased to regulate the purchase and sale of Rice, Wheat, Jowar, Bajari, Paddy, Gram, Tur, Moog, Udid, Groundnut (shelled and unshelled) Safflower, Linseed, Gul, Chillies and Cotton (ginned and unginned) in the area of the North Sholapur and South Sholapur talukas of the Sholapur district (hereinafter referred to as the said area).

And whereas by notification No. APM-27 (Sholapur) dated 14th December, 1963 issued under the provisions of Section 3 of the said Act, the Commissioner, Poona Division, Poona was pleased to declare his intention to regulate the purchase and sale of Bullocks. He-buffaloes, she-buffaloes, Cows, Horses, Sheep, Goats and Fodder in the said area in addition to Rice, Wheat, Jowar, Bajari, Paddy, Gram, Tur, Moog, Udid, Groundnut (shelled and unshelled), Safflower, Linseed, Gul, Chillies and Cotton (ginned and unginned).

And whereas' in response to the said notification no objections or suggestions have been received within the prescribed period.

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (4) of Section 4 of the said Act, the Commissioner. Poona Division, Poona is pleased to declare that with effect from the date of publication of this notification in the Maharashtra Government Gazette the said area shall be the market area for the purpose of the said Act in respect of bullocks, He-buffaloes, She-buffaloes, Cows, Horses, Sheep, Goats, and Fodder, in addition to Rice, wheat, Jowar, Bajari, Paddy, Gram, Tur, Moog, Udid, Groundnut (shelled and unshelled), Safflower, Linseed, Gul, Chillies and Cotton (ginned and unginned). Poona, 25th April 1964.'

The areas within the Municipal limits of the Sholapur Borough Municipality were included in the Market area after necessary consultations with the Municipality, as it then was constituted under the Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act, 1925.

3. By another Notification No. APM-27 dated May 1, 1965, issued by the Commissioner, Poona Divn., Poona, the localities mentioned in para. 3 of the plaint were included within the limits.of the Sholapur Municipal Corporation, which shall hereinafter be referred to as the 'suit area'. Wherever marketing in cattle and fodder was going on at the time of the Notification and at the time of the suit, were included in the market yard.

4. It was further submitted on behalf of the Market Committee that under Section 4 (2B) of the Bombay Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1939, the Municipal Corporation was not competent to establish, authorise or allow to be established, any place in the said areas for the purchase or gale of any cattle subsequent to the above Notification.

5. The plaintiff-Agricultural Market Committee, therefore, wrote to the Municipal Corporation, more than once, to the effect that the regulation of marketing of cattle and fodder was assumed by the Market Committee, the Municipal Corporation had no right to collect fee on the sales of cattle or to interfere in any manner whatsoever, in the marketing of cattle and fodder in such ways as to affect the Market Committee's rights in that regard. In spite of this defendant Corporation auctioned away the monopoly of collecting fees on the sales of cattle for the period from April 1, 1985 to March 31, 1966 i.e. for the year 1965-66. The Market Committed submitted that this auction of the Municipal Corporation was ultra vires and hence prayed for the reliefs stated above.

6. The suit wag resisted by the defendant-Municipal Corporation contending and raising a number of worthless technical contentions and also the contention that as the cattle market is situate in a land vested in the Municipal Corporation, the Market Committee had no right to enter in the said land; and the Market Committee is, therefore, liable to pay to the defendant damages for the use and occupation and for holding cattle market thereon.

7. It was contended that Bombay Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1939, did not apply to the Corporation area and, therefore, the Municipal Corporation could not be disturbed from holding the cattle market not only on the suit area but anywhere within the boundaries of the Sholapur Municipal Corporation. It was also submitted that the cattle market was held in the suit area, since 100 years. The Municipal Corporation was collecting fees on the sale of the animals, and the Market Committee had no right under the Bombay Agricultural Produce Markets Act, to collect fees and taxes on the sales of the cattle, usurping the exclusive right of the Municipal Corporation to collect fees on the sale of cattle within the Municipal limits under the Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act, 1925 and also under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949, which admittedly came into force on May 1, 1965.

8. It was urged on behalf of the Municipal Corporation that not only the Municipal Corporation had the right to collect fees on the sale of the cattle within the said municipal limit; and the suit was, therefore, liable to be dismissed; but on the contrary, the loss of income suffered by the Municipal Corporation due to the plaintiff's action in securing an interim injunction made the Mar-bet Committee liable to pay to the Municipal Corporation the rent for the use and occupation of the land and also fees on the sale of the cattle.

9. The learned Civil Judge framed nine issues as per Ex. 29. The parties relied on the correspondence between them and the provisions contained in the aforesaid Acts. The learned Civil Judge by his judgment and decree dated September 30, 1967, held: (1) that the Bombay Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1939, applied to the suit area; (2) that the Municipal Corporation ceased to have power to hold the cattle market in the areas specified in the Government Notification No. APM-27 dated January 5, 1965 by virtue of mandatory provisions of Section 4 (2) (b) of the Bombay Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1939; (3) that the Agricultural Market Committee had the right to collect fees and taxes on sales of cattle in the notified area; (4) that the B. A. P. M. Act, 1939, applied not only to the wholesale dealers or their brokers but also to the retail sellers between the producers and consumers; (5) that the Municipal Corporation had no right to auction the monopoly of collecting fees (Shingoti) on the sale of cattle; (6) and hence the Municipal Corporation was accountable in respect of fees collected during the year from April 1, 1965 to March 31, 1966; (7) on taking accounts in respect of the fee, it wag found that the Municipal Corporation had collected during that period an amount of Rs. 15,000/-; (8) in view of this conclusion, the learned Civil Judge granted the declaration and the injunction sought by the plaintiff and further decreed that the Municipal Corporation should pay to the Market Committee Rs. 15,000/- for the fees recovered by the Corporation during 1965-66, with costs; directing the Market Committee to pay the deficit court-fee stamp. The judgment and decree were confirmed by the Extra Assistant Judge, Sholapur, in an appeal filed by the Municipal Corporation. The. concurrent judgments and decrees are challenged in the above Second Appeal.

10. It was argued on behalf of the Municipal Corporation that having regard to a bye-law under which a fee at the rate of 2 np. per rupee of purchase money shall be levied on each head of cattle sold in the market appointed by the Standing Committee for the sale of cattle which is at page 199 of the Rules and Bye-laws of the Sholapur Borough Municipality, 1963; and the relevant provisions of the Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act, 1925 and the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949, the decrees passed by the two Courts below were erroneous in law.

11. There is no merit in the contention having regard to the special enactment contained in Section 4 (2) (b) of the Bombay Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1939, and the Notifications referred to above. The relevant Sub-section reads as follows:

'On and after the date of the declaration of the market area under Sub-section (1) no Municipality or other local authority, notwithstanding anything contained in the enactment relating to such Municipality or authority, shall be competent to establish, authorise or allow to be established any place in the said area for the purchase and sale of any agricultural produce specified in the notification issued under Sub-section (1).'

12. It is, therefore, patent that this provision in the Bombay Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1938, overrides all other powers given to the Municipal Corporation under the Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act, 1925, bye-laws made thereunder and the provisions of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949.

13. The two Courts were, therefore, right in decreeing the plaintiff's suit. The Second Appeal is therefore dismissedwith costs.

14. Appeal dismissed.


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