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Emperor Vs. Ramrao Abaji Prabhu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 58 of 1921
Judge
Reported inAIR1921Bom62; (1921)23BOMLR831
AppellantEmperor
RespondentRamrao Abaji Prabhu
Excerpt:
.....district municipal act (iii of 1901), sections 96, 3(7)-erecting a building- erection of compound wall-'building', definition of.;the erection of a compound-wall at a distance from the building is erecting a building within the meaning of section 96 of the bombay district) municipal act 1901. - - 2. the question is, therefore, whether the accused was entitled to build his compound wall without giving notice under section 96. if the 'compound wall' comes within the definition of 'building 'then clearly the accused was altering externally or adding to the existing building by building the compound wall. - building' shall include any hut, shed, or other enclosure, whether used as a human dwelling or otherwise, and shall i include also walls, verandahs, fixed plat-forms, plinths,..........in the definition in the previous act vi of 1873 it was stated that the word 'building' should include compound walls, door-steps, verandahs, and the like, and the omission of the word ' compound' from the definition in the. act of 1901 clearly show that the legislature intended to include within the definition of the word 'building' not only compound walls but other walls which the owner of the premises might erect for various purposes besides that of enclosing the land on which the building stood. otherwise the definition that the term 'building' shall include walls is absolutely meaningless. i think, therefore, that the accused was bound to give notice to the municipality under section 96, and that he disregarded the notice i to atop work. consequently he was liable to be punished.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. This is an appeal by Government against an order of the Third Class Magistrate dismissing the complaint of the Mai wan Municipality brought against the accused in the following circumstances. The accused is the owner of a building within the Municipal limits. He wanted to erect a stone-wall to his compound at a distance of thirty-feet from the house. He commenced to erect the wall without giving notice under Section 96 of the Bombay District Municipal Act III of 1907, whereupon he was served with notice to stop the construction of his wall until he had obtained permission. The accused, however, paid no attention to the notice, but finished the wall in contravention of the orders of the Municipality in consequence of which the Municipality accorded its sanction for the prosecution of the accused for failing to give notice and directed the Municipal Inspector to lodge a complaint against him under Section 96, Clause (5), of the Act.

2. The question is, therefore, whether the accused was entitled to build his compound wall without giving notice under Section 96. If the 'compound wall' comes within the definition of ' building ', then clearly the accused was altering externally or adding to the existing building by building the compound wall. Now the definition of ' building' in Section 8(7) is as follows:-

Building' shall include any hut, shed, or other enclosure, whether used as a human dwelling or otherwise, and shall I include also walls, verandahs, fixed plat-forms, plinths, door-steps land the like.

3. Ordinarily speaking a building cannot exist without walls. 'Therefore there would be no necessity in the definition of the word building' to mention that it included walls unless it was intended to include other walls in addition to these walls without which the 'building' could not esits.

4. In the definition in the previous Act VI of 1873 it was stated that the word 'building' should include compound walls, door-steps, verandahs, and the like, and the omission of the word ' compound' from the definition in the. Act of 1901 clearly show that the Legislature intended to include within the definition of the word 'building' not only compound walls but other walls which the owner of the premises might erect for various purposes besides that of enclosing the land on which the building stood. Otherwise the definition that the term 'building' shall include walls is absolutely meaningless. I think, therefore, that the accused was bound to give notice to the Municipality under Section 96, and that he disregarded the notice I to atop work. Consequently he was liable to be punished with a fine under Section 96(5) of the Act. It is certainly undesirable that house-owners should disregard the notices served upon them in such cases as these by Municipalities. But it may be that the accused had been advised that his construction of the Act was correct, and that the Municipality were exceeding their powers in asking him to stop the building of his wall. It is not, therefore, a case for exacting a severe penalty. In any event the accused has rendered a service to the public by enabling this Court to give a judicial decision on the point which was certainly not beyond dispute. It is sufficient, therefore, to convict the accused under Section 96(5) of the Bombay District Municipal Act III of 1901 and sentence him to pay a fine of rupee one.

Shah, J.

5. I agree.


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