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Kalyan Municipality Vs. Govind Karsan Ramji - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMunicipal Tax
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number Appeal No. 162 of 1921
Judge
Reported inAIR1925Bom419; (1925)27BOMLR447
AppellantKalyan Municipality
RespondentGovind Karsan Ramji
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....on amount illegally taxed-suit not cognisable by a court of small causes.;the levying of a general sanitary cess, by a district municipality under section 59 (vii) to the district municipal act (bom. act iii of 1901) is not illegal on the ground of want of notice under section 65 (1) of the act.;a suit to recover the amount of tax illegally recovered by a municipality, coupled with a claim to interest on the amount aa damages, falls under article 35 (j) of the second schedule of the provincial small causes courts act, and is thus exempted from the jurisdiction of that court. - [couto; m.l. pendse, jj.] in the first instance the order passed under s. 132(5) is an order of a summary nature and does not conclude the rights of the petitioners, because while passing the assessment..........by the plaintiff for the recovery of rs. 368-c-l levied from him by the municipality of kalyau for general sanitary cess and shop-tax in regard to the property situated within the kalyan municipal area. the plaintiff's contention was that the recovery was illegal inasmuch as he was net given the notice required by section 65 (1) of the .district municipal act, and because the municipality did not observe the procedure prescribed by sections 59 to 65 of the act in regard to the imposition of these taxes.2. a preliminary point has been taken that no appeal lies, the suit being of a small causes court nature. if the plaintiff had confined his claim to the amount taxed and illegally recovered by him, then it would have been a suit triable by the small causes court, and consequently there.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. This in a suit by the plaintiff for the recovery of Rs. 368-C-l levied from him by the Municipality of Kalyau for general sanitary cess and shop-tax in regard to the property situated within the Kalyan Municipal area. The plaintiff's contention was that the recovery was illegal inasmuch as he was net given the notice required by Section 65 (1) of the .District Municipal Act, and because the Municipality did not observe the procedure prescribed by Sections 59 to 65 of the Act in regard to the imposition of these taxes.

2. A preliminary point has been taken that no appeal lies, the suit being of a Small Causes Court nature. If the plaintiff had confined his claim to the amount taxed and illegally recovered by him, then it would have been a suit triable by the Small Causes Court, and consequently there would be no second appeal. But the plaintiff asked for interest on that sum and that could only have been awarded as damages or compensation for the amount having been illegally recovered from him Consequently the jurisdiction of the Small Causes Court would be barred under Article 35 (j) of the second schedule and a second appeal lies.

3. We are not concerned in this appeal with the amount of the claim which relates to the shop-tax, as it is admitted that the levy of the increase) in shop-tax was illegal for want of sanction of the Governor-in-Council, so we are only concerned with the amount levied for the general sanitary cess. Both the lower Courts have held that that levy was illegal on the ground of want of notice under Section 65 (1) of the District Municipal Act. The only thing that can be said for the respondent's argument is that it has found favour with the judges in the lower Courts. It is perfectly obvious that the plaintiff misread Section 65 (1) and has confused taxation with assessment. The Municipality were not assessing plaintiff's property for the first time, nor were they increasing the assessment. Therefore no notice was required to be given to the plaintiff under that section. They were levying the tax under Section 59 (vii):-' A general sanitary cess for the construction or maintenance, or both construction and maintenance, of public latrines, and for the removal and disposal of refuse'. Proviso (a) says such a tax can be levied at a rate on buildings. The Municipality can impose separately any two or more of the taxes described in clauses (i), (vii), (viii), and (ix), or they may impose a consolidated tax assessed aa a rate on buildings or lands. The fact remains that they were empowered to impose a general sanitary cess, they did so by resolving that a rate of three per cent, on the letting values of buildings should be levied for that purpose. It is not suggested that the proper measures were not taken in order to validate the imposition of the tax.

4. I cannot, therefore, agree with the lower Courts that the levy of this tax was illegal on the ground of want of notice under H. 65 (1) of the Act. Therefore the appeal must be allowed.

5. There will only be a decree for the amount of the shop-taxes admittedly not properly exacted from the plaintiff.

6. Each party to bear its own costs throughout.

Crump, J.

7. I agree.


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