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Laxmichand Javermal Vs. the Municipal Committee of Nandurbar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1923Bom413; 74Ind.Cas.205
AppellantLaxmichand Javermal
RespondentThe Municipal Committee of Nandurbar
Excerpt:
construction of document - municipal octroi schedule, prescribing value of goods--octroi, whether can be charged on actual value. - indian penal code, 1860 [c.a. no. 45/1860].sections 124-a, 153-a, 153-b, 292, 293 & 295a; [f.i. rebello, smt v.k. tahilramani & a.s. oka, jj] declaration as to forfeiture of book held, the power can be exercised only if the government forms opinion that said publication contains matter which is an offence under either of sections 124-a, 153-a, 153-b, 292, 293, 295a of i.p.c., .....column is the rate per cart-load; and in the third column is the weight in maunds or price. the cartload is to be reckoned at 16 maunds of 40 pakka seers. 'cloth' comes under class vii as cloth of all sorts and articles made of cotton, silk and wool, the rate per cart-load is 12 annas per every rs. 100 or part of it. in the third column the price is to be taken at rs. 500 per cart-load of 16 maunds.2. it seems to me clear that rs. 500 was the limit value of a full cart-load of cloth of all sorts and articles made of cotton, silk, etc., upon which the rate of 13 annas per cent. was to be levied. otherwise, the amount rs. 500 in the third column had no meaning. 'but if no amount was mentioned, as the rate was 12 annas per cent. it would he necessary to have some method for appraising.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, C.J.

1. The plaintiff filed this suit against the defendant, Municipality claiming Rs. 60-4-6, being the amount charged by the Municipality, by way of Octroi duty on cloth over and above what it was under the law entitled to levy. It is admitted that Section 167 of the District Municipal Act applied, and, therefore, the first five items sued for are beyond time. Shortly put, the Municipality claimed to charge on the plaintiff's goods, which were bales of cloth, an ad valorem rate on the value of the goods according to the present value and not according to the value appearing in the schedule of rates. The OctroiSchedule is divided into 3 columns in the first column are the names of various articles; in the second column is the rate per cart-load; and in the third column is the weight in maunds or price. The cartload is to be reckoned at 16 maunds of 40 pakka seers. 'Cloth' comes under class VII as cloth of all sorts and articles made of cotton, silk and wool, the rate per cart-load is 12 annas per every Rs. 100 or part of it. In the third column the price is to be taken at Rs. 500 per cart-load of 16 maunds.

2. It seems to me clear that Rs. 500 was the limit value of a full cart-load of cloth of all sorts and articles made of cotton, silk, etc., upon which the rate of 13 annas per cent. was to be levied. Otherwise, the amount Rs. 500 in the third column had no meaning. 'But if no amount was mentioned, as the rate was 12 annas per cent. it would he necessary to have some method for appraising the value of such goods by means of an appraiser at the Octroi Station. But to obviate all difficulties of that kind, the framers of the schedule fixed the price per cart-load on which the ad valorem duty was to be paid.

3. If we turn to class VIII which includes iron and articles of iron, the rate per cart-load is 12 annas, the price of a cart-load of 16 maunds being taken at Rs. 150.

4. Again, copper, brass, tin, lead, zinc and articles made therefrom are all charged at. 8 annas per cart-load the value of a cartload of 16 maunds being taken at Rs. 400.

5. In those cases, as there was no rate per cent. it really was not necessary to place any value on the cart-load, for according as the cart appears to the clerk to have a less or a greater load than the average load he would be entitled to charge more or less than 12 annas.

6. That appears tome to be the obvious construction which the Court should put on this schedule. Unfortunately, in 1910, the Examiner of Local Fund Accounts found fault with the method upon which the Octroi duty had been charged.

7. He said; 'As it appears to be the intention to charge those articles, against which value is stated ad valorem the present practice should either be stopped, and cloth, iron and other metals, etc., against winch value is stated, should be charged ad valorem after seeing the original invoices showing the purchase-prices received by the importers from the exporting merchants, or the schedule amended with the sanction of the Commissioner C.D. so as to legalise the present practice. It appears advisable in the interest of the Municipality, to charge cloth and iron, etc., or articles made thereof ad valorem as is done 'by most Municipalities.'

8. It seems to me that the proper procedure was exactly the opposite. If it was considered desirable in the interest of the Municipality that cloth and iron, etc., or articles made thereof should be charged on their actual value ad valorem, it would certainly be necessary to add to the schedule rules prescribing Low the real value of those goods was to be ascertained. It would also be necessary to set to the proper machinery for arriving at such valuation. It seems to be probable that when Ike schedule was framed, it was considered advisable that there should be a littler delay as possible at the Octroi Station, and that the methods of arriving at the Octroi duty to be charged should be of the simple possible description. If it was intended that the contents of cart-loads of goods such as these of various descriptions and quality had to be valued at the Octioi Station, and if the rate was to be charged on such value, then it was necessary to have expert appraisers to estimate that value. Moreover, it would not be possible in many cases to obtain without much delay the invoices showing purchase-prices received by the importers from the exporting merchants. However, if the Municipality wish to charge Octroi duty ad valorem on the value of the goods imported within their limits, then they must set up a proper machinery for that purpose. The Rule will be made absolute and there will be a decree for the plaintiff for Rs. 8-4-0. No order as to costs.

Cramp, J.

9. I agree.


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