1. These appeals arise from two suits filed against the Town Municipal Council, Closepet, for declaration that certain taxes levied by it were illegal and for refund of the amounts' collected as such taxes. The liability in refund any amount was denied and the levy was alleged to be quite legal. Issues concerning these were framed and by consent of parties the suits were tried together with evidence common to both. The suits were dismissed on the ground that the requirements of S. 178, Town Municipalities Act are not satisfied. The decision is confirmed in appeal. The plaintiffs in the two suits therefore appeal.
2. It is curious that although no objection is taken to the suits in the written statements on the ground of notices sent by plaintiff prior to the suits being defective, and no issue was framed about it, the learned Munsiff thought it necessary to scrutinise the contents of the notices and hold that these do not satisfy the provisions of S. 178 of the Act. Further no finding has been recorded on the issues framed in the case in spite of the parties having adduced evidence about the same. If the Court felt that the question of notice was such as had to be considered irrespective of defendant's plea, it should have been decided at the outset. Having allowed the parties to lead evidence in the case the Court should have properly given findings on all the issues instead of resting the decision on a point not covered by any issue. The learned Subordinate Judge has also failed to notice this.
3. The allegations in the plaint about issue of notices are not seriously controverted in the defence and parties joined issue only on matters pertaining to the legality of the levy, implying thereby that objection, if any, to the notices was waived. Section 178, Town Municipalities Act cannot be viewed as being stricter than S. 80, Civil P. C. as regards the need for a proper notice before a suit is filed. The provisions are analogous and similar considerations apply for giving effect to these. With reference to S. 80, Civil P. C., it was observed in -- 'Vellayan Chettiar v. Govt. of the Provinces of Madras', 49 Bom LR 794 (PC) that the authority concerned can waive the notice. See also -- 'Charu Chandra v. Snigdhendu Prosad' : AIR1948Cal150 and 'Secy of State v. Sheoramjee', 1950-5 DomLR (Nag) 81. In the last case it is definitelystated that all objections regarding the main- tair.ability of the suit for want of notice areto be taken at the earliest opportunity. Aparty will be deemed to have waived thenotice and may be estopped by his conductfrom pleading want of notice if the plea is notraised at the proper time. The notice is intended to give the authority concerned information sufficient enough to make out the basisof the grievance. It is not to be construedmeticulously and deemed to be invalid becausematters of detail which a Court has to takeinto account are not found. The notices inthose cases substantially comply with the requirements of the section and it is not allegedthat there was any difficulty on the part ofthe defendant to understand the nature of theclaims, the grounds of complaint or the reliefssought. In my opinion the notices are not invalid and even if they are, defendant haswaived these. The decrees of the Courts below are, therefore, set aside and the suits areremanded for disposal afresh in accordancewith law. The Court-fee paid in the appealswin bo refunded. Costs incurred so far willabide the result.
4. Appeals allowed.