1. In these two writ petitions the question that arise for consideration is whether Section 5 of the Limitation Act is applicable to appeals filed under Section 15 of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1957. The Deputy Transport Commissioner, Mysore, dismissed two appeals filed by the petitioners in these two petitions on the ground that they were barred by time. One of the contentions raised in these two writ petitions is that the petitioners had made applications under Section 5 of the Limitation Act before the Deputy Transport Commissioner to condone the delay in filing the appeals and that in not taking them into consideration, he bad failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in him.
2. On behalf of the respondents it is urged that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is not applicable to the appeals in question.
3. The Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation Act and the Rules framed there under do not expressly provide that Section 5 of the Limitation Act would be applicable to the appeals filed under Section 15. Sri R. J. Babu, learned counsel for the petitioners, contended that the principle underlying Section 5 of the Limitation Act should have been applied by the Deputy Transport Commissioner by virtue of sub-section (2) of Section 29 of the Limitation Act. I find it difficult to agree with the submission made on behalf of the petitioners.
4. The Deputy Transport Commissioner is not a Court. The appeals in question arose under a taxing statute. Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act does not say that the provisions of the Limitation Act would
be applicable to appeals filed under a taxing statute. In the above situation it is not possible to apply by analogy the principles underlying Section 5 of the Limitation Act to appeals filed under the Karnataka
Vehicles Taxation Act.
5. The true principle governing the question is laid down by the Supreme Court in Commr. of Sales Tax, U. P. v. M/s. Parson Tools and Plants, Kanpur : 3SCR743 as follows:
'Thus the principle that emerges is that if the legislature in a special statute prescribes a certain period of limitation for filing a particular application there under and provides in clear terms that such period on sufficient cause being shown, may be extended, in the maximum, only upto a specified time limit and no further, then the Tribunal concerned has no jurisdiction to treat within limitation, an application filed before it beyond such maximum time limit specified in the statute, by excluding the time spent in prosecuting in good faith and due diligence any prior proceeding on the analogy of Section 14(2) of the Limitation Act.
We have said enough and we may say it again that where the legislature clearly declares its intent in the scheme and language of a statute, it is the duty of the Court to give full effect to the same without scanning its wisdom or policy, and without engrafting, adding or implying anything which is not congenial to or consistent with such expressed intent of the law-giver; more so if the statute is a taxing statute. We will close the discussion by recalling what Lord Hailsham (at p, 11 in Pearlberg v. Varty (1972) 2 All ER 6) has said recently in regard to importation of the principles of natural justice into a statute which is a clear and complete Code, by itself:
'it is true of course that the Courts will lean heavily against any construction of a statute which would be manifestly unfair. But they have no power to amend or supplement the language of a statute merely because in one view of the matter a subject feels himself entitled to a larger degree of say in the making of a decision than a statute accords him. Still less is it the functioning of the courts to form, first a judgment on the fairness of an Act of Parliament and then to amend or supplement it with new provisions so as to make it conform to that judgment.
In para 9 of the same decision the Supreme Court considered the applicability Section 5 of the Limitation Act and observed that it was not applicable.
6. The taxing authorities are merely instrumentalities of the State. They do not form part of the judiciary. Their functions and powers are governed by the statute under which they are created. They cannot be converted into courts of Civil judicature.
7. In D. H. Raghavendra Rao v. Bellary Town Co-operative Stores Ltd. (1973 (1) Mys LJ 12) a Division Bench this Court has declined to apply the provisions of the Limitation Act to the proceedings before an Arbitrator under the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act on the ground that he was not a Court.
8. In view of the foregoing, I hold that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is not applicable to appeals filed under Section 15 of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation Act in the result these petitions fail and they are dismissed. No costs.
9. Petitions dismissed.