1. In this case a Municipality has levied a tax; it has charged the present applicant with certain arrears alleged to be due. It has applied to a Magistrate for recovery of those arrears by distress and sale of the movable property of the applicant. Under protest payment was made. The applicant here challenges the right of the Magistrate to make such an order, and contends that the Magistrate ought to have judicially heard and determined the question whether any such arrears were due at all. The action which was taken by the Municipality and the Magistrate was apparently taken under Section 46 of Act No. XV of 1883. That section is couched in the following words:--'Arrears of tax imposed under this Act may be recovered, on application to a Magistrate having jurisdiction within the limits of the Municipality, by the distress and sale of any movable property belonging to the defaulter within those limits.' There are no provisions indicating that the Magistrate is applied to in a judicial capacity, and no provision for a judicial dealing with the case by him. I do not find my mind influenced by a decision cited from I.L.R. 17 Bom., 731, because that decision was upon a section of an Act containing words which did import a judicial determination. Nor do I find myself able to draw any inference from the statutory provisions for the enforcement of the recovery of income tax or land revenue. It seems to me that, had the Legislature intended to impose upon the Magistrate the duty of judicial inquiry and finding, it would have used appropriate words. In the absence of such words I find it impossible to believe that the Legislature intended to confer upon the youngest and most inexperienced officer a function of trying such a question, for instance, as the legality of the imposition of a tax.
2. In my opinion the duty imposed on the Magistrate is purely ministerial, and provides the means whereby the recovery of the taxes could be enforced by a legal authority. This petition is therefore dismissed.