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Kamta Prasad Vs. Secretary of State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject Motor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939All609
AppellantKamta Prasad
RespondentSecretary of State
Excerpt:
.....to do so. of which the tax or instalment of tax has been paid, has occasion to withdraw the said motor vehicle from use for the whole of the period in-respect of which the tax or any such instalment is again payable, he may, in lieu of paying such tax or instalment, surrender to the licensing officer the registration certificate and registration card relating to the said motor vehicle and shall thereupon be exempt from liability to pay the said tax or instalment of tax in respect of the said period 5. this section makes the position perfectly clear. it clearly lays down that the owner of a motor vehicle cannot be exempt from-liability for paying the tax in accordance with the act until he surrenders to the licensing officer the registration certificate and registration card relating to..........for the period july to september and further pleaded that the suit was barred by section 16, u.p. motor vehicles taxation act 5 of 1935, which ousted the jurisdiction of the civil court. the learned small cause court judge has allowed this latter plea to prevail and has consequently dismissed the plaintiff's suit though he has 5i old at the same time that upon the facts of the case the plaintiff was not liable to pay any tax. hence this application in revision. having heard the learned counsel (or the applicant and having carefully considered the relevant provisions of the u.p. motor vehicles taxation act 5 of 1935, i find that there is no force in this application. in fact i am unable to agree with the foamed small cause court judge in his finding that the plaintiff was not liable to.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Mulla, J.

1. This is a plaintiff's application under Section 25, Small Cause Courts Act. 16 arises out of a suit brought by the plaintiff to recover a sum of Rs. 39 from the defendant, the Secretary of State for India, on the ground that the said amount which he had sent to the defendant had been illegally appropriated by the latter towards an alleged liability of the plaintiff for tax though under the law the plaintiff was not really liable. The plaintiff owned a motor lorry which plied for hire between Ballia and Sikandarpur. It was duly licensed and registered in June 1935. The license expired on 30th June 1936. In the meantime for some reason with which we are not particularly concerned, the plaintiff's lorry was suspended by the police. Daring the months of July, August and September, the road between Ballia and Sikandarpur was, according to the plaintiff, in such a state of disrepair and damage on account of floods that no motor lorries could ply. The plain, tiff alleged that in consequence thereof he did not apply for the renewal of his license until October 1936. When he went to the licensing authorities and offered a sum of Rs. 39 to them for renewal of his license they first directed him to get a report from the police regarding the suspension of his lorry and later on refused to accept the amount offered by him and to renew his license. Ho then sent the same amount by M. Order to the Treasury Officer who received it but still, no license was issued and the amount was appropriated towards the tax which it was said was payable by him for the period July to September. On these allegations, the plaintiff claimed to recover the amount from the defendant.

2. The defendant resisted the suit on the ground that under the law the plaintiff was liable to tax for the period July to September and further pleaded that the suit was barred by Section 16, U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act 5 of 1935, which ousted the jurisdiction of the Civil Court. The learned Small Cause Court Judge has allowed this latter plea to prevail and has consequently dismissed the plaintiff's suit though he has 5i old at the same time that upon the facts of the case the plaintiff was not liable to pay any tax. Hence this application in revision. Having heard the learned Counsel (or the applicant and having carefully considered the relevant provisions of the U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act 5 of 1935, I find that there is no force in this application. In fact I am unable to agree with the foamed Small Cause Court Judge in his finding that the plaintiff was not liable to pay any tax for the period July to September. Section 4 of the Act clearly states that:

Such tax shall thereafter be payable annually notwithstanding that the motor vehicle may from lime to time case to be used.

3. From this it is clear that the liability of person who owns a motor vehicle and gets a license for it continues under the Act until it is brought to an end under a subsequent provision of the Act to which I shall presently refer. Section 5 of the Act lays down that:

The tax shall be payable in advance on or before this seventh day of January in each year by the owner of a motor vehicle on a license to be taken out and paid for under the provisions of this Act.

4. There is however a proviso which gives the owner of a motor vehicle the option of paying the tax in four equal instalments payable on or before the seventh day of January, April, July and October, The point however remains that the tax is payable in advance and in the circumstances of the present case it was obviously incumbent upon the plaintiff to deposit, the tax on or before 7th July 1936, but he failed to do so. Then we come to Section 9 of the Act which provides for exemption from and remission of the tax. It runs as follows:

When the owner of any motor vehicle in respect; of which the tax or instalment of tax has been paid, has occasion to withdraw the said motor vehicle from use for the whole of the period in-respect of which the tax or any such instalment is again payable, he may, in lieu of paying such tax or instalment, surrender to the licensing officer the registration certificate and registration card relating to the said motor vehicle and shall thereupon be exempt from liability to pay the said tax or instalment of tax in respect of the said period

5. This Section makes the position perfectly clear. It clearly lays down that the owner of a motor vehicle cannot be exempt from-liability for paying the tax in accordance with the Act until he surrenders to the licensing officer the registration certificate and registration card relating to the said motor. In the present case, it is admitted by the plaintiff that be did not surrender his registration certificate and registration card until the month of October 1936. There cannot therefore be any doubt that under the law, as it stands, the plaintiff was liable to pay the tax for the period July to September. Then we have two Sections in the Act which bear upon the question of jurisdiction which has been raised in the case. Section 15 runs as follows:

Any person aggrieved by an order relating to the assessment, imposition or recovery of tax may within a period of 30 days from the date of such order prefer an appeal to the Collector or if the Collector is the officer who passed such order, then to the Commissioner. Every order in appeal passed by a Collector or by a Commissioner under this. Section shall be final.

6. Under this Section the plaintiff had obviously a remedy against the appropriation by the Treasury Officer of the sum of Rs. 39 sent by him towards his liability for tax for the period July to September. There is no suggestion that the plaintiff availed himself of that remedy at all. Then Section 16 of the Act lays down:

The liability of a person to pay the tax shall' not be questioned or determined in any manner, nor by any authority other than is provided in this Act or in rules made thereunder....

7. This Section clearly ousts the jurisdiction; of the Civil Court to deal with the question} of the liability of the owner of a motor vehicle to payment of the tax thereon. I am therefore in agreement with the learned Small Cause Court Judge that the suit was not cognizable by the Civil Court. The argument on behalf of the applicant is that under Section 14 of the Act there is a remedy given to the authorities for realizing the tax and a particular procedure is provided therefor. It is contended that the authorities wore bound to follow that procedure and they had no authority to appropriate the money sent by the plaintiff towards his liability to tax for the period July to September. This contention was repelled by the learned Small Cause Court Judge and I entirely agree with him. Section 14 only lays down a speedy procedure for the realization of the tax, but it does not prevent the authorities from recovering the tax in any other manner, for instance, by appropriating any money sent by the person liable to the tax towards his liability. The result therefore is that I see no reason to interfere and dismiss this application with costs.


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