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Sheo NaraIn Vs. Town Area Panchayat - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1934All792; 153Ind.Cas.549
AppellantSheo Narain
RespondentTown Area Panchayat
Excerpt:
u.p. towns area act (ii of 1904), sections 14 and 18 - plaintiff occupying land regularly and holding office there, if an occupier within section 14--assessment by panchayat--appeal to district magistrate dismissed--bar to subsequent action in civil court. - - further, according to the custom the plaintiff occupied the same position every day, and bad his name attached to the particular spot where he sat. this man certainly occupies this portion of land just as clearly as a stallholder would occupy a stall in a market. on this view of the statute the plaintiff clearly was properly assessed. they deal with failure to use the procedure laid down by the particular acts......deciding that no action lay in view of the provisions of section 18 which says:the decision of the appellate authority prescribed under section i of this act shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court,does not arise. the argument of counsel was that as the plaintiff did not cornel within the meaning of section 14 as the occupier of land, therefore the decision of the panchayat against him was ultra vires and a suit in the civil court would lie. as the matter has been argued i think it only right to say that i do not agree with the argument of counsel in this court. section 18(4) is clear and decisive. the district magistrate who is the appellate court in section 18 is given authority to decide cases. he is equally given the authority to decide whether a person is.....
Judgment:

Young, J.

1. This is a second appeal from the decision of the learned Subordinate Judge of Farrukhabad. The plaintiff, who is the mukhtar, practising in Chhibramau Tehsil, was assessed under the Town Areas Act by the local panchayat and taxed as an occupier of land under Section 14 of the said Act. He appealed to the District Magistrate. The District Magistrate dismissed the appeal. There after he filed civil suit, which is now in second appeal before me. The learned Judge in the lower appellate Court came to the conclusion that the plaintiff was an occupier of land within the meaning of Section 14, and further that under Section 14 of the said Act any civil action was final and completely barred. The plaintiff appeals. The plaintiff practises, according to the finding, regularly in the Tehsil Court of Chhibramau. In accordance with the practice of these gentlmen the plaintiff spread a bister of carpet upon the ground and there sat at the seat of custom regularly every day. Clients came to consult him there, his clerk sat there, he received instructions from his clients and was paid his fees there. Further, according to the custom the plaintiff occupied the same position every day, and bad his name attached to the particular spot where he sat. The question therefore arises whether the local panchayat was justified in assessing the plaintiff as an occupier of land within the limit of the town area. In my opinion the plaintiff was an occupier of land within the meaning of the said section. The meaning of 'occupy' in Webster's Dictionary is 'to make use of, to hold or keep for use.' By habit of custom or by the leave or license of the authorities the plaintiff regularly occupied and made use of this particular spot of ground in the compound and used it as an office in connection with his profession as mukhtar. Section 14 gives the panchayat the right to assess the occupiers of lands either according to their circumstances or according to the annual value of their lands. This appears to me to contemplate the very position which arises in this case. Where land occupied as here is of small value permission is given to assess the occupier according to his circumstances. This man certainly occupies this portion of land just as clearly as a stallholder would occupy a stall in a market. On this view of the statute the plaintiff clearly was properly assessed. In view of my decision on the above the second-argument raised by the appellant that the lower Court was wrong in deciding that no action lay in view of the provisions of Section 18 which says:

the decision of the appellate authority prescribed under Section I of this Act shall be final and shall not be called in question in any Court,

does not arise. The argument of counsel was that as the plaintiff did not cornel within the meaning of Section 14 as the occupier of land, therefore the decision of the panchayat against him was ultra vires and a suit in the Civil Court would lie. As the matter has been argued I think it only right to say that I do not agree with the argument of counsel in this Court. Section 18(4) is clear and decisive. The District Magistrate who is the appellate Court in Section 18 is given authority to decide cases. He is equally given the authority to decide whether a person is properly assessed or not, and whether he is an occupier of lands or not. His jurisdiction either on fact or law is not excluded in any particular. Where, therefore the statute says that the particular appellate Court prescribed by the statute shall be final and that the decision of that appellate Court cannot be called into question in any Court, and there is further no limitation to the authority of that Court, it appears to me to be clear that any subsequent action in the civil Court must be barred. It is further a rule of the construction of statues that where a particular liability is created by statute and a particular remedy is given by that statute, then the particular person found liable is confined to the particular remedy. Quite apart therefore from the provisions of Section 18(4) it is doubtful whether the plaintiff would have recourse to the civil Court. Various authorities have been quoted by counsel: Abdul Aziz v. Municipal Board of Pilibhit (1905) 2 A.L.J. 222, Moti Jan v. Municipal Committee, Delhi A.I.R. 1926 Lah. 461 and Municipal Committee, Ajmere v. Kifayat Ullah A.I.R. 1915 All. 10.

2. In my opinion, none of these cases are authority for the proposition he seeks to establish. They deal with failure to use the procedure laid down by the particular Acts. None of these cases deal with the barring of a civil suit after decision in a final Court of appeal under an Act. I therefore on both points find against the appellant. The appeal is dismissed with costs. As this raises a question of some importance in law and there is a lack of authority upon it I give leave to appeal.


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