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Dr. M.H. Faruqi Vs. Municipal Board - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in146Ind.Cas.691
AppellantDr. M.H. Faruqi
RespondentMunicipal Board
Excerpt:
u.p. municipalities act (ii of 1916), section 296 - u.p. municipal rules, rules 2, 3--failure, to apply for renewal of license for motor car--offence--sub-sequent application and correspondence with municipality, effect of--criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 250--compensation--notice to show cause--complainant's right to prove that complaint was true. - - under this rule, it was the duty of the applicant to have applied for a fresh licence and as he failed to do so he clearly committed a breach of this rule. the charge against the applicant was that he had been keeping a motor car without obtaining a licence and that charge was perfectly true. if a person does not apply for the lenewal of his licence, he clearly commits a breach of rule 3. and for that breach he can be..........the learned magistrate was wrong in holding that the applicant had not committed any breach of the rules. rule 2 runs as follows :every person who being in possession of a vehicle liable to the tax, becomes resident in the municipality, or being resident in the municipality becomes possessed of a vehicle liable to the tax shall, within 15 days of the date of the beginning of such residence or such possession, apply to the executive officer for a licence. the application shall state the number and description of vehicles and the period for which a licence is required. if the tax is not received along with the application the executive officer shall cause a bill to be prepared and presented to the applicant and shall recover the tax in the manner provided by chap. vi of the act.4. rule 3.....
Judgment:

Rachhpal Singh, J.

1. This is a revision application against the order of the learned Sessions Judge of Allahabad getting aside an order of the trial Court awarding Rs. 100, as compensation to the applicant under Section 250 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

2. Dr. Faruqi, the applicant, obtained a license for his motor from the Municipal Board, Allahabad. The period for which the license was obtained ended on March 30, 1930. After this date Dr. Faruqi did not apply for the renewal of his license. On November 2, 1931, about one year and nine months after the expiry of old licence, the Municipal Board sent him a notice inviting his attention to the fact that he was using his car without obtaining a licence and requesting him to make an application for a licence without any delay. In a letter dated November 12, 1931, Dr. Faruqi, acknowledged the receipt of the notice and expressed his willingness to apply for a licence. In that letter he enquired from the Municipal Board to let him know the exact amount of the tax which he was required to pay. The Municipal Board sent a reply dated December 12, 1931, in which Dr. Faruqi was asked to fill up a form which was sent along with the letter. On March 3, 1932, he sent a letter to the Board enclosing the form, which had been sent to him. In this form, he did not mention the period for which the licence was required and hence it was returned to him along with a letter dated March 18, 1932. On the same date, Dr. Faruqi, wrote a letter to the Municipal Board claiming a refund on the ground that he had been paying Rs. 72 as tax though according to rules he should have paid less. The Municipal Board acknowledged the receipt of this demand and informed him on March 24, 1932, that 'matter was receiving the attention of the Executive Officer.' On March 30, 1933, Mr. Abbasi, the licencing officer of the Municipal Board filed a complaint in the court of the Joint Magistrate against Dr. Faruqi charging him, with having committed a breach of Rule 2 framed under Section 296 of the U.P. Municipalities Act by using his car without a licence. The learned Magistrate who tried the case held that the charge against Dr. Faruqi was not proved and that the case against him was 'vexatious and malicious.' He called upon the Municipal Board to show cause why compensation should not be granted to the complainant and eventually awarded Rs. 100 as compensation to the applicant. Against this order, the Municipal Board preferred an appeal to the court of the learned Sessions Judge of Allahabad who set aside the order of the learned Magistrate. He came to the conclusion that it was proved that the applicant had committed an offence under Rule 3 and the Municipal Board was entitled to prosecute him for breach of that rule and so it could not be said that the case was false and either vexatious or frivolous. The applicant has come to this Court in revision.

3. In my opinion there is no ground for interfering with the order passed by the learned Sessions Judge. I agree with the view taken by him that the learned Magistrate was wrong in holding that the applicant had not committed any breach of the rules. Rule 2 runs as follows :

Every person who being in possession of a vehicle liable to the tax, becomes resident in the Municipality, or being resident in the Municipality becomes possessed of a vehicle liable to the tax shall, within 15 days of the date of the beginning of such residence or such possession, apply to the Executive Officer for a licence. The application shall state the number and description of vehicles and the period for which a licence is required. If the tax is not received along with the application the Executive Officer shall cause a bill to be prepared and presented to the applicant and shall recover the tax in the manner provided by Chap. VI of the Act.

4. Rule 3 says:

A person to whom a licence has been granted shall, on or before the date on which the period of licence expires, make a fresh application for a new licence in the manner provided in the rule.

5. A person committing a breach of any of these two rules is punishable with a fine which may extend to Rs. 50. In the case before me it is not denied that the applicant kept a car without obtaining a licence for the period running from March 31, 1930, to beginning of November, 1931. Rule 3 lays down that the person to whom a licence has been granted shall on or before the date on which the period of the licence expires make a fresh application. Under this rule, it was the duty of the applicant to have applied for a fresh licence and as he failed to do so he clearly committed a breach of this rule. The charge against the applicant was that he had been keeping a motor car without obtaining a licence and that charge was perfectly true. The learned Sessions Judge is quite right in saying that the fact that the Board entered into correspondence with him and he applied for a licence cannot absolve him of the offence which he had already committed. The breach had already been committed when the applicant kept a motor car without obtaining licence for about one and a half year. His subsequent application for and licence, after the receipt of a notice from the Board, had not the effect of sweeping away his past breach of the rule and therefore, the Board was competent to prosecute him for having committed a breach of Rule 3. The learned Counsel appearing for the applicant contended before me that as soon as the applicant applied for a licence on the receipt of the notice from the Board, Rule 3 ceased to have any application. I find myself unable to agree with this contention. The breach had been committed before the applicant was given a notice and I have no doubt in my mind that his application for licence made after a breach of the rule had been committed did not absolve him from the offence which had already been committed. It should be borne in mind that the application for licence which the applicant made after the receipt of a notice would be for a period running from the date of the application and not for trial period. If a person does not apply for the lenewal of his licence, he clearly commits a breach of Rule 3. And for that breach he can be prosecuted if the Municipal Board so desires. If be is prosecuted, then, it is no defence to say that he was not aware that under the rules he had to make a fresh application for a renewal. Nor can he say that the offence which had already been committed ceased to be an offence simply because he applied for a licence later on.

6. Another point taken by the learned Counsel for the applicant was that the Municipal Board was not justified in launching a prosecution when it had assured the applicant that his claim for a refund was 'receiving attention.' I cannot agree with this contention. This had nothing to do with the past breach of Rule 3 which the applicant had already committed.

7. It was urged in the grounds of revision that the learned Sessions Judge was not justified in recording a finding that the applicant had committed a breach of Rule 3 after his acquittal by the trial Court. I do not agree with this view. When a Magistrate discharges and acquits a person and is of opinion that the accusation against the accused was false and either frivolous or vexatious then he may take action under Section 250 of the Code of Criminal Procedure against the complainant and call upon him to show cause why an order for compensation should not be made. When a notice is issued, then the complainant is entitled to show that the complaint was not false and either vexatious or frivolous. When the case went in appeal, the learned Sessions Judge was perfectly justified in giving a finding on this question, In my opinion, his finding that the case against the applicant was not false is correct and, therefore no case has been made out for interfering with that finding in revision. The application is, therefore, dismissed.


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