N.N. Goswamy, J.
(1) This judgment will dispose of R.S. As. Nos. 157 & 158 of 1972 and R.S.As. 57, 58, 59 and 60 of 1978 as all these appeals are between the same parties and common question of law and facts arise. These appeals can conveniently be disposed of by a common judgment.
(2) The years in question are '1969-70, 1970-71, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75 and 1975-76. The first two appeals of 1972 deal with only one point. In this case assessment was set aside only on the ground that the completion certificate in respect of property in dispute had not been issued and as such the property being incomplete was not liable to house-tax. In view of the various pronouncements of this Court to the contrary, the learned counsel for the respondent does not press this issue. These appeals have, thereforee, to be allowed. Consequently R.S.As. Nos. 157 of 1972 and 158 of 1972 are allowed and the impugned judgment passed by the two courts below are set aside. Since the remaining issues remained undecided by the two courts below, the appeals have ordinarily to be remanded back to the learned trial Judge. However, in view of the latest judgment of their lordships of the Supreme Court in the case of Dr. Balbir Singh, the counsel for the parties agree that instead of remanding back the case, the appellant-committee will make fresh assessment in accordance with the case referred to above. In view of this statement, it is not necessary to send back the cases and the appellant is given liberty to make fresh assessments in accordance with the case referred to above.
(3) As regards the remaining four appeals i.e. R.S.As. Nos. 57, 58, 59 and 60 of 1978 besides the point of incomplete building another contention was raised by the learned counsel for the respondent. It has been contended that no notice as required by section 65 of the Punjab Municipal Act was served on the respondents and as such the assessment were bad in law. It is true that the two courts have found as a fact that there was no personal service of the notice under section 65 of the Act, but a perusal of section 65 would show that no personal notice is required unless the property is being assessed either for the first time or the assessment is being increased. In the present case, the assessment was adopted for the previous year for which admittedly a valid notice was issued. On consideration of the entire matter, I am of the opinion that no personal service was required of a notice under section 65 of the Act when the assessment had only to be adopted. Mr. Shyam Kishore further contends that the assessment for the years 1969-70 and 1970-71 having been quashed, the same could not be adopted in law. This argument has ho merit for the simple reason that the assessment was adopted much prior to the quashing of the assessment for the years 1969-70 and 1970-70. The assessments were not nullity in law and at best were illegal. In the circumstances, there was nothing wrong in adopting the said assessments for the subsequent years.
(4) Another serious contention raised by the learned counsel for the respondent is that the assessment was not in accordance with law laid down by their lordships of the Supreme Court in the case of Dr. Balbir Singh. This point was found in favor of the respondents by the learned trial Judge but the first Appellate Court has not dealt with this point in view of its findings on other points. Ordinarily the appeal had to be allowed and send back to the first Appellate Court for deciding the question of law regarding the assessment in accordance with fair rent. Sending back of the case would mean that the first Appellate Court will necessarily have to set aside the assessment in view of the judgment referred to above and direct fresh assessment in accordance with law laid down in the said judgment. thereforee I am of the opinion that no useful purpose will be served by my remitting the case back to the first Appellate Court. I, thereforee, allow the appeals and set aside the assessment which is admittedly not in accordance with law laid down by their lordships of the Supreme Court. Liberty is given to the appellant--Committee to reassess for the relevant years in accordance with law. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.