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Vijayamohini Mills Ltd., Trivandrum Vs. Commissioner, Corporation of Trivandrum and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.P. No. 2328 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1971Ker7
ActsKerala Municipal Corporation Act, 1961 - Sections 299
AppellantVijayamohini Mills Ltd., Trivandrum
RespondentCommissioner, Corporation of Trivandrum and anr.
Appellant Advocate P.K. Kurian,; V. Desikan,; K.A. Nayar and;
Respondent Advocate K. Velayudhan Nair,; N.R.K. Nair,; K.J. Joseph and;
Excerpt:
- .....paragraph 3 of its counter affidavit:'the respondent is rendering service to the petitioner. the public health staff of the corporation visit the factory run by the petitioner. the public health staff give advice on hygienic problems connected with the factory and its labourers. the scavengers do scavenging works in the premises as the area where the factory is located do not come within the area covered by drainage system. on the request of the petitioner disinfectants are sprayed in the factory premises whenever so requested. the corporation staffs remove the waste and filth accumulated in the premises of the factory. in the budget of the corporation the licence fees collected are shown in separate heads.'2. assuming that such services have been rendered, they seem to us to have no.....
Judgment:

Raman Nair, C.J.

1. The activity which it is claimed, attracts the impugned fee of Rs. 5,685 demanded of the petitioner company by the respondent Corporation for the grant of a licence for 1965-66 under Section 299 of the Kerala Municipal Corporations Act, 1961 read with the entry, 'Machinery --XXX -- using for any industrial purpose' in Schedule IV thereto, is the use of the Company's premises within the limits of the Corporation for the purpose of using 1.46 electric motors with an aggregate horse power of 710.75 for the industrial purpose of running a textile mill. The service rendered which, according to the Corporation, constitutes the quid pro quo and justifies the fee is thus described in paragraph 3 of its counter affidavit:

'The respondent is rendering service to the petitioner. The Public Health Staff of the Corporation visit the Factory run by the Petitioner. The Public Health Staff give advice on hygienic problems connected with the factory and its labourers. The scavengers do scavenging works in the premises as the area where the factory is located do not come within the area covered by drainage system. On the request of the petitioner disinfectants are sprayed in the factory premises whenever so requested. The Corporation Staffs remove the waste and filth accumulated in the premises of the factory. In the Budget of the Corporation the licence fees collected are shown in separate heads.'

2. Assuming that such services have been rendered, they seem to us to have no relation to the activity that calls for the licence. It is too far-fetched to say that the me of the motors involves directly and indirectly the employment of a large number of workers, and, in turn, the use of latrines and the accumulation of rubbish and filth necessitating the services mentioned. And, to the extent that the services are not altogether imaginary -- we are thinking of the claim that 'the Public Health Staff give advice on hygienic problems connected with the factory and its labourers' -- the services are services which the Corporation is bound to render under Chapter VIII of the Act andfor which a property tax is levied under Section 101 (1) (b). That apart, no attempt has been made to show how much is being levied by way of licence fee of this description and how much is being spent for the alleged services.

3. It is clear that the levy is illegal --it is hardly necessary to cite authority for this. We might add that no attempt has been made by the Corporation to sustain the case put forward in paragraph 4 of its counter affidavit that the levy is justifiable as a tax.

4. We direct the respondents not to deny the renewal of the licence applied for by the petitioner on the ground that the fee claimed therefor has not been paid. The respondents will pay the petitioner its costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.


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