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C.R. Padmanabha Aiyar Vs. the Coimbatore Municipality Represented by Its Chairman C.S. Rathnasabapathy Mudaliar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMunicipal Tax
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1938Mad282; (1938)1MLJ99
AppellantC.R. Padmanabha Aiyar
RespondentThe Coimbatore Municipality Represented by Its Chairman C.S. Rathnasabapathy Mudaliar
Excerpt:
- - the rule distinctly requires that the chairman should direct him to pay the amount fixed on revision......either orally or in writing, of the orders passed thereon, and shall direct him to pay the amount fixed on revision within 15 days from the date on which it becomes due, and shall, if necessary, cause the assessment books to be corrected.2. it is admitted in this case that immediately after the disposal of the revision petition itself there was a note made that the valuation was reduced to rs. 250 and the petitioner's signature was taken as evidence of this fact having been communicated to him. but the rule further requires that the chairman shall direct him to pay the amount fixed on revision within 15 days after the receipt of such intimation. therefore this is also a condition precedent which the chairman had to perform before he could take the appropriate proceedings for non-payment.....
Judgment:

1. The only substantial question in this second appeal is whether the levy of property tax in respect of the plaintiff's house for 1926-1927 by the defendant Municipality is legal. The material facts bearing on this question are not in dispute. A quinquennial revision was undertaken by the Municipality in 1926-1927 in pursuance whereof a tax of Rs. 9-6-0 instead of the old tax of Rs. 5-1-7 was levied in respect of the plaintiff's house and a demand therefor made. The plaintiff preferred a Revision Petition against the said assessment and there was a disposal of the said Revision Petition in his favour by a reduction of the valuation from Rs. 324 to Rs. 250. The result of this revision will be that the tax of Rs. 9-6-0 will have to be modified and before appropriate proceedings either by way of distress or suit can be taken against the plaintiff, the provisions of the rules prescribed by the statute must be complied with. Under Rule 13 of Schedule IV of the District Municipalities Act:

Immediately after the disposal of the revision petition the Chairman shall inform the petitioner, or his authorised agent, either orally or in writing, of the orders passed thereon, and shall direct him to pay the amount fixed on revision within 15 days from the date on which it becomes due, and shall, if necessary, cause the assessment books to be corrected.

2. It is admitted in this case that immediately after the disposal of the Revision Petition itself there was a note made that the valuation was reduced to Rs. 250 and the petitioner's signature was taken as evidence of this fact having been communicated to him. But the rule further requires that the Chairman shall direct him to pay the amount fixed on revision within 15 days after the receipt of such intimation. Therefore this is also a condition precedent which the Chairman had to perform before he could take the appropriate proceedings for non-payment of the tax. It is admitted in this case that no such direction was given and in fact for the year 1926-1927, the assessment books have not been corrected and there is nothing to indicate what exactly was the amount fixed by the Municipality on revision. It is not open to the Municipality to say that once the reduction in valuation is made the plaintiff must ascertain what the exact amount to be paid by him is and should pay the same. That is not what the rule says. The rule distinctly requires that the Chairman should direct him to pay the amount fixed on revision. The obligation of fixing the tax on revision is on the Municipality and no duty is cast on the plaintiff to fix for himself the amount he has to pay. Therefore the proceedings by way of distress taken for the non-payment of the tax for 1926-1927 is not legal and therefore the levy of the tax and the proceedings taken for the realisation thereof ought to be set aside.

3. I therefore modify the decree of the lower Courts in so far as they have directed the plaintiff to pay the tax for the year 1926-1927 and direct a refund of the excess levied for the said year as prayed for. The rest of the appeal fails and is dismissed. So far as the second appeal is concerned, I direct each party to bear his own costs. Leave to appeal is refused.


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