1. This is an appeal from the judgment of Mr. Justice Waller. The facts of the case are as follows. The respondent association, namely, the Tea Districts (Supply) Association is an association of persons formed for certain purposes, the main purpose being to gather recruits for tea estates for various parts of India and one of the gathering grounds being in or close to the appellant Municipality. The objects of the association are fully set out in the: Memorandum of Association and its Articles. The association is contributed to by its members who pay a subscription on a fixed scale and a capitation fee of Rs. 5 for each recruiter and Rs. 12 for each recruit. Each estate which is represented in the association makes an advance of Rs. 75' to cover the expenses of the recruiters. For the moment, we prefer to call these payments by the members of the association their contributions. The association has a branch in the appellant Municipality and under Section 92 of the Madras District Municipalities Act (V of 1920) the appellant Municipality assessed the respondent association to companies tax for the half-years ending 30th September 1925, 31st March 1926 and 30th September 1926 and served upon the respondent association notices demanding payments of the sums of Rs. 125 for each of the half years already mentioned making a total sum of Rs. 500. The respondent association paid the amount demanded under protest and stating that they would file a suit in due course for the recovery of the amount paid by them under protest. The amount is a small one but as the respondent association had been similarly assessed by other Municipalities this suit and the other suits were, by order of the High Court, transferred here for a decision. Mr. Justice Waller allowed the respondents' suit because he held that the respondents were not assessable under Section 92 of the Madras District Municipalities Act by reason of the fact that they had no paid-up capital. Upon all other points he appears to have been in favour of the appellants.
2. The only point argued before us here to-day was whether the respondent association had a paid-up capital upon which it could be assessed. It is important to observe that the words used in Section 92 are 'paid-up capital'. Admittedly this is not a company but a mere benefit society; and it is not necessary--and so Mr. Justice Waller has held--that before a benefit society can be assessed under this Act it should carry on business within the Municipality for profit. What we have to deal with here is the question as to whether or not the respondent association has any paid-up capital upon which it can be assessed. Mr. B. Satya-narayana in his very able argument contends that the contributions by the members to which we have already referred constitute the paid-up capital of it. He argues that it is quite clear that the association carries on business within the limits of the appellant Municipality. He further argues that no association or company can carry on business without capital so to do and that any money; it derives from its own members or from outside must necessarily be the capital of the company with which to transact business. He argues that it is not right, as our learned brother Waller, J., in the Court below did, to give a strict interpretation to the words appearing in the section, namely, 'paid-up capital' and invites us to give to those words a liberal construction and hold that any money received by a company, a benefit society or an association which enables it to carry on its business must necessarily be capital. We are of the opinion that Mr. Justice Waller was quite right in applying to those words the technical meaning which usually is applied to those words. We find them in the section in question used in relation to a company and we decline to apply any other meaning to those words 'paid-up capital' than that which is usually applied to them. Paid-up capital means so much of the authorised or stated capital of a company which its shareholders or subscribers have paid up. In this case it appears to us that the contributions of the members of the association were in no sense capital. They were the subscriptions of the members of the association to the association and as such were the 'income' and not the 'capital' of the association. There is a distinct difference between 'income' and 'capital' and in our view this was the income of the association which enabled it to carry on its business within the limits of the appellant Municipality. The legislature has chosen to say that where a company or a benefit society carries on business within a Municipality it is to be assessed on its paid-up capital. But if the company or the benefit society has no paid-up capital, it follows that it cannot be assessed. Under these circumstances, in our view, the judgment of Mr. Justice Waller in the Court below was quite correct. This appeal must, therefore, be dismissed with costs.