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The Municipal Council of Tirupati by the Chairman Vs. Sree Mahant Prayag Dossjee Varu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrust and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1915Mad594; (1914)27MLJ231
AppellantThe Municipal Council of Tirupati by the Chairman
RespondentSree Mahant Prayag Dossjee Varu
Cases ReferredKunmatta Chinnarappa v. Kona Timma Reddi
Excerpt:
- .....act read with schedule a., clause (3) as a ' person who exercises ' the ' calling ' of ' money-lender '. the learned vakil (mr. venka-taraghavier) who appears for the appellant (the tirupati municipality) argues that lending out moneys even occasionally is following a ' cailing 'and that that ' calling ' is the ' calling of a money-lender. he relies for this contention on certain observations in jennings v. the president, municipal commission, madras i.l.r. (1886) m. 253. that case was decided on the interpretation of section 103 of the city of madras municipal act of 1884' read with sch. a of that act. the whole arrangement of the classes of persons liable to pay municipal taxes in sch. a. of the city of madras municipal act of 1884 is different from the arrangement of the.....
Judgment:

1. The first question for decision in this second appeal is whether the plaintiff (the Tirupatt Mahant) is liable to be taxed under Section 53 of the District Municipalities Act read with Schedule A., Clause (3) as a ' person who exercises ' the ' calling ' of ' money-lender '. The learned Vakil (Mr. Venka-taraghavier) who appears for the appellant (the Tirupati Municipality) argues that lending out moneys even occasionally is following a ' cailing 'and that that ' calling ' is the ' calling of a money-lender. He relies for this contention on certain observations in Jennings v. The President, Municipal Commission, Madras I.L.R. (1886) M. 253. That case was decided on the interpretation of Section 103 of the City of Madras Municipal Act of 1884' read with Sch. A of that Act. The whole arrangement of the classes of persons liable to pay Municipal taxes in Sch. A. of the City of Madras Municipal Act of 1884 is different from the arrangement of the classes of persons made liable in Sch. A of the District Municipalities Act. The term ' money lender ' does not occur in Sch. A of the city of Madras Municipal Act whereas it occurs specifically in the District Municipalities Act'. The case in Jennings v. The President, Municipal Commission, Madras I.L.R. (1886) M. 253 only decided that a Benefit Society was a person carrying on a calling (that is the calling or business of a Benefit Society) when it invested funds for profit. That case did not decide that such a Benefit Society carried on the calling or profession of a ' money-lender.' The word ' money-lender ' is not expressly defined in the District Municipalities Act but we do not think that any. person who casually or intermittently invests his surplus funds on mortgage or on personal security must necessarily be considered to follow the calling of a money-lender. As indicated in the case in Kunmatta Chinnarappa v. Kona Timma Reddi (1911) I.M.W.N. 113 'the money-lending transactions ' must be so 'numerous, continuous and systematic' that it might appropriately be called the ' Trade or business of money-lending.' The facts found in the present case do not prove the transactions of loan entered into by plaintiff's predecessors to have been so continuous, numerous and systematic and the learned District Judge was right in his conclusion that the plaintiff is not liable to be taxed as coming under the class of 'money-lender' mentioned in sch. A. of the District Municipalities Act.

2. The next question is whether the building used for stabling the Devastanam coaches and horses is entitled to be exempted as used for a public purpose, the finding being that some of the horses are used to carry drums in the temple processions and others are used by respectable pilgrims to whom such an honour is shown by the Mahant. We think that such uses are uses for public purposes notwithstanding that the persons who make such use of the vehicles and horses do not belong indiscriminately to all castes and creeds and that a discretion is vested in the temple Vicharanakarta as to the members of the general public to whom such use is to be permitted of the said vehicles and horses.

3. Then it is contended that the plaintiff suing as the temple Trustee is not entitled to recover the tax levied on the stable building which belongs to him in a different capacity, that is, as head of a mutt to which the building belongs. But the facts show that plaintiff paid the tax as occupier and not as owner of the building. As he occupied the building by stabling the Devastanam horses and carriages there and paid the tax out of the Devastanam funds and not the Mattarn funds, he was entitled to sue for the refund in his capacity as occupier, that is, in his capacity as temple trustee.

4. Lastly it is contended that the declaration granted the plaintiff (besides the refund of the illegally collected tax) is worded too widely and that this is not a case in which, in the discretion of the Court any declaratory relief need be given. We agree with the contention and we direct that the declaration as to the future rights and liabilities of the parties be omitted from the decree.

5. With this small modification the Lower Court's decree is confirmed with costs on the appellant.


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