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J. Bashyam Vs. the Corporation of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1943Mad90; (1942)2MLJ684
AppellantJ. Bashyam
RespondentThe Corporation of Madras
Excerpt:
- - he failed to do so and the corporation was compelled to file the suit out of which this appeal arises. 6. the attitude of the appellant throughout this case is deserving of strong condemnation......be done and could only carry out the work itself when the owner or occupier has defaulted. these sections do not, however, preclude the corporation from entering into a contract with the owner or occupier of the property to do the work for him. the corporation can follow the procedure laid down in sections 380 to 384, but it does not need to do so if the owner or occupier who is required to do the work agrees to the corporation doing it for him. the real question is whether the corporation has power to enter into such a contract and as we have already indicated we consider that it has ample power by reason of section 80 read with rules 1 and 3 of schedule v.6. the attitude of the appellant throughout this case is deserving of strong condemnation.7. the appeal will be dismissed with costs.
Judgment:

Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.

1. The appellant is the owner of a house known as 28, Krishnappa Mudali Street, Madras. The Commissioner of the Madras Corporation served a notice upon him requiring him to provide a flush-out latrine for the use of the persons living on the premises. Section 186 of the City Municipal Act says that the Commissioner may require the owner or occupier within such time and in accordance with such directions as may be specified to provide a flush-out latrine or alter or remove from an unsuitable to a more suitable place any existing latrine. In accordance with the usual practice this notice was accompanied by an offer from the Corporation to carry out the work on behalf of the occupier provided that he agreed to pay the costs. A plan of the new latrine which was required also accompanied the notice. The appellant accepted the offer of the Corporation to do the work and paid the required initial deposit of Rs. 12. The contract was reduced to writing and signed by the parties. It provided that the Corporation should construct the latrine in accordance with the plan, that it should keep an account of the cost, that the appellant should pay the cost by monthly instalments of Rs. 5 and that the outstanding balance should bear interest at 9 per cent. per annum from the date of the completion of the work. The document further provided that the Corporation should have a charge on the property for the amount due to it under the agreement, which was duly registered. According to the Corporation the costs amounted to Rs. 73-10-8 and the appellant was required to pay the amount in accordance with the agreement. He failed to do so and the Corporation was compelled to file the suit out of which this appeal arises. It asked for a decree for Rs. 73-10-8 and in default of payment for an order directing that the property should be sold. After a full hearing the appellant was directed to pay Rs. 56-13-2' with interest and costs.

2. Notwithstanding that the Corporation had carried out the work according to the plan the appellant advanced the plea that the Corporation had no power to enter into the contract and therefore he should not be compelled to pay anything. The appellant's attitude can only be described as dishonest, but he has persisted in his plea and now asks the Court to set aside the decree passed against him on technical grounds. Dishonest though the attitude of the appellant is, his plea must be considered. We have considered it and we agree with the City Civil Court that there is no substance in it.

3. Sub-section (1) to Section 80 of the Madras City Municipal Act (IV of 1919) states that the Corporation may enter into and perform all such contracts as it may consider necessary or expedient for carrying into effect the provisions of the Act. Rule 1 of Schedule V to the Act states that the purposes to which the Municipal fund may be applied include all objects expressly declared obligatory or discretionary by laws or rules, and in general everything necessary for or conducive to the safety, health, convenience or education of the citizens of Madras or to the amenities of the City and everything incidental to the administration. Rule 3 expressly provides that the objects of expenditure connected with the public health include the construction, establishment, maintenance, supervision and control of latrines. Section 80 read with the further provisions contained in rules 1 and 3 of Schedule V gave the Corporation full power to enter into the contract with the appellant.

4. His learned advocate says that these provisions should not be applied because of what is stated in Sections 380 to 384 of the Act. Section 380 says that whenever by a notice, requisition, or order under the Act or under any rule, by-law or regulation made under it, a person is required to execute a work, a reasonable time shall be named in the notice, requisition or order within which the work shall be executed. If there is default in compliance the Commissioner may cause the work to be executed. Section 381 provides for the recovery of the expenses from the person in default. Section 382 gives the Commissioner power to agree to receive the payment in instalments and Section 383 to declare, with the approval of the Standing Committee, expenses incurred on certain works to be improvement expenses. Section 384 says that the improvement expenses shall be a charge upon the property.

5. The argument is that the Corporation was bound to serve notice requiring the work to be done and could only carry out the work itself when the owner or occupier has defaulted. These sections do not, however, preclude the Corporation from entering into a contract with the owner or occupier of the property to do the work for him. The Corporation can follow the procedure laid down in Sections 380 to 384, but it does not need to do so if the owner or occupier who is required to do the work agrees to the Corporation doing it for him. The real question is whether the Corporation has power to enter into such a contract and as we have already indicated we consider that it has ample power by reason of Section 80 read with rules 1 and 3 of Schedule V.

6. The attitude of the appellant throughout this case is deserving of strong condemnation.

7. The appeal will be dismissed with costs.


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