Venkataramana Rao, J.
1. Two questions have been argued by Mr. Srinivasa Rao in this Revision Petition (1) whether the claim for assessment by the Municipal Council for the year 1930-1931 is barred by limitation and (2) whether the claim for the subsequent years 1931-1932 and 1932-1933 is illegal on the ground that the land is agricultural land. The lower Court held that the claim was not barred by limitation on the ground that notice of demand was served on the 18th March, 1931 and the suit was instituted within three years from the said date. The learned Judge took the view that under Section 345 the period of three years runs from the date on which distraint might first have been made. It seems to me that this view is unsound. Under Section 86 of the District Municipalities Act which governs this case, the property tax shall be paid by the owner of the assessed premises within 30 days after the commencement of the half year. So under this section the petitioner should have paid the amount due for the first half year within the 1st May, 1930 and the amount due for the second half year within the 1st November, 1930. Under Section 345 the period of limitation for a suit to recover the said sum is 3 years from the date when a suit might first have been instituted. In this case a suit might first have been instituted on the 1st May, 1930, or 1st November, 1930 and 3 years having elapsed from that date the claim is admittedly barred by limitation. Mr. Krishna Rao contends that under Rule 30 the limitation really commences after the expiry of 15 days from the service of the bill demanding payment. In my opinion that rule really does not apply to the case of a suit. Rule 29 says:
Where any tax not being a tax in respect of which a notice has to be served under Section 95, 102 or 108...is due from any person the chairman shall serve upon such person a bill for the sum due before he proceeds to enforce the provisions of Rule 30. The service of a bill is therefore necessary for the enforcement of the provisions of Rule 30.
2. Turning to Rule 30 it will be seen that Clause (1) of that rule provides for distraint and Clause (2) provides for a case of prosecution. It is only in the case of a distraint the service of a bill is a condition precedent. Similarly in the case of a prosecution it should be shown that a sufficient distraint of the defaulter's property was impracticable. So far as the suit is concerned, the only provision in the rule is this: 'Nothing herein contained shall preclude the Council from suing in a Civil Court for any tax due to it under the Act.' This provision was introduced abundanti cautela for the purpose of indicating that the right of suit is not affected by the provisions of this rule. I am therefore of opinion that the claim for the recovery of assessment for the year 1930-1931 is barred by limitation.
3. So far as the second question is concerned, it depends upon the fact whether the land is agricultural land. The learned District Munsif negatived the defendant's claim on the ground that there was no evidence that during the years of assessment the land was used as agricultural land and he also relied upon P.W. 1 in support of his conclusion. It seems to me that the learned Judge is wrong. There is evidence afforded by Exs. F and II wherein it is distinctly indicated that the land was used as agricultural land from Fasli 1332 and P.W. 1 in his evidence clearly says that he does not know anything about the matter. On the evidence on record the land must be treated as agricultural land during the years under assessment. I therefore reverse the decision of the learned Judge even in regard to this question.
4. In the result the Civil Revision Petition is allowed and the plaintiff's suit is dismissed with costs throughout.