Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. The appellant is the owner of a house in Cannanore. At all times material it was leased to the Cannanore Municipal Council for the purpose of a school. Up to the 29th August, 1939, the building was exempt from property tax by reason of Section 83(1)(c) of the Madras District Municipalities Act, 1920. On that date, the section was amended by the Madras City Municipal, District Municipalities and Local Boards (Amendment) Act, 1939 (Madras Act XXI of 1939) which inserted a proviso to the effect that nothing contained in Clauses (a) (c) and (e) of Section 83 should be deemed to exempt from property tax a building for which rent was payable by the person or persons using it for the purposes referred to in these clauses.
2. As the house had become liable to assessment, for the purpose of Municipal taxation, the Cannanore Municipal Council amended the assessment register by inserting therein an entry with regard to this house, and on the 2nd October, 1939, it issued a demand notice for the payment of the tax in respect of the half-year commencing 1st April, 1939. The appellant considered that this demand was unlawful and consequently he filed a suit in the Court of the District Munsiff of Cannanore for declaration that the levy was illegal and for the recovery of the sum exacted with interest. The amount was Rs. 35-1-8. The Municipal Council raised a plea of jurisdiction. The District Munsiff held that the tax was leviable, but he considered that the suit was not maintainable because the plaintiff had not taken advantage of the remedy provided in the rules framed under the Act for redress in matters of taxation. On appeal the Subordinate Judge agreed with the District Munsiff that the tax was leviable in respect of the half-year commencing the 1st April, 1939, but he refrained from entering upon a discussion of the question of the maintainability of the suit. The appellant then appealed to this Court. His appeal was heard by Chandrasekhara Aiyar, J., who agreed with the Courts below on the question of the validity of the demand. The learned Judge also considered the question of the maintainability of the suit and decided it against the appellant. This appeal is from the judgment of Chandrasekhara Aiyar, J.
3. We consider that the Court below were right in holding that the tax was payable in respect of the half-year. Rule 8 of the Taxation and Finance Rules set forth in the Fourth schedule to the Act reads as follows:
(1) The assessment books shall be completely revised by the executive authority once in every five years.
(2) The executive authority may amend the assessment books at any time between one general revision and another by inserting therein or removing therefrom any property or by altering the valuation of any property or the amount of tax. Such amendment shall be deemed to have taken effect on the first day of the half-year in which it is made:
Provided that when the amendment is made in any half-year after the demand notice for that half-year has been issued, it shall have effect only from the succeeding half-year.
4. As we have mentioned, the assessment register was amended on the 30th September, 1939, by the inclusion of an entry with regard to this house. The executive authority had then the right to make this amendment and by virtue of Sub-rule (2), the amendment had to be regarded as having taken effect on the first day of the half-year. This provision is mandatory. The proviso to Sub-rule (2) does not apply, because no notice of demand for that half-year had previously been issued. It follows that the demand made by the Municipal Council was valid.
5. As the plea that the assessment was unlawful fails it is unnecessary to consider whether the suit was maintainable and we leave that question open.
6. The appeal is dismissed with costs.