1. This is an appeal against the order of Bajagopalan J., dismissing an appln. by the applt. the Indian Mutual Life Assocn. Ltd., made Under Section 45, Specific Relief Act. The applt. prayed that the Comr. Corpn. of Madras, be directed to correct the assessment books maintained by him under Rule 1, Schedule IV, Madras City Municipal Act, by deleting the name of the appct. in the said books from the list of companies liable to payment of co.'s tax & thereby bring the assessment books in conformity with the order passed by the learned Chief Judge of the Ct. of Small Causes in taxation appeal No. 2 of 1947 dated 24-2-1948.
2. The immediate cause for the appln. was the demand by the Corpn. of Co.'s tax for the first half year 1949-50. There was a prior assessment of Co.'s tax on the applt. Co. in 1942-43, & the Co. eventually succeeded in obtaining a decision from the Ct. of Small Causes in Appeal (T. A. No. 22 of 1947) that the applt. was not liable to be assessed Under Section 110, City Municipal Act. It is admitted that, in accordance with this decision of the Ct. of Small Causes, the tax collected from the applt. for that half year was refunded. It also appears that after the date of that decision there has been no further levy of Co.'s tax on the applt. till 1949-50.
3. The first question which arises is as to whether a remedy by way of an appln. Under Section 45, Specific Relief Act, is open to the applt. Proviso (d) to that section enacts that the remedy by way of mandamus would be available only if the appct. has no other specific & adequate legal remedy. It was conceded that, in respect of the assessment now in dispute, the aplt. had the remedies provided in Schedule IV to the City Municipal Act. He could first file an appeal to the Taxation Appeals Committee & then to the Chief Judge of the Ct. of Small Causes & he could also ask for a reference to this Ct. if a question of law was involved inthe case. There is, therefore, another specific legal remedy. But it was contended that this remedy is not adequate, because the applt. may be compelled to take similar proceedings by way of appeals & references in every half year. Assuming this is so & that it would cause the applt. inconvenience & expense, we cannot hold that on that ground the remedies under the City Municipal Act are not adequate. For that matter, even in spite of an order on this appln it may be the Comr. might again assess the applt. in which case the applt. may have to again resort to another appln. Under Section 45, Specific Relief Act. But then Mr. T. M. Ramaswami Aiyar, for the applt. urged that the decision of this Ct. would be res judicata. In fact, he went further & contended that even the decision of the Small Cause Ct. in respect of the assessment of the year 1942-43 would operate as res judicata. We have not heard him on this point as, in our opinion, this is a point which might well be taken before the Ct. of Small Causes. The only question which falls for decision is whether this appln. Under Section 45, Specific Relief Act, is maintainable. As, in our opinion, the applt. has another specific & adequate legal remedy, the appln. is not maintainable.
4. The appln. does not appear to be maintainable also for another reason. The prayer as framed is for a direction to correct the assessment books maintained by the Corpn. by deleting the name of the appct. from the list of companies liable to payment of co.'s tax. We see nothing in the provisions of the City Municipal Act, including the schedules under which a permanent record of assessments is kept in which occasionally there should be changes made in accordance with decisions of Cts. something like what is done in the case of Survey & Settlement registers & Record of Rights. It cannot, therefore, be said that it was incumbent on the Comr. to do any such act as is mentioned in the appln. of the applt.
5. For these reasons we agree with the learned Judge that the appln. must be dismissed as not maintainable. We have, of course, refrained completely from going into the merits in the view that we have taken. The appeal fails & is dismissed with costs.