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G.T. Venkatasamy Reddi Vs. State of Tamil Nadu and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal Nos. 427 and 428 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1979Mad261; (1979)1MLJ382
ActsMotor Vehicles Act
AppellantG.T. Venkatasamy Reddi
RespondentState of Tamil Nadu and anr.
Excerpt:
- - it is by now well settled that the applicant who seeks for a writ of mandamus should have a legal right to the performance of a non-discretionary legal duty by the person against whom a writ is sought......from demanding and collecting the motor vehicles tax, in view of the alleged exemption under the inter-state agreement published in the tamil nadu extraordinary gazette dated 1-5-1973, for the bus mya 2484 plying on the route bangalore to tirupattur and concurrently for the issue of a direction to the first respondent to refund a tax of rs. 37840 paid by the appellant for the quarter ending 31-3-1978, as the appellant is entitled for exemption and benefit of single point taxation pursuant to the inter-state agreement as above. the history of the grant need not be traced excepting to state that the appellant before us, after satisfying that there was need for a second bus over the route, namely, bangalore to tirupattur, secured a permit from the appropriate authorities under the motor.....
Judgment:

Ramaprasada Rao, C.J.

1. These two appeals arise out of a common order of a learned single Judge of this court who refused to issue a writ of Mandamus forbearing the second respondent before him from demanding and collecting the motor vehicles tax, in view of the alleged exemption under the inter-State agreement published in the Tamil Nadu Extraordinary Gazette dated 1-5-1973, for the bus MYA 2484 plying on the route Bangalore to Tirupattur and concurrently for the issue of a direction to the first respondent to refund a tax of Rs. 37840 paid by the appellant for the quarter ending 31-3-1978, as the appellant is entitled for exemption and benefit of single point taxation pursuant to the inter-State agreement as above. The history of the grant need not be traced excepting to state that the appellant before us, after satisfying that there was need for a second bus over the route, namely, Bangalore to Tirupattur, secured a permit from the appropriate authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act in the State of Karnataka and again obtained a countersignature from the authorities in this State also. This grant was primarily based on need and the travelling occupancy of the region and had no relevancy to or reference to the Inter-State agreement dated 1-5-1973. It is conceded before us that in the inter-State agreement there was no provision for a second bus to operate on the same route. But the grant in question is de hors the inter-State agreement. This was because of certain proceedings which the appellant took in this court in W.P. 3384 of 1973. In that writ petition, this court directed the State Transport Authority to dispose of the application of the appellant for a fresh or a new grant for the very same route, after considering the need etc. for the same. Though the State Transport Authority rejected the same initially and the State Transport Appellate Authority also concurred with the State Transport Authority, the High Court in CRP 3431 of 1974, remitted the subject matter to the State Transport Appellate Tribunal for reconsideration. On such remand, the Appellate Tribunal allowed the appeal and granted countersignature holding that there was need for an additional service to the route. Thus it is seen that the present grant in favour of the appellant was because there was need for additional service on the route and it does not spring from the inter-State agreement as between the State of Tamil Nadu and the State of Karnataka dated 1-5-1973, which provides for the grant of one bus for operation on the above specified route. Under the inter-State agreement a benefit is provided to the operator who gets a permit from one or the other of the State and equally the countersignature from the other State enabling the operator to have the benefit of single point Motor Vehicles taxation. This benefit is extended to both regular and temporary permits. The learned Judge when he was asked to issue a writ of mandamus as sought for, rightly held that the exemption from payment of tax will be for vehicles covered by the reciprocal agreement and not to such of these permits granted outside its purview. It is in this perspective that Mohan J. denied the rule and hence the appeals.

2. Learned counsel for the appellant concedes, as we said, that this grant is outside the context of the grant which could have been given under the Inter-State agreement. Different and indeed independent considerations prevailed over the hierarchy of Tribunals functioning under the Motor Vehicles Act when they granted a second permit to the appellant to operate on the very same route de hors the inter-State agreement. The basis of the grant was, need for additional service on the route. This cannot be misunderstood, therefore, as a grant which also could gain the benefit under Clause VI of the inter-State agreement, which runs as follows--

'Transport vehicles covered by countersignature in the reciprocating State shall be exempted from payment of motor vehicles tax to the reciprocating State. This benefit of singe point taxation shall apply to stage carriages having both regular and temporary permits. In regard to other categories of transport vehicles covered by the countersignature this benefits of single point taxation shall apply only if the vehicles have regular permits'.

What is urged before us is that the above exemption could be extended even to grants granted de hors the inter-State agreement, so long as the route is covered by such an agreement. We are unable to agree. Exemptions are granted in the matter of payment of tax by a specific language used in a particular statute or by an incidental contract. They cannot spring by necessary implication, as in an exemption to pay tax there is no equity in it and there cannot be any intendment in it either. In so far as the grant in favour of the appellant is concerned it is not stated before us that it was so granted subject to a condition that he need pay only a single point tax. That is not the case either before the single Judge of this court or before us. In those circumstances, the question is whether the exemption granted could be demanded through a writ of mandamus. It is by now well settled that the applicant who seeks for a writ of Mandamus should have a legal right to the performance of a non-discretionary legal duty by the person against whom a writ is sought. Even so, the right must be a public right and the duty to be enforced is of a public nature. An element of compulsion to perform the legal duty should be apparent on the record. The purpose of the writ is to compel action and not to undo what has been done. In all cases in which such an issuance is requested for, there should be a statutory duty on the part of the other party to be performed. In other words, it should be incumbent on the part of the other party to perform the duty and then only a writ of mandamus which is a high prerogative writ could be granted as it cannot otherwise be granted as a matter of course. In the instant case, it is clear that there is no duty enjoined in the respondents to grant the benefit of single point taxation for, the grant which was made admittedly is not covered by the inter-State agreement and equally does not provide for such an exemption. The said grant having been made or availed of in the ordinary course and having regard to the need in the particular sector of operation it cannot be demanded as or right, for the respondents are not legally obliged to perform the duty of exempting the appellant from double point taxation; nor are they obliged to refund the amount already collected as if such collection is outside the pale of law. Mohan J. therefore, rightly held that there was absolutely no scope for invoking Clause VI of the agreement excerpted above which would take in only cases of persons covered expressly by the agreement. There is already one bus in operation pursuant to inter-State agreement. The second bus belonging to the appellant was put on the route and on the sector because of the need and is outside the pale of the agreement. Such being the facts of this case, no writ of Mandamus can issue and rightly, therefore, it has been refused by the learned single Judge.

3. The writ appeal is dismissed.

4. Appeal dismissed.


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