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Municipal Council Vs. K. Ratnam Pillai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMunicipal Tax
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1935Mad378
AppellantMunicipal Council
RespondentK. Ratnam Pillai and ors.
Cases ReferredMuhammad Ishaq v. Municipal Board
Excerpt:
- - having regard to the words of section 345 the suit (falls clearly within its scope. municipal board, cawnpore 1930 all 530. it no doubt hold that article 132 would be applicable to a case like the present but it must be noticed that in the law applicable to the district municipalities in the united provinces there is no provision corresponding to section 345, madras district municipal act......21-b in ward no. 15 of the trichinopoly municipality is barred by limitation. under section 85, district municipalities act, the property tax on buildings and lands is declared a first charge on the property subject to the prior payment of land revenue. in the suit the municipality seeks to enforce this charge against the defendants. under article 132, lim. act, 12 years time is the period prescribed for enforcing the payment of money charged upon immovable property the period being calculated from the time when the money sued for becomes due. in the present case the suit was instituted on 22nd february 1928. if article 132, lim. act, applies the suit is within time. mr. venkatramana rao argues that since the suit is for the enforcement of a charge the proper article applicable is.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. The plaintiff, the Municipal Council of Trichinopoly represented by its Chairman is the appellant. The question for decision in the Second Appeal is whether the suit for recovery of the property tax for the year 1923-24 instituted by the plaintiff against the defendants who are the owners of houses Nos. 21 and 21-b in ward No. 15 of the Trichinopoly Municipality is barred by limitation. Under Section 85, District Municipalities Act, the property tax on buildings and lands is declared a first charge on the property subject to the prior payment of land revenue. In the suit the Municipality seeks to enforce this charge against the defendants. Under Article 132, Lim. Act, 12 years time is the period prescribed for enforcing the payment of money charged upon immovable property the period being calculated from the time when the money sued for becomes due. In the present case the suit was instituted on 22nd February 1928. If Article 132, Lim. Act, applies the suit is within time. Mr. Venkatramana Rao argues that since the suit is for the enforcement of a charge the proper Article applicable is Article 132, Lim. Act. Section 345, District Municipalities Act, says:

No distraint shall be made, no suit shall be instituted and no prosecution shall be commenced in respect of any sum due to the Municipal Council under this Act after the expiration of a period of three years from the date on which distraint might first have been made, a gait might first have been instituted, or prosecution might first have been commenced, as the case may be, in respect o! such sum.

2. The lower Courts held that Section 345, District Municipalties Act, provides the period of limitation applicable for this class of cases and as the suit has been admittedly instituted beyond three years from the date of the cause of action,, the suit was barred. The learned Counsel's argument is that, with respect to the property tax, since a charge has been declared by the Act itself, Section 345 does not apply and the general provision contained in Article 132 applies, and Section 345 could apply only when personal remedy is sought to be enforced against the owner of the property. Having regard to the words of the section I do not think the distinction made by the learned Counsel can be accepted. There jean be no doubt that the sum claimed is (due from the defendants to the Municipal Council and the suit is therefore in respect of the sum due to the Municipal Council under the Act. Having regard to the words of Section 345 the suit (falls clearly within its scope. The 'learned Counsel brought to my notice a decision of the Allahabad High Court reported in Muhammad Ishaq v. Municipal Board, Cawnpore 1930 All 530. It no doubt hold that Article 132 would be applicable to a case like the present but it must be noticed that in the law applicable to the District Municipalities in the United Provinces there is no provision corresponding to Section 345, Madras District Municipal Act. Section 29, Lim. Act, says that the articles of the Limitation Act will not apply if under any special Act a special period of limitation is made applicable for suits under that Act. I would therefore hold that with respect :to the question of limitation Section 345, District Municipalities Act, should govern their case, and, as held by the lower Courts, the suit is barred by limitation in so far as it relates to the recovery of the house tax for 1923-24. The Second Appeal is dismissed.

S.A. No. 809 of 1929.

3. Following the decision in S.A. No. 810 of 1929 the Second Appeal is dismissed. No costs.


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