B.S. Somasundaram, J.
1. The question that arises in all these petitions is whether the Madras State Electricity Board, a statutory body, transacting the business of the supply of electricity to consumers in many municipalities and panchayats of the State is liable to pay profession tax. The Courts below have held that it is liable. Section 93 of the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920, enables the Municipal Council to determine by a resolution the payment of profession tax by every company and person transacting business within its limits for more than 60 days in any half year. Section 95 of the Act provides for the service of notice on such company or person and this notice should give them 15 days time for payment. Rule 30 in Schedule IV states that if the amount that is demanded by notice is not paid within the time prescribed, the executive authority may recover the amount by distraint. If such distraint is not practicable, the authority may resort to a prosecution. Rule 36' provides for the punishment. Similarly, Section 121 of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act provides for the levy of profession tax. Section 161 of the said Act provides for penalty for failure to comply with a demand notice. There is no definition of the word 'person' either in the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act or in the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act. Sub-section (22) of Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu General Clauses Act defines a 'person' as including any company or association of individuals, whether incorporated or not. Therefore, the Madras Electricity System will come under the definition of 'person' in the General Clauses Act, and it is therefore clear that the said Electricity System is liable to pay profession tax as assessee in every one of its centres or branches situate in municipalities or panchayats, where it transacts business in a concerned half year. I am in complete agreement with the views expressed by Anantanarayanan C.J., in Madras State Electricity Board v. Gobichettypalayam Municipality : (1968)2MLJ214 The Courts below have directed the Electricity system to pay the profession tax.
2. In the two Criminal Revision Cases, the Superintending Engineer, Erode Electricity System has been sentenced to pay a fine. Considering the circumstances of the case, while confirming the convictions, I set aside the sentence of fine imposed in both the cases and admonish the petitioner under Section 3 of the Probation of Offenders Act. If the fine amount had already been paid, it shall be refunded to the petitioner. The order directing the petitioner to pay the postal charges is also set aside. The Civil Revision Petition is dismissed. The parties will bear their own costs throughout. If the profession tax is in arrears, the petitioner shall pay the same within two months from to-day.