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A.R. Krishnamachariar Vs. State of Madras, Represented by the Collector and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectOther Taxes
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1969)2MLJ310
AppellantA.R. Krishnamachariar
RespondentState of Madras, Represented by the Collector and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....in form i. after the objections of the assessee are heard to the provisional assessment, a final assessment has to be made under rule 3 (4), and the assessing authority is required to communicate thereafter the order fixing the final assessment in form, ii to the assessee. the assessee has thereafter a right of appeal under section 8 of the act to the higher authorities in the revenue department. it appears from the records produced, that the notice of provisional additional assessment and the order of final additional assessment in forms i and ii respectively have been signed. by the independent deputy tahsildar, uttiramerur, on the same date and they are addressed to the petitioner as pattadar no. 85, 262, arumbuliyur village, uttiramerur sub-taluk. on the reverse of the notice.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P. Ramakrishnan, J.

1. The petitioner is aggrieved by a demand made against him by the Revenue Authorities, who are the respondents in this writ petition, for additional assessment and additional water cess under the provisions of the Madras Additional Assessment and Additional Water Cess Act VIII of 1963, for a number of fash's commencing from fasli 1372 to 1375. These demands according to the petitioner are for sums which represent a substantial increase over the assessment that he was previously paying in respect of 24.72 acres of wet lands under Patta No. 85 in. Arumbuliyur village, Uttiramerur Taluk, Chingleput District. The petitioners' grievance is that this heavy enhancement of the assessment payable by him had been made without giving him the statutory notice before an enhancement could be made under the provisions of the Act. In the counter-affidavit filed by the Collector of Chingleput, it is alleged that the notice had been properly served on the petitioner by affixture in his house before the increase in the assessment was made under the provisions of the Act.

2. I granted an adjournment of the Writ Petition to enable the Government Pleader on behalf of the Government to produce the necessary records evidencing service of the notice on the petitioner. Under the Rules framed under the Act Rule 3 (1) provides for the fixation of additional assessment followed by a notice to the assessee in Form I. After the objections of the assessee are heard to the provisional assessment, a final assessment has to be made under Rule 3 (4), and the assessing authority is required to communicate thereafter the order fixing the final assessment in Form, II to the assessee. The assessee has thereafter a right of appeal under Section 8 of the Act to the higher authorities in the Revenue Department. It appears from the records produced, that the notice of provisional additional assessment and the order of final additional assessment in Forms I and II respectively have been signed. by the Independent Deputy Tahsildar, Uttiramerur, on the same date and they are addressed to the petitioner as Pattadar No. 85, 262, Arumbuliyur village, Uttiramerur sub-taluk. On the reverse of the notice of provisional assessment and the order of final assessment, the Village Munsif of the village has endorsed saying that Pattadar 85 A. K. Krishnamachariar does not live in the village, that he is residing in Madras, that his address at Madras is not known, that he has a house in Arumbuliyui village and that the notice and the order had been served by affixture on the door of the house. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner is a substantial pattadar having lands in Arumbuliuyr village, that he is an Advocate practising in Madras, that with regard to payment of kist and other matters he had been in contact with the Village Munsif of Arumbuliyur village in. the past, that both the karnam and the Village Munsif know his address at Madras and that the statement on the reverse of the notice of provisional assessment and the order of final assessment that the Village Munsif did not know his address at Madras and. that therefore he was compelled to serve them by affixture on the door of his village house is entirely false. At the time of the hearing of the Writ Petition, the petitioner produced a post card dated 4th April, 1964, written by the Village Munsif, K. E. Kamalakannan, to the petitioner's address at Nungambakkam, Madras. It may be noted that this post card was written just a month after the notices were issued on March, 1964 in this case and this shows that the Village Munsif was fully acquainted with the petitioner and his address at Madras at the time. Therefore, it seems to be an act of culpable indifference to facts on the part of the Village Munsif of Arumbuliyur village in taking responsibility for the wrong statement in the endorsement found on the notice and the final order of assessment to the effect that he did not know the address of the petitioner at Madras and therefore he was resorting to the course of serving the notice of preliminary assessment and the order of final assessment by affixture on the door of his village house. The rule provides that the notice shall be served by giving or tendering the same to the person to whom it is addressed; or if such person is not found, by leaving the notice at his last known place of abode or business or by giving or tendering the same to some adult member of his family or by sending the notice to such person by registered post with acknowledgment due; or if none of the modes aforesaid is practicable, by affixing the same in some Conspicuous part of such place of abode or business. The method adopted in this case, namely, affixture in some conspicuous part of place of abode, which is the fourth alternative, is to be resorted to only if none of the earlier methods of service is practicable. Since the Village Munsif knew the petitioner's address at Madras, and considering the substantial amounts of additional assessment involved, the Revenue Authorities ought to have made arrangements for sending the notice by registered post acknowledgment due to the Madras address, as required under the earlier alternative in Rule 3 (2) (Hi) of the Rules, framed under the Act.

3. There is one other infirmity in the procedure followed. As I have already indicated, following a provisional assessment there should be a notice with opportunity to the assessee to present his objection and thereafter only a final assessment should be made. But here, both the notice of the preliminary assessment and the final order of assessment were issued on the same date in March, 1964. As to why the Independent Deputy Tahsildar who has signed both the notices should have subscribed to this illegal course is, also a point which the authorities concerned should take notice of and take disciplinary action against the official so as to avoid a recurrence of such lapses on the part of the subordinate concerned.

4. It is clear from what I have said above that the assessment made on the petitioner has been made in flagrant violation of the Rules and it requires to be set aside. The Writ Petition is allowed . It will be open to the authorities concerned to serve the notices as required under the Rules and proceed with the assessment in accordance with law. There will however, be no order as to costs.


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