Seshagiri Aiyar, J.
1. I am unable to agree with the Subordinate Judge upon his construction of Section 117-E of the Madras Local Boards Act. The section deals with two classes of markets--markets in existence at the time the Madras Local Boards Act came into force, and markets to be opened after the coming into operation of the Act. In Sub-clause (3) of the section, the Local Boards are given a discretion to refuse a person license to open a new market or to grant him the license. That clause also lays down that if the market had already been in existence, the Local Boards have no option in the matter. They must grant a license to the person who proposes to open the market. Sub-clause (5) of the section makes it clear that any license granted under this section would expire at the end of the financial year for which it was granted. Prima facie, therefore, the grant of the license enures for one year only. If we look at Sub-clause (1) of Section 117-E, the position is clear. That sub-clause says that where a new private market is to be opened, the Taluk Board may levy a fee not exceeding Rs. 100 per annum. The Subordinate Judge construes the clause to refer to a new market to be opened for the first time. The distinction is between the market in existence at the time when the Act came into force and the market opened since the time the Act came into force and not between the market opened and continued after the Act came into force and the market to be opened after the Act came into force. If we read Sub-clause (1) with Sub-clauses (3) and (5), there can be no doubt that the levy of fee is authorised for the continuance of the new private market as well, provided that it was opened after the Act came into force. In this view the Taluk Board is justified in demanding a fee every year for the license granted.
2. I express no opinion on the further question argued by Mr. Rozario that the payment made by the licensee was a voluntary payment and that consequently no suit is maintainable to recover the fees. In the view I have taken of the meaning of Section 117-E, this suit does not lie, and it should be dismissed.
3. I reverse the decree of the Subordinate Judge and dismiss the suit with costs throughout.