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The Municipal Council of Tellicherry Represented by Its Chairman Vs. Chowukkaran Valiayapurayil Mayankutti Keyi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in159Ind.Cas.53
AppellantThe Municipal Council of Tellicherry Represented by Its Chairman
RespondentChowukkaran Valiayapurayil Mayankutti Keyi
Cases ReferredRajahmundri v. Prasadarayadu
Excerpt:
madras district municipalities act (v of 1920), section 80 - levy of tax at new rates--necessity of public notification--notification not giving rate of tax but merely referring to schedule of the act for rates--validity. - .....80 of the act. no doubt, if we turn to rule 17 of schedule. iv, we will come across certain rates mentioned therein; but those rates are not specifically mentioned in this notification except by reference to rule 17 of schedule iv. whether this is d sufficient specification of the rates within tire meaning of section 80, was considered by devadoss, j., in municipal council, rajahmundri v. prasadarayadu 50 m.l.j. 556 : 98 ind. cas. 690 : a.i.r. 1926 mad. 800 : 21 l.w. 85. the notification in that case ran as follows;this (i.e., profession) tax will be levied at the maximum rates in schedule iv of the |district municipalities act.3. it was held by the learned judge that it did not comply with the requirements of section 80 as it did not mention the exact rate at which the tax was.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. The Municipal Council of Tellicherry is the appellant. The respondent was assessed to profession tax by the Municipality for the years 1924-1927 under Section 93 of the Madras District Municipalities Act (V of 1920), on the ground that he was receiving income from outside the Municipality from a source 'other than houses and lands inside the Municipal limits'. The respondent paid the tax, but being aggrieved with the levy, instituted the suit, out of which this second appeal arises, for a refund of the amount. The District Munsif dismissed the suit. The decision of the District Munsif was set aside by the learned Subordinate Judge who held that the income, on which the tax was levied, did not come within the description of profession tax as mentioned in Section 93 of the Act. He also held that the Municipality had no jurisdiction to levy the tax, as no proper notice in accordance with the provisions of Section 80 of the Act to levy the taxi was duly published by the Municipality.

2. The first question, viz., whether the tax in question will fall within Section 93 of Act V of 1920 is one of some importance and difficulty having regard to the decisions of this Court. If I have to decide that point in disposing of this second appeal, I should refer the second appeal to a Bench; but it can be disposed of on another point which is a simple one. Under Section 80, when a Municipal Council shall have determined subject to the provisions of Sections 78 and 79 to levy any tax or toll for the first time or at a new rate, the Chairman shall forthwith publish a notification in the District Gazette and by beat of drum specifying the rate at which the tax or toll shall be levied from a particular date mentioned in the notification. The notification published under Section 80 in the present case is Ex. II. It says that the Municipality has decided to levy tax at the folio wing rates, and with reference to the levy of profession tax it is stated therein; 'profession tax at the maximum rates detailed in Rule 17 of Schedule IV'. The question is whether this specification of the rates sufficiently complies with the provisions of Section 80 of the Act. No doubt, if we turn to Rule 17 of Schedule. IV, we will come across certain rates mentioned therein; but those rates are not specifically mentioned in this notification except by reference to Rule 17 of Schedule IV. Whether this is d sufficient specification of the rates within tire meaning of Section 80, was considered by Devadoss, J., in Municipal Council, Rajahmundri v. Prasadarayadu 50 M.L.J. 556 : 98 Ind. Cas. 690 : A.I.R. 1926 Mad. 800 : 21 L.W. 85. The notification in that case ran as follows;

This (i.e., profession) tax will be levied at the maximum rates in Schedule IV of the |District Municipalities Act.

3. It was held by the learned Judge that it did not comply with the requirements of Section 80 as it did not mention the exact rate at which the tax was going to be levied. Mr. Krishnaswamy Ayyangar, draws a distinction between that case and the case before me by saying that in the present case net only is Schedule IV mentioned but Rule 17 of that schedule is mentioned, which would make the reference somewhat more specific. That may be so, but the rates are not mentioned and it is the mention of the rates that is important under Section 80 of the Act. The reason for the rule is made clear in a recent judgment of this Court in Taluk Board, Koilpatti v. Volkart United Press Co. Ltd. : AIR1935Mad571 . In that case a question precisely similar to the one in Municipal Council, Rajahmundri v. Prasadarayadu 50 M.L.J. 556 : 98 Ind. Cas. 690 : A.I.R. 1926 Mad. 800 : 21 L.W. 85 came up for decision and the learned Chief Justice, following that decision made observations which, I think, are sufficient to dispose of the nice distinction pointed out by Mr. Krishnaswamy Ayyangar. His Lordship the Chief Justice observed as follows:

I think, agreeing with him (Devadoss, J.) that people upon whom tax is about to be levied should be enabled from the notification itself to understand what the tax is and its rate and that they should not be driven to look into the schedule of the Act in order to gain that information.

4. The fact that Rule 17 is mentioned would not enable parties to find out the rates any more than they would be able to find out from the mere reference to Schedule IV. In these circumstances I have no doubt that the notification in this case was not in accordance with the provisions of Section 80 and that, therefore, the Municipal Council had no jurisdiction to levy the tax.

5. The other question whether the tax levied will come directly within Section 93 does not in the circumstances arise for consideration.

6. In the result the second appeal is dismissed with costs.

C.R.P. No. 1146 of 1933.

7. This petition is dismissed but I make no order as to costs.


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