1. Accused as lessee of the Johorapuram meat market tinder the Taluk Board of Kurnool, has been sentenced to pay that body Rs. 371 together with interest and costs being the amount due on his lease for May and June 1923. He files, this criminal revision petition, on the ground that money due under a contract cannot be collected under the provisions of Section 221 of the Madras Act XIV of 1920.
2. It has long been recognised law that money due under a contract cannot be summarily recovered by a Municipality in a Magistrate's Court under the old Madras District Municipalities Act IV of 1884, Section 269 vide Abdul Azeez Sahib v. Cuddapah Municipality 26 M. 475. The point for determination is whether the wording of Section 221 of the Madras Act XIV of 1920, has extended the power of the local body. Section 269 of Act IV of 1884 was 'all rents, fees, tolls and other payments due to the Municipal Council under the provisions of this Act.' Section 221 of Act XIV of 1920 runs 'any fee, toll, costs, compensation, damages, penalties charges, expenses or other sums due to a Local Board under or by virtue of this Act.
3. We do not find that this phrase includes sums due under contracts. It was argued that 'by virtue of' has a wider scope than 'under' but there is no difference between the two terms.
4. Section 168(2) has no bearing on the question. It merely authorizes the local authority to farm out fees on contract, the amount being recoverable from the contractor under the contract and not under that section. This has already been pointed out in Criminal Revision Cases Nos. 179, and 222 of 1923.
5. The conviction is bad and must be set aside and the amount if paid, must be refunded.