Skip to content


Corporation of Calcutta Vs. Standard Marine Insurance Company - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1895)ILR22Cal581
AppellantCorporation of Calcutta
RespondentStandard Marine Insurance Company
Excerpt:
calcutta municipal consolidation act (bengal act ii of 1888), section 87 and the second schedule - insurance companies registered in england and carrying on business through agents in calcutta, liability of, to pay the municipal license tax. - .....second rs. 100: every other joint-stock company and the persons who carry on a number of specified trades or businesses, and who do so in premises of a certain monthly value. classes iii, iv and v, rs. 50, rs. 25 and rs. 12, include certain professions and trades without reference to the value of the premises where they are carried on, and certain other trades and businesses carried on in premises of a certain monthly value. class vi, rs. 4, includes every keeper of a shop, or place of business, not included in any other class, and certain brokers and pedlars. class vii, re. 1, includes all itinerant dealers hawking goods for sale in baskets or trays. the business of insurance is nowhere mentioned in the schedule. there are no general words to be found in it which are wide enough to.....
Judgment:

W. Comer Petheram, C.J. and Beverley, J.

1. The question we have to consider is, whether an insurance company, which is registered in England, with a paid-up capital of 100,000, and which issues policies, and carries on the general business of insurance in Calcutta, through the agency of a firm of general merchants there, is liable to the license tax imposed by Section 87 of the Calcutta Municipal Consolidation Act. We think it is not, and our reason for doing so is, that the business of insurance is not one of the occupations mentioned in the second schedule to the Act; and Section 87 only imposes the tax upon persons who exercise some or one of the professions, trades, or callings mentioned in it. The words of the section are: 'Every person who shall exercise, in Calcutta, any of the professions, trades or callings prescribed in the second schedule, shall annually take out a license, and shall pay for the same such sum as in the second schedule is mentioned.' The second schedule is divided into seven classes, in each of which a duty of a particular amount is imposed. The first is Rs. 200: Every joint-stock company the paid-up capital of which amounts to ten lakhs of rupess or upwards. The second Rs. 100: Every other joint-stock company and the persons who carry on a number of specified trades or businesses, and who do so in premises of a certain monthly value. Classes III, IV and V, Rs. 50, Rs. 25 and Rs. 12, include certain professions and trades without reference to the value of the premises where they are carried on, and certain other trades and businesses carried on in premises of a certain monthly value. Class VI, Rs. 4, includes every keeper of a shop, or place of business, not included in any other class, and certain brokers and pedlars. Class VII, Re. 1, includes all itinerant dealers hawking goods for sale in baskets or trays. The business of insurance is nowhere mentioned in the schedule. There are no general words to be found in it which are wide enough to include such a business. The arguments for the Corporation arc, that class I includes all joint-stock companies who carry on business in Calcutta with a paid-up capital of ten lakhs of rupees, whatever their business may be, and although it may be of a nature which would not require a license if it were carried on by an individual, and that, if that is not the case, a person or a company who carries on the business of insurance, or, in fact, any business in Calcutta, is liable to a tax of Rs. 4 at all events, as the keeper of a place of a business, under class VI. We do not think that these arguments can prevail. The object of the classes is to bring such traders and professional persons who are to take out licenses into groups or classes, so that it may not be necessary to repeat the amount of the tax as many times as there are occupations in respect of which the tax is to be paid; but there is nothing in the schedule to extend the operation of the section, which is limited in terms to the professions, trades, or callings prescribed in the schedule, unless the fact that the business is carried on by a company, makes the business one of those prescribed in the schedule, whatever its nature may be. We do not think it is possible to put such a construction on a section, the words and meaning of which are, we think, clear; the words limit its operation to 'persons,' which expression, of course, includes joint-stock companies, who exercise the particular occupations prescribed in the schedule, and we think we should be doing violence to the plain words and meaning of the Act if we were to extend it to a company, because companies are placed in separate classes in the schedule, though it did not, in fact, carry on one of the businesses prescribed in it. Such a construction would be to tax a company, because it is a company, and not because it carries on one of the taxable businesses. The only other question is whether this company is liable to be taxed under class VI as the keepers of a place of business. The short answer to this argument is that they do not keep any place of business in Calcutta, as the case shows that their business here is carried on by their Agents, Messrs. Gladstone, Wyllie & Company, at their own offices, and that the company have no place of business of their own here at all. Our answer to the reference is that the Standard Marine insurance Company, Limited, are not liable to assessment under Section 87 of Bengal Act II of 1888 and the second schedule to the same Act.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //