1. This appeal arises oat of a suit for a declaration that the plaintiffs have a right to vote in the election of the Municipal Commissioners of (sic). It appears that in consequence of some letter received by the Chairman of the Municipality from Government, the names of the plaintiffs were struck out, on the ground that each member of a joint family had no right to vote separately even though he was qualified under the law to vote. The present suit was, thereupon, instituted. There is no question that the plaintiffs have the qualifications laid down by Section 15 of the Bengal Municipal Act III of 1884 and the Rules framed by the Local Government It is also admitted that the tax which each of them pays exceeds Rs. 1 8, the minimum qualification under the rules, but it is paid jointly, and not separately. The only question, therefore, is whether the word 'person' in Section 15 of the Act excludes the members of a joint Hindu family, The Courts below have some to the conclusion that the plaintiffs are persons' within the meaning of the sestion. The defendant, the Chairman of the Municipality, has appealed to this Court. The word person ' is not defined in the Act. The definition of the word in the Income Tax Act, Calcutta Municipal Act, Licensed Ware House Act or such other Acts does not help us in deciding the question, as the definition in other Acts is for the purpose of those Acts. The definition in Section 3 (Clause 36) of the General Clauses Act, which lays down that the word 'person' shall include any company or association or body of individuals, does not also help us in the present case.
2. There being no provision in the Bengal Municipal Act that a person otherwise qualified to vote is not entitled to vote merely because he is a member of a joint Hindu family, we think that the Courts below were right in their decisions.
3. The letter of the Government, referred to above, is not on the record before us. So far as it appears from the judgment of the Court below, the letter does not curtail the right of voting. However that may be, the right is conferred on every parson who is qualified to vote under Section 15 of the Act and cannot be cut down.
4. We are, accordingly, of opinion that the appeal must be dismissed with costs.
5. Lat the record be sent down without delay.