SURESH GOPAL KRISHNA GHANTOJI Vs. MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE GULBARGA
HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA
SURESH GOPAL KRISHNA GHANTOJI
MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE, GULBARGA
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(1.)These two appeals raise common questions which could be disposed of
by a common judgment. The appellants are the plaintiffs. The defendant
in the two suits brought by them is the Municipal Committee of the City
Municipality, Gulbarga, established under the provisions of the Hyderabad
District Municipalities Act of 1956.
(2.)The plaintiffs are merchants in Gulbarga who bring into the municipal
limits various articles. Their prayer in the two suits was for a
declaration that the levy of octroi by the Municipal Committee, which it
imposed under the provisions of the Hyderabad District Municipalities
Act, which will be referred to as the 'Act', was an illegal levy and for the
refund of octroi collected from them. In the suit out of which RSA.No.677
of 1965 arises, the plaintiff claimed a refund of Rs.1,514-79 P. and in the
other suit (RSA.No.677/1965) the plaintiff claimed a refund of Rs.730.
The Munsiff gave the plaintiffs the decrees they sought, which, however,
were reversed by the Civil Judge in the appeals preferred by the Municipal
Committee. So, the plaintiffs appeal.
(3.)The first impeachment of the imposed levy was that it was made in
disobedience to statutory provisions. But, Mr. Appa Rao made a statement
that the pronouncement of this Court in Veerappa Gundappa Kandur
v. The Municipal Committee, Gulbarga, (1965) 2 Mys.L.J. 551 makes unavailable to the plaintiffs
that contention. So, Mr. Appa Rao did not ask me to say that the
impost made by the City Municipal Committee invites the criticism that
it was not made in conformity with statutory provisions.
Mr. Appa Rao, therefore, made before me a very restricted submission
that the octroi had been collected from the plaintiffs on articles not falling
within Schedule 'D' to the Act. It is indisputable that S.109 of the Act
bestowed competence on the Municipal Committee to levy octroi only on
those goods of which there is an enumeration in Schedule 'D' to the Act
and Mr. Appa Rao's contention was that the Committee had recovered
from the plaintiffs, octroi on goods other than those catalogued in that
Schedule. Mv attention was asked to paragraphs 6 and 7 of the plaint, out
of which RSA.No.677/1965 arises, in which the plaintiff stated that
although seven items such as copra, sago, poppy seeds, kismis, kaju, betel
nuts and newspapers, a number of other items are not found in Sch.'D'.
The Municipal Committee was unauthorisedly collecting octroi on all those
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