Decided on May 05,1966



Vakil, J. - (1.) These nine petitions belonging to a large group of 70 petitions each by a textile mill or factory, in which the General Tax was levied on lands and buildings and demanded from these several petitioners by the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad, has been challenged on various grounds. At the request of parties, as they involved common questions of law, all these petitions were kept together to be heard at the same time, and, if possible, to be disposed of by one judgment. However, at a later stage, after all the parties were heard on the preliminary objection raised by the Corporation, we were informed that these nine petitions raised a number of questions for determination over and above the contentions that were raised in the rest of the petitions. It was submitted by Mr. Mody and Mr. Desai, the learned advocates appearing for these petitioners and the learned Advocate General appearing both for the Corporation and the State concurred that it will be expedient to deal with and decide these nine petitions by a separate judgment. Similarly a group of nine other petitions being Special Civil Applications Nos. 1087/1963, 49/1964, 243/1964, 561/1964, 1006/1964, 1011/1964, 1012/1964, 1013/1964 and 422/1965 had also to be separated for the same reasons and have been disposed of by a separate judgment. All the same it was agreed that on all the points which were common to all these 70 petitions including the two smaller groups, all the parties may be heard and accordingly Mr. K.M. Desai and Mr. N.J. Mody, the learned advocates representing the respective petitioners in the two smaller groups, were allowed to make their submissions in support of those common contentions when the petitions in the bigger group were heard with the result that those common contentions which we shall indicate at the appropriate stage, have been dealt with and decided by us in the judgment that we have delivered in the larger group of petitions and our findings on the said common petitions, shall be the same. It may also be mentioned that one other contention which we shall indicate hereafter raised in the present petitions was also raised in the aforesaid smaller group of nine petitions wherein Mr. K.M. Desai only represented the petitioners. But, Mr. Mody representing seven of the present petitioners also made his full submissions on the said point and it is dealt with and disposed of by our separate judgment given in respect of the said group of nine petitions. The main group of petitions was taken up for further hearing first and immediately thereafter these two smaller group of petitions were heard.
(2.) In the present group of nine petitions, Mr. Desai, represented petitioners in Special Civil Applications Nos. 261 of 1962 and 117 of 1968. In the rest of the petitions Mr. Mody appeared for the petitioners. In all the petitions, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is joined as respondent No. 1 and the State of Gujarat as respondent No. 2.
(3.) Before we set out the contentions raised by petitioners, it will be convenient to briefly refer to relevant facts. Mr. Mody informed us that the Special Civil Application No. 1093 of 1962 is the most representative petition in his group of petitions and the facts having a bearing on the contentions raised are similar except Special Civil Application No. 328 of 1962 wherein one specific contention which we shall indicate hereafter is peculiar to that petition, arises. Mr. Desai agreed that except for one contention which we shall point out later, the said Special Civil Application covers up the rest of the points raised in his two petitions.;

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