Decided on April 23,1970

The Corporation Of Madras, Represented By The Commissioner Appellant
Water Supply Specialists Limited Respondents


Sadasivam, J. - (1.) The Corporation of Madras has preferred these appeals against the decrees and judgment in O.S. No. 1312 and 2413 of 1960 directing it to refund Rs. 3500 and Rs. 6300 respectively with future interest at 6 percent per annum to the respective plaintiff's In the two suits. The only point urged by Sri T. Chengalvarayan, the learned advocate for the appellants In these two appeals, is whether the Corporation of Madras is entitled to assess the respondents plaintiffs companies in these two appeals, which are having their Head Offices outside the City of Madras, to tax under the first proviso to rule 7 of part II, Sch. IV of the Madras City Municipal Corporation Act (Madras Act IV of 1919 (hereinafter called the Act), The point is covered by the decision of Rajagopala Aiyangar J. in Columbia Film v/s. Commissioner, Corporation of Madras, (1961) 1 M.L.J. 208 which has been confirmed by the Bench decision in the Commissioner, Corporation of Madras v/s. Columbia Film of India Ltd., (1961) 1 M.L.J. 216. Sri T. Chengalvarayan questions the correctness of the said decision, and if we entertain any doubt about his decision, we would have to refer the question for being considered by a Fuller Bench.
(2.) We shall first refer to the relevant provisions of the Act. The relevant portion of S. 110 of the Act is as follows: If the Council by a resolution determine that a tax on companies shall be levied, every company which, after the date specified in the notice published under sub -Sec. (2) of S. 98 -A transacts business within the City in any half year for not less than 60 days in the aggregate shall pay, in addition to any licence fee that may be leviable under this Act, a half yearly tax assessed in accordance with the rules in Schedule IV, but in no case exceeding Rs. 1,000.
(3.) It is not disputed that the necessary resolution has been passed, and the respondents companies have transacted business within the City of Madras during the relevant period, R. 7 in part II of Sch. IV of the Act dealing with the assessment of companies is as follows: "Companies shall be assessed by the Commissioner on the following scales: Paid up capital. Lakh of rupees Provided that any company, the Head or a Principal Office of which is not in the City and which shows that its gross income received is or from the City in the year immediately preceding the year of taxation: a. has not exceeded Rs. 5000 shall pay only 25 rupees per half year. b. has exceeded Rs. 5000 but has not exceeded Rs. 10,000 shall pay only Rs. 50 per half year. c. has exceeded Rs. 10,000 but has not exceeded Rs. 20,000 shall pay only 100 rupees per half; year; and d. has exceeded Rs. 20,000 shall pay per half year 100 rupees together with a sum calculated at the rate of 25 rupees per half year for every 5000 rupees or part thereof of gross income in excess of Rs. 20,000 subject to a maximum half yearly tax of 1000 rupees.;

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