P RENGASWAMI PILLAI Vs. SRIRANGAM MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
P. RENGASWAMI PILLAI
SRIRANGAM MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, REPRESENTED BY THE COMMR.
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Ramaswami, J. -
(1.) This is a batch of civil revision petitions filed against the decrees and judgments of the learned Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Trichirapalli.
(2.) The facts are: the plaintiffs in this batch of small cause suits are retail dealers in grains, pulses etc., within the defendant Municipality. They have paid for and obtained from the defendant licences for their retail trade for the year 1944-45. According to the plaintiffs, the municipality had not clothed itself with the necessary ' powers, by means of a Gazette Notification, to levy licence fees as the provisions of Section 249 of the District Municipalities Act had not been complied with and which is not in dispute before me on account of the subsequent judgment of the High Court in CRP No. 251 of 1947 (Mad) (A). On the footing that the collection of the fees is illegal and that as the same is said to have been recovered under threat of prosecution, the payments were made under coercion and the defendant Municipality is bound in law to refund the amounts collected, the plaintiffs filed the small cause suits for the said relief. On the other hand the defendant Municipality contended that the plaintiffs were not entitled to refund as the payments were voluntary.
(3.) The short point for determination was and is whether the payments made by the plaintiffs were under coercion? The lower; court held that the payments were not made under coercion and dismissed the suits. Hence these civil revision petitions are filed by the defeated plaintiffs, retail dealers.;
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