STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. JAMNABAI MANJI KESHAVJI
LAWS(BOM)-1954-12-5
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on December 03,1954

STATE Appellant
VERSUS
JAMNABAI MANJI KESHAVJI Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

UNITED TOWNS ELECTRIC CO. LTD. V. ATT. GEN. FOR NEWFOUNDLAND [REFERRED TO]
EMPEROR V. FULABHAI BHULABHAI [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Vyas, J. - (1.)This is an appeal by the State of Bombay from a judgment of the learned Presidency Magistrate, 24th Court, Bombay, acquitting the respondent Jamnabai Manji Keshavji who was charged with having committed an offence under Section 471 of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, upon an allegation that she refused to comply with a notice given to her by the Municipal Commissioner for Greater Bombay, by which notice she was required to provide a tap in the room occupied by Mr. Vora in the premises belonging to her.
(2.)The facts of the case are that there are certain premises belonging to the respondent. The said premises consist of a ground floor and two upper floors. On the ground floor, there are two tenements, one of which consists of one room only and the other has seven rooms. The occupant of the one-room tenement is one Mr. Vora. This room has no water tap in it. The prosecution case is that the area of this room is 390 sq. ft. On the other hand, the respondent's contention is that the area of this room which is in the occupation of Mr. Vora is 260 sq. ft. Mr. Alkonde, Inspector of the D Ward, has deposed to the effect that the area of this room is 390 sq. ft. In the compound of the respondent's premises, there is a water tap. It is situated some distance away from the room occupied by Mr. Vora. The prosecution says that there is a distance of only 25 paces between Mr. Vora's room and the water tap in the compound. On the other hand, the respondent's contention is that this distance is about 100 ft. Mr. Vora approached the Municipal Corporation with a request that the room in his occupation may be provided with a water tap. The Municipality advised Mr. Vora to obtain a consefit of the respondent, since the respondent is the owner of the premises. The respondent refused to give her consent to the provision of a tap in Mr. Vora's room. A certain amount of correspondence ensued between the respondent and the Municipality. The respondent persisted in her refusal to let Mr. Vora have a tap in his room. Thereupon, the Municipal Overseer inspected the respondent's premises and submitted his report to the Hydraulic Engineer. Thereafter, the Municipal Commissioner issued a notice under Section 274, Sub-section (1), of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act to the respondent, calling upon her "to take a one-half-inch branch with a 3/8" tap from the existing one- half-inch connection feeding the ground floor, in the room occupied by Mr, Vora." The respondent was told that, in case she failed to comply with the requisition, she would render herself liable to the penalty prescribed in that behalf under Section 471 of the Act. The respondent failed to comply with the notice. Thereupon, she was prosecuted for an offence under Section 274, Sub-section (1), of the Act. The prosecution ended in her acquittal. This is an appeal by the State of Bombay against that order of acquittal. .
(3.)in resisting the charge against her, the respondent contended that if she Were to consent to Mr. Vora having a separate tap in his room, her other tenants would also make a similar request and this would involve her in considerable expenditure. She also said that Mr. Vora's request for a tap in his room, if acceded to, would result in the digging of the floor of her premises and defacing of her walls. These objections of the respondent did not appeal to the learned Magistrate and he rejected them. But the learned Magistrate upheld the respondent's contention that, under Section 274, Sub-section (1) of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, the Municipal Commissioner had no power to issue a requisition to her, requiring her "to take one-half-inch branch with a 3/8" tap from the existing one-half-inch connection feeding the ground floor, in the room occupied by Mr. Vora". Accordingly, he acquitted the respondent of the charge under Section 471 of the Act.


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