A R SETHUMADHAVAN PROPRIETOR CENTRAL CAFE VISAKHAPATNAM Vs. VISAKHAPATNAM MUNICIPALITY
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
A.R.SETHUMADHAVAN, PROPRIETOR, CENTRAL CAFE, VISAKHAPATNAM
VISAKHAPATNAM MUNICIPALITY REPRESENTED BY ITS COMMISSIONER
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Narasimham, J. -
(1.) This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution by some of the Hotel-keepers of Visakhapatnam town praying for a writ of prohibition or any other appropriate writ against the Municipality to forbear from collecting water rate from them as provided by its bye-laws.
(2.) Under Sections 131 and I32-A of the Madras District Municipalities Act, 1920 (Act No. V of 1920) adopted by the State of Andhra Pradesb hereinafter to be referred to as the Act, the Municipal Council, Visakhapatnam framed bye-laws for the collection of charges for the supply of water to consumers in the town. Broadly stated, the residential buildings were permitted a free allowance varying with the annual rental value of the buildings and the water consumed in excess of free allowance was charged at the rate of Rs. 4.00per 1000 gallons or part thereof subject to a monthly minimum charge. With regard to water supplied to buildings other than residential buildings, they were not permitted any free allowance and water was charged for at Rs. 6.00 per 1000 gallons or part thereof.
(3.) The hotel-keepers are the petitioners herein. They are aggrieved by what they alleged was unreasonable and discriminatory classification violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. They also alleged that Section 132-A of the Act conferred uncontrolled and unregulated power on the Municipalities to levy water rate at such rate as may be prescribed by the bye-laws from time to time and as such Section 132-A and the bye-laws framed thereunder are invalid. It is therefore the case of the petitioners that the Municipality cannot collect water charges from them under the bye-laws framed by it and they pray for interference in these proceedings.;
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