Decided on July 19,1983

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


Jyotirmoyee Nag, J. - (1.) The facts relating to this second appeal are as follows : A certificate proceeding under the Public Demands Recovery Act was started for recovery of arrears of income-tax due, against the father of the plaintiff and another by the Certificate Officer of 24-Parganas, who signed the certificate initiating the proceedings. The plaintiff on behalf of his father and others admitted the liability and prayed for monthly instalments which was granted. The entire dues were liquidated. But the father of the plaintiff was again called upon by the Certificate Officer by a letter dated January 15, 1957, to pay a sum of about Rs. 1,500 by way of interest on the arrears of income-tax which was assessed against him. The appellant put in his objection which was disallowed and a distress warrant was issued against him for recovery of the said dues by the Certificate Officer. The objection that was raised was that this amount was an illegal demand after the payment of the dues by instalments on the basis of the order of the Certificate Officer and same not being a public demand, was not recoverable under Section 16 of the Public Demands Recovery Act and, therefore, the proceeding initiated against the plaintiff's father and others was illegal and ultra vires. The plaintiff accordingly, brought the present suit for a declaration that the demand of interest was illegal and ultra vires and prayed for cancellation of the demand.
(2.) This suit was contested by defendant No. 1, State of West Bengal (respondent), and also by defendant No. 3, the Certificate Officer. Their defence was that the suit was not maintainable, that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain such a suit inasmuch as the interest payable from the date of signing of certificate up to the date of realisation was recoverable under Section 16 of the Public Demands Recovery Act and as such the demand for interest and the proceeding for its realisation were quite in order.
(3.) The learned Munsif agreed with the contention made on behalf of the defendants/respondents and held that such a suit was not maintainable, as the court had no jurisdiction to try it and dismissed the suit,;

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