UMRAO SINGH AND OTHERS Vs. MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE, BAHADARGARH
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
Umrao Singh And Others
Municipal Committee, Bahadargarh
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Kapur, J. -
(1.) THIS a plaintiffs' appeal against a judgment and decree of the learned District Judge of Rohtak affirming the decree of the learned Senior Subordinate Judge dismissing the plaintiffs' suit.
(2.) IN 1926 sales of a sites of shops in the Mandi were held subject to conditions contained in Ex. P. 2 in which it was stated that "the advantage of this Mandi is that it will always be free from octroi". In para. 13 of the conditions it is stated:
Every shop keeper and owner of a shop will have to pay only those taxes which will be imposed by the Municipal Committee from time to time for the benefit of the Mandi. This Mandi will like Fateh Mandi remain free from the imposition of a tax called octroi tax.
It appears that a tax called "the professional tax" was levied by the Municipal Committee in 1942 which was sanctioned by the Provincial Government on 11th October 1943. Thirteen persons brought a suit against the Municipal Committee for a permanent injunction restraining it from realising the professional tax which had been imposed on the plaintiffs who are shopkeepers of Fateh Mandi on the allegation that the defendant Municipal Committee had established a Mandi known as Fateh Mandi in order to increase its income and that the plaintiffs and other purchased these sites because of the assurance given that no octroi tax would be levied nor any other tax excepting those which were for the benefit of the Mandi and that in spite of the assurance the defendant Committee had levied a professional tax on various professions. The prayer was for a permanent injunction against the Municipal Committee.
The Committee pleaded that the Mandi had been established for giving an impetus to the trade of the area and that at the time the auction was held it was definitely stated that the purchasers would have to pay such taxes as would be levied from time to time for the benefit of the Mandi with the exception of the octroi tax and that the tax had been imposed in the interests of the Mandi and that the civil Court had no jurisdiction to go into the matter. Several issues were raised and the learned trial Judge held that the tax was in the interests of the Mandi and dismissed the suit. An appeal against this decree was taken to the learned District Judge who, as I have said before, affirmed the decree holding that the tax was for the benefit of the people of the Mandi and could be imposed, that there was no evidence on the record to show that the Municipal Committee had acted in bad faith in imposing this tax and that if the Municipal Committee were not to impose this tax they may be superseded "for want of funds" and the Mandi people will then suffer.
(3.) AGAINST this decree, the plaintiffs have come up in appeal to this Court and the point for determination is whether in the circumstances of this case civil Courts have jurisdiction to entertain the present suit. In my opinion, the Municipal Committee has acted in the exercise of its statutory powers and it cannot be said that they have acted in bad faith or in excess of or abuse of the powers vested in them. In East Frementle Corporation v. Annois,, (1902) A. C. 213 at p. 217 : (71 L. J. P. C. 39) Lord Macnaghten observed as follows:
If persons in the position of the appellants, acting in the execution of a public trust and for the public benefit, do an act which they are authorized by law to do, and do it in a proper manner, though the act so done works a special injury to a particular individual, the individual cannot maintain an action. He is without remedy unless a remedy is provided by the statute.
Applying these observations to the facts of this case I am of the opinion that on the facts found the civil Courts would not be entitled to interfere. This is not a case where the power has been exceeded or abused.;
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