COLLECTOR OF BOMBAY Vs. MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF BOMBAY
LAWS(SC)-1951-10-9
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
Decided on October 05,1951

COLLECTOR OF BOMBAY Appellant
VERSUS
BOMBAY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

RAMSDEN V. DYSON [REFERRED]
MADDISON V. ALDERSON [REFERRED]



Cited Judgements :-

CHHATTISGARH KALYAN SAMITI VS. STATE OF M P [LAWS(CHH)-2011-7-50] [REFERRED TO]
RAMDULARE SINGH VS. NAWAL SINGH [LAWS(CHH)-2020-1-31] [REFERRED TO]
RAMDULARE SINGH VS. NAWAL SINGH [LAWS(CHH)-2020-1-31] [REFERRED TO]
KAREEMUDDIN KHAN MOHD VS. SYED AZAM [LAWS(APH)-1996-8-107] [REFERRED TO]
ACPE INFRASTRUCTURES PVT. LTD. VS. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH, DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION AND OTHERS [LAWS(APH)-2018-7-50] [REFERRED TO]
HERBO FOUNDATION PVT LTD VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GAU)-2009-6-19] [REFERRED TO]
BEDANIDHI UPADHYAYA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GAU)-2013-2-46] [REFERRED TO]
M/S UMED REALATORS, A REGISTERED PARTNERSHIP FIRM, HAVING ITS OFFICE AT SARAFA LANE, GANDHI CHOWK, WANI, DISTRICT YAVATMAL VS. SMT SHOBHA WD/O MAHADEO DESHPANDE, AGED ABOUT 85 YEARS, OCC : NIL, RESIDENT OF MAHALAXMI KUNJA APARTMENT, FLAT NO. 3, RANA PRATAP NAGAR, ARNI ROAD, YAVATMAL [LAWS(BOM)-2017-3-101] [REFERRED TO]
ISWAR MADAN MOHUN JIEW VS. PRIYAMONI DASI [LAWS(CAL)-1971-9-13] [REFERRED TO]
JAYARAM NAIDU VS. VASANTHI KUMARI [LAWS(MAD)-2017-2-377] [REFERRED TO]
LILAWATI SAHUN VS. MADAN SAHU [LAWS(JHAR)-2004-4-78] [REFERRED TO]
SARATUL FATIMA VS. KHODAIYA BIBI [LAWS(JHAR)-2004-7-66] [REFERRED TO]
NARINDER CHAND RAM NATH AND CO VS. GOVERNOR HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(DLH)-1970-1-14] [REFERRED TO]
R. ANTHONY JOSEPH VS. FRANCIS BILLOMANE, PARISH PRIEST, BANGALORE [LAWS(KAR)-2020-12-223] [REFERRED TO]
CANBANK MUTUAL FUND VS. R N MITTAL [LAWS(NCD)-2000-4-55] [REFERRED]
JOGINDER SINGH AND ANR. VS. HARBANS AND ORS. [LAWS(P&H)-2005-12-92] [REFERRED TO]
NARINDER CHAND HEM RAJ AND VS. LT GOVERNOR ADMINISTRATOR UNION TERRITORY HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(SC)-1971-10-43] [DISTINGUISHED]
BHAIYA RAMANUJ PRATAP DEO VS. LALU MAHESHANUJ PRATAP DEO [LAWS(SC)-1981-8-38] [RELIED ON]
HARPAL SINGH VS. RAJINDER KAUR AND ORS. [LAWS(P&H)-2014-5-905] [REFERRED TO]
BALA DOLA VS. HEERALAL URAJAN [LAWS(MPH)-1988-9-46] [REFERRED TO]
ASSOCIATED CEMENT COMPANIES LTD VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN [LAWS(RAJ)-1980-9-9] [REFERERD TO]
DASARATH SHARMA VS. STATE OF ODISHA [LAWS(ORI)-2021-4-5] [REFERRED TO]
DASARATH SHARMA VS. STATE OF ODISHA [LAWS(ORI)-2021-4-5] [REFERRED TO]
ASUTOSH BHANDARI VS. JOGMAYA DEVI [LAWS(CAL)-1980-7-6] [REFERRED TO]
DAKARAPU LAKSHMANA SWAMY VS. MADDULA NARASIMHA RAO [LAWS(APH)-2014-3-20] [REFERRED TO]
G. NARAYAN REDDY VS. P. NARAYANA REDDY [LAWS(APH)-2016-2-39] [REFERRED TO]
THE WEST COAST PAPER MILLS LIMITED VS. GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2010-7-50] [REFERRED TO]
FRIENDS BUREAU VS. CORPORATION OF CALCUTTA [LAWS(CAL)-1979-12-16] [REFERRED TO]
SHANKRU VS. SUHARU DEVI [LAWS(HPH)-2001-1-5] [REFERRED TO]
MOTIRAM VS. PANNALAL [LAWS(MPH)-2001-9-32] [REFERRED TO]
RAM BABU VAISHYA VS. SCINDIA KANYA VIDYALAYA [LAWS(MPH)-2008-11-38] [REFERRED TO]
V LAXMINARASAMMA VS. A YADAIAH [LAWS(SC)-2009-3-69] [REFERRED TO]
TAJIBAI VS. HASAN KHAN [LAWS(MPH)-1986-10-13] [DISTINGUSHED (DISTINGUISHED) 17]
MAHADAPPA SANGAPPA BHANGE VS. SHIVAJI NARSU DHORMARE [LAWS(BOM)-2010-5-50] [REFERRED TO]
VIJAYASHREEPURA KSHEMABIVRUDHI SANGHA VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2016-12-10] [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA VS. SHREE GANPATI ROLLING MILLS PVT LTD [LAWS(GAU)-2006-6-1] [REFERRED TO]
L. ANILKUMAR ROY AND ANR. VS. STATE OF MANIPUR AND ORS. [LAWS(GAU)-2011-5-85] [REFERRED TO]
L. ANILKUMAR ROY AND ANR. VS. STATE OF MANIPUR AND ORS. [LAWS(GAU)-2011-5-85] [REFERRED TO]
ALLABAKSH VS. MOHAMMED HUSSAIN [LAWS(KAR)-1995-9-33] [FOLLOWED ON]
WASIQ ALI VS. DIRECTOR OF CONSOLIDATION AGRA [LAWS(ALL)-1973-3-13] [REFERRED TO]
UMA SHANKER MISRA VS. BOARD OF HIGH SCHOOL AND INTERMEDIATE EDUCATION U P ALLAHABAD AND [LAWS(ALL)-1973-9-27] [REFERRED TO]
ANGHAILA HOUSING PVT. LTD. AND OTHERS VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH AND OTHERS [LAWS(ALL)-1974-8-34] [REFERRED TO]
ANIL KUMAR KHURANA VS. MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DELHI [LAWS(DLH)-1996-2-70] [REFERRED TO]
PANDYA VINODRAI RAMRAI VS. LAVAR PRABHUDAS NATHURAM [LAWS(GJH)-1971-6-2] [REFERRED TO]
COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS MADRAS VS. LALA GOPIKISSEN GOKULDASS [LAWS(MAD)-1954-8-12] [REFERRED TO]
A J JOY AND VS. GOVT OF T N [LAWS(MAD)-1993-6-24] [REFERRED TO]
K.RAMASAMY VS. AYYASAMY [LAWS(MAD)-2016-12-18] [REFERRED TO]
AJIJA BANU VS. VADIVAMBAL [LAWS(MAD)-2016-8-45] [REFERRED TO]
NESTLE INDIA LIMITED VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-1998-5-70] [REFERRED TO]
ROCHEES HOTELS PVT LTD VS. JAIPUR DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY [LAWS(RAJ)-2001-9-55] [REFERRED TO]
SARAT CHANDRA NAYAK VS. DAMODAR PATEL [LAWS(ORI)-2006-8-31] [REFERRED TO]
MOTILAL PADAMPAT SUGAR MILLS COMPANY LIMITED VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [LAWS(SC)-1978-12-10] [FOLLOWED]
SAMIKANNU CHETTIAR VS. ARMUGHA CHETTIAR [LAWS(MAD)-2001-8-136] [REFERRED TO]
ANDHRA PRADESH STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION EM VS. GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH, REP BY ITS SECRETARY [LAWS(APH)-2004-12-127] [REFERRED]
VVF LTD VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GJH)-2009-10-153] [REFERRED TO]
SAL STEEL LTD. VS. UNION OF INDIA (UOI) [LAWS(GJH)-2010-3-170] [REFERRED TO]
ADAMS PAPER PRODUCT PVT.LTD. VS. HIMACHAL PRADESH STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD [LAWS(HPH)-1991-1-8] [REFERRED TO]
MOTIRAM VS. PANNALAL [LAWS(MPH)-2001-9-23] [REFERRED TO]
BARUA AND COMPANY PVT. LTD. VS. STATE OF ASSAM [LAWS(GAU)-2021-11-94] [REFERRED TO]
GANGA PRASAD SINGH HAVING DIED VS. AYODHYA PRASAD SINGH [LAWS(ORI)-2000-6-1] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF WEST BENGAL VS. DALHOUSIE INSTITUTE SOCIETY [LAWS(SC)-1970-8-45] [FOLLOWED]
DEVI MULTIPLEX VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(SC)-2015-5-36] [REFERRED TO]
M SREEDHAR VS. A P CO OPERATIVE TRIBUNAL [LAWS(APH)-2013-6-6] [REFERRED TO]
WESTBURY HOSPITALITY PRIVATE LIMITED AND ORS VS. SECRETARY STATE OF KARNATAKA AND ORS [LAWS(KAR)-2013-3-271] [REFERRED]
RAJWANTI NANUWA VS. DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF CONSOLIDATION AND ORS [LAWS(ALL)-2007-3-405] [REFERRED]
THE JOINT CHIEF CONTROLLER OF IMPORTS AND EXPORTS VS. H.R. TRADING CO. [LAWS(MAD)-1963-12-44] [REFERRED TO]
DIAMOND GLASS WORKS PRIVATE LIMITED VS. NAGPUR IMPROVEMENT TRUST [LAWS(BOM)-1990-10-20] [REFERRED TO]
KIRTI INDUSTRIES (INDIA) LTD. VS. STATE OF M.P. [LAWS(MPH)-2022-4-121] [REFERRED TO]
GURU CHARAN PATNAIK VS. THE CONSOLIDATION COMMISSIONER AND 5 ORS. [LAWS(ORI)-2008-8-122] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF PUNJAB VS. AMRIT BANASPATI CO LTD [LAWS(P&H)-1977-1-2] [REFERRED TO]
DHARAMPAL PREMCHAND LIMITED (AGARTALA UNIT) AND ORS. VS. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. [LAWS(TRIP)-2016-1-5] [REFERRED TO]
NEW DELHI MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE VS. INDER NARAIN [LAWS(DLH)-1970-11-11] [REFERRED]
B SANJEEVA REDDY VS. GOVERNMENT OF A P [LAWS(APH)-1995-9-94] [REFERRED TO]
HARI MOHAN DAS AND OTHERS VS. SMT. ANNAPRIYA BAISHNABI AND OTHERS [LAWS(GAU)-2006-2-81] [REFERRED TO]
JASJIT FILMS PRIVATE LIMITED VS. DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY [LAWS(DLH)-1979-9-19] [REFERRED]
GENDALAL (DECEASED) THROUGH L RS CHHAGANLAL & OTHERS VS. JAI NARAYAN & OTHERS [LAWS(MPH)-2017-7-225] [REFERRED TO]
QUDA MIR VS. MOMA BHAT [LAWS(J&K)-1971-9-9] [REFERRED TO]
LAXMI GOUDA VS. DANDASI GOURA [LAWS(ORI)-1990-6-9] [FOLLOWED ON]
JIT RAM SHIV KUMAR VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(SC)-1980-4-2] [RELIED ON]
MONNET ISPAT AND ENERGY LTD VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(SC)-2012-7-59] [REFERRED TO]
COLLECTOR OF BOMBAY VS. NUSSERWANJI RATTANJI MISTRI [LAWS(SC)-1955-2-2] [RELIED ON]
RAM NIWAS GUPTA VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(P&H)-1969-12-7] [REFERRED TO]
LACHHMI NARAIN VS. KALYAN [LAWS(RAJ)-1959-7-12] [REFERRED TO]
LAD KANWAR VS. JAGDISH [LAWS(RAJ)-1979-2-15] [REFERRED TO]
VISHAL VS. RAMJEE [LAWS(CHH)-2012-2-28] [REFERRED TO]
EAST INDIA HOTEL LTD VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2013-10-133] [REFERRED TO]
THE PRADESHIYA INDUSTRIAL & INVESTMENT CORPORATION OF U.P. LTD. VS. PACQUIK INDUSTRIES LTD. AND ORS. [LAWS(DLH)-2016-1-241] [REFERRED TO]
MANIPUR ELECTRICITY EMPLOYEES UNION VS. STATE OF MANIPUR [LAWS(GAU)-2008-8-17] [REFERRED TO]
HINDUSTAN LEVER LTD. VS. RESERVE BANK OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-1994-11-76] [REFERRED TO]
BHUPINDRA GRAM UDYOG SAMITI VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-2007-10-65] [REFERRED TO]
BIJA RAM VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(RAJ)-2003-4-37] [REFERRED TO]
ABDUL KARIM VS. HAFIJ MOHAMMAD [LAWS(MPH)-1988-10-7] [REFERRED TO]
BHAIYA RAMANUJ PRATAP DEO VS. LALU MAHESHANUJ PRATAP DEO [LAWS(PAT)-1968-2-7] [REFERRED TO]
ANIL PRASAD GARA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-1991-8-11] [RELIED ON]
DES RAJ JUNEJA AND ORS. VS. UNION OF INDIA (UOI) AND ORS. [LAWS(P&H)-1979-2-28] [REFERRED TO]
PROFESSOR ASSEMANANDA GOBINDA DAS VS. UNIVERSITY OF KALYANI [LAWS(CAL)-2009-11-30] [REFERRED TO]
BARADE NAGENDER RAO VS. G SADASIVADU [LAWS(APH)-2007-2-64] [REFERRED TO]
SHREE SANYEEJI ISPAT PVT LTD VS. STATE OF ASSAM [LAWS(GAU)-2005-10-4] [REFERRED TO]
GANGADHAR PANDURANG PURANIK VS. DNYANOBA NIVRUTTI MUNDHE [LAWS(BOM)-2009-6-124] [REFERRED TO]
TEJOOMAL LAKHMICHAND VS. M J TALEGAONKAR [LAWS(BOM)-1980-2-11] [REFERRED TO]
JITENDRA NATH MUKHERJEE VS. COMMISSIONERS OF BADURIA MUNICIPALITY [LAWS(CAL)-1966-10-3] [REFERRED TO]
BHARIT VS. BOARD OF REVENUE U P AT ALLAHABAD [LAWS(ALL)-1972-9-25] [REFERRED TO]
JOGINDER SINGH VS. HARBANS [LAWS(P&H)-2005-11-19] [REFERRED TO]
PARVATHY THILAGAM VS. ENGASAMY NADAR(DIED) [LAWS(MAD)-2016-8-34] [REFERRED TO]
RAJANIKANTA PATTNAIK AND ORS. ETC. VS. STATE OF ORISSA AND ORS. [LAWS(ORI)-1990-5-23] [REFERRED TO]
SURYA NARAIN YADAV VS. BIHAR STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD [LAWS(SC)-1985-5-21] [APPLIED]
V.N. MURTHY VS. P. KAMAN [LAWS(KAR)-2000-1-104] [REFERRED TO]
GANGAIAH NAIDU VS. BANGALORE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY [LAWS(KAR)-2010-2-23] [REFERRED TO]
MAHABIR VEGETABLE OILS PVT LTD VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(SC)-2006-3-71] [REFERRED TO]
ANIL JOSHI AND ORS. VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH AND ORS. [LAWS(SC)-2015-3-17] [REFERRED TO]
State of Madhya Pradesh VS. Gwalior Forest Products Ltd. Shivpuri [LAWS(MPH)-1983-7-40] [REFERRED TO]
SARASWATI DEI @ JENA VS. GOPINATH JEW AT ADHANGA [LAWS(ORI)-2016-6-10] [REFERRED TO]
MOOLCHAND VS. DHANNI [LAWS(RAJ)-1980-11-10] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Das - (1.)JUDGMENT of Kania, C. J., Das and Bose JJ., delivered by
(2.)THIS is an appeal from the judgment of a bench of the Bombay High court (Sen and Dixit JJ.) delivered on 2/02/1947, in an appeal filed under section 18 of the Bombay City Land Revenue Act 11 of 1876 against the judgment of the Revenue Judge at Bombay delivered on 27/10/1942, in a suit filed by the respondents, the Municipal Corporation of the City of Bombay, and Madusudan Damodar Bhat, the then Municipal Commissioner for the City of Bombay, against the Collector of Bombay.
There is no substantial dispute as to the facts leading up to this litigation and they may be shortly stated. In 1865, the government of Bombay, having decided to construct an Eastern Boulevard, called upon the Corporation of Justices of the Peace for the City of Bombay, the predecessor in title of the respondent Corporation, to remove its then existing fish and vegetable markets from the site required for the construction of the Boulevard. The then Municipal Commissioner Mr. Arthur Crawford, after whom the present municipal market was named, applied for the site set aside for the exhibition buildings on the Esplanades for the purpose of constructing new markets as the existing markets could not be removed until new markets had been provided. On December 5, 1865, the Architectural Improvement Committee informed the government that it had no objection to the proposed she measuring about 7 acres being 'rented to the Municipal Commissioner' and suggested that 'the annual charge of one pie per square yard be levied in consideration of the expense of filling in the ground.' Computed at this rate, the annual rental would have amounted to about Rs. 176.00. On December 19, 1865, the government passed the following resolution :-- '(1) government approve of the site and authorise its grant. (2) The plans should be submitted for approval; but government do not consider any rent should be charged to the Municipality as the markets will be, like other public buildings, for the benefit of the whole community.' Pursuant to the aforesaid Resolution, possession of the site was made over to the then Municipal Commissioner, but no formal grant was executed as required by Statute 22 and 23 Vic. C. 41. It has nowhere been contended that even if the statutory formalities had been complied with the grant upon the terms mentioned in the Resolution would nevertheless have been invalid being in excess of the powers of the government. The Municipal Commissioner had the site filled up and leveled at the expense of the Corporation. The plans were approved by the government and the market buildings were erected by the Corporation at considerable expense. The respondent Corporation was incorporated in 1888 as the successor of the Corporation of the Justices of the Peace for the City of Bombay and it continued in possession of the land and the buildings without paying any rent to the government according to the government Resolution of 1865. Indeed, it is pleaded in paragraph 7 of the plaint and it is not denied in the written statement that acting upon the said grant contained in the Resolution and the terms contained therein the respondent Corporation and its predecessor spent considerable sums of money in building and improving the market and have been in possession of the land and the buildings thereon for over 70 years in accordance with the terms of the Resolution and that no land revenue or rent had been paid to the government ever since the grant was made. It is in evidence that besides giving up the sites on which the old markets had been situate, a total sum of Rs. 17,65,980-12-1 has been spent by the Corporation up to 31/03/1940, in filling up and leveling the site and erecting. and maintaining the new market buildings on this site. In 1911, a portion of the market site was acquired by the government for the widening of the Palton Road. Upon the Collector of Bombay being called upon to put in ,his claim, if any, to any part of the compensation money awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer, the Superintendent,, City Survey, on behalf of the Collector, replied that government had no claim in respect of the said land. The respondent Corporation, therefore, received the whole of the compensation money and it continued in possession of the rest of the land and the buildings thereon without payment of any rent. On 18/03/1938, the appellant Collector of Bombay informed the respondent Municipal Commissioner that it was proposed to assess the land occupied by the Crawford Market under section 8 of the Bombay City Land Revenue Act 2 of 1876 and asked for certain information to enable him to do so. In his reply, the Municipal Commissioner wrote to say that the site of the market had been given to the Municipality as a gift for the construction of the market and that, therefore. the question of assessment did not arise. The appellant Collector of Bombay having insisted that in spite of the government Resolution of 1865 the government had the right to assess the site, the Mayor of Bombay on 23/03/1939, wrote a letter to the government stating, inter alia, as follows :-- 'The Corporation have been advised that there can be no doubt that it was the intention of government to make a permanent grant of the land to the Municipality, and, further, that it was also the intention that permanent grant should be free from rent and from assessment to land revenue. I am to point out that the word 'rent' was. used in official documents with the greatest frequency with reference to the land revenue leviable by the East India Company and later by government in the City of Bombay and in the Presidency. It is, therefore, clear that it was the intention of government in 1865 that this grant should be free from any form of rent or assessment. The Corporation were put into possession for a period of over 70 years, during which period the land has without interruption been devoted to the purpose for which the grant was made. Throughout this long period there has been no suggestion from government that the grant was other than a permanent one, free of revenue, or that the terms of the grant were in any way subject to revision,' The above contentions were repudiated by the government in its letter of 1/01/1940, in the following terms:- ' As regards the contention that the land has been held by the Municipality uninterruptedly for over 70 years without any suggestion from government that it was liable to assessment, I am to state the right to levy the assessment is the prerogative of the Crown and a mere non-user of this prerogative cannot destroy it. Besides, conditions have considerably altered since the land was originally allotted to the Municipality without charging any ground rent or assessment; the Municipality has been recovering substantial rents by letting out stalls in the market and should now be in a position to pay the assessment. Under the circumstances, the levy of assessment in this case can no longer be foregone or postponed.' On 31/01/1940, the appellant Collector assessed the land under section 8 of the Bombay Act 11 of 1876 with a guarantee of 50 years as under :-- JUDGEMENT_469_AIR(SC)_1951Html1.htm The assessment was to begin to run from 1/04/1940, and the first payment of the assessment was to become due on 1/04/1941. The present suit was thereupon filed in the court of the Revenue Judge in accordance with the provisions of the Bombay City Land Revenue Act, 1876, for the following reliefs, inter alia :--- '(a) that it may be declared that there is a right on the part of the plaintiff Corporation in limitation of the right of government to assess the said land and that the plaintiff Corporation is entitled to hold the said land for ever without payment of any assessment and that the government has no right to assess the said premises, (b) That the said assessment may be declared ultra vires, invalid and may be ordered to be set aside.' 471

By his judgment dated 27/10/1942, the learned Revenue Judge dismissed the suit with costs. The Corporation appealed to the High court. Before the High court, as before us, two of the learned Revenue Judge's conclusions were not challenged. namely, that the government Resolution of 1865 was-bad in law either as a grant or even as a contract and could not by itself operate to give any interest in the land to the respondent Corporation because of the non-compliance with the formalities required to be observed by Statute 22 and 23 Vic. C. 41 in the matter of disposition of all real and personal estate vested in the Crown under Statute 21 and 22 Vic. C. 106, and (2) that the Crown's right to levy assessment on property was a prerogative right to which the ordinary presumption that rights to property which had not been asserted or exercised for a long period of years had been granted away did not apply What was urged before and accepted by the High court was that the right of the government to levy any assessment on the land in question had been lost and could not be asserted or exercised by the government by reason of the equity arising on the facts and circumstances of the case in favour of the respondent Corporation on the principle established by the decision in Ramsden v. Dyson which was adopted by Jenkins C.J. in The Municipal Corporation of the City of Bombay v. The secretary of State and which equity was, on the authorities, binding on the Crown. After dealing with the cases of Dadoba Janardhan v. The Collector of Bombay and Jethabhoy Ruttonsey v. The Collector of Bombay(4) the High court observed :-- 'We think, on a reading of the language of the government Resolution dated the 19th December, 1865, that we should be justified in holding (within the meaning of the rule in Ramsden v. Dyson) that an expectation was created or encouraged by the landlord that the Municipality was to get possession of the land rent-free and that the latter took possession of the land with the consent of the landlord, and upon such expectation, with the knowledge of the landlord and without objection by him, laid out money upon the land.' 472

According to the High court the rule of equity enunciated in Ramsden v. Dyson (supra) was not, as pointed out by Jenkins C.J. in Municipal Corporation of the City of Bombay v. The secretary of State (supra), dependent on the validity of the disposition and could be asserted even where the statutory formalities relating to the disposition of the property had not been observed and performed, and that this equity constituted a right on the part of the respondent Corporation in limitation of the right of the government in consequence of a specific limit to assessment having been established and preserved within the meaning of section 8 of the Act 11 of 1876 so as to disentitle the government from assessing the land in question. The High court relied on the decision in Kamalavahooji Maharaj v. The Collector of Bombay in support of their view that section 8 of the Bombay Act 2 of 1876 would apply even where the specific limit was nil. In the result, the High court reversed the decision of the learned Revenue Judge, allowed the appeal and passed a decree declaring the rights of the respondent Corporation and awarding to it the costs in both courts. The Collector of Bombay appealed to the Federal court and the appeal has now come up for hearing before us. There has been considerable discussion before us as to the precise scope and effect of the principle of equity enunciated in Ramsden v. Dyson (supra), as to whether such principle should be extended to the facts of the present case, whether the facts 'of this case attract the application of the equity established in Ramsden v. Dyson (supra)or attract the equity established in Maddison v. Alderson and Walsh v. Lonsdale and finally as to whether, in view of the decision of the Privy council in Ariff v. Jadunath, the equity in Ramsden v. Dyson (supra) can prevail against the requirement of formalities laid down in the Victorian Statute referred to above any more than the equity in Maddison v. Alderson (supra)can do against the requirements of the Transfer of Property Act and whether the decision in The Municipal Corporation of the City of Bombay v. The secretary of State requires reconsideration in the light of the decision in Ariff's case (supra). In the view we have taken, it is not necessary to go into, and to express any opinion on, any of these questions, for this appeal can, in our opinion, be disposed of on a narrower and shorter ground.

The government claims to assess the lands in terms of section 8 of the Bombay Act 2 of 1876 which runs thus :-- '8. It shall be the duty of the Collector, subject to the orders of the Provincial government, to fix and to levy the assessment for land revenue. Where there is no right on the part of the superior holder in limitation of the right of the Provincial government to assess, the assessment shall be fixed at the discretion of the Collector subject to the control of the Provincial government. When there is a right on the part of the superior holder in limitation of the right of the Provincial government, in consequence of a specific limit to assessment having been established and preserved, the assessment shall not exceed such specific limit.' The sole question for our consideration is whether, on the facts of this case, the respondent Corporation has succeeded in establishing in itself a right in limitation of the right of the government to assess the land in consequence of a specific limit to assessment having been established and preserved. There is no dispute that by reason of the non-compliance with the statutory formalities the government Resolution of 1865 is not an effectual grant passing title in the land to the respondent Corporation and is not also an enforceable contract. On the other hand, there is no doubt as to the existence of an intention on the part of the government to make and on the part of the Corporation to take a grant of the land in terms of the Resolution of 1865 including an undertaking by the government not to charge any rent. Both parties acted on the basis of that Resolution and the predecessor in title of the respondent Corporation went into possession of the land in question pursuant to the government Resolution of 1865 and, acting upon the said Resolution and the terms contained therein, the respondent Corporation and its predecessor in title spent considerable sums of money in leveling the site and erecting and maintaining the market buildings and have been in possession of the land for over 70 years. What, in the circumstances was the legal position of the respondent Corporation and its predecessor in title in relation to the land in question ? They were in possession of the land to which they had no legal title at all. Therefore, the position of the respondent Corporation and its predecessor in title was that of a person having no legal title but nevertheless holding possession of the land under color of an invalid grant of the land in perpetuity and free from rent for the purpose of a market. Such possession not being referable to any legal title it was prima facie adverse to the legal title of the Government as owner of the land from the very moment the predecessor in title of the respondent Corporation took possession of the land under the invalid grant. This possession has continued openly, as of right and uninterruptedly for over 70 years and the respondent Corporation has acquired the limited title it and its predecessor in title had been prescribing for during all this period, that is to say, the right to hold the land in perpetuity free from rent but only for the purposes of a market in terms of the government Resolution of 1865. The immunity from the liability to pay rent is just as much an integral part or an in severable incident of the title so acquired as is the obligation to hold the land for the purposes of a market and for no other purpose. There is no question of acquisition by adverse possession of the government's prerogative right to levy assessment. What the respondent Corporation has acquired is the legal right to hold the land in perpetuity free of rent for the specific purpose of erecting and maintaining a market upon the terms of the government Resolution as if a legal grant had been made to it. The right thus acquired includes, as part of it, an immunity from payment of rent which must necessarily constitute a right in limitation of the government's right to assess in excess of the specific limit established and preserved by the government Resolution within the meaning of section 8 of the Bombay Act 2 of 1876. It is true, as pointed out by the Privy council in Karnalavahooji Maharaj v. Collector of Bombay (supra) that the words of the section would appear to apply rather to the case of a limitation on the right to assess than to the case of a complete exemption from assessment but such a construction would not protect the cases of total exemption which, as conceded in that very case, did in fact exist and were recognised and protected by virtue of the words of section 8 of the Bombay Act 2 of 1876. It has not been suggested before us that there are no cases of total exemption or that those cases are protected by any provision of law other than that of this very section. There is, therefore, no escape from the conclusion arrived at by the High court, with which we concur, that the words of section 8 would apply to a case where total exemption from assessment was granted. In other words, specific limit may be nil for the purposes of section 8 of the Act. 473

(3.)IT was sought to be argued that even if the government be precluded from enhancing the 'rent' in view of the terms of the government Resolution, it cannot be held to have disentitled itself from its prerogative right to assess 'land revenue'. This contention is sought to be rounded on a distinction between 'rent' and' land revenue'. This contention, however, was not raised in the written statement and was not made the subject-matter of any issue on which the parties went to trial and was never put forward before either of the courts below. Indeed, in the letter of the Mayor of Bombay dated 22/03/1939, to which reference has been made, it was clearly alleged that the word 'rent' was used in official documents with the greatest frequency with reference to the land revenue leviable by the East India Company and later by the government in the City of Bombay and in the Presidency.' In the government's reply dated 24/01/1940, also quoted above this assertion was never repudiated or denied. In the premises, the appellant cannot be permitted at this stage to raise this contention rounded on the supposed distinction, if any, between 'rent' and 'land revenue' and for the purpose of this case we must proceed on the basis that the word 'rent' in the government Resolution of 1865 was synonymous with or included' land revenue.'
In our opinion, for reasons stated above, the actual decision of the High court was correct and this appeal should be dismissed with costs, and we order accordingly. PATANJALI SASTRI

I am of opinion that this appeal should be allowed and I will briefly indicate my reasons without recapitulating the facts which have been fully stated in the judgment of my learned brother Das which I have had the advantage of reading.

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