Decided on January 31,1967



- (1.) This is a petition by the accused in C. C. No. 10 of 1965 on the file of the Sub Magistrate's Court, Vaikom. The petitioner was convicted by that court for the offence under S.74 of the Kerala Panchayats Act, 1960, read with R.26 of the Kerala Panchayats (Taxation and Appeal) Rules, 1963 and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 10/-, and in default to undergo simple imprisonment for 2 days. The learned Magistrate also directed that a sum of Rs. 87.45/-, being the arrear of tax for the non payment of which the petitioner was prosecuted, and an amount of Rs. 15/-by way of expenses of the prosecution would be recovered from the petitioner by way of fine. The petitioner filed an appeal before the District Magistrate, Kottayam as Crl. Appeal No. 32 of 1965. The appeal was dismissed. The petitioner has, therefore, come ia revision before this court.
(2.) This case arose out of a complaint filed by the Executive Officer of Chempu Panchayat against the petitioner, alleging that the petitioner wilfully omitted to pay the tax due in respect of building No. C. V. 304 within the Panchayat for the years 1962-63 to 1964-65. This building is a cinema theatre, and is owned by a concern called Kairalee Corporation. The petitioner was examined in the case as DW. 1, and according to his evidence, Kairalee Corporation is owned by eleven persons, and the petitioner is the President of this association of persons. It is not clear whether the Kairalee Corporation is a partnership concern. Ext. P-3 dated 29 1 1965 is a demand notice issued by the Executive Officer of the Panchayat to the petitioner, calling upon him to pay the property tax in arrears in respect of the aforesaid building. It is Ext. P-4 dated 10 7 1965. Pursuant to this, the warrant officer went to the cinema theatre of the Kairalee Corporation to distrain the movables in it. But nothing could be distrained, as it was found that the theatre did not contain any movable property. Therefore, the Executive Officer filed the complaint on 4 9 1965.
(3.) Learned counsel for the petitioner raised two points before me against the conviction and the sentence passed against his client. The first contention is, that the prosecution is time-barred under S.119 of the Act. The second contention is that the prosecution is not sustainable, in view of the provisions contained in S.74 of the Act, on the ground that no distraint of property belonging to the petitioner as such has been taken out before the prosecution was launched.;

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