MOHAMMAD IBRAHIM Vs. STATE OF U P
LAWS(ALL)-1965-9-12
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
Decided on September 21,1965

MOHAMMAD IBRAHIM Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

MISTRA NAND KAUSHIK VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [LAWS(ALL)-1967-1-10] [REFERRED TO]
JIYA LAL VS. STATE OF U P [LAWS(ALL)-1981-1-8] [REFERRED TO]
GAJRAJ SINGH VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-2006-3-110] [REFERRED TO]
SUSHAN CHANDRA PAL VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [LAWS(CAL)-1975-7-13] [REFERRED TO]
REWA TRANSPORT SERVICE VS. STATE OF M P [LAWS(MPH)-1979-7-9] [REFERRED TO]
DSC-VIACON VENTURES PVT. LTD. VS. LAL MANOHAR PANDEY AND ORS. [LAWS(SC)-2015-8-115] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

G.C. Mathur, J. - (1.)THESE petitions have been filed by certain bus operators challenging the levy of toll on their vehicles crossing the Hindon Bridge Shri S.C. Khare, learned counsel for the petitioners and Shri Gopi Nath, learned Junior Standing Counsel, have both stated that it is unnecessary to consider the facts of each individual case since common questions of law arise in all the writ petitions and their decision rests upon the answers to be given to those questions. This order will govern all these writ petitions.
(2.)THE petitioners ply their stage carriages on the Muzaffaranagar--Budhana--Kandhla--Isoopur route. This route crosses two rivers, namely river Hindon at Budhana and river Krishna at Rajpur Chhajpur A new bridge was constructed over river Hindon by the State Government and it was opened to traffic from September 21, 1960. Toll is being levied on vehicles crossing this bridge by the State Government under certain notifications issued by it under the Indian Tolls Act, 1851 (Act No. 8 of 1851). THEre is another bridge over the Krishna river at Rajpur Chhajpur and toll is being levied on vehicles crossing this bridge by the Antarim Zilla Parishad. Muzzaffarnagar. In these writ petitions, the levy of toll on vehicles crossing the Hindon bridge alone is challenged.
The Indian Tolls Act, 1851, is an Act for enabling the Government to levy tolls on public roads and bridges. It appears that under Section 3 of the Indian Tolls Act, 1864, empowering it to do so the State Government, by a notification dated October, 30, 1956, extended the provisions of the Indian Tolls Act, 1861, to the whole of Uttar Pradesh. The relevant portion of Section 2 of the Indian Tolls Act, 1851, is as follows: "2. The State Government may cause such rates of toll, as it thinks fit, to be levied upon any road or bridge which has been, or shall hereafter be, made or repaired at the expense of the Central or any State Government ---------------" On November 1, 1956, the State Government issued a notification under Section 2 of the Indian Tolls Act, 1851. This notification was published in the U. P. Gazette of November 10, 1956, and reads as follows: "No. 5495(3) C/XXIII-PWA-217-C-53-- In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 2 of the Indian Tolls Act, 1851 (Act VIII of 1851), the provisions whereof have been extended to whole of Uttar Pradesh by notification No. 5495 C/XXIII-PW A-217-C-53, dated October 30, 1956, the Governor is pleased to order that with effect from the date of issue of this notification tolls at the rates specified in the Schedule annexed hereto shall be payable by all persons using the permanent bridges as may hereafter be notified under para 2 herein living on roads under the control and management of the State Public Works Department subject to the following conditions: (i) all permanent bridges constructed and opened to traffic on or before July 21, 1956, shall be exempt from the levy of tolls: (ii) all permanent bridges the span whereof is 200 feet or less, or the cost whereof does not exceed Rs. 2.50 lakhs shall also be exempt from the levy of tolls: (iii) the tolls on any particular bridge shall be levied for so long only as the total costs of its construction has not been realised in full or for a period of twenty years from the date of the first levy of tolls on the bridge whichever is earlier; (iv) where a number of new bridges fall within the distance of 30 miles of each other on the same road toll shall be levied on only one of them Persons, vehicles and beasts of burden returning by the midnight of the following day shall not be charged any toll on their return journey if a toll has been realised on outward journey. "2. The bridges which shall be subject to levy of tolls shall be notified from time to time. " The Schedule divides the bridges into two categories; (i) those costing more than Rupees five lacs; and (ii) those costing Rupees five lacs or less

Different rates are prescribed for various types of vehicles using the bridges. It is unnecessary to give details of the Schedule as this schedule has been subsequently amended by a notification published in the U. P. Gazette of January 5, 1957, the Schedule to the first notification was amended. The amended Schedule divides bridges into three categories: (i) bridges costing Rupees twenty-five lacs and above; (ii) bridges costing between Rupees eight lacs and Rupees twenty-five lacs; and (iii) bridges costing more than Rs. 2.50 lacs and less than Rupees eight lacs.

(3.)THE petitioners ply stage carriages which have a carrying capacity of more than 12 passengers. Under this Schedule such stage carriages are liable to pay a toll of Rs. 7-8-0 in respect of a bridge of the first category, a toll of Rs. 5-10-0 in respect of a bridge of the second category and a toll of Rs. 3-12-0 in respect of bridges of the third category. By another notification published in the U. P. Gazette of July 20, 1957. this Schedule was further amended but the rates for motor buses carrying more than 12 passengers remained the same. On July 19, 1960, the State Government published a notification, which was published in the U. P. Gazette of July 30, 1960, and which reads as follows: "In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 2 of the Indian Tolls Act, 1851 (Act VIII of 1851) and in pursuance of the provisions of paragraph 2 of Government Notification No. 5495 (3)C/XXIII-PWA-217-C- 58, dated November 1, 1956, the Government of Uttar Pradesh is pleased to notify the bridge over the Hindon River at Budhana on Muzaffarnagar Budhana Road in Muzaffarnagar District as a bridge which shall be subject to the levy of tolls from the date it opens to traffic on the terms and conditions laid down in the aforesaid notification as amended from time to time. "
It is under these provisions that the petitioners have been required to pay tolls for crossing the Hindon Bridge According to the petitioners, the State Government collects a toll of Rs. 5-62 P (Rs. 5-10-0 as mentioned in the Schedule) from each stage carriage for crossing the Hindon Bridge and also a toll of the same amount when the stage carriage returns and re-crosses the bridge. The petitioners have challenged the levy of toll on four broad grounds, namely. (1) that Section 2 of the Indian Tolls Act, 1851 is unconstitutional The constitutionality is challenged on two grounds: (a) that Section 2 offends Articles 301 and 305 of the Constitution, and (b) that Section 2 makes an excessive delegation of legislative power (2) that the notifications issued under Section 2 by the State Government are invalid for two reasons: (a) the power under Section 2 is exercisable separately in respect of each bridge and cannot be exercised generally in respect of an the bridges: and (b) that the classification of bridges in these notifications according to their costs offends Article 14 of the Constitution (3) that, on a proper interpretation of the notifications, no toll was leviable from the stage carriages on the return journey if the re-crossing was completed by the midnight of the next day; and (4) that the cost of the Hindon Bridge was less than Rupees eight lacs and that the State Government was entitled to recover toll at the rate of Rs. 3-75 P (Rs. 3-12-0 as mentioned in the schedule) prescribed for bridges costing between Rs. 2.50 lacs and Rs. 8 lacs, and not at the rate of Rs. 5.62 P.

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