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Calcutta High Court
Chairman Municipal Board vs Basudeo Narain Singh on 1 February, 1910
Equivalent citations: (1910) ILR 37 Cal 374
Author: H A Chatterjee
Bench: Holmwood, Chatterjee


Holmwood and Chatterjee, JJ.

1. This is a second appeal from the judgment and decree of the Subordinate Judge of Chapra, who, reversing the decision of the Munsif in a suit by a rate-payer to have his municipal assessment reduced as illegal and ultra vires, held that the tax had not been assessed on the proper valuation of the holding, and that therefore the plaintiff was entitled to a decree.

2. This finding is obviously untenable. The Civil Courts have nothing to do with the correctness or otherwise of the valuation; they can only interfere when the assessment is ultra vires.

3. It is urged before us that it is ultra vires, because; there is nothing to show that the assessor actually did inspect the premises, and because the record of the proceedings before the Objection Committee would lead to the inference that the appellant had no proper hearing. On a consideration of the authorities, we think we have no jurisdiction to interfere with the assessment. The ruling in Manessur Dass v. The Collector and Municipal Commissioners of Chapra (1876) I.L.R. 1 Calc. 409 appears to bind us.

4. The jurisdiction to interfere in matters regarding the amount of assessment has been withdrawn by express legislation, and Section 116 makes the decision of the Objection Committee final. The cases of Navadip Chandra Pal v. Purnananda Saha (1898) 3 C.W.N. 73 and Kameshwar Pershad v. The Chairman of the Bhabua Municipality (1900) I.L.R. 27 Calc. 849 do not affect this general principle and are clearly distinguishable. But where the Municipality have the power to make a fresh assessment as they have every three years, and merely raise the valuation, the Civil Court has no power to revise the valuation, but is bound to accept it as conclusive.

5. As a matter of fact there is no positive evidence in this case that the valuation was excessive. The Courts were merely asked to draw an inference from the absence of evidence of increase in value in the five years previous to suit. We are, therefore, obliged to hold that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction in this case, and that the learned Munsif in the Court of first instance was right in dismissing the suit. We accordingly decree the appeal, and direct that the judgment and decree of the Subordinate Judge be set aside and the plaintiff’s suit dismissed with costs in all Courts.

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