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Calcutta High Court
Corporation Of Calcutta vs Eastern Mortgage Agency Co., Ld. on 21 December, 1897
Equivalent citations: (1898) ILR 25 Cal 483
Author: B A Hill
Bench: Banerjee, Hill


Banerjee and Hill, JJ.

1. In this case Mr. J. C. Dutt, an Honorary Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta, has referred for the opinion of this Court the two following questions of law under Section 432 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

2. Do the words in Section 87 of the Municipal Act “exercise in Calcutta any of the professions, trades, or callings prescribed in the second schedule” mean and include the exercising through agents in Calcutta of any such profession, trade or calling by a person or company having no registered place of business in Calcutta?

3. Is the Eastern Mortgage Agency Company, Limited, bound under Section 87 of the Act or Rule 7, Clause (b) in the second schedule to the Act to takeout a license for the official year 1895-96 under class I in that schedule?

4. We are of opinion that upon the facts stated in the reference the first question should be answered in the affirmative. There is no reason why a Joint Stock Company exercising through an agent in Calcutta the profession, trade or calling of a money-lender, should not be held to exercise in Calcutta one of “the professions, trades, or callings prescribed in the second schedule,” within the meaning of Section 87 of Act II of 1888 (B.C.) the profession, trade or calling of a banker and a money-lender being distinctly mentioned in the said schedule. We quite agree with the learned Presidency Magistrate in thinking that the case of Corporation of Calcutta v. Standard Marine Insurance Company (1895) I.L.R. 22 Cal. 581 does not decide the present question, the point decided in that case being that an Insurance Company carrying on business by an agent in Calcutta is not bound to take a personal license, as it does not exercise any profession, trade or calling prescribed in the second schedule to the Act, the business of an. Insurance Company not being mentioned in that schedule, and that it is not bound to take any local license, as it has no place of business in Calcutta. In the present case the defendant Company must, upon the authority of that case, be held not bound to take any local license; but the case referred to is no authority for the position that it is not bound to take a personal license, when the profession, trade or calling which it exercises is mentioned in the second schedule to the Act. Nor can we accept as correct the-view taken by the learned Presidency Magistrate that the defendant Company is not bound to take out any license because it carries on business by an agent, and because the Municipal license tax is not a tax on income, but is a tax levied for the privilege of carrying on business within the limits of the Municipality. It is quite true that the license tax is levied for the last mentioned privilege, and the capital of the Company is taken into account only in judging of the value of the privilege; but the privilege is exercised none the less, and should therefore be paid for none the less, when the profession, trade or calling is exercised through an agent than when it is exercised directly by the company itself. In the view we take upon the first question, it is not necessary for us to say more in answer to the second question than this, that the Eastern Mortgage Agency Company is liable as much under Section 87 as under Rule 7, Clause (b) of the second schedule, to take out a license for the year 1895-96 under Class 1.

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