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Madras High Court
Hammick vs The President, Madras Municipal … on 28 July, 1898
Equivalent citations: (1898) 8 MLJ 164


1. The question referred to us is whether upon the facts stated Mr. Hammick did within the City of Madras hold the office of Inspector-General of Police for more than sixty days in the half-year ? The question is in our opinion really concluded by the decision in the Ongole Case in I. L. R., 17 M., 453, but it was sought to found a distinction in the admission made in the case to the effect that the office of the Inspector-General is a permanent one in Madras and that there is an Assistant Inspector-General of Police during the latter’s absence on tour. We are of opinion that these circumstances will make no difference. The person liable to pay under Section 103 of the Act is the person who within the City exercises an art, profession or trade or holds an office. There are offices inseparably connected with Madras, the duties of which cannot be discharged elsewhere. The office of Inspector-General of Police is hot of that character; for it appears to be part of his duty to make tours. When he is absent from Madras on a tour, it is suggested that, nevertheless, he is still holding an office in Madras, because another officer signs letters on his behalf. If this were the correct view, it must follow that Mr. Hammick can be said to hold office at two places at the same time.

2. But the real answer to the argument is that the Assistant Inspector-General docs not perform the functions of the Inspector-General. The Assistant Inspector-General discharges his own functions–and personally he has to pay a tax in respect of the office he holds. So far as the language of the schedule to which we were referred has any bearing on the case, it is against the claim of the Municipality. Because it shows that the gumastah on the spot and not the absent principal is to be taxed.

3. Construing the words of the Act according to their ordinary acceptation and following the decision in the Ongole Case, we decide the question referred in the negative.

4. There seems to be no power to give costs.

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