IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM AS.No. 162 of 1996() 1. K.SURENDRAN ... Petitioner Vs 1. DISTRICT COLLECTOR TRICHUR ... Respondent For Petitioner :SRI.K.P.DANDAPANI,SMT.SUMATI DANDAPANI For Respondent :GOVERNMENT PLEADER The Hon'ble MR. Justice PIUS C.KURIAKOSE Dated :11/07/2008 O R D E R PIUS C. KURIAKOSE, J. ----------------------------------------------- A.S. No. 162 OF 1996 ----------------------------------------------- Dated this the 11th day of July, 2008 J U D G M E N T
The suit was one for injunction to restrain the defendants from
initiating action under the Revenue Recovery Act for recovery of the
amounts mentioned in Ext.A1 demand. Under Ext.A1 a total amount
of Rs.26703/- is demanded from the appellant plaintiff towards motor
vehicle tax payable in respect of vehicle No.KLZ 1301 for the period
from 1-1-1982 to 30-9-1983. The main premise on which relief was
sought for in the plaint was that the appellant had already parted with
ownership and possession of the bus in question and hence will not be
liable to pay the motor vehicle tax. The respondents – defendants filed
a joint written statement raising various contentions and on the basis
of the contentions raised the learned Subordinate Judge formulated
the following issues for trial.
1. Is the suit maintainable ?
2. Did the plaintiff part with possession and ownership of the Bus
bearing No. KLZ 1301 as alleged ?
3. If the answer to issue No.2 is positive whether the plaintiff
had intimated the transfer of the vehicle to the third
4. Is the plaintiff entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of this court
without resorting to the remedy provided under section 23 of
the Motor Vehicles Taxation Act?
5. Is the plaintiff entitled to the injunction prayed for?
6. Reliefs and costs?
The parties did not adduce any evidence and the evidence in the case
consisted of the suit document Ext.A1 demand notice on the side of
the plaintiff. The learned Sub Judge on an evaluation of the pleadings
and the arguments addressed answered issue No.1 in favour of the
appellant-plaintiff and held that the suit is maintainable. Issue No.2
was answered against the appellant-plaintiff. In my opinion the
learned Subordinate Judge was perfectly justified in doing so in the
absence of any evidence from the side of the appellant-plaintiff. Issue
No.3 being dependent on the finding of issue No.2 was rightly deleted
by the learned Sub Judge. Issue Nos.4 and 5 which are interrelated to
each other were also answered by the learned Sub Judge against the
plaintiff. The learned Sub Judge noticed that Section 23 of the Motor
Vehicles Taxation Act provides remedy by way of appeal before the
statutory appellate authority and in as much as the appellant-plaintiff
had not exhausted that remedy the discretionary relief of injunction
which has got foundations in equity and discretion of the court could
not be granted. I have heard the submissions of learned counsel for
the appellant and the learned Govt. Pleader. Though the learned
counsel for the appellant addressed me on the various grounds raised
in the appeal memorandum the only submission which appeal to me
was the submission that on the basis of the admissions contained in
the written statement itself the the appellant could not have been
made liable for payment of tax for the period prior to the appellant
becoming the owner of the vehicle. But since in my opinion the finding
of the learned Sub Judge on issue No.4, i.e., whether the relief of
injunction could be granted due to the existence of alternate statutory
remedy is a correct one I am not inclined to uphold even that
submission. The result of the above discussion is that the appeal fails
and will stand dismissed. But in the circumstances of the case the
parties will suffer their costs in this appeal.
(PIUS C.KURIAKOSE, JUDGE)