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Madras High Court
M.P. Sivapatha Mudaliar vs Sikandder Rowther on 26 April, 1928
Equivalent citations: (1929) 56 MLJ 37
Author: Phillips


JUDGMENT

Phillips, J.

1. The only question for decision here is whether the word “licensed” in Section 104(3)(c) of the Madras Local Boards Act of 1920 means licensed under Clause (2) of the same section or in the wider sense of licensed for any purpose whatever. The appellant contends that if a license is granted under Section 166 to use a motor vehicle to ply for hire or to take passengers or goods at certain rates then such a vehicle is one licensed within the meaning of Section 104 and is not liable to pay toll. To put this general construction upon the word “licensed” when it follows immediately after the clause dealing with certain particular licenses would be straining the words of the section and consequently the interpretation put upon it by the District Judge seems to be a correct one. The various arguments put forward here have all been dealt with in his judgment and there is really nothing to be added thereto. The question of construing “Taxing Acts” in the strictest sense in favour of the subject can hardly apply here for there cannot really be reasonable doubt as to the meaning of the word “licensed” in Clause (c). Judicial opinion as to whether statutes imposing tolls need not be construed so strictly appears to be somewhat divided in England, but it is unnecessary to consider that point here for there is really no doubt in this matter.

2. The appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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