Union of India & Anr Vs. Ranchi Municipal Corpn. Ranchi & Ors
 INSC 280 (16 February 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
1996 SCC (7) 542 JT 1996 (2) 171 1996 SCALE (2)412
O R D
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
respondent-Municipality had made a consolidated outstanding demand for a sum of
Rs.1,01,501/ for years 1993- 94, 1994-95 on December 16, 1993 towards the service charges. The appellants challenged the
validity of the demand. On reference, the Division Bench in the impugned order
dated May 15, 1995 in CW JC No.3223/94 upheld the
demand of the Municipality. Thus this appeal by special leave.
controversy is no longer res integra. This Court in Union of India v. Purna,
Municipal Council & Ors. [(1992) 1 SCC 100] had held that Section 135 of
the Railways Act is subject to the provisions of Article 285 of the
Constitution. Therefore, the respondent-Municipality was restrained from
demanding any payment by way of service charges from the Railways. Shri M.P. Jha,
learned counsel appearing for the Municipality sought to rely on Clause (4) of
Section 135 of the Railway Act which contemplates a contract between the
Central Government and the Municipality and payment thereof on the basis of the
said contract. In this case the contract now sought to be relied upon is only
to relieve distress warrant pending disposal of the dispute in the High Court.
Therefore, it cannot be construed that there is any contract between the Union of
India and the Municipality. In view of the fact that the Municipality has no
right to demand service charges from the Union of India, the demand made by the
Municipality is clearly ultra vires its power. It is true that earlier W.P.
No.2844/92 was filed and was dismissed by the High Court and the special leave
was refused by this Court on the ground of gross delay.
now settled law that the summary dismissal does not constitute res judicata for
deciding the controversy.
this being recurring liability which is ultra vires the power, earlier summary
dismissal of the case does not operate as a res judicata.
appeal is accordingly allowed. Writ is issued as prayed for. Whatever amount
has been paid by now cannot be recovered from the Municipality, No costs.