State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Bhailal
Bhai & Ors  INSC 7 (20 January 1964)
20/01/1964 GUPTA, K.C. DAS GUPTA, K.C. DAS
AYYANGAR, N. RAJAGOPALA
CITATION: 1964 AIR 1006 1964 SCR (6) 261
RF 1965 SC1740 (11) R 1966 SC1089 (34) R 1969
SC 78 (4) E 1970 SC 898 (18,35,37,46,51,62,63) D 1972 SC2060 (4,5) E 1975 SC
813 (5,6) RF 1976 SC2243 (21) R 1982 SC 101 (28) E&R 1990 SC 772 (20,31,32)
RF 1990 SC 820 (17) RF 1991 SC1676 (72)
Constitution of India, 1950, Arts. 226, 301
and 304--Issue of Writ Unreasonable delay in moving Court--what is--Sales
Tax--Impeding inter State trade--Validity--Tax paid under mistake--Order of
repayment--Jurisdiction of High Court under Art. 226.
The respondents are dealers in tobacco in the
State of Madhya Bharat. The appellant imposed sales tax on the sale of imported
tobacco by the respondents. But no such tax was imposed on the sale of
indigenous tobacco. The respondents filed petitions under Art. 226 of the
Constitution for the issue of writ of mandamus 'directing the refund of sales
tax collected from them. They contended that the impugned tax violated Art. 301
(a) of the Constitution and they paid the tax under a mistake of law and the
tax so paid was refundable under s. 72 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
The appellant contended that there was no
violation of Art.
301 of the Constitution, even if there was
such violation the tax came within the special provision under Art. 304(a), the
High Court bar. no power to direct refund of tax already paid and in any event
the High Court should not exercise its discretionary power of issuing a writ of
mandamus directing this to be done since there was unreasonable delay in filing
the petition. The High Court rejected all the contentions of the appellant and
a writ of mandamus was issued as prayed for. The appellants appealed to this
Court. Before this Court substantially the same contentions as were canvassed
before the High Court were raised.
Held: (i) Even though the liability to pay
tax was created by the sale of tobacco in Madhya Pradesh and not by the import
itself the facts and circumstances showed that trade and commerce as between Madhya
Bharat and other parts of India was directly impeded by the impugned tax and
therefore the said tax violated Art. 301(a) of the Constitution.
Atiabarj Tea Co. Ltd. v. State of Assam,
 1 S.C.R.
809, Automobiles Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd.
v. State of Rajasthan,  1 S.C.R. 491 and Firm Mehtab Majid & Co. v.
State of Madras, A.I.R. 1963 S.C. 928, referred to.
(ii) Even though the tax contravened Art. 301
of the Constitution it would he valid if it came within the saving provisions
of Art. 304 of the Constitution.
(iii) Tobacco manufactured or produced in the
appellant State, similar to the tobacco imported from outside had not been
subjected to the tax and therefore the tax was not within the saving provisions
of Art. 304 (a) of the Constitution.
262 (iv) The tax which had already been paid
was so paid under a mistake within s. 72 of the Indian Contract Act. The High
Courts have power for the purpose of enforcement of fundamental rights and
statutory rights to grant consequential reliefs by ordering repayment of money
realised by the Government without the authority of law.
Firm Mehtab Majid & Co. v. State of
Madras, A.I.R. 1963 S.C.
928 and Sales Tax Officer, Banaras v. Kanhaiya
Ld Saraf,  S.C.R. 1360,referred to.
(v) As a general rule if there has been
unreasonable delay the court ought not ordinarily to lend its aid to a party by
the extraordinary remedy of mandamus. Even if there is not such delay, in cases
where the opposite party raises a prima facie issue as regards the availability
of such relief on the merits on grounds like limitation the Court should
ordinarily refuse to issue the writ of mandamus.
(vi) Though the provisions of the Limitation
Act do not as such apply to the granting of relief under Art. 226 the maximum
period fixed by the legislature as the time within which relief by a suit in a
Civil Court must be claimed may ordinarily be taken to be a reasonable standard
by which delay in seeking remedy under Art. 226 can be measured. The Court may
consider the delay unreasonable even if it is less than the period of
limitation prescribed for a civil action for the remedy. Where the delay is
more than this period it will almost always be proper for the court to hold
that it is unreasonable. The period of limitation prescribed for recovery of
money paid by mistake under the limitation Act is three years from the date
when the mistake is known. In the result C.A. Nos. 861-867 are allowed in part
and the other appeals are dismissed.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION Civil Appeals
Nos. 362-377 of 1962.
Appeals from the judgment and orders dated
December 16, 1959 of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Miscellaneous Petitions
Nos. 144 to 158 and 160 of 1958.
Civil Appeals Nos. 858 to 867 of 1962.
Appeals from the judgment and orders dated
28th October, 1960, 16th September, 1960 and 29th July, 1960 of the Madhya
Pradesh High Court in Miscellaneous Petitions Nos. 110, 119 and 136 of 1960,
198, 199, 202 to 206 of 1959 respectively.
Civil Appeals Nos. 25 to 29 of 1963.
Appeals from the judgment and orders dated
29th July, 1960, 26th September, 1960, 28th October, 1960, 16th September, 1960
and 28th October, 1960 of the Madhya 263 Pradesh High Court in Miscellaneous Petition
Nos. 273 of 1958, 73, 74, 120 and 132 of 1960 respectively.
M. Adhikari, Advocate-General, Madhya Pradesh
and 1. N. Shroff for the appellants (in all the appeals).
M. C. Setalvad, S. N. Andley, Rameshwar Nath
and P. L. Vohra, for the respondent (in C.A. No. 362/1962).
S. N. Andley, Rameshwar Nath and P. L. Vohra,
for the respondents (in C.A. Nos. 363 to 377 and 858 to 867 of 1962 and 25 to
27 of 1963).
January 20, 1964. The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by DAS GUPTA J.-These 31 appeals by the State of Madhya Pradesh
are against the orders made by the High Court' of Madhya Pradesh in 31
applications under Art. 226 of the Constitution by dealers in tobacco. All
these petitioners carried on business in Madhya Bharat which later became part of
the State of Madhya Pradesh. They were assessed to sales tax on their sales of
tobacco in accordance with the notification issued by the State Government in
exercise of powers under s. 5 of the State Sales Tax Act and large amounts were
collected by the Madhya Bharat Government and later by the Madhya Pradesh
Government. The petitioners contended that the taxing provisions under which
the tax was assessed and collected from them was unconstitutional as it
infringed Art. 301 of the Constitution and did not come within the special
provision of Art. 304(a). Accordingly, they prayed for appropriate writs or
orders for refund of all the taxes that has been collected from them. In
resisting these applications the Madhya Pradesh Government contended, first,
that the Wing provisions did not offend Art. 301 of the Constitution and that
in any case, they satisfied the requirements of Art. 304(a). It was further
contended that even if the taxing provision was unconstitutional and the
assessment and collection of tax had been without any legal authority the
petitioners were not entitled to the order for refund prayed for.
264 The High Court was of opinion on a
consideration of; the notification under which the tax was assessed that it
imposed a tax only on imported tobacco and not on home grown tobacco and so it
did not come within the special provisions of Art. 304(a) of the Constitution
and consequently the infringement of Art. 301 of the Constitution which
resulted from the imposition of a tax on import of goods made the provisions
void in law. The prayer for refund was allowed in the applications out of which
C.A. Nos. 362-377, C.A. Nos. 861--867 of 1962 and C.A. No. 25 of 1963 have
The prayer was rejected in the remaining
In the present appeals the State of Madhya
Pradesh challenges the correctness of the High Court's decision that the taxing
provision was unconstitutional and void and also the orders for refund made in
some of the petitions mentioned above.
The liability to pay tax arose under s.3 of
the Madhva Bharat Sales Tax Act. This Act came into force from the 1st day of
May 1950. As originally enacted it provided that (a) every dealer who imports
goods into Madhya Bharat shall be liable to pay tax on his taxable turnover in
respect of sales or supplies of goods effected from the 1st day of May 1950 if
his total turnover in the previous year in respect of sales or supplies of
goods exceeded Rs 5,000; (b) similarly every manufacturer or processor whose
turnover in the previous year exceeded Rs. 5,000 was made liable to pay tax on
his taxable turnover in respect of sales or supplies of goods effected from the
1st day of May 1950; (c) every other dealer was made liable to pay tax on his
taxable turnover in respect of sales or supplies of goods effected from the 1st
day of May 1950, if the total turnover in the previous year exceeded Rs.
12,000. By later amendments the word "processor" was deleted from cl.
(b) of the section and the meaning of the words "any other" in cl.
(c) was made clearer by substituting the words "any goods of a dealer not
falling in cl. (a) or cl. (b)". There was also an amendment in 1950 making
it, clear that the taxable turnover on which the tax liability.
265 arose was in respect of sales or supplies
of goods effected in Madhya Bharat.
Section 5 of the Act provides that the tax
payable by a dealer shall be at a single point and shall not be less than Rs.
1/9/per cent or more than 6-1/4 per cent of the taxable turnover, as notified
from time to time by the Government by publication in the Official Gazette.
This is subject to a proviso that the Government may in respect of a special
class of goods charge tax upto 12-1/2% on the taxable turnover. The second
sub-section of s. 5 empowers the Government to notify at the time of notifying
the tax payable by a dealer, the goods and the point of their sale at which the
tax is payable. The legal position therefore is that unless there is a valid
notification under s. 5 no tax can be levied. The contention of the petitioners
dealers which has succeeded in the High Court is that the notifications on the
strength of which the tax was assessed on them were invalid.
The first notification was issued on April
30, 1950. This provided that with effect from the 1st day of May 1950 sales tax
shall be collected in respect of goods specified in column 2 of the Schedule
that was attached to the notification at the point of sale mentioned in column
3 at the rates mentioned in column 4. The relevant portion of the Schedule ran
thus:-------------------------------------------------------Sl Name of
commodity The point of sale Rate of No. by dealers tax
9. Tobacco leaves, manufactu Importer 6-4-0
red tobacco (for eating and Per cent smoking) and tobacco used Sales Tax for
was followed by another notification dated May 22, 1950 under which a lower
rate was prescribed for tobacco used for Bidi manufacturers. But the point at
which the tax was payable remained unaltered. The rele266 vant portion of the
Schedule to this notification was in these words:
Name of commodity Point of sale Rate perNo. by the dealers cent of tax in M. B.
10. Tobacco leaves and manufactured tobacco
(for eating, Importer 6-4-0 smoking and snuffing)
11. Tobacco used for Bidi Importer 1-9-0
a short period, i.e., from the 1st January 1954 to the 21st January 1954 these
two notifications remained inoperative in consequence of a notification dated
the 24th October, 1953, under which from the 1st January 1954 the point of sale
at which the tax was payable was altered to "on a sale by a dealer direct
to a consumer or to a dealer who does not hold a licence or registration
certificate under the Sales Tax Act". This last notification was again
superseded by a notification dated the 21st January, 1954 in consequence of
which the old position was restored with effect from January 22, 1954. That is,
with effect from 22nd January 1954 the point at which the tax was payable,
again became a sale by an importer.
There can be no doubt that the tax payable at
the point of sale by the importer in Madhya Bharat directly impeded the freedom
of trade and commerce guaranteed by Art. 301 of the Constitution. It is true
that the import by itself would not bring in the liability to tax and that if
the imported goods were not sold in Madhya Bharat no tax would be -payable.
Quite clearly however by far the greater part of the tobacoo leaves,
manufactured tobacco (for eating and smoking) and tobacco used for Bidi
manufacturing that would be imported into the State would be sold in Madhya
That a very considerable amount was so sold
is clear from the very assessment orders made in these several cases.
There can be no doubt therefore 267 that even
though it is the sale in Madhya Bharat of the imported goods that creates the
liability to tax and not the import by itself, the trade and commerce as
between Madhya Bharat and other parts of India is directly impeded by this tax.
On the authority of this Court's decision in Atiabari Tea Co., Ltd. v. State of
Assam(1) it must therefore be held that the tax contravenes the provisions of
Art. 301 of the Constitution. It may be mentioned that the later decision of
this Court in Automobile Transport (Rajasthan) Ltd. v. State of Rajasthan(2)
which slightly modified the majority decision in Atiabari Tea Co.'s case does
not alter this position. If the tax could have been claimed to be regulatory or
compensatory it would have got the benefit of the latter decision. There is,
however, no scope for such a claim (See Firm Mehtab Majid & Co. v. State of
The tax could still be good if even though it
contravened the provisions of Art. 301 it came within the saving provisions of
Art. 304(a) of the Constitution. That Article provides in its cl. (a) that
notwithstanding anything in Article 301 or Art. 303 the legislature of a State
may by law impose on goods imported from other States any tax to which similar
goods manufactured or produced in that State are subject so however as not to
discriminate between goods so imported and goods so manufactured or produced.
An attempt was made on behalf of the State before the High Court and also
before us to construe the notification mentioned above to mean that not only
the tobacco imported from other States but also similar goods manufactured or
produced in Madhya Bharat were subject to this tax and at the same rate. It was
argued that a dealer in these goods who was an importer and so sold goods
imported by him into Madhya Bharat would also be selling goods not so imported
but manufactured and produced in the State. We are prepared to agree that may
well be so. What we are unable to see, however, is that in respect of sales of
such other goods this person would be liable to (1)  1 S.C.R. 809.
(2)  1 S.C.R. 491.
(3) A.I.R. 1963 S.C. 928.
268 any tax under the notification. We are
informed that in fact where importers dealt with goods other than imported
goods the sales of such other goods were in fact excluded from tax. The learned
Advocate-General of Madhya Pradesh who appeared before us in support of these
appeals suggested that that was done by the State Sales Tax Authorities on a
mistaken interpretation of the law. We do not think so. In our opinion, the
only reasonable interpretation of the notification as it stands, viz., that tax
on tobacco leaves, manufactured tobacco and tobacco used for Bidi manufacturing
would be payable at the point of sale by the importer, is that only the sale of
goods which the importer had imported would be liable to tax and not sale of
any other goods by him. If the intention had been as suggested by the learned
Advocate-General that though the tax is payable at the point of sale by an
importer the scale by the same person of goods manufactured or produced in
Madhya Bharat would also be liable to tax, the word "importer" would
not have been used in column 3 but the word "dealer" would have been
used and the point of sale would have been indicated by some other words as the
"first sale in Madhya Bharat" or "the sale to the retailer in
Madhya Bharat" as the rule-making authority chose.
The matter becomes even more clear if in
column 3 we read for "importer" the definition of "importer of
goods" in s. 2(i) of the Act. Reading this we find that the point of sale
in Madhya Bharat at which the tax is payable is the sale "by the dealer
who brings or causes to be brought into Madhya Bharat any goods from outside
for the purpose of processing, manufacturing or sale" or "who purchases
goods in Madhya Bharat for the purpose of sale from a dealer who does not
ordinarily carry on business in Madhya Bharat."When only such a sale is
being made the point at which the tax is payable, there is hardly any scope for
a serious argument that the notification was intended to make sales by that
same dealer of goods manufactured or produced in Madhya Bharat liable to tax.
it may not be out of place to notice in this
connection the distinction made by s.3 of the Madhya Bharat Sales 269 Tax Act
between sales by a dealer who imports goods [cl.
(a)] and other dealers [cls. (b) and (c) ].
It is not unreasonable to think that the Act itself contemplated the sales by
an importer of goods as meaning only sales by him of goods imported by him into
Madhya Bharat. Apart from this, it has to be noticed that admittedly the
notification did not make dealers who dealt only in home grown or home produced
tobacco liable to pay the tax. That by itself would be sufficient to bring in
the vice of discrimination which is the purpose of Art. 304(a) to prevent.
There can, therefore, be no escape from the
conclusion that similar goods manufactured or produced in the State of Madhya
Bharat have not been subjected to the tax which tobacco leaves, manufactured
tobacco and tobacco used for Bidi manufacturing, imported from other States
have to pay on sale by the importer. This tax is, therefore, not within the
saving provisions of Art. 304(a). As already pointed out it contravenes the
provisions of Art. 301 of the Constitution. The tax has therefore been rightly
held by the High Court to be invalid. It is clear that the assessment of tax
under these notifications was thus invalid in law.
A portion of the tax thus assessed has been
already paid by the petitioners. It cannot now be disputed that this payment
was made under a mistake within s.72 of the Indian Contract Act and so the
Government to whom the payment has been made by mistake must in law repay it.
The question is whether the relief of repayment has to be sought by the taxpayer
by an action in a civil court or whether such an order can be made by the High
Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Art. 226 of the Constitution. The
jurisdiction conferred by Art. 226 is in very wide terms.
This Article empowers the High Court to give
relief by way of enforcement of fundamental rights and other rights by issuing
directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus,
mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari. According to the
petitioners a writ in the nature of mandamus can be appropriately used where
money has been paid to the Government by mistake to give relief by commanding
repayment 270 of the same. That in a number of cases the High Courts have used
the writ of mandamus to enforce such repayment is not disputed. In a recent
case in Firm Mehtab Majid & Co., v. The State of Madras(1) this Court made,
in a petition under Art. 32, an order for refund of tax illegally collected
from the petitioner under Rule 16 of the Madras General Sales Tax (Turnover and
Assessment) Rules, 1939. The question whether the Court has this power to order
refund was not however raised there. in Sales Tax Officer, Banaras v. Kanhaiya
Lal Mukundlal Saraf (2) the appellants disputed the correctness of the High
Court's order made in an application under Art.
226 of the Constitution directing refund of
taxes that had been paid under the U.P. Sales Tax Act on the respondent's
forward transactions in silver bullion. After the levy of sales tax on such
transactions was held to be ultra vires by the High Court of Allahabad the
respondent asked, for refund of the tax paid and when that was refused he
applied to the High Court under Art. 226 of the Constitution for a writ of
certiorari for quashing the assessment orders and a writ of mandamus requiring
the appellants to refund the amount illegally collected. The order made in this
case by the High Court for refund was affirmed by this Court in appeal.
In this case also the power of the High Court
to order such refund was not challenged either before the High Court or before
We see no reason to think that the High
Courts have not got this power. If a right has been infringed-whether a
fundamental right or a statutory right-and the aggrieved party comes to the
court for enforcement of the right it will not be giving complete relief if the
court merely declares the existence of such right or the fact that that
existing right has been infringed. Where there has been only a threat to
infringe the right, an order commanding the Government or other statutory
authority not to take the action contemplated would be sufficient. It has been
held by this Court that where there has been a threat only and the right has
not been actually infringed an application (1) A.I.R. 1963 S.C. 928.
(2)  S.C.R. 1350.
271 under Art. 226 would lie and the courts
would give necessary relief by making an order in the nature of injunction. It
will hardly be reasonable to say that while the court will grant relief by such
command in the nature of an order of injunction where the invasion of a right
has been merely threatened the court must still refuse, where the right has
been actually invaded, to give the consequential relief and content itself with
merely a declaration that the right exists and has been invaded or with merely
quashing the illegal order made.
For the reasons given above, we are clearly
of opinion that the High Courts have power for the purpose of enforcement of
fundamental rights and statutory rights to give consequential relief by
ordering repayment of money realised by the Government without the authority of
At the same time we cannot lose sight of the
fact that the special remedy provided in Art. 226 is not intended to supersede
completely the modes of obtaining relief by an action in a civil court or to
deny defences legitimately open in such actions. It has been made clear more
than once that the power to give relief under Art. 226 is a discretionary
power. This is specially true in the case of power to issue writs in the nature
of mandamus. Among the several matters which the High Courts rightly take into
consideration in the exercise of that discretion is the delay made by the
aggrieved party in seeking this special remedy and what excuse there is for it.
Another is the nature of controversy of facts and law that may have to be
decided as regards the availability of consequential relief.
Thus, where, as in these cases, a person
comes to the Court for relief under Art. 226 on the allegation that he has been
assessed to tax under a void legislation and having paid it under a mistake is
entitled to get it back, the court, if it finds that the assessment was void,
being made under a void provision of law, and the payment was made by mistake,
is still not bound to exercise its discretion directing repayment. Whether
repayment should be ordered in the exercise of this discretion will depend in
each case on its own facts and circumstances. It is not easy nor is it
desirable to lay down any rule for universal application.
It may however be stated 272 as a general
rule that if there has been unreasonable delay the court ought not ordinarily
to lend its aid to a party by this extraordinary remedy of mandamus. Again,
where even if there is no such delay the Government or the statutory authority
against whom the consequential relief is prayed for raises a prima facie
triable issue as regards the availability of such relief on the merits on
grounds like limitation, the Court should ordinarily refuse to issue the writ
of mandamus for such payment. In both these kinds of cases it will be sound use
of discretion to leave the party to seek his remedy by the ordinary mode of
action in a civil court and to refuse to exercise in his favour the
extraordinary remedy under Art. 226 of the Constitution.
The prayer for refund has been allowed by the
High Court in the applications out of which Civil Appeal Nos. 362-377 of 1962
and Civil Appeal Nos. 861--867 of 1962 and Civil Appeal No. 25 of 1963 have
arisen. It appears that the tax provisions under which these taxes had been
assessed and paid was declared void by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh in their
decision in Mohammad Siddique v. The State of Madhya Pradesh on January 17,
1956. Later, on August 27, 1957 the Appellate Authority, Sales Tax, in Madhya
Bharat made an order relying on the High Court's decision mentioned above. The
petitioners claim to have discovered their mistake in making the payments after
they came to know of these decisions. it is reasonable to think however that
the petitioners must have discovered their mistake as soon as the High Court's
decision in the case of Mohammad Siddique v. The State of Madhya Pradesh dated
January 17, 1956 became known to them' All these 16 applications were made
within less than three years from the 17th January, 1956. The High Court has
taken the view that this was not unreasonable delay and in that view has
ordered refund. This appears to us to be a sound and judicial exercise of
discretion with which this Court ought not to interfere. it may be added that
no triable issue as regards the availability of this consequential relief was
raised before the High Court nor has any been suggested before us. The order of
refund made 273 by the High Court in these cases cannot therefore be disturbed The
position in Civil Appeal Nos. 861 to 867 of 1962 is however different. The
applications out of which these appeals have arisen were made in September
1959, i.e., about three years and eight months after January 17, 1956 when the
High Court of Madhya Pradesh gave their decision declaring the tax provisions
in question to be void.
It was necessary for the High Court to
consider this question of delay before any order for refund was made. It does
not appear however that any attention was paid to this question. In making the
orders for refund in each of these cases the High Court merely said this. The
present case is governed by Bhailal Bhai's Case (1960 M.P.C. 304). Learned
Government Advocate formally raised the question of the remedy open to the
petitioner for refund of tax in order to keep the point open in the Supreme
Court. We accordingly allow this petition. and issue a writ directing the opponents
to refund to the applicant firm the amount of tax collected from it during the
above-mentioned period." The learned Judges appear to have failed to
notice that the delay in these petitions was more than the delay in the
petition made in Bhailal Bhai's case out of which Civil Appeal No. 362 of 1962
has arisen. On behalf of the respondents-petitioners in these appeals (C.A.
Nos. 861 to 867 of 1962) Mr. Andley has argued that the delay in these cases
even is not such as would justify refusal of the order for refund. He argued
that assuming that the remedy of recovery by action in a civil court stood
barred on the date these applications were made that would be no reason to
refuse relief under Art. 226 of the Constitution. Learned counsel is right in
his submission that the provisions of the Limitation Act do not as such apply
to the granting of relief under Art. 226. It appears to us however that the
maximum period fixed by the legislature as the time within which the relief by
a suit in a civil court must be brought 134--159 S.C. 18 274 may ordinarily be
taken to be a reasonable standard by which delay in seeking remedy under Art.
226 can be measured. The Court may consider the delay unreasonable even if it
is less than the period of limitation prescribed for a civil action for the
remedy. but where the delay is more than this period, it will almost always be
proper for the court to hold that it is unreasonable. The period of limitation
prescribed for recovery of money paid by mistake under the Limitation Act is
three years from the date when the mistake is known. If the mistake was known
in these cases on or shortly after January 17, 1956 the delay in making these
applications should be considered unreasonable. If, on the other hand, as Mr.
Andley seems to argue, the mistake was discovered much later, this would be a
controversial fact which cannot conveniently be decided in writ proceedings.
In either view of the matter we are of
opinion the orders for refund made by the High Court in these seven cases
cannot be sustained.
The application out of which Civil Appeal No.
25 of 1963 has arisen was also made in 1958, that is, within less than three
years from the date of the High Court's decision in Mohammad Siddique v. The
State of Madhya Pradesh. The High Court was therefore right in stating in its
judgment in this case that it is governed by Bhailal Bhai's case. We see no
reason to interfere, with the order for refund made by the High Court in this
In the result, Civil Appeals Nos. 861 to 867
of 1962 are allowed in part and the orders for refund made in those cases are
set aside. The petitioners will be at liberty to seek such relief as they may
be entitled to in a civil court, if it be not barred by limitation. There will
be no order as to costs in these cases. In two other appeals, viz., Civil
Appeal Nos. 28 and 29 of 1962, the respondents have not appeared; so there will
be no order as to costs in them. In the other appeals which are dismissed, the
appellant will pay costs to the respondents. One hearing fee for all these
Appeals Nos. 861-867 partly allowed, other