Krishna & Ors Vs. State of Bihar & Ors  Insc 286 (7 July 2003)
Pal & B.N.Srikrishna. Ruma Pal, J
case relates to the assessment of the appellants' holdings in Patna under the Patna Municipal
Corporation Act, 1951 (hereinafter referred to as the Act).
brief survey of the relevant provisions of the Act is necessary before
considering the facts of the case since the appellants' grievances are that the
provisions of the Act have not been followed in assessing the appellants' properties
Act, which came into force on 15th August 1952,
was passed to consolidate and amend the law relating to the municipal affairs
of the town and suburbs of Patna. Section
123 of the Act allows the Corporation, with the previous approval of the State
Government, to impose various taxes and fees. We are concerned with clauses
(a), (b) and (c) of section 123 which provide for the imposition of property
tax, water tax and latrine tax on holdings situated within Patna - the tax being assessed on the
annual letting value. Section 130 provides that the annual value of a holding
shall be deemed to be the gross annual rental at which the holding may
reasonably be expected to let. This however is subject to rules that may be
prescribed by the State Government. Any tax which is assessed on the annual
value of a holding, other than the latrine tax or drainage tax, is payable by
the owner of the holding within the Corporation. The latrine or drainage tax is
payable by the persons in actual occupation of such holdings.
132 (1), (2)).
133 provides for the preparation of a Valuation List in four stages: -- (I)
determination to impose a tax to be assessed on the annual value of holdings
(II) inquiry to be held by the Chief Executive Officer (III) the determination
of the annual value of all holdings and (IV) the entry of the value in a
valuation list. The percentage at which tax is payable is fixed under section
136 by the Corporation on the basis of reports submitted by the Chief Executive
Officer and the Standing Committee. This relates to stage (I) of section 133.
For the purposes of stage (II) the Chief Executive Officer may require owners
or occupiers, or both, of holdings to furnish him with returns of the rent or
annual value thereof and such other particulars as he may require for the
preparation of the valuation list. The Chief Executive Officer is also
empowered to inspect or cause any holding to be inspected and measured, if
necessary, after giving notice to the occupier. (Section 134).
preparation of the Assessment List follows the Valuation List. This is done
under section 137 which also sets out the particulars which must be contained
name of the street in which the holding is situated.
number of the holding on the register;
description of the holding;
annual value of the holding;
name of the owner and occupier;
amount of tax payable for the year;
amount of quarterly instalment; and
the holding is exempted from assessment, a notice to that effect.
the Valuation and the Assessment Lists should ordinarily be prepared once in
every five years under section 138 (1). In terms of the proviso to section 138
(1) "in between the two general assessments, the State Government may, on
the recommendation of the Corporation, authorise it to prepare a fresh
assessment list in respect of any specified area within the Corporation".
Every valuation and assessment list is, under Section 138(2), valid "from
the date on which the list takes effect in the Corporation and until the first
day of the quarter next following the completion of a new list". This is
subject to any alteration which may be made under Section 139 and to the result
of any objection to the valuation or assessment by any person under section
next relevant provision is section 149. Since the main plank of the appellants
argument is based on this section it is quoted verbatim:
Publication of notice of assessment
When the assessment list mentioned in section 137 has been prepared or revised,
the Chief Executive Officer shall sign the same, and shall give public notice,
by beat of drum and by playcards posted in conspicuous places throughout Patna,
or when any part of Patna has been assessed, then in that part of Patna, where
the said list may be inspected.
The Chief Executive Officer shall also in all cases in which any property is
for the first time assessed or the assessment is increased give notice thereof
to the owner of the property."
section envisages that the assessment list which has been prepared or revised,
must be signed by the Chief Executive Officer. After this the Chief Executive
Officer is required to give public notice of the Assessment List. The mode of
giving public notice is "by beat of drum" and "by
placards", the latter of which is required to be posted in conspicuous
places throughout Patna. It needs to be emphasised that the
section also provides for assessment of a part of Patna, in which case the
placards are required to be posted in conspicuous places in that part. The
object of the publication appears from the last part of sub section (1) of
section 149 and that is so that "the said list may be inspected".
mention here that the question which arises for consideration in connection
with this section is whether the mode of giving public notice of the assessment
list is mandatory or directory. According to the appellant the mode is
have sought to buttress their argument by referring to section 150 which reads:
Application for review.- (1) Any person who is dissatisfied with the amount
assessed upon him or the valuation or assessment of any holding, or who
disputes his occupation of any holding, or his liability to be assessed, may
apply to the Chief Executive Officer or an officer empowered in this behalf by
the State Government to review the amount of assessment, or valuation, or to
exempt him from the assessment or tax.
All such applications containing objections shall be made in writing within
thirty days after the publication of the notice referred to in sub- section (1)
of section 149, or after receipt of the notice referred to in sub-section (2)
of that section, if such notice is received after the publication of the notice
referred to in sub- section (1) of the said section.
that the Chief Executive Officer may, if he thinks fit extend the said period
of thirty days to a period not exceeding sixty days".
pointed out that the period of limitation for filing an application for review
under this section is computed from the date of publication of the notice. An
owner gets an extended period of limitation provided he receives the notice
under sub section (2) of section 149 after the publication. Thus, publication
must take place.
objections to the valuation and assessment lists are filed under Section 150,
they are required to be disposed of by the Chief Executive Officer after giving
the objector an opportunity of being heard under section 151. Sub-section (3)
of section 151 requires that when the objection has been determined, an order
passed on such objection shall be recorded in the register and, if necessary,
an amendment made in the assessment list in accordance with the order passed on
the objection. This order of the Chief Executive Officer may be appealed from
by any person who is dissatisfied with it, under section 152. The appeal lies
to the District Judge whose decision under section 152 (1) "shall be
final". During the pendency of the appeal, the tax payable in terms of the
order appealed against may be levied and realised. However if ultimately the
District Judge decides in favour of the objector, the chief executive officer
"shall refund to the person from whom the same has been levied or realised,
the amount of tax or instalment, or the excess thereof over the amount properly
leviable in accordance with such final decision, as the case may be, or adjust
such excess amount against any future demand".
valuation made by the Chief Executive Officer under section 153 is final
subject to the provisions of sections 151 and 152. In other words until and
unless an order is passed under section 151 (3) by the Chief Executive Officer
or under section 152 by the District Judge, the valuation made by the Chief
Executive Officer must prevail. Finally when the objections have been
determined, and appeals disposed of, the assessment list shall be authenticated
by the Chief Executive Officer in the manner specified. The importance of the
authentication lies in the fact that under subsection (2) of section 154, the
assessment list shall be "conclusive evidence of the amount of holding tax
leviable on each holding within Patna in the financial year to which the list relates".
in brief, is an overview of the provisions which are relevant for the disposal
of this appeal.
undisputed factual situation is that an assessment list was prepared for the
year 1978 -- 79. The appellants objected to the assessment list under section
150. The objections were rejected by the Chief Executive Officer under Section
151. The appellants preferred appeals before the District Judge under section
152. The appeals are pending.
the pendency of the appeals, the Corporation has been realising or at least
seeking to realise the taxes from the appellants on the basis of the order of
the Chief Executive Officer.
effect from 13th October 1993, in exercise of powers conferred by section 227
read with sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 130 of the Act, the Government of
Bihar made the Assessment of Annual Rental Value Of Holding Rules, 1993
(hereinafter referred to as the Rules). By the Rules, the method of determining
annual rental value in connection with each holding separately was done away
with. Holdings in the Corporation were classified on the basis of situation,
use and type of construction. For the purpose of calculation of annual rental
value of holdings, the method was simplified so that it was computable only on
the measurement of the carpet area.
addition the percentage at which holding tax, water tax and latrine tax is to
be levied, has also been specified. After the publication of the Rules, the
Corporation issued two notifications pursuant to Rules 3(2) and 5(1). By the
first notification, the Corporation classified the several roads in Patna city
into three categories. It is not necessary for us to go into details of this
notification or the second notification which was issued soon thereafter by the
Corporation which specified the rates of rental value per sq ft depending upon
the situation, use and nature of construction of the holdings. These Rules and
the two notifications were the subject matter of challenge under Article 226
before the High Court. The Rules and the notifications were struck down by the
High Court as being unconstitutional. The decision of the High Court was
reversed by this Court in State of Bihar V. S.K.P. Sinha: (1995) 3 Supreme
Court Cases 86. This Court while upholding the constitutional validity of the
Rules also upheld the two notifications.
result of the 1993 Rules, the provisions of sections 130 and 136 are no longer
relevant for our purposes as they have laid down a different method of
valuation and assessment.
is no dispute that the Corporation followed the Rules and the notifications
issued thereunder in preparing Valuation and Assessment Lists thereby revising
the holding tax for the first time since 1978-79. However, the process was not
completed in respect of the entire area covered by the Act at the same time,
but in three phases. According to the Corporation, this was because they were
understaffed and were otherwise administratively handicapped. Three notices
were published under section 149 (1), not by way of "beat of drum"
nor by posting placards at conspicuous places, but by publication in the
newspapers. Each of the three notices referred to separate areas of Patna and were
dated 26 December 1993, 1st October 1995 and 30th December 1995 respectively.
In addition separate notices were issued to the owners of holdings as and when
the area in which a particular holding was situated was notified. The
appellants also received notices under section 149 (2). In 1995, they filed
objections under Section 150. The objections have not yet been disposed of by
the Chief Executive Officer. However, the Corporation has continued to realise
tax from the owners on the basis of the assessment list as published.
appellants filed a writ petition in the High Court in which they claimed:
first, that the provisions of sections 133,134 and 137 of the Act had not been
followed by the Corporation in the matter of preparation of the valuation and
that publication of notice of assessment had not been done in the manner
prescribed by section 149 (1) of the Act;
that the assessment list could not be prepared piecemeal at different times for
different properties in a discriminatory manner and, fourth that the new rate
of tax could take effect only after the objections under section 150 had been
decided by the Chief Executive Officer. They accordingly prayed, inter alia,
for a direction on the Corporation to prepare an assessment list in accordance
with the provisions of sections 133,137,138, 149,150,151 and other provisions
of the Act and to levy, assess and recover the tax only after the disposal of
the objections under section 150. The appellants also sought the quashing of
notices dated 26th December 1993, 1st October 1995 and 30th December 1995.
as the first submission was concerned, the High Court rejected it saying,
. It is not disputed that those steps are now required to be taken as
per provisions laid down in the 1993 Rules and such steps have been taken by
the Corporation accordingly".
High Court accepted the second contention of the appellants that the mode of
publication of the assessment list prescribed under section 149 (1) of the Act
since the appellants had admittedly received notices under section 149 (2) and
had filed applications for review under section 150, the High Court held
"in the facts of the case the irregularity in publication of notice under
section 149 (1) of the Act is not of any consequence so far as the petitioners
are concerned, so as to warrant any interference in the matter by this Court
and at this stage." The third submission was not accepted as the High
Court held that section 149 (1) itself provided for area-wise assessments in
respect of parts of Patna. The High Court also accepted the explanation given by
the Corporation that they had given different publications for different areas
since they did not have sufficient working hands and because of other
administrative difficulties. Further, it held that since there was no
allegation of any mala fides, "the action of the respondents is saved in
this case but keeping in view the spirit of Article 14 of the Constitution of
India in any view they would be well advised to take prompt steps in advance so
that a general assessment for the entire area under the Corporation may be made
effective from one date".
fourth submission of the appellants was not considered. However the High Court
directed "the concerned authority "to dispose of the petitioners'
applications expeditiously and in any case within three months from the date of
production/communication of a copy of this order".
of the four submissions made by the appellants before the High Court have been
reiterated before us.
submission of the appellants that the Corporation was bound to comply with the
provisions of the Act for valuation and assessment before publishing the
assessment list is unacceptable in view of the promulgation of the 1993 Rules,
and the notifications issued thereunder, the validity of all of which has been
upheld by this Court. It is not in dispute that the valuations have been made
and assessments have been prepared strictly in accordance with the procedure
prescribed by the 1993 Rules read with the two notifications.
next submission of the appellants that the Corporation does not have the power
to issue separate assessment lists in respect of different kinds of properties
in different areas is also not tenable. The 1993 Rules and the notifications
issued thereunder clearly provide for assessment based on the localities as
well as different kinds of properties, classified according to its user and the
type of construction.
the proviso to section 138 (1) expressly indicates that assessment lists may be
prepared in respect of a specified area within the Corporation. Finally,
Section 149 sub-section (1) itself shows that assessment lists may be made in
respect of "any part of Patna".
decision of this Court in Shibji Khestshi Tacker v. The Commissioner of Dhanbad
Municipality and Others 1978 (2) SCC 167 has taken a similar view while
interpreting Section 106 of the Bihar and Orissa Municipalities Act, 1922 which
has been replaced by Section 138 of the present Act.
106 of the 1922 Act provided:
New Valuation and assessment list shall ordinarily be prepared, in the same
manner as the original lists, once in every five years.
Subject to any alteration or amendment made under Section 107 and to the result
of any application under Section 116, every valuation and assessment entered in
a valuation or assessment list shall be valid from the date on which the list
takes effect in the municipality and until the first day of the April next
following the completion of a new list".
owner of the particular holding in that case had been assessed to tax under an
earlier assessment list. In the subsequent list, the holding had not been
mentioned. It was contended that since assessment lists have to be prepared
once in every five years, the owner could not be assessed to tax on the basis
of the old assessment list. It was also contended that only one assessment list
could be prepared in respect of the entire area covered by the 1922 Act. The
submission was rejected by this Court holding that the owner continued to be
liable under the earlier list and that:
language of Section 106 is flexible enough to enable the Commissioners to leave
out for some good reason, any holding from the revision of the valuation and
assessment lists. The word 'ordinarily' tones down the force of 'shall' which
immediately precedes it, and indicates that the requirements with regard to
revision of the assessment in every five years and to include all the holdings,
are not absolute but only directory and can be departed from in extraordinary
circumstances, or in the case of particular holdings for good reasons. This
being the correct import of the word 'ordinarily', it follows therefrom that in
the case of a holding which is excluded from the quinquennial revision of
assessment, the old valuation and assessment lists do not lapse but continue to
remain in force till they are altered or amended in accordance with the
procedure laid down in the Act. This position of the law is clear from a
reading of the last clause of sub-section (2) of Section 106, which provides
that every valuation and assessment entered in a valuation or assessment list
shall be valid from the date on which the list takes effect in the municipality
and until the first day of April following the completion of a new list. The
key word repeatedly occurring in the sub-section is 'list' which appears to
have been advisedly used in singular, in contradistinction to 'lists' employed
in plural, in sub-section (2). Such distinctive use of the word 'list' in these
sub-sections, puts it beyond doubt that in respect of a holding which, for some
reason is not included in the five yearly revision, the old valuation or
assessment list continues till a new list is completed and the 1st day of April
following such completion is reached." To put it differently, there could
be several assessment lists operating in respect of different holdings in the
municipal area. The position has been clarified by the introduction of the
proviso to section 138(1) of the present Act, as we have already noted.
third submission of the appellants, relates to the mode of publication of the
assessment lists. That the mode of publication is a procedural provision is
self-evident. But is it a mandatory provision? The High Court's finding as to
the nature of the provision for publication under sub section (1) of section
149 is somewhat contradictory. While holding that the manner of publication was
mandatory and had to be complied with in terms thereof, in a subsequent portion
of the judgment, it was held that it was a mere irregularity which could be
waived. As we read sub-section (1) of section 149, the Chief Executive Officer
is bound to give public notice of the assessment list.
word "shall" makes that clear. However the word "shall" does
not qualify the next phrase which is separated from the words "public
notice" by a comma. The phrase separated is "by beat of drum and by
placards posted in conspicuous places throughout Patna
speaking the object of giving a notice is to draw the attention of the persons
sought to be affected to the matter notified. The purpose of specifying a
particular mode of giving notice is to raise a legal presumption against such
person of knowledge of the subject of the notice.
other words, once the mode specified for giving notice is complied with, the
onus is on the persons notified to prove that they were not aware of the
subject matter of the notice. There is otherwise no special sanctity given to
the mode of service of notice. The appellants have contended that even though
owners were served with individual notices under section 149(2), unless
publication was made in the manner provided in section 149(1) the occupants who
were liable to pay water tax and latrine tax would be seriously affected and
would not have an opportunity of challenging the imposition of the tax on them.
in the objections filed by the appellants their contention is that the holdings
owned by them were not liable to payment of latrine tax or water tax because
neither of the services were available. However, the matter has to be decided
as a principle and not with reference to the appellants' case.
disputes that publication and the giving of notice to persons likely to be
affected by the assessment list is a must.
appellants have admitted publication of the assessment lists in three
newspapers. It is not their case that such publication did not serve the
purpose of notifying those who might be affected by the assessment lists, of
it appears to us that the requirement to notify people by beat of drum is an
anachronism which appears to be inappropriate in the present day and age in a
large city like Patna. The High Court's apprehension that
"holding this provision as directory is likely to cause confusion and
mischief in future and it is not for this Court to substitute the wisdom of the
legislature with its own by holding that notice by newspaper will be sufficient
in place of notice of the spot by beat of drum and placards" is unfounded
both in law and in fact. It is an elementary principle of interpretation that
words in statutory provisions take their colour from their context and object,
keeping pace with the time when the word is being construed.
or where no other means of effective publication is available, no doubt, announcing
the assessment list by beat of drum and by displaying placards would have to be
complied with. Where equally efficacious, if not better, modes of publication
are available, it would be ridiculous to insist on an obsolete form of
publication as if it were a ritual. Had the High Court found that publication
by newspapers was not effective enough to notify the public, the assessment
list could not be given effect to unless publication were properly made. There
is no such finding. On the other hand publication through newspapers is now an
accepted form of giving general notice. Therefore, we have no hesitation in
holding that the portion of section 149 (1) which deals with the manner of
publication, as opposed to the requirement for publication per se, is
directory. Since there has been sufficient compliance in effecting the
intention of the legislature to give notice to the public at large in the city
of Patna, we cannot hold that the assessment
lists prepared on the basis of the 1993 Rules are required to be set aside.
view finds support from the decisions of this Court, decisions which were, in
our opinion, wrongly brushed aside by Kumar and another reported in (1965) 2
SCR. 653, on which the High Court has relied, there was no publication of the
notice at all. An assessment list had been prepared and published on 6 March 1963. There were several objections
lodged against the assessment list. The rate of assessment was however
subsequently revised. On the basis of the revision, a subcommittee appointed by
the Municipal Council, considered the objections and completed its revision.
The final list was published. There were further complaints. The final list was
suspended. The Municipal Council then decided to amend the list. This amendment
was not published. Nor was the final list as amended published. This Court held
that as no opportunity had been granted to the assessees to object to the
assessment lists as amended, the assessment list had not been prepared in
accordance with law. The decision is factually distinguishable. Since in that
case there was no publication at all, the Court was not called upon to consider
the question whether an alternative and equally effective mode of publication
would have sufficed.
in fact was the exact question which had been decided by a bench of five judges
in the case of Raza Buland 1965 (1) SCR. 970. In that case municipal water tax
was sought to be levied under section 131 of the U. P. Municipalities Act,
1916. In terms of section 131 (3), the Municipal Board was required to publish
its proposal relating to the tax and the draft Rules in connection therewith
along with the notice in the specified format. Section 94 (3) provided for the
manner of publication of the resolution of the municipal board. The method of
publication prescribed was "in a local paper published in Hindi and where
there is no such local paper, in such manner as the State Government may, by
general or special order, direct". The publication was made in a local
paper published in Urdu. Wanchoo, J., speaking for the majority held that the
provision for publication contained in section 131 (3) was mandatory but the
mode of publication provided in section 94 (3) was not. Therefore the
publication in an Urdu newspaper was held to be sufficient and in substantial
compliance with section 94 (3). This conclusion was arrived at despite the use
of the word "shall" in section 94 (3). This is what the Court said:
question whether a particular provision of a statute which on the face of it
appears mandatory, inasmuch as it uses the word "shall" as in the
present case is merely directory cannot be resolved by laying down any general
rule and depends upon the facts of each case and for that purpose the object of
the statute in making the provision is the determining factor. The purpose for
which the provision has been made and its nature, the intention of the
legislature in making the provision, the serious general inconvenience or
injustice to persons resulting from whether the provision is read one way or
the other, the relation of the particular provision to other provisions dealing
with the same subject and other considerations which may arise on the facts of
a particular case including the language of the provision, have all to be taken
into account in arriving at the conclusion whether a particular provision is
mandatory or directory.
we have said already the essence of s. 131 (3) is that there should be
publication of the proposals and draft rules so that the tax payers have an
opportunity of objecting to them, and that is provided in what we have called
the first part of s.141(3); that is mandatory. But the manner of publication
provided by s.94(3) which we have called the second part of s.131(3) appears to
be directory and so long as it is substantially complied with that would be
enough for the purpose of providing the tax payers a reasonable opportunity of
making their objections.
therefore of the opinion that the manner of publication provided in s.131(3) is
directory." Again in 1996 this Court in State Bank of Patiala and regulation framed in connection
with a departmental inquiry.
regulation required that the inquiring authority "shall also record an
order that the officer may for the purpose of preparing his defence :
be supplied with copies of statements of witnesses, if any, recorded earlier
and the inquiry officer shall furnish such copies not later than three days
before the commencement of the examination of the witnesses by the inquiring
of the statements of the witnesses were not supplied to the charged officer.
However the officer had been permitted to inspect and take notes of the
statements of the witnesses more than three days prior to the examination of
the witnesses. The entire inquiry was challenged by the charged officer as
being vitiated, by reason of the non-supply of the statements in compliance
with the regulation. The challenge was rejected by this Court by holding that
the provision was not of a mandatory character and that it had to be examined
from the standpoint of substantial compliance and unless prejudice had been
caused by the non-compliance, the action would be sustained. (See also Venkataswamappa
V. Special Deputy Commissioner (Revenue 1997 9 SCC 128).
the greatest respect, we would adopt the reasoning of the aforesaid two
decisions of this Court in rejecting the appellants' submission that the mode
of publication prescribed in section 149(1) as opposed to publication itself,
was mandatory and hold that the publication in the newspapers was in
substantial compliance with the requirements of the sub- section.
from any other consideration, it certainly did not lie in the mouth of the
appellants to contend that adequate notice was not given. They were admittedly
given notice under section 149 (2) and they have also filed their objections
under section 150 to the assessment list.
brings us to the last submission of the appellants that there cannot be any
recovery of the tax on the basis of the assessment list so published unless the
appellants objections were disposed of under section 151. We were at first
inclined to hold in the appellants favour. But a closer scrutiny of the
provisions of the Act has persuaded us to reject the submission. Once we have
held that the assessment list had been properly prepared in the sense that
there had been no legal flaw in its preparation and publication, the valuation
as mentioned in the assessment list must be given effect to till the time it is
revised or amended under sections 151 or 152. In Shibji Khestshi Tacker v. The
Commissioners of Dhanbad (supra) it was said that valuation and assessment
lists remain in force until they are altered or amended in accordance with the
procedure laid down in the Act. Alteration or amendment can take place pursuant
to an order under sections 151 or 152.
is also clear from section 153 which says that "every valuation made by
the Chief Executive Officer -- -- shall, subject to the provisions of sections
151 and 152, be final". The phrase 'subject to' means that until and
unless the assessment list is revised or amended under section 151 or 152, the
assessment list would continue to be final. This reading is in keeping with sub
section (2) of section 138 which provides that every valuation and assessment
list shall be valid from the date on which the list takes effect in the
Corporation and until the first day of the quarter next following the
competition of a new list, thus indicating that an assessment list is valid
from the date of its completion. Such an assessment list is subject to
"any alteration or amendment made" and to the result of any
application under Section 150. What needs to be emphasised is that the
assessment list as prepared is valid and is unaffected by the mere filing of an
application under Section 150. If the result of the application is in favour of
the owner, the assessment list must be amended to give effect to such result.
Unless the application of the appellants under Section 150 ends in a result
which is different from the assessment list, the assessment list would continue
to be operative, and the respondent can recover taxes on the basis of the
assessment and valuation list despite the filing of objections under Section
150. Besides the reference to both sections 151 and 152 in Section 153 makes it
clear that the same incidence relating to the recovery of taxes pending either
the determination of the objections under section 151 or the adjudication of
the appeal under section 152, would prevail. If this construction is not put on
section 153, it would mean that by merely filing an objection, the objector
would be able to effectively stop the realisation of tax on the basis of the
assessment list until such time as his objection is heard and decided. This could
not have been legislatively intended. As has been seen in this case that
although the appellants had filed their objections in 1995, they are still
pending. We, therefore, conclude that it is open to the Corporation to recover
the tax as determined on the basis of the impugned assessment lists pending
disposal of the appellants' applications under Section 151, until and unless,
by virtue of an order under Section 151 or 152 passed thereon, the assessment
list is amended or altered.
appellants' final grievance is in respect of the non disposal of the objections
filed in respect of the assessment lists under the 1993 Rules. As far as they
are concerned, the High Court has already directed the disposal of the same by
the concerned authority within a time frame. We see no reason to interfere with
the reasons aforesaid we dismiss this appeal and affirm the decision of the
High Court, albeit for reasons which are different, with costs.