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Report No. 60

3.58. Section 3(30)-"Indian State".- Section 3(30) defines the expression "Indian State". It needs no change.

3.59. Section 3(31)-"local authority".-

Several points require discussion regarding the definition of "local authority" in section 3(31).

(1) Specific mention of Cantonment Board should be made.

(2) "Municipal Corporations" should be added.

But it appears unnecessary to add specifically "municipality" or "local Board" and other authorities etc. referred to in the Bombay General Clauses Act or in the Constitution, Seventh Schedule, State List, item 5. These may be left to be covered by the residuary words.

Even though a municipal committee may have a corporate personality, ordinarily the two (corporation and the committee) are understood to be distinct from each other, and their respective structure, powers and other matters indicate the difference in status. The distinction between "corporation" and "committee" corresponds to actual reality.

(3) The words referring to "body of Port Commissioners" may be retained. In some places (e.g. Bombay), there are Port Trustees. But it is considered unnecessary to mention theme1 specifically.

(4) Regarding the words "other authority" ", in the definition, it has been held that2 a body of Port Commissioners is a local authority, irrespective of whether it controls or is entrusted with "the control and management of a municipal" etc. fund or not. It was observed that it is only in the case of other authorities that the requirement expressed by these words is to be satisfied.

(5) This part of the definition should be re-drafted, by taking in all authorities entrusted with local self-government or village administration.

(6) It has been suggested that the definition should include "any authority declared to be a local authority under any enactment". But this does not appear to be necessary. Such declarations are not frequent, at least in Central Acts.

(7) It may be noted that village Panchayats have been held to be local authorities.

We recommend a re-draft incorporating the above points on the following lines:-

1. Contrast section 3(27) of the Bombay General Clause Act, 1904.

2. Official Assignee v. Trustees of the Port Trust, Madras, AIR 1936 Mad 789 (791).

Revised section 3(31)

3(31). "local authority" shall mean a municipal corporation or committee, a district board, a cantonment board or a body of port commissioners, or any other authority constituted for the purpose of local self-government or village administration.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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