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Report No. 12

77. Remedies for recovery of Municipal dues. -

The various remedies available under Municipal Acts are as follows:

I. West Bengal

1. The Bengal Municipal Act (XV of 1932).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) If unsuccessful in collecting the amount of arrear by the employment of the first mode, recovery may be made by certificate under the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act (III of 1913).

(iii) Instead of or in the case of failure to realise the amount by adopting the first two modes, the arrears may be recovered by bringing a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction against the person liable for the arrears.

2. The Calcutta Municipal Act (XXXIII of 1951).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) If unsuccessful by adopting the first mode, the arrears may be recovered by a certificate under the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act (III of 1913).

(iii) Instead of or in the case of failure to realise the amount by adopting the first two modes, the arrears may be recovered by bringing a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(iv) If any tax (other than the consolidated rate) is due the Commissioner may either prosecute the defaulter or proceed to realise the amount by distraint and sale of the moveables.

II. Madras

1. The Madras City Municipal Act (IV of 1919).

(i) Distress and sale of the moveable property.

(ii) If distraint or sufficient distraint is impracticable the defaulter is prosecuted before a Magistrate.

(iii) If the defaulter has left India or cannot be found the amount may be recovered as if it were an arrear of land revenue.

2. The Madras District Municipalities Act (V of 1920).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) If distraint or sufficient distraint is impracticable the defaulter may be prosecuted before a Magistrate.

(iii) If the defaulter has left India or cannot be found the amount may be recovered as if it were an arrear of land revenue.

3. The Madras District Boards Act (XIV of 1920).

(i) Distraint and sale of moveable property.

(ii) If distraint or sufficient distraint is impracticable the defaulter may be prosecuted before a Magistrate.

III. Bombay

1. Bombay District Municipal Act (III of 1901).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Attachment and sale of immoveable property.

(iii) If the above mentioned powers have been suspended by the State Government, sums due may be recovered on application to a Magistrate (by distress and sale of moveable property within the limits of the jurisdiction of such Magistrate).

(iv) If the person liable for payment of any sum (other than octroi or toll) is residing outside the State or has not sufficient property in the State then the amount may be recovered as if it were an arrear of land revenue under the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890.

2. The Bombay Municipal Corporation Act (III of 1888).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property,

(ii) Attachment and sale of immoveable property,

(iii) Suit in a court of competent jurisdiction.

3. The Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act (LIX of 1949).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property,

(ii) Attachment and sale of immoveable property,

(iii) Attachment of rent,

(iv) Suit in a court of competent jurisdiction.

4. The Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act (XVIII of 1925).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Attachment and sale of immoveable property.

(iii)Recovery as arrears of land revenue (if the person liable is residing outside the State and has no property in the State).

5. Bombay Local Boards Act (VI of 1923).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Application to a Magistrate for recovery (distress and sale of moveable property).

IV. Bihar

1. The Bihar and Orissa Municipal Act (VII of 1922).

(i) Distress and sale of the moveable property.

(ii) Recovery as a public demand payable to the Chairman under the Bihar and Orissa Public Demands Recovery Act (IV of 1914).

(iii) Suit.

V. Orissa

1. The Orissa Municipal Act (XXIII of 1950).

(i) Distress and sale of the moveable property.

(ii) As an arrear of land revenue.

(iii) Suit.

VI. Punjab

1. The Punjab Municipal Act (III of 1911).

(i) Property tax may be recovered as an arrear of land revenue (without the power of arrest of the defaulter).

(ii) Application to the Magistrate (by distress and sale of moveable property).

2. The Punjab District Boards Act (XX of 1883).

(i) Application to a Magistrate (by distress and sale of moveable property).

(ii) As arrears of land revenue.

VII. Uttar Pradesh

1. United Provinces Municipalities Act (II of 1916).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Bringing a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction.

2. United Provinces District Boards Act (X of 1922).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Bringing a suit in a Court of a competent jurisdiction.

VIII. Assam

1. Assam Municipal Act (I of 1923)

(i) Attachment and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Bringing a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction.

IX. Madhya Pradesh

1. The Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities Act (II of 1922).

(i) Recovery on application to a Magistrate having jurisdiction (by distress and sale of moveable property).

(ii) Application to the Deputy Commissioner to recover arrears (of property tax only) as if they were an arrear of land revenue.

X. Hyderabad

1. The Hyderabad Municipal Corporations Act (XXXVI of 1950).

(i) Distraint and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Attachment and sale of immoveable property,

(iii) Attachment of rent (for property tax only),

(iv) Suit.

2. Hyderabad Municipal and Town Committees Act (XXVII of 1951).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

XI. Mysore

1. Mysore Town Municipalities Act (XXII of 1951).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Prosecution before a Magistrate.

(iii) Application to a Magistrate (Distress and sale of moveable property).

2. Mysore Village Panchayats and District Boards Act (IV of 1952).

(i) Distraint and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Suit.

3. Mysore City Municipalities Act (VII of 1933).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

4. City of Bangalore Municipal Corporation Act (LXIX of 1949).

(i) Distress and sale of the moveable property,

(ii) Prosecution before a Magistrate.

(iii) Recovery as an arrear of land revenue (if the person liable has left Mysore and cannot be found).

XII. Rajasthan

1. Rajasthan Town Municipalities Act (XXIII of 1951).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Application to a Magistrate (distress and sale of moveable property).

2. Rajasthan District Boards Act (II of 1954).

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Bringing a suit.

XIII. Vindhya Pradesh

1. Rewa State Municipalities Act, 1946.

(i) Distress and sale of moveable property.

(ii) Bringing a suit.

78. From the foregoing analysis it is clear that the remedies available in the different States under the revenue laws are not uniform and the procedure also varies in some details.

79 Need for uniformity.-

In Purshottam Govindji's cases, (1955) 28 ITR 891 the Supreme Court held that section 46(2) is valid and does not offend articles 21, 22 and 14 of the Constitution. Chandrasekhara Iyer J., though he agreed with the majority view, observed that "for the enforcement of the levy of a Central Tax like the income-tax there should be uniformity of procedure and identity of consequences from non-payment". The learned Chief Justice in his judgment compared the provisions of different laws adopted by the different States for the recovery of land revenue and observed that even in "the same State there were two procedures to which defaulting assessees could be subjected according as they were in or outside the city of Bombay".

The learned Chief Justice also pointed out the variation in the terms of imprisonment provided in the State Acts and that in some State (e.g. Assam) there was no provision for imprisonment. Though section 46(2) was upheld as valid, a perusal of the judgment convinces one that uniformity is desirable and that the observations of Chandrasekhara Iyer J. are justified.



Income-Tax Act, 1922 Back




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