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1972 (9) TMI 160

..... appeals filed writ petitions in the Bombay High Court challenging the validity of the Borough Municipalities (Validation of Certain Taxes on Buildings and Lands) Act, 1965 (Maharashtra Act No. III of 1966), hereinafter called the "Validating Act", on the ground that the provisions of the Act violated their fundamental rights under Article 14 of the Constitution and for restraining the appellants from levying house tax on the mills, factories and buildings connected therewith of the respondents or collecting the same from them. A Division Bench of the High Court held that Sections 3(b), 4(1), 4(2) and 5 of the Validating Act were invalid as they contravened Article 14 and granted the prayer for restraining the appellant-Municipalit .....

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..... of the premises. 4. One of the respondents, namely, Lokamanya Mills, Barsi, Limited, claimed refund of amounts paid by them on the basis that Rule 2(c) was ultra vires the Boroughs Act and they filed 4 suits for the same. Against the decrees dismissing the suits, appeals were preferred to this Court and they were finally disposed of by this Court in Lokamanya Mills, Barsi Ltd. v. Barsi Borough Municipality [1962]1SCR306 . This Court, after referring to the provisions of Section 78 and the explanation to Section 75 of the Boroughs Act, held that the Municipality could levy a rate on lands and buildings on the basis of their capital or annual letting value and that in framing Rule 2(c), the Municipality had adopted & mode of valuation dif .....

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..... f mills, factories buildings and lands connected therewith; (iv) the capital value, in the case of vacant lands. 6. Both these amendments were given retrospective effect from the commencement of the Boroughs Act. Sections 4 and 5 of the Validating Act are designed to validate with retrospective effect, the levy and collection of tax notwithstanding the decision of this Court. Sub-section (1) and (2) of Section 4 provide : 4(1) Any house tax, and any water tax levied or purported to be levied and collected in respect of any mills, factories and buildings and lands connected therewith or in respect of any vacant lands, under the Boroughs Act and rules made thereunder, at any time before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have bee .....

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..... ouse tax on mills, factories and buildings connected therewith of the respondents and whether the rule can be deemed to have been in operation in order that the levy and collection of house tax might be validated with retrospective effect. 8. It may be recalled that Rule 2(c) was struck down by this Court in Lokamanya Mills, Barsi Ltd. v. Barsi Borough Municipality [1962]1SCR306 on the basis that the Boroughs Act authorized levy of house tax only on the basis of annual letting value or capital value of the land or building as the case may be, and that Rule 2(c) as it purported to levy house tax on the basis of the floor area was ultra vires the Act. 9. When the rule was struck down by this Court, the effect was, that the rule could never be .....

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..... spondents and in quashing the demand notice issued. 10. Section 4 did not resurrect Rule 2(c) with retrospective effect in order that it might be said that there was, in the eye of law, a provision for charging house tax on mills, factories or buildings connected therewith so that the tax levied and collected might be validated. Even if Section 4 had resurrected Rule 2(c) and said that it shall be deemed to have been passed under the Validating Act with retrospective effect, that might not have cured invalidity on account of its being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution as it imposed a flat rate on the floor area without making any classification of the area on the basis of income, productivity, or age of building, etc. But we do no .....

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