Wilbert de Silva «• Town Council, Dodanduwd
1969 Present:H. N. G, Fernando, C.J., and Weeramantry, J.G. H. WILBERT DE SILVA, Petitioner, and THE TOWN COUNCILDODANDUWA and another; RespondentsS. C. 46Sj6S—Application for a Mandate in the nature of a Writ
Municipal Councils Ordinance—Sections 26 J and 263—■Non-payment of rates or taxes—Purchase of immovable property by Municipal Council or Town Council—. Certificate issued by Council—Whether its validity can be questioned by wayof Certiorari— Validity of the certificate if the purchase was irregular.
Tho Mayor of a Municipal Council or the Chairman of a Town Council docsnot perform a quasi-judicial function when ho signs n certificate under section2G3 of tho Municipal Councils Ordinance in respect of property purchased interms of section 2G1 for non-payment of rates or taxes. Accordingly, Certioraridoes not lie to quash tho certificate.
H. N. G. FERNANDO, C.J.— Wilbert de Silva t Town Council, Dodanduwa 107
Quaere, whether the conclusive effect of a certificate issued under section 263of tho Municipal Councils Ordinance attaches in a case where a property is shownto hove been purchased by a person who was not duly authorised by the Councilio terms of the provisions of section 261.
Application for a writ of certiorari on tho Town Council, Dodanduwa,and its Chairman.
Nimal Senanayake, for the petitioner.
Harischandra Mendis, with Gemunu Seneviratne, for tho respondents.
Juno 2, I960. H. N. G. Fernando, C.J.—
This is an application for a writ of Cortiorari to quash a certificatepurporting to liavo been issuod under section 263 of the MunicipalCouncils Ordinance in its application to property alleged to have boon soldfor non-paymont of rates duo to a Town Council. Having regard to thoprovisions of sections 261 and 263, it does not appoar to us that tho Mayorof a Municipal Council or tho Chairman of a Town Council in signinga certificate referred to in section 263 perforins a quasi-judicial functionand wo doubt for that reason whothor certiorari will lie to quashthe certificate.
The complaint of the petitioner in tho present case is that the allegedpurchaso by the Town Council was not a purchase under the provisions ofsection 261 of the Ordinance, for tho reason inter alia that the propertywas not bid for and purchased by a porson authorised for that purpose by' the Council. There appears to be substance in the argument that aresolution of the Town Council is necessary to authorise a person to bid forand purchase property as provided in section 261. If this argument besound, then the certificate signed under section 263 would bo ineffectiveto vest tho property in tho Council for tho reason that tliore was not therequisite authority for its purchaso. We think that there is good reasonfor the opinion that tho conclusive effect of a certificate issuod undersection 263 only attaches in a enso whore a property is shown to havo boonpurchased duly under tho provisions of section 261.
We are met however by a decision of this Court in the case ofNafia Umtnav. Abdul Aziz 1 whore the direct!}' opposite conclusion hasbeen upheld.
In regard to the very property which is the subject of the presontapplication, the Town Council has instituted an action for ejectment of thopotitionor from this land and tho ground for that action is that title to thatland was vested in the Council in terms of section 263. We aro informedby Counsel for the petitioner that an application was mado in that actionto load evidence to establish that there was non-compliance with the
* (1925) 27 N. L. R. 150.
t«»—3 7059 (10/69)
In re Batuvantudace
provisions of soction 261 of tho Municipal Councils Ordinanco, and thatordor on tho application to lead such ovidonco has been rosorved by theDistrict Judge. It seems to us that when the order of the District Judgeis made there will be a suitable opportunity for a reviow of tho decisionsin the case reported in 27 N. L. R. if either of the parties to the pondingaction appeals against the ordor of tho District Judgo. In the event ofany such appeal being filed, it will be open to Counsel for either partj'- tobring this mattor to tho notice of the Registrar, in order that the ChiefJustice may consider whether the former decision should bo reviowed bya Bench of greater strength. Tho application is refused ; wo make noorder as to tho costs.
Weeramantry, J.—I agree.
G. H. WILBERT DE SILVA, Petitioner, and THE TOWN COUNCIL, DODANDUWA and another