* (1055) 56 N.L.R. 462.
It must be noted that under the Co-operative Societies Ordinance,there is no right of appeal from an award made by an arbitrator. There-fore the rule enunciated by Gratiaen, J. in Jayasinghe's case appears tobe in accordance with the principles of natural justice. In the instantcase, as stated earlier, there is no provision for application of a writand a further opportunity is given to the person who is called upon topay estate duty to appear and be heard before the Commissioner. Suchperson is also given the right of appeal to the Courts against the findingsof the Commissioner.
Under section 57 of the Estate Duty Ordinance on the receipt of thecertificate of collection, the duty is cast on the District Court to issue thewrit. There is no provision for notice to issue to the assessee. It is awell known canon of construction that the Court should only interpretthe law and not introduce words into a statute when the meaning isclear.
The Estate Duty Ordinance makes provision for the speedy recoveryof estate duty due to the State. Under section 46 of the Estate DutyOrdinance, estate duty should be paid notwithstanding any appeal ornotice of objection, unless the Commissioner of Inland Revenue ordersthat payment should be held over to a date specified by him. TheCommissioner is given power to grant time for the payment of estateduty. It will be a serious fetter on the powers of the Commissioner if aCourt should stay the writ when there is no provision of law to do so.
There are ample provisions in the Estate Duty Ordinance for theCommissioner to give relief in various ways to a person who is liableto pay estate duty. Thus a person could make payment in instalments,with the approval of the Commissioner (vide section 46 (3)).
In the instant case, the facts disclosed show that the Commissioner hadgiven the appellant six years to pay the estate duty imposed on himand therefore no prejudice has been caused to the appellant. Thecounsel for the appellant also adumbrated an argument that the court,having recalled the writ, had no power to re-issue it once again. Ifhis contention is correct the Commissioner of Inland Revenue will notbe in a position to recover the duty at all in many cases.
For the reasons stated, I hold that the District Court acts as a collectingcourt and has to act ex mero motu, under section 57 of the Estate DutyOrdinance. In issuing a writ the court does not act judicially and there-fore the principle that a judge cannot alter his own order has noapplication. The appeal is therefore dismissed with costs.
Sm Skanda Rajah, J.—I agree.
Appeal dismissed.