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Present : Drieberg J.
SARAVANAMXJTTU v. GOVERNMENT AGENT, NORTH-CENTRAL PROVINCE.86—C. R. Anurarlhapura, 16,609.
Assessment—Action to reduce assessment—Evidence of ground of objectionnot urged before Government Agent—Special leave—Liability ofnew building for assessment—Ordinance -Vo. 16 of 1866, s. 40a (1).
In an action to reduce the assessment of premises under section40a (1) of the Police Ordinance, leave to adduce evidence of aground of objection not stated in writing to the GovernmentAgent must be specially given.
Section 37 of the Ordinance does not exclude the liability of anew building to assessment because the land on. which it standshas already- been assessed and notice of assessment issued to theowner.
PPEAL from a judgment of the Commissioner of Requests.Anuradhapura.
N.E. Weera$ooriyat for plaintiff, appellant.
Rodrigo, C.C., for defendant, respondent.
October 15, 1929. Drieberg J.—
The appellant is the ownei of certain premises which wereassessed under the Police Ordinance, No. 16 of 1865, for 1928 art-an annual value of Rs. 324 ; he had paid rates on this basis for thefirst and second quarters. Some time prior to August 29—there isno evidence of how long before—he pulled down an old house onthe land mid put up an upstair building on the site of it.
The Government Agent then assessed the annual value at Rs. 720,and notice of this was served on the appellant on September 8.On September 19 the appellant wrote a letter to the GovernmentAgent, which has not been produced ; from the reply of the Govern-ment Agent of September 26 it would appear that this was aninquiry why the assessment was raised, for the Government Agent'sreply is a statement of his reasons for doing so. The appellantthen wrote the letter of September 29 to the Government Agentstating in detail eight grounds on which lie objected to the newassessment ; he agreed, however, that in view of the new building,which he compared with others, the premises should be assessedat Rs. 480.
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The Government Agent fixed a date for inquiry into his objections, i9W.and it was postponed at his request. On the adjourned date the Driebeko j.appellant failed to attend, and the Government Agent confirmed sarmtmtt-the assessment of Bs. 720. The appellant then brought this action muttu v.within a month under section 40a (1) of the Ordinance to have the Oommmetttassessment reduced to Bs. 480.North
The only question before the Court, therefore,' was whether jthe assessment was correct, and on this point the appellant shouldhave been confined to the grounds of objection placed before theGovernment Agent in his letter of September 29.
In addition to the issue whether Bs. 720 or Bs. 480 was the correctannual value, the appellant’s Proctor suggested certain otherissues, viz., whether the assessment of Bs. 720 was illegal andunauthorized by the Ordinance, whether notice of assessmentunder section 40 was served on the appellant, and whether theassessment of Bs. 324 was final for the year. An objection by therespondent’s Proctor to these issues was overruled. The objectionwas a good one, for these were not grounds of objection stated tothe Government Agent, and I assume that in overruling the objec-tion the Commissioner intended to give the appellant leave toadvance these grounds under the power conferred by section 40a
. This should, however, have been done, not by overruling theobjection, but by expressly giving leave.
It has been found, and, I think, rightly, that notice of the assess-ment was duly served.
.The other two points raised proceed upon the requirement thatnotices of assessment should be given as soon after the commence-ment of the year as may be • but this implies that the thing assessedmust then exist and be capable of assessment. Where it comesinto existence as an assessable and taxable unit, notice must begiven as soon as may be, that is, as soon as is possible after thecommencement of the year. The object of the provision is only toensure notice being given as early as possible in the year of thetaxes payable for that year.
The fact that these premises had already been assessed at Bs. 324does not mean that assessment is finally fixed for the year regardlessof what buildings might be erected on it thereafter. Under section37 all houses, buildings, lands, and tenements are subject to.assessment, and there is nothing to exclude the liability of a newbuilding to assessment and taxation because the land on which itstands has already been assessed and notice of assessment issued tothe owner.
The appeal is dismissed .with costs.
SARAVANAMUTTU v. GOVERNMENT AGENT, NORTH-CENTRAL PROVINCE