Manmohan Sarin, J.
1. With the consent of the parties writ petition is taken up for disposal.
2. Petitioner claims to be owner of agricultural land, admeasuring 12 biswas and 12 biswas, situated in Village Jonapur, Tehsil Meharauli, New Delhi. It is the petitioner’s case that the said land is agricultural land and is used for the said purposes and there is no construction made by him there.
3. Petitioner by this writ petition, seeks a writ of certiorari for quashing/setting aside the order dated 29.1.2001, determining the rateable value at Rs. 8,67,000/-. Further, bill dated 2.2.2001, in the sum of Rs. 7,25,933/- is challenged. The assessment order is a short one. It would be appropriate to reproduce the same:-
“In this case a notice under Section 126 of the DMC Act, 1957 proposing the rateable value of Rs. 8,67,000/- w.e.f. 1.4.1997 on account of erection of building was issued. Shri Sunil Dhawan attended the office and stated that there is no construction at site. He has already given an affidavit.
On perusal of the file, it is revealed that the rateable value in this case had already been fixed at Rs. 2,61,900/- w.e.f. 1.4.1993 vide assessment or der dated 18.2.1997. The assessed has admitted that there are small temporary sheds. He has not objected to the previous rateable value of Rs. 2.61,900/-. It means there is some construction. In view of this the proposed rateable value of Rs. 8,67,000/- w.e.f. 1.4.1997 is confirmed.
Billing be made as per use of the property. Property be inspected and revised, if necessary. The assessed be informed accordingly.”
4. The assessed in this case had filed and affidavit that there were no constructions existing at site. The building plan was sanctioned earlier but no construction was raised as the same had lapsed. The assessed has also produced on record photographs of the farm land. It is urged that except for a temporary shed for housing of the electrical meters, there is no other structure. The Assessing Officer has confirmed the proposal of increase in rateable value of Rs. 8,67,000/- or account of erection of building. The reason given is that since the assessed has not objected to the previous retable value of Rs. 2,61,900/-, it means that there would be some construction. Hence, rateable value of Rs. 8,67,000/- is confirmed. It may also be noticed that the Assessing Officer notices in the impugned order that assessed has failed an affidavit, but is completely silent on that aspect or its contents. The above order is totally irrational and betrays non-application of mind. It cannot be sustained. The retable value of Rs. 8,67,000/-, fixed by the impugned order w.e.f. 1.4.1997 is quashed.
5. The earnestness and anxiety of Assessors and Collectors for revenue collection or to meet targets may be the there. However, the same is not accomplished by passing orders, which cannot be sustained. The Assessing Officers must remember that order being passed by them are in discharge of duties that are quasi-judicial. The orders passed by them must meet the test of a reasoned order. This cannot be sacrificed at the alter of revenue collection. In fact, such orders usually turn out to be counter productive to revenue collection on account of their inability to stand scrutiny.
6. At this stage, Mr. Abhinav Vasisht, also states that the earlier rateable value of Rs. 22,61,900/- was also being objected. It would be for the assessed to take appropriate steps. It may be noted that in an earlier order, appearing at page 46 of the paper book (Annexure-p-17), respondent had indicated that the rateable value was being confirmed, as the proposal was a time barring one and proceedings under Section 115(4) of the DMC Act would be taken separately.
7. The writ petition stands allowed in the above terms.