Posted On by &filed under High Court, Madras High Court.


Madras High Court
N.Srinivasan vs The Asst.Revenue Officer on 20 January, 2010
       

  

  

 
 
 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED: 20.01.2010
            
CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE P.JYOTHIMANI

W.P.Nos.21761/2009, 256, 539 and 546 of 2010
and M.P.Nos.1 0f 2009 and 1,1,and 1 of 2010
---

N.Srinivasan .. Petitioner in W.P.21761 of 2009

Ammakamma Charities
Rep. by N.M.Noorul Ameed
No.21, N.S.C.Bose Road
Chennai-600 079 .. Petitioner in W.P.256 of 2010

M/s.Patwari Exports Pvt Ltd
Rep. by its Director
Ganesh Patwari
No.1, Chitaranjan Road
Chennai 600 018 .. Petitioner in W.P.539 of 2010

Tvl.Hajee Essa Abba Sait’s Endowments
Rep by Trustee M.Abdula Saiti
At No.3, Anderson Street
Chennai-1. .. Petitioner in W.P.546 of 2010

Vs

1. The Asst.Revenue Officer
Revenue Department
Zone-08, Corporation of Chennai
Chennai-600 020 .. Respondent in W.P.No.21761 of 2009

2. The Commissioner
Corporation of Chennai
Chennai-600 003.

3. The Assistant Revenue Officer
Revenue Department
Zone-III
Chennai-600 003 .. Respondents in W.P.No.256 of 2010

4. The Revenue Officer
Zone 8
Corporation of Chennai
Chennai 600 024 .. Respondent in W.P.No.539/2010

5. The Corporation of Chennai
Rep. by its Commissioner
Rippon Building, Chennai.


6. Assistant Revenue Officer
   Revenue Department
   Division-2
   Corporation of Chennai
   Chennai-79	  		..Respondents in W.P.546 of 2010


Prayer in W.P.21761/2009:- Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of Writ of Certiorari calling for the records of the respondent dated 19.06.2008 vide No.Che.Ma.Aa.Va.Thu/Sirappu/2008-09 and quash the same.

Prayer in W.P.256/2010:- Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus to call for the records and quash the impugned Final Demand Notice in reference Sa.Ma.Aa.Vaa.Thou/Special/2009-10 dated 23.12.2009 issued by the second respondent and further direct the respondents to afford opportunity to the petitioner before passing final notice as per his representation dated 07.02.2008.

Prayer in W.P.539/2010:- Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus calling for records pertaining to the Final Warrant Notices -08-115-1238-00 dated 12.10.2009 and 02.11.2009 issued by the respondent, quash the same and direct the respondent to drop further proceedings pursuant to the above referred Notice.

Prayer in W.P.546/2010:- Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of Writ of Certiorari calling for the records pertaining to the impugned proceedings of the 2nd respondent in No.Se.M.A.Va.J/Special/165/09-10 dated 12.12.2009 with regard to the property of the petitioner and quash the same.

For petitioner in W.P.21761/2009 : Mr.M.Sridhar
For respondent in W.P.21761/2009 : Mr.L.N.Prakasam
For petitioner in W.P.256/2010: Mr.M.Raja Sekhar
For petitioner in W.P.539/2010: Mr.M.AravindSubramaniam
For petition in W.P.546/2010: Mr.K.Kannaiah Naidu
For respondents in W.P.256,539 and 546 of 2010: Mr.V.Bharathidasan

C O M M O N O R D E R

Admit. By consent of the learned counsel on either side, the writ petitions themselves are taken up for final disposal.

2. In all these cases, the orders impugned are the Final Warrant Notices issued by the Corporation demanding various amounts of property tax and the warrant notices are challenged on various grounds including that the notices contain no particulars and that the notices have been issued without application of mind since in some of the cases, Door Numbers have not been correctly given and there are many discrepancies regarding names of the owner etc.

3. Mr.V.Bharathidasan, learned Standing Counsel for the Corporation appearing in W.P.Nos.256, 539 and 546 of 2010 and Mr.L.N.Prakasam, learned counsel appearing for the Corporation in W.P.No.21761/2009 would submit that in all these cases, the original assessment of property tax was made in the year 1988 based on the self-assessment and based on the particulars furnished by the owners of the property. Subsequently, the Corporation found certain discrepancies regarding self-assessment given by the owners in respect of various matters including measurement of the land, annual income etc and in those circumstances, the present impugned orders came to be passed by way of revision.

4. However, the learned counsel for the respondent Corporation has no answer to the query that as to whether any prior notice has been given before passing such revised orders as contemplated under the relevant rules more particularly as per the Taxation Rules Part I-A which relate to assessment of property tax. Procedure has been contemplated in calling for particulars from the owners for the purpose of assessment in respect of property tax and Rule 1-C, assessment of property tax is as follows:-
” 1-C.(1) The Commissioner may, by giving publicity in the local newspapers and otherwise require the owner or the occupier of, any land or building, or a portion thereof to file a return within a period not exceeding one month from the date notified in this behalf by the Commissioner, containing the following particulars with regard to each assessable item, namely:-

(i) the name of the division and the street in which it is situated and the door number ;

(ii) description of the assessable item like number of storeys, plinth area in each storey and the extent of vacant land ;

(iii) the name of the owner ;

(iv) the name of the occupier ;

(v) the year in which the assessable item was last assessed and the amount of annual value fixed by the Commissioner ;

(vi) whether the assessable item is used for residential or non-residential purpose ;

(vii) whether the assessable item is wholly rented or partly occupied by the owner and partly rented ; and

(viii) the amount received as rent or lease amount per year. ”

5. Rule 4 also contemplates that in cases where the property tax card contains the details, tax shall be payable as per the particulars and the said Rule is as follows:-
“4(1) A property tax card which shall contain all the details relating to the assessable item and the amount of property tax payable shall be supplied to every owner or occupier who has filed the return under this rule and such card shall sent to such owner or occupier by post.
(2) The Commissioner shall received the property tax specified in the property tax card and may make necessary entry in the said card and in the assessment book maintained by the Corporation.
(3) If any correction is to be made in the property tax card either in pursuance of any revision in the property tax or an order passed in appeal against the order of Commissioner, such correction shall be made and attested by the Commissioner or any officer authorized by him in this behalf in the property tax card and in the assessment book.
(4) The property tax card shall be valid until the assessment is revised during a general revision or earlier, as the Government may direct in this behalf. ”

6. Rule 5 and 6 contemplates powers on the part of the Commissioner for verification of the particulars given by the owners in every assessable year and if any discrepancies are found in the particulars furnished, the Commissioner after giving notice and opportunity of hearing to the owner can modify the assessment. Rule 5 and 6 are as follows:-

” (5)The Commissioner shall make arrangement for the verification of the particulars furnished in the return filed by the owner or occupier of every assessable item immediately after a general revision and before the next general revision.
(6)Consequent on the verification made under Rule 5, if any discrepancy is noticed in the particulars furnished in the return filed by the owner or occupier, the Commissioner may, after giving such owner or occupier a reasonable opportunity, of being heard and after considering the objection, if any, received from him, modify the assessment from the date on which the assessment was made and collect the arrears of tax.”

7. As against such orders passed by the Commissioner, appeal lies to the Taxation Appeal Tribunal under Rule 12 and the Rule is as follows:-
“12.(1) There shall be one or more Taxation Appeal Tribunals (hereinafter referred to in this part as “Tribunal”) for hearing and disposing of an appeal preparing by any person who is not satisfied with the assessment order made by the Commissioner under this Act, other than the orders relating to the transfer duty and the tax on timber.”

8. It is also seen that as against the order of the Taxation Appeal Tribunal, another appeal lies to the Principal Judge, City Civil Court within 30 days under Rule 15 which is as follows:-
” 15. An appeal against the decision of the Tribunal may be filed within thirty days from the date of the order to the Principal Judge, City Civil Court.”

9. Mr.V.Bharathidasan and Mr.L.N.Prakasam, learned counsel for the respondent Corporation would bring to the notice of this court that as per Section 137-B of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, the Commissioner can demand the escaped tax within a period of six years and in all these cases, it is their contention that the demand is well within the period contemplated under Section 137-B of the Act. Section 137-B of the Act is as follows:-
” 137-B Power to assess in case of escape from assessment:-

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act or the rules made thereunder, if for any reason any person liable to pay any of the taxes or fees leviable under this Chapter has escaped assessment in any half-year or year, (or has been assessed in any half-year or year at a rate lower than the rate at which he is assessable or, in the case of property tax has not been duly assessed in any half year or year consequent on the building or land concerned having escaped proper determination of its annual value) the commissioner may, at any time within (six years) from the date on which such person should have been assessed, serve on such person a notice assessing him to the tax or fee due and demanding payment thereof within fifteen days from the date of such service; and the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder shall so far as may be apply as if the assessment was made in the half-year or year to which the tax or fee relates.

10. Even though it may be true that the payments which are stated to be made based on the self-assessment and the final warrant notices were issued within the period of limitation contemplated under Section 137-B of the Act, it remains the fact that the procedure contemplated as per the Taxation Rules enumerated above has not been followed in all these cases. In such view of the matter, the impugned demand warrant notices issued by the respondent Corporation are set aside. However, with liberty to the Corporation to give individual notices to the owners of correct address and correct particulars and the same shall be issued within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and thereafter, the Commissioner, Corporation shall grant 15 days time to the owner or occupier as per the Rules to file their objections and thereafter decide the issue as per the Taxation Rules. If such order is passed by the Commissioner following the said rules, it is open to the concerned petitioners to file an appeal to the Taxation Appeal Tribunal and subsequently to the Principal Judge, City Civil Court as per the Rules enumerated above.

11. The writ petitions stand allowed on the above terms. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.

nvsri

To

1. The Asst.Revenue Officer
Revenue Department
Zone-08, Corporation of Chennai
Chennai-600 020

2. The Commissioner
Corporation of Chennai
Chennai-600 003.

3. The Assistant Revenue Officer
Revenue Department
Zone-III
Chennai-600 003

4. The Revenue Officer
Zone 8
Corporation of Chennai
Chennai 600 024

5. The Corporation of Chennai
Rep. by its Commissioner
Rippon Building, Chennai.

6. Assistant Revenue Officer
Revenue Department
Division-2
Corporation of Chennai
Chennai 79


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

66 queries in 0.100 seconds.