Thursday 20 June 2019

Bombay High court has upheld constitutional validity of BMC Amendment Act 2009 levying capital value tax

 Our conclusions can be summarized as under:
(i) We uphold the constitutional validity of the provisions of the BMC Act which are under challenge;
(ii) The Capital Value Rules of 2010 shall apply prospectively from the date on which the same were made;
(iii) We strike down rules 20, 21 and 22 of Capital Value Rules of 2010 and 2015. As far as rules 3 and 17 are concerned, we hold that as rule 21 has been struck down, the capital value of properties covered by the said rules shall not be fixed in accordance with rule 21. As a result of striking down of rules 20, 21 and 22, in those cases where the capital value has been finally fixed either by issuing notice under section 162 of the BMC Act or by issuing final bills, the Commissioner or the officer empowered to exercise delegated powers will have to re-determine the capital value in accordance with sub-section (1A) of section 154 and serve a fresh special assessment notice. We hold that if a complaint is filed after service of special assessment notice, the same shall be disposed of only after giving an opportunity of being heard to the assessee filing such complaint. Only after the complaint is disposed of in such a fashion, a final bill can be served.
(iv) As the Municipal Commissioner will require a reasonable time to do the tasks as aforesaid, the interim orders which are operating in these petitions will have to be continued till the service of final bills. We also make it clear that though we are setting aside the final bills issued, no party will be entitled to claim refund of the amounts paid under the interim orders and till the final bills are served, the petitioners will have to pay the amounts as per the interim orders.
(v) This judgment will apply only to the properties subject matter of the petitions in this group except Writ Petition No. 2592 of 2013 and PIL 46 OF 2014. We make it clear that only those special assessment notices and final bills which are specifically challenged will stand set aside. In Writ Petition No. 2592 of 2013, the fresh exercise will have to be undertaken only in relation to the properties in respect of which there is a specific prayer for quashing the notices and bills based on final assessment. The details of properties held by 610 members in the lead petition are not set out. Hence, no relief can be extended to the properties of the said members save and except the properties subject matter of bills and notices which are expressly challenged.
(vi) This judgment will not affect the final bills which are accepted by the concerned owners.

In the High Court of Bombay
(Before A.S. Oka and Riyaz I. Chagla, JJ.)
Writ Petition No. 2592 of 2013
Property Owners Association Vs State of Maharashtra

Citation: 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 706
Dated: 24 April, 2019.
Read full judgment here: Click here
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