Monday 18 October 2021

Should Municipal Corporation give general particulars like the assessment method in the special notice issued for assessing property tax?

 It was vehemently contended that the special notice, which is issued must mention material particulars, like method of assessment, carpet area, letting rate, as also the reasons for fixing the gross rateable value at a particular figure so that the concerned asses-see can effectively and specifically file his objections and meet with the case of the Tax Department and produce relevant and matching evidence in support of his contentions. {Para 74}

 What are the requirements of a notice which are stipulated in Rule 15(2)? Notice under Section 15(2) is issued after entry in the assesment book has been made. Sub-rule (2) of Rule 15 requires that the special written notice to the owner or the occupier shall specify the nature of such entry. In other words, the special notice must inform the owner about the entries mentioned in Rule 9, Clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d), because the said Rule 15 has to be read with Rules 9 and 13. When a statute specifies as to what should be the contents of a notice, and that is so specified in Rule 15(2), the general principles enunciated by the aforesaid decisions and of other High Courts would not be applicable.

For the purposes of giving an opportunity to an owner or an occupier to file a complaint, all that he has to be informed is what the Commissioner has entered in the assessment book. One of the items, which is entered, is the ratable value. The Commissioner is under no obligation to inform as to how the rateable value, which is entered in the assessment book, has been arrived at. It is for the owner to complain if he finds the rateable value to be high. The principles for fixation of rateable value are well-known. Ordinarily, a rateable value will be arrived at after particulars had been given by the owners or occupiers under Rule 8 of the Rules. On the receipt of the notice, it will be for the complainant to lead evidence and prove as to what should be the correct rateable value. A hearing is contemplated by Rule 18 and if the assessee requires any clarification with regard to the entry made in the assesssment book, we see no reason as to why this clarification would not, ordinarily, be given. Be that as it may, Rule 15(2) docs not require the giving of any particulars in addition to what is stated therein. The aforesaid decisions of various Courts, therefore, can be of no assistance to the respondents. {Para 75}

Gujarat High Court
Municipal Corporation Of The City ... vs Oriental Fire & General Insurance ... on 8 September, 1994
Equivalent citations: AIR 1994 Guj 167, (1994) 2 GLR 1498
Author: B Kirpal

Bench: B Kirpal, R Abichandani
Read full Judgment here: Click here
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