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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Municipal Corporation Of Delhi vs Shri H.P. Mittal & Ors. on 13 November 1997

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Delhi High Court
Municipal Corporation Of Delhi vs Shri H.P. Mittal & Ors. on 13 November, 1997
Equivalent citations: AIR1998DELHI192, AIR 1998 DELHI 192
Author: M.S.A. Siddiqui
Bench: M.S.A. Siddiqui
ORDER

M.S.A. Siddiqui, J.

1. This judgment proposes to dispose of civil writ petition No.813/88 (M.C.D. Vs. H.P. Mittal & Ors.), CW 2309 2310/88 (MCD Vs. K.D. Madan), CW 1951/86 (MCD Vs. Munishwar Nath Sardana & Ors.) also. The challenge in these writ petiton is to the orders of the Additional District Judge dated 15-10-87, who, while accepting the appeals of the responders, has, inter alia, fixed the costs of land of Vasant Vihar at the rate of Rs.75/- per square yard and directed the Assessing Authority to redetermine the ratable value of the property in question. Learned counsel for the petitioner has assailed the impugned order on the ground that it was not open to the learned Additional District Judge to fix rate of the land of Vasant Vihar on the basis of the schedule rates of L & D.O. The question involved in these cases is the rate of the land at the time when construction was commenced by the respondents for the purpose of determining the rateable value. It is now well settled that the valuation for purposes of house tax has to be determined on the basis of cost of land in the year in which the construction commenced (DR. Balbir Singh Vs. M.C.D. ). In the instant case the Assessing Authority has arrived at one estimate of such costs and the learned Additional District Judge had agreed with it and had fixed the rate of the land on the basis of the schedule rates prescribed by the L. & D.O.

2. In my opinion, the view taken by the learned A.D.J. runs counter to the decisions rendered by various Division Benches of this Court in MCD Vs. C.P. Gosain CWP 4122/90 decided on 24th October, 1991; Municipal Corporation of Delhi Vs. N.C. Jain & Anr. CW 1312/90 decided on 24-7-1991; MCD Vs. Jasvinder Singh & Anr. CWP 4096/91 decided on 17th May, 1993 and MCD Vs. K.P. Gupta CW 438/88 decided on 26th April, 1990. The scheduled rates prescribed by Land and Development Officer may at best be a piece of evidence for determining the market rate on a particular date. It is possible that there may be other relevant evidence which may be available to indicate the correct market value of the land on the date of commencement of the construction. Consequently, the rate prescribed by Land and Development Officer alone cannot form basis for determining the market price of the land. Since, the matter involved the production of evidence and determination of disputed questions of fact these cannot be gone into the writ jurisdiction. However, the parties shall be free to adduce such evidence before the Assessing Authority for determining the market price of the land in question.

3. For the foregoing reasons, these writ petitions are allowed and the impugned orders of the learned Additional District Judge are set aside to the extent it has fixed the market price of the land at the commencement of the construction. The Assessing Authority is directed to redetermine the ratable value of the property in question in accordance with law. It will be open to the parties to lead such evidence with regard to price of lands as may be available to them in accordance with law. No order as to costs.

4. Parties are directed to appear before the Assessing Authority on 17-12-97 at 11 a.m.