New Delhi, Oct 25 (UNI) In an effort to speed up recovery of property tax in the city, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has constituted the Municipal Taxation Tribunal to take up property tax cases and hear appeals on dispute in this regard.
Addressing a joint press conference here, Chairman of the Standing Committee Vijender Gupta, and Leader of the House Subhash Arya said the Municipal Taxation Tribunal had started functioning from the MCD office at Boulevard Road, Opposite St Stephen's Hospital near Tis Hazari Courts.
Informing that property tax worth more than Rs 400 crore has been outstanding owing to pendency of 2681 court cases, Mr Gupta and Mr Arya expressed confidence that the Tribunal would provide an opportunity to all such property tax payers whose cases were pending in different courts to avail themselves of the fast track judicial decision, introduced in the MCD for the first time.
Mr Gupta and Mr Arya said that under the Unit Area Method, it was mandatory to initially settle the cases in the Municipal Taxation Tribunal as District Courts were not empowered to take-up the cases relating to property tax matters.
''Since the implementation of the Unit Area Method, the property tax payers have been paying the property tax on the basis of self-assessment of their property. MCD has now started scrutinising the returns and a number of discrepancies have been being noticed.
Those who have filed wrong statements would face penal action as per the DMC Act. MCD can impose a fine of upto 30 per cent in cases of under-assessed properties, wrong information, concealment of facts etc.
In case of dispute between the taxpayer and the MCD, the Tribunal can be approached for settlement of such matters in a speedy manner outside the High Court and the Supreme Court,''they said.
In addition to settlement of cases under Unit Area Method, the property tax payers whose cases have been pending in different courts can also approach the Tribunal for speedy disposal of their cases after following the laid-down procedure.
The job of the Taxation Tribunal would be to hear an appeal against the levy of assessment of revision of assessment of property tax under the Act, to take-up with the approval of the District Judge of Delhi any case for which any appeal may be pending before the court of such District Judge and hear any appeal pending before the court of the District Judge of Delhi and transferred to it for disposal, at the request of the applicant for the settlement thereof on the basis of annual value.
Former Additional District and Session Judge H P Sharma will presently be the Chairperson of the Tribunal. It will have two members namely, Mr D K Saini, Former Additional District and Sessions Judge and Mr O P Kelkar, IAS.
Mr Gupta and Mr Arya informed that as per Section 169 of Delhi Municipal Cororation Act, 1957, the appeals against levy of assessment or revision of the assessment orders of Property Tax Department was required to be filed in the court of the Additional District Judge. The said Section 169 was amended in the year 2003 and as per that, the appeal is now required to be filed before the Municipal Taxation Tribunal, which would consist of a Chairperson and other such perons as the Government may determine.