Citizens' Issues
Bombay High Court gives relief to property tax payers

In an interim order, the HC asked property owners or tax-payers in Mumbai to go by the old regime and to pay 50% of the differential amount between the old and new rates

The Bombay High Court, while giving a relief to all property holders in Mumbai, has directed the city municipal corporation to accept taxes under the old un-amended rates with 50% differential between the old and new rates. In an interim order, the HC asked all property owners or tax-payers to go by the old regime and to pay 50% of the differential amount; up from 25% announced in the earlier interim order on 23rd December.

 

"We direct that the Municipal Corporation for Greater Mumbai (MCGM) shall accept the municipal taxes as per the above formula from other property owners, even if they have not filed any writ petition before this Court. However, such property owners shall pay taxes as per the above formula along with an undertaking to the Municipal Corporation that in case this Court negatives the challenge to the Constitutional validity of the Amendment Act, they will pay balance amount of tax and the interest on the balance amount at statutory rate within such time as may be granted by this Court," a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha said.

 

Under the new system, the tax is calculated on the basis of the capital value of a property, and the age of a building, its location and use are taken into account. Anomalies in computation and the hefty new taxes have caused serious concern for home and property owners. The new taxes also carry the threat of hefty penalties for non-payment. Experts contested the new "flawed" system could push up the tax by 300% or more.

 

Property tax under the old regime was calculated according to the rateable value of a building, based on the expected reasonable rent it could attract. Writ Petitions by Property Owners Association, The Foundation for Medical Research, the Indian Hotels Co and a huge bunch of almost 40 other pleas flooded the HC. They all challenged the new property tax structure "unconstitutional, exorbitant and confiscatory".

 

Moneylife Foundation has conducted several seminars and counselling sessions on the property tax issue affecting Mumbaikars, ever since the MCGM sent out demands for its hefty revised property taxes with arrears for the past three years.

 

To recap Moneylife’s efforts with regard to property tax, we had our first talk on the increased burden that the property tax has caused on the people of Mumbai on 9 February 2013 with Ashok Ravat, a noted civic activist and founder-convener of the Shivaji Park Advanced Locality Movement and Advocate Godfrey Pimenta, President of Sahar Citizens Forum and an ardent RTI activist. Click here for more on the session.

 

This was followed by repeated one-to-one and group counselling sessions by Mr Ravat who guided Moneylife Foundation members on how the capital value method is flawed as it uses the Ready Reckoner value, which is not supposed to indicate real value. This method proposed by the BMC, has ‘intentional’ errors. The new system, the capital-value-based tax system is totally flawed and hasn’t been accepted by any other municipal corporation, except the BMC

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SC asks lower courts to complete trials of MPs, MLAs in a year

Lower courts will have to give explanation to the Chief Justice of the respective High Court if the trial is not completed within a year

The Supreme Court on Monday set a deadline for lower courts to complete trial in cases involving lawmakers within a year of framing of charges. This would expedite proceedings against sitting members of Parliament (MPs) and members of legislative assembly (MLAs) in criminal cases.

 

A bench headed by Justice RM Lodha also said that trial courts will have to give explanation to the Chief Justice of the respective High Court if the trial is not completed within a year.

 

The bench, however, said the period can be extended by the Chief Justice of the High Court if he is satisfied with the reason given by trial judge for not completing the trial within this period.

 

It said all such proceedings involving lawmakers must be conducted on a day-to-day basis in order to expedite the trial

 

As the trial is kept pending for years, lawmakers continue to enjoy membership of the legislative body despite being charged in a heinous offence, the court noted.

 

The court passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO, Public Interest Foundation, seeking its direction for expeditious trial in cases involving lawmakers.

 

The NGO contended that MPs and MLAs continue to be Members of Parliament and Assembly for a long time due to delay in proceedings.

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Kejriwal asks TV anchor to play up sections of his interview

During the conversation, Kejriwal is seen asking the TV anchor to give emphasis on certain segments of the interview

A video showing Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal asking a TV news anchor to emphasise certain sections of his interview went viral on YouTube on Sunday night.

 

The video, which is over a minute long, shows Kejriwal and the news anchor in a conversation after the interview.

 


During the conversation, Kejriwal is seen asking the TV anchor to give emphasis on certain segments of the interview.

 

“Please play it up more,” Kejriwal said in the video.

 

To this, the television anchor was seen saying: “Yes, we will play it up. The Bhagat Singh (comment) is good. We will get a lot of reaction to this.”

 

The interview was apparently given by Kejriwal after he resigned as Delhi Chief Minister.

 

Incidentally, the video was made public on the day when Kejriwal criticised the media and accused a certain section of being biased against him.

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COMMENTS

Mandar Kulkarni

3 years ago

Kejriwal has exposed a lot now. Most of the AAP supporters not in favor of voting them again. Their naxal-like mentality is evident.

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