MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DELHI Vs. NORTH DELHI POWER LTD.
LAWS(SC)-2016-8-16
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
Decided on August 10,2016

MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DELHI Appellant
VERSUS
NORTH DELHI POWER LTD. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) Leave granted in Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.17317/2015. The issues in these three Civil Appeals are the exigibility and incidence of property tax over a plot of 8,080 square meters of land.
(2.) On 26.03.2003, the Assessment and Collection Department of the Delhi Municipal Corporation determined the rateable value of a vacant plot of 8,080 sq. meters allotted to North Delhi Power Limited at Rs.58,53,960/- with effect from 01.04.2002. M/s North Delhi Power Limited filed an appeal under Section 169 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 before the District Judge, Delhi challenging the order dated 26.03.2003. By a judgment dated 03.01.2004 in H.T.A. No.164/2003, the Additional District Judge, Delhi held that the land in dispute stood transferred to the Delhi Government and hence it was entitled for exemption from payment of property tax in view of Section 119 (1) of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957. It was also held that M/s North Delhi Power Limited was a licensee of the Government. On the basis of the above findings, the District Judge allowed the appeal and quashed the assessment order dated 26.03.2003. Aggrieved by the said judgment dated 03.01.2004 of the District Judge, Delhi, the Municipal Corporation Delhi approached the High Court of Delhi by filing Writ Petition No.3193/2004. A Single Judge of the Delhi High Court allowed the writ petition holding that the North Delhi Power Limited is liable to pay the tax. The Single Judge held that the provisions of Section 120 (1) (c) of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 are applicable as North Delhi Power Limited was entitled to let out the properties on which basis it became liable to pay taxes. With reference to the Delhi Electricity Reforms (Transfer Scheme) Rules, 2001 which would be dealt in detail later, the Single Judge held that North Delhi Power Limited is an effective and full successor in respect to all matters relating to all liabilities and assets and further held that there is no material to establish that the Delhi Electricity Reforms (Transfer Scheme), 2001 ruled out liability of North Delhi Power Limited from municipal taxation. North Delhi Power Limited filed L.P.A.No.2630/2005, challenging the judgment dated 25.07.2005 passed by the Single Judge in Writ Petition No.3913/2004. A Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi held that Delhi Power Company Ltd. was the owner of land and land rights during the relevant assessment years i.e. 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, that the statutory transfer scheme creates a licence in favour of the Delhi Power Company Ltd. and that the distribution licence issued by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission under Section 20 of the Delhi Electricity Reforms Act, 2000 is distinct from the licence for land granted in its favour. As Delhi Power Company Ltd. was not a party with the proceedings before the Division Bench, the matter was remanded back to the Deputy Assessor and Collector of the Respondent-Municipal Corporation of Delhi for determination as to whether North Delhi Power Limited or Delhi Power Company Ltd. is liable to pay property tax. The Deputy Assessor and Collector of Municipal Corporation, Delhi was directed to give a hearing to both North Delhi Power Limited as well as to Delhi Power Company Ltd. before passing any final order.
(3.) Aggrieved by the said judgment dated 09.12.2013 in L.P.A. No.2630/2005, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (formerly North Delhi Power Limited referred to as 'Distribution Company' hereinafter) filed Civil Appeal No.5654/2014. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi referred to as 'Corporation' hereinafter for convenience, also filed Civil Appeal No.5653/2014, aggrieved by certain findings in favour of the Distribution Company. Civil Appeal No.______ of 2016 (arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No.17317 of 2015) was filed by Government of NCT of Delhi (hereinafter referred to as 'Government'), challenging the findings recorded by the Division Bench of the High Court that the vacant land stood transferred to Delhi Power Company Ltd. and the Government is not owner of the vacant land.;


Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.