Decided on August 30,1983

Bai Nani Through Her Karta Kanaiyalal Thakorlal Mehta And Another Appellant
Baroda Municipal Corporation . Respondents


S.A.SHAH - (1.) This group of fourteen Petitions raises a common question regarding the legality of the annual rateable value of the property known as Navrang Talkies situated in the city of Baroda. It is an admitted position that the Baroda Municipal Corporation hereinafter referred to as the Corporation revised the annual rateable value which was Rs. 20 760 upto 1972-73 and in 1973-74 the same was revised and increased to Rs. 83 602 per year The owners of the Navrang Talkies have not accepted the said valuation and filed appeals and being dissatisfied with the findings thereon had filed writ petitions being Special Civil Applications Nos. 1186/80 1263 1264 1265 1266 1267 and 1268/80 (seven petitions) against the decision of the Second Extra Assistant Judge Baroda. Similarly as against this the Corporation had filed petitions being special civil applications Nos. 490/80 491 492 493 494 495 and 2166
(2.) Since all the petitions are concerned with the assessment of the annual Rateable value of the same property namely Navrang Talkies and are raising common contentions and challenges we are disposing of all the petitions by this common judgment. We are taking the facts from special civil application No. 1186/80 for the sake of convenience since there is no difference in facts and averments in other petitions except the Period. In para 4 of the petition the petitioners admit that the rateable value of the property prior to 1973 was fixed at Rs. 20 760 However it is alleged that on 1-4-1973 the rateable value of property (Navrang Cinema) was revised and increased to Rs. 83 602 by the Corporation arbitrarily and without any basis.
(3.) According to the owners-petitioners of special civil application No. 1186/1980 the revision was made from the year 1973-74 in value and they had filed objections and complaint before the Municipal Commissioner against the arbitrary increase of rateable value resulting into substantial increase in the property tax. However the Commissioner confirmed the rateable value fixed by the Corporation and bills in respect thereof were served upon the petitioners on the basis that the rateable value of the property was Rs. 83 602;

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