ISHWARDAS SAWALDAS MUKHI Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Ishwardas Sawaldas Mukhi
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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(1.) This petition challenges the provision of Section 170(c) of the Maharashtra Municipal Councils, Nagar Panchayats and Industrial Townships Act, 1965 ("the said Act"), requiring the petitioners to deposit the full amount of the bill of payment of property tax as a condition precedent for entertaining an appeal against it before the Judicial Magistrate. Consequently, the bills issued to the petitioners demanding the taxes in respect of their properties, are also challenged.
(2.) According to the petitioners, the bills presented by the Municipal Council to them under Section 150 of the said Act shows the enormous enhancement in the rateable value of property and the taxes levied upon them as per the old and new rates are given in the bills annexed to the petition, and the comparative chart of it, is reproduced below :
Section 169(2)(b) of the said Act provides a right of appeal before the Magistrate, challenging the bill issued under Section 150 of the said Act. Section 170(c)(i) of the said Act prohibits entertaining of an appeal unless the full amount of the bill is deposited in the Municipal Office and hence the said provision is under challenge in this petition.
(3.) Shri M.G. Bhangde, the learned Senior Advocate, assisted by Shri R.M. Bhangde, Advocate, appearing for the petitioners, has taken us through the entire Scheme running from the provision of Section 113 of the said Act, more particularly the provisions of Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 150, 169 and 170, and it is urged that there is no adjudication with reasons to reject any objection to the determination of the rateable value under Section 114, and the preparation of the assessment list under Section 115 of the said Act. Relying upon para 5 of the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Union of India and another v. Cynamide India Ltd. and another, reported in (1987) 2 SCC 720, it is urged that the preparation of assessment list under Section 115 of the said Act is a quasi legislative process in which it is permissible to read the principles of natural justice. Relying upon the another decision of the Apex Court in the case of Ajay Singh and another v. State of Chhattisgarh and another, reported in (2017) 3 SCC 330, it is urged that the inherent and essential principles of adjudication like adherence to doctrine of audi alteram partem, rules pertaining to fundamental adjective and seminal substantive law are required to be followed with ultimate reasoned verdict while delivering the judgment, and these attributes are missing in the process of preparation of assessment list under Section 115 of the said Act.;
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