BINOY PETER Vs. SECRETARY KEERAMPARA GRAMA PANCHAYAT
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
SECRETARY, KEERAMPARA GRAMA PANCHAYAT
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(1.) The petitioner is aggrieved about Ext. P4, whereunder the Secretary of the Keerampara Grama Panchayat (1st respondent herein) had advised him that as the appeal is not in consonance with law, it cannot be considered. The petitioner submits that the appeal had been submitted before the Panchayat Committee and not to the Secretary. He also refers to the circumstance that the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Taxation, Levy & Appeal) Rules, 1996 provides that assessment of tax has to be carried out by the Standing Committee and in this case there was irregularity in that tax has been assessed by the Secretary of the Panchayat. Of course an appeal had been filed to the Committee and a marginal reduction was granted, but the petitioner submits that his right of an appeal to the Panchayat Committee cannot be curtailed in any manner and Ext. P4, to the above extent, is bad in law.
(2.) Notice has been taken to a Panchayat, but there is no response forthcoming. There appears to be some confusion harboured by the Panchayat in the matter. By S.R.O. No. 110/96, effective from 29.11.1996, the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Taxation, Levy and Appeal) Rules, 1996 came into force. These are brought about by Government in exercise of rule making powers conferred by S.254 of the Act. The Rules were extension of S.210 and 241 of the Act, which respectively related to the powers of the Panchayat for assessment of taxes and cess, and the power for entry and inspection to properties, including building, so as to oversee whether in the matter of construction / user, compliance with the directions of licence and grants were duly being observed.
(3.) Effective from 1.4.1996, by SRO No. 313/96, the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Building Tax and Surcharge) Rules, 1996 had come, and this was in exercise of powers under S.254 read with S.203 and S.208 of the Act. The above sections authorised the Panchayat for levying property tax in respect of buildings within the limits of the Panchayat and levy of surcharge thereon, respectively. When the issue is considered, necessarily the impact of the rules will have to be borne in mind, and the procedure prescribed to be followed by S.276 of the Act.;
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