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Chandigarh

Posted at: Aug 22, 2019, 7:33 AM; last updated: Aug 22, 2019, 7:33 AM (IST)

HC orders status quo in Golf Club property tax row

Club Plea against attachment order

  • The Golf Club had moved the High Court against the attachment of its property on the grounds that an appeal was pending under the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act. It was contended that the attachment of the property would render the appeal infructuous.
HC orders status quo in Golf Club property tax row

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21

Acting on a petition filed by the Chandigarh Golf Club in the property tax row, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered the maintenance of the status quo.

The Golf Club had earlier moved the High Court against the attachment of its property on the grounds that an appeal was pending under the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act. It was contended that the attachment of the property would render the appeal infructuous.

The plea was disposed of with a direction to the appellate authority to decide the appeal. The authority, in turn, allowed the appeal but held that the club was liable to pay the tax. Aggrieved by the order, the club filed another petition through senior advocate AK Chopra and Aashutosh Jerath.

After hearing counsel for the petitioner and Pankaj Jain for the UT, the Bench of Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice Lalit Batra fixed September 4 as the next date of hearing, while ordering that the status quo as on date be maintained.

The High Court, in April, had directed that an order on adoption of coercive process to recover assessed demand of property tax from the Golf Club be kept in abeyance. The Bench had also directed the appellate authority to dispose of the appeal filed by the club against the assessed demand as expeditiously as possible.

Taking up an appeal filed against the UT and other respondents by the club, the Bench had asserted a “limited grievance” had been raised in the petition. An appeal against the assessed demand on account of property tax was pending. The petitioner had raised in it several questions disputing the assessment and consequent demand.

The impugned order was passed resorting to a coercive process to carry out the recovery without waiting for its outcome. “This has prompted the petitioner to come here and impugn the said order,” the Bench had added.

The Bench had asserted substantive appeal preferred by the club was still pending. “We are of the opinion that resorting to a coercive process to effect the recovery of an assessment which is disputed, if permitted to stand, would frustrate the right of the petitioner to have an order from the appellate authority.”

Disposing of the petition, the Bench had directed the appellate authority to decide the appeal expeditiously, preferably within four weeks from receiving the order’s certified copy by passing a speaking/reasoned order after taking into account all objections raised by the petitioner in his appeal.

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