The West Bengal Valuation Board Act, 1978

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The West Bengal Valuation Board Act, 1978

This Act was first enacted as the West Bengal Central Valuation Board Act, 1978 in order to set up a Central Valuation Board for valuation and assessment of properties within the Urban Local Body areas for imposition of property tax. Prior to enactment of this Act the valuation of buildings in municipal areas were used to be done either by the employees of the Urban Local Body concerned, or by the assessors appointed by the Municipalities. In this situation this Act was enacted with a view to constitute a Central Valuation Board to ensure uniformity in valuation, objectivity in assessment and securing a higher yield of municipal revenue throughout the State. Later the name of the Act has been changed to the West Bengal Valuation Board Act, 1978.

Two rules have been framed under the said Act, which are as follows:

  1. The West Bengal Valuation Board (Valuation of Lands and Buildings) Rules, 1984.- In this rule the manner of preparation of valuation list, procedure for handling review applications have been detailed.
  2. The West Bengal Valuation Board (Registration of Valuers and Surveyors) Rules, – In this rule the detailed procedure for registration of Valuers and Surveyors, for the purpose of assisting the Valuation Board in their work, have been stated.

 


The West Bengal Valuation Board Act, 1978

West Bengal Act 57 of 1978

[Dated 5th February, 1979]


1. Short title, extent and commencement.
 – (1) This Act may be called the West Bengal [****] Valuation Board Act, 1978.

(2) It extends to the whole of West Bengal.

(3) It shall come into force in such area and on such date as the State Government may, by notification, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different areas.Assent of the Governor was first published in the Calcutta Gazette, Extraordinary of the 5th February, 1979.

An Act to provide for a [****] Valuation Board and Valuation Authorities for the purpose of valuation of lands and buildings in West Bengal.Whereas it is expedient to establish a [****] Valuation Board and Valuation Authorities for the purpose of valuation of lands and buildings in West Bengal;It is hereby enacted as follows :-

2. Definitions. – (1) In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-[***********]

[(aa) “Administrator or Board of Administrators” has the same meaning as in sub-section (3) of section 14 of the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993.]

[***********]

(b) “Board” means the [****] Valuation Board established under section 4;

[(bb) “Board of Councillors” means the Board of Councillors of a Municipality;]

[***********][***********]

[(e) “Councillor” means a Councillor of a Corporation or Municipality;]

[***********]

[(f) “Corporation” means the Kolkata Municipal Corporation constituted under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, 1980, the Howrah Municipal Corporation constituted under the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980, and other Municipal Corporations constituted under the West Bengal Municipal Corporation Act, 2006;]

(g) “Fund” means the [****] Valuation Board Fund referred to in section 20;

[(h) “Howrah” means Howrah as defined in the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980;]

(i) “Land or building” [includes a bustee];

[(ii) “municipal area” includes a notified area;]

[(j) “Municipality” means a Municipality as defined in the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993, and includes a Notified Area Authority;]

(k) “Notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

[(kk) “Property tax” means the property tax on the annual value of lands and buildings determined and leviable under the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980, [the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act, 1980,] [the West Bengal Municipal Corporation Act, 2006,] or the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993, as the case may be;]

(l) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(m) “regulations” means regulations made under section 29;

[************]

[(n) “valuer-surveyor” means the valuer-surveyor Grade I, or the valuer-surveyor Grade II, registered as such under section 8B.]

[(2) Words and expressions used in this Act but not defined shall have the same meaning as in the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 or the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 or [the West Bengal Municipal Corporation Act, 2006,] or the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993.]

3. Act to override other laws. – With effect from the date [of notification referred to in sub-section (1) of section 9,] the [provisions of the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 or the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act, 1980] or [the West Bengal Municipal Corporation Act, 2006) or the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993,] or any other law relating to any of the matters provided for in this Act shall be deemed, in respect of such area, to have been modified to the extent of the provisions made in this Act.

4. Establishment of the Board. – (1) The State Government may, by notification, establish, for the purposes of this Act, a Board to be called the ‘*** Valuation Board.

(2) The Board shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue or be sued in its corporate name and shall be competent to acquire, hold and dispose of any property, both movable and immovable, to enter into contracts and to do all things necessary for the purposes of this Act.

5. Members of the Board. – (1) The Board shall consist of a Chairman and [four] other members to be appointed by the State Government.

(2) The Chairman shall be a person who is or has been an officer of the State Government [not below the rank of Secretary including ex officioSecretary [***].]

[(3) [The four other members shall include the Director of Local Bodies, Government of West Bengal, who shall be the ex officio member of the Board, and such other officers of the State Government or non-official experts] having knowledge and experience in the field of Judiciary, Engineering, Valuation and Assessment of Properties, Economics or Social Science as the State Government may determine.]

(4) The Chairman and the other members of the Board shall hold office for such period not exceeding [four years] as the State Government may determine and the terms and conditions of their service, including salaries and allowances shall be such as may be prescribed.

[(5) The Board shall have a Member-Secretary who shall be appointed by the State Government from amongst the members referred to in subsection (3) and shall be the Chief Executive Officer of a Board.]

[5A. Validation. – Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act, no action of the Board shall be invalid or otherwise called in question merely on the ground of the existence of any vacancy (initial or subsequent) in the office of the members of the Board.]

[6. Officers and employees. – (1) The Board may create such posts of officers and employees and fill up such posts as may be approved by the State Government.]

(2) The terms and conditions of service including salaries and allowances of the officers and employees appointed under sub-section (1) shall be determined by regulations.

7. Employment of staff of the State Government. – (1) The Board may take over and employ such staff of the State Government as the State Government may make available.(2) During the period of such employment all matters relating to pay, allowances, leave, retirement, pension, provident fund and all other terms and conditions of service of the staff so made available and taken over shall be regulated by the West Bengal Service Rules or such other rules on the subject as may, from time to time, be made by the State Government for its employees.(3) Subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2) and (4) every person so taken over and employed shall be subject to the provisions of this Act and the regulations.(4) All permanent Government employees taken over and employed under sub-section (1) shall have a lien on their post in the service of the State Government and the period of their service under the Board shall, on reversion to the service of the State Government, be counted for the purpose of their promotion, increments, pension and other matters relating to their service.

[8. Expenditure incurred on account of salaries and allowances including contingencies. – (1) The expenditure incurred by the Board for meeting the salaries and allowances including contingencies of the Chairman and the Member-Secretary serving under the Board shall be defrayed out of the Fund to be provided by the State Government.(2) The expenditure incurred by the Board for meeting the salaries and allowances including contingencies in respect of all the officers and employees serving under the Board shall be defrayed out of the Fund to be provided by the State Government.(3) The expenditure towards contingencies for maintaining normal financial activities shall be met out of the Fund so provided by the State Government.]

[8A. Maintenance of register’ of registered valuer-surveyors [Grade I and registered valuer-surveyors Grade II.]. – The Board shall maintain in the prescribed manner a register of registered valuer-surveyors [Grade I and registered valuer-surveyors Grade II.].

[8B. Registration of valuer-surveyor [Grade I and registered valuer-surveyors Grade II.]. – Every person who possesses such qualifications as may be prescribed shall, subject to such terms and conditions, and on payment of such fee, as may be prescribed, be entitled to have his name entered [as a valuer-surveyor Grade I or valuer-surveyor Grade II] in the register of registered valuer-surveyors [Grade I and registered valuer-surveyors Grade II.].

9. Determination of valuation and its duration. – (1) The State Government shall, from time to time by notification, specify the area where, the general valuation of lands and buildings shall be made by the Board, in accordance with the [provisions of the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 or the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act, 1980] or [the West Bengal Municipal Corporation Act, 2006) or the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993,] or any other law for the time being in force in such area, as the case may be [, in so far as they relate to the determination of annual valuation :]

[Provided that the Board may, in accordance with a resolution in this behalf adopted at a meeting of the Board and with the previous approval of the State Government, require any valuer-surveyor to make, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, the general valuation of lands and buildings in the area as aforesaid or in any part thereof under the superintendence, direction and control of the Board on payment of such remuneration as the Board may determine, and every such valuation shall be deemed to have been made by the Board.]

(2) [The valuation made by the Board shall become operative with effect from the date specified in section 11] and shall remain in force in respect of such area for a period of [five years] and may be revised thereafter at the termination of successive periods of [five years] :

Provided that [notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this section, in Calcutta and Howrah and in any municipality,] the valuation shall remain in force in such groups of Wards and for such period as may be prescribed and such valuation may be revised thereafter at the termination of successive periods of [five years] from the expiry of the period so prescribed:

Provided further that the valuation of lands or buildings in any area made in accordance with the provisions of [the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993] or any other law, shall remain in force for the period for which it was made under [the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993] or any other law, as the case may be.

[(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) and (2), if, during the currency of any period referred to in sub-section (2), any new building is erected, or any existing building is reconstructed or substantially altered or improved, in any area, the determination of valuation of such premises shall be subject to the same criteria as has been fixed by the Board for such premises, and its valuation shall be covered by such procedure as may be determined by the Board for its immediate valuation with prior mandatory filing of statement of particulars under section 16 by the owner or occupier. The valuation so made shall remain in force from the quarter intimated by the Municipality or Corporation for the unexpired portion of the period referred to in sub-section (2).

 [***********]

(4) The Corporation and [the Board of Councillors] shall in each year and within such time as may be prescribed send to the Board a list of all new buildings erected and also all existing buildings reconstructed or substantially altered or improved within their respective jurisdiction [together with suggested valuation in terms of Board’s guidelines for finalization and approval of valuation by the Board].

9A. Publication of draft valuation list. – (1) When the valuation under section 9 of the lands and buildings in any area has been completed, the Board shall cause such valuation list and the amount of property tax thereon to be entered in a list.]

(2) The Board shall publish the draft valuation list, prepared under subsection (1), in such manner, as may be prescribed and shall specify a date within which an application for objection to the draft valuation list may be filed.

(3) After the expiry of the date specified in sub-section (2) and within such period thereafter as may be prescribed, the objection of any entry in the draft valuation list shall be determined after giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard [************.]

[(4) The Board shall, with the approval of the State Government, appoint such officer of officers, having such experience and qualification, and on such terms and conditions as the State Government may by order determine, to hear and determine the objections to the draft valuation list, and the objection shall be determined in such manner as may be prescribed.][************]  

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section the term ‘previous valuation’ means the Valuation made under the Bengal Municipal Act, 1932 and in force on the date immediately before the commencement of the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993, and under the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993.

10.[************]

[11. Publication of final valuation list. – When the application under sub-section (2) of section 9A, if any, has been determined, the Board shall prepare a final valuation list and shall give public notice of the place or places where such list may be inspected, and such valuation list shall be the final valuation list, and shall become operative from the date or quarter succeeding last date or quarter upto which the previous valuation list was valid.]12.[************]

[12A. Alteration or amendment of [**] valuation list. – (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 11, the Board may at any time before[the date specified for filing the applications under sub-section (2) of section 9A] and for reasons to be recorded in writing, direct any alteration or amendment of the [**] valuation list-

(a) by inserting therein the name of any person whose name ought to be inserted; or

(b) by inserting therein any land or building previously omitted together with the valuation thereof; or

(c) by striking out the name of any person or any land or building not liable for payment of [property tax; or]

(d) by increasing or decreasing the annual valuation of any holding which, in the opinion of the Board, has been substantially undervalued or over-valued by reasons of fraud, misrepresentation, [mistake, error or subsequent construction or inadvertence;] or

[(e) by correcting any patent error or omissions.]

SEC 13-15 [*****]

16. Owner or occupier to file statement. – Every owner or occupier of any land or building shall file a statement before the Board in such manner and within such time and specifying such particulars as may be prescribed.

[18. Power to enter into land or building. – [(1) Any officer of the Board, or any person or an Agency authorised by the Board in this behalf, in writing, may enter into any land or building and make an inspection or survey, or take measurements, thereof for the purpose of valuation.](2) If such entry is refused, or any objection to such entry is made, the officer authorised under sub-section (1) may give notice in writing to the owner or the occupier of such land or building of his intention to enter into such or land building, and the owner or the occupier of such land or building shall, upon such notice being duly served on him, extend all facilities as may reasonably be expected of him to such officer [, person or the agency, as the case may be,] for entering into such land or building and for making inspection or survey, or for taking measurements, thereof as the case may be, for the purpose of valuation.]

17. Production and inspection of accounts and documents. – The Board or any of its officer authorised by the Board may, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, require the owner or the occupier of any land or building to produce before the Board or such officer within such time as the Board or such officer may fix any accounts, registers or documents or to furnish any information relating thereto as may be considered necessary for the purpose of this Act and the owner or the occupier shall comply with such requisition.

19. Corporation and [Municipalities] to make payment to the Board. – (1) [The Calcutta Municipal Corporation, the Howrah Municipal Corporation,] [the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, the Asansol Municipal Corporation, the Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, the Municipality or other local authority of any area,] as the case may be, in respect of which notification under sub-section (1) of section 9 has been made, [may in each year pay] to the Board such proportion of the expenditure incurred by the Board on account of the valuation and assessment, as the annual value of [holdings in Calcutta, Howrah,] [Siliguri, Asansol or Chandernagore or within the jurisdiction of the Municipality or the other local authority,] as the case may be, bears to the aggregate of the annual value of the total number of holdings in the concerned area.(2) The Board shall calculate the amount payable by the Corporation, [the Municipality or the local authority] under sub-section (1) and may require the concerned body to pay the amount withing such time as may be prescribed.(3) If the amount is not paid within the prescribed time, the Board may refer the matter to the State Government and the State Government may pay the amount to the Board after deducting the same from any grant payable by the State Government to the Corporation, [the Municipality or such other local authority,] as the case may be.

[19A. Functions of the Board. – (1) The Board may render such advice on valuation and rating to a Corporation or a [Municipality] as the State Government may, from time to time, require it to do or as the Board may consider necessary for carrying out the purposes of the Act.

(2) The Board may also discharge such other functions in the field of valuation including development of expertise in valuation of land and building and training of [officers and employees of a Municipality] as the State Government may direct or as the Board may consider necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act.]

20. Fund of the Board. – (1) The Board shall have a fund to be called the Central Valuation Board Fund to which shall be credited-

(a) such moneys as may be paid to the Board by [the Corporations, the Municipalities and the other local authorities] under section 19, and

(b) such other moneys as may be paid to the Board by the State Government or any other authority or agency.

(2) All moneys received by the Board shall be deposited in the [State Bank of India] or in one or more nationalised banks.

[21. Grants or loans to the Board. – The State Government may extend grants or loans to the Board on such terms and conditions as that Government may determine.]

22. Expenditure and accounts. – [(1) The Board shall have the same financial powers as are exercisable by the Secretary of a Department of the State Government. Matters beyond such financial powers shall be referred by the Board to the State Government for decision.][(2) The Board shall keep accounts of all receipts and expenditure, and prepare annual accounts, in a regular manner as per standard accounting norms or in such manner as may be prescribed.]

23. Audit. – (1) The Board shall cause its accounts to be audited annually by an auditor to be appointed by the State Government and the auditor so appointed shall have the right to demand the production of books, accounts, documents and other papers of the Board.[(2) The annual accounts prepared as per provisions of sub-section (2) of section 22 shall be placed to the auditor for audit. As soon as the accounts have been audited, the Board shall send a copy thereof together with a copy of the report of the auditor to the State Government.](3) The Board shall comply with such directions as the State Government may, after perusal of the report of the auditor, think fit to issue in this behalf.(4) The Board shall pay out of the Fund such sum as may be determined by the State Government by way of fees [, if any,] for such audit.

24. Budget. – (1) The Board shall prepare each year in such form and within such time as may be prescribed a budget in respect of the financial year next ensuing, showing the estimated receipts and expenditure and shall forward a copy of the same to the State Government for approval.(2) The State Government may, in according such approval, make such additions, alterations and modifications therein as it thinks fit:Provided that before making such additions, alterations or modifications the State Government shall give the Board an opportunity to express its views thereon within such period as may be prescribed.

25. Penalty. – Any person who-

(a) fails to file the statement referred to in section 16 within the prescribed period, or files a false statement, or

(b) fails to produce the accounts, registers or documents or to furnish the information relating thereto when so required under [section 17, or]

[(c) fails to comply with the provisions of section 16,]

shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both and when the offence is a continuing one, with a daily fine not exceeding fifty rupees per day during the period of continuance of the offence.

26. Employment of staff. – The Board may employ such members of the staff [of the Corporation or the Municipality or any other local authority, as the case may be,] having jurisdiction over the area specified in the notification under sub-section (1) of section 9, [for the purpose of collection of field data for determining valuation of properties under this Act,] on such terms and conditions of service as may be determined by regulation :Provided that the terms and conditions of service of the persons so employed shall not be varied to their disadvantage :[Provided further that notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the Board may engage private agency or any other person with sufficient experience, on such terms and conditions as the State Government may, by order, determine, in the work of valuation of properties.]

[26A. Delegation of powers and functions by Board. – [(1) The Board may delegate any of its powers and functions including financial powers to the Chairman of the Board except the power under sub-section (1) of section 6.](2) The Board may also delegate any of its powers or functions to any other officer of the Board by a resolution adopted by it in this behalf.]

27.[************]


28. Power to make rules.
 – (1) The State Government may, by notification, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the matters which may be or is required to be prescribed.

[27A. Members, officers and employees to be public servants. – Every Member of the Board or every officer or employee of the Board shall, when acting or purporting to act under the provisions of this Act, be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.]

29. Power to make regulations. – (1) The Board may, with the previous approval of the State Government, make regulations consistent with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder for carrying out the purposes of this Act.(2) The State Government may, in according such approval, make such additions, alterations and modifications therein as it thinks fit:Provided that before making such additions, alterations or modifications the State Government shall give the Board an opportunity to express its views thereon within such period not exceeding two months as may be specified by the State Government.(3) All regulations approved by the State Government shall be published in the Official Gazette.

[30. Validation and saving. – Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, with effect from the date of coming into force of the West Bengal Valuation Board (Amendment) Act, 2009, any property tax levied on annual value of land and building, or any valuation published under this Act or any assessment list published under the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993, or the West  Bengal Municipal Corporation Act, 2006 shall remain in force till a new valuation list is brought into effect.]


SUPREME COURT CASES

Bidhannagar (Salt Lake) Welfare Vs Central Valuation Board and Ors [SC 2007]