Municipality Law

What is the period of limitation prescribed for recovery of arrears of house tax due to the Municipal corporation

Meal

  1. FactsVide letter dated February 14, 1968, the Assistant Assessor and Collector (Recovery Cell) of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had required the appellant to pay a sum of Rs. 19,558.75 as arrears of house tax due in respect of property No. 3432-35/III, Ganda Nala, Mori Gate, Delhi, calculated up to the period ending March 31, 1967. It was mentioned in the said notice that in case the arrears of house tax are not paid on or before February 22, 1968, the same shall be recovered by the execution of distress warrant along with 20% penalty. This demand was challenged by the appellant by filing a civil suit on February 21, 1968, seeking perpetual injunction against the respondent-Corporation. The appellant challenged the said demand on the ground that this particular property was an evacuee property earlier and had vested in the Custodian and the appellant became the owner of the said property with effect from September 29, 1966, when a sale deed was executed and registered in his favor by the Government and thus he was not liable for payment of house tax for the period prior to his becoming owner of the property and, secondly, that in any case the demand raised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was barred by limitation and thus the appellant was not liable to pay arrears of house tax beyond the period of three years. [ Delhi High Court -Lakhmi Chand vs Municipal Corporation Of Delhi on 7 December, 1987
    Equivalent citations: AIR 1988 Delhi 220, 1988 (14) DRJ 258, 1988 173 ITR 202 Delhi, 1988 RLR 117]
  2. FACTS: Respondent Kalu Ram was a pavement vendor in Connaught Place, New Delhi. In 1950 the appellant, New Delhi Municipal Committee, provided a number of displaced persons with small prefabricated stalls to enable them to do their business. Kalu Ram who was also a displaced person was allotted one such stall on Irwin Road. Rupees thirty was the licence fee payable per month by the allottees of these stalls. Later, the allottees, including the respondent, applied to the Rent Controller for reducing the rent. It is not necessary to refer to the various proceedings arising from these applications for fixation of standard rent which were ultimately dismissed by the Circuit Bench of the Punjab High Court at Delhi as not maintainable. In the meantime many of the allottees fell in arrears in paying the licence fees. So far as the respondent is concerned, the appellant took no steps to recover the dues till December 1960 when it demanded the entire amount in arrears from May 1950 to April 1957. The respondent not having paid, the appellant asked the Estate Officer, appointed under Section 3 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1958 to take steps to recover the amount in arrears under Section 7 of that Act. The Estate Officer, who is the second respondent herein, made an order on September 28, 1961 under Section 7 (1) of the Act asking the respondent to pay the sum overruling his objection that the claim was barred by limitation. The respondent’s appeal to the Additional District Judge from the Estate Officer’s order was disallowed. The respondent then filed a writ petition before the Circuit Bench of the Punjab High Court at Delhi challenging the order against him. One of the grounds of challenge was that Section 7 could not be resorted to for recovery of the sum as the claim was time barred. The High Court accepted the contention and allowed the petition.[ Supreme Court of India-New Delhi Municipal Committee vs Kalu Ram & Anr on 20 April, 1976
    Equivalent citations: 1976 AIR 1637, 1976 SCR 87]  Calcutta High Court ruled that the law of limitation applies before Govt Bodies  relying in the Kaluram`s case(supra) .