The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has taken a serious view of Chinnamanur Municipality in Theni district assessing property tax for a building which was constructed on a government land site.
A Division Bench of Justices R. Subramanian and L. Victoria Gowri directed the Secretary of the Municipal Administration Department to file an affidavit explaining on what basis such property tax assessments were made by municipalities even for constructions which were admittedly put up on government lands.
The court was hearing a petition filed by K. Syed Abuthahir of Theni district, who sought a direction to restrain the authorities from evicting him.
The court observed that from the records produced by the petitioner, Chinnamanur Municipality had assessed the petitioner for property tax and collected it for a considerable period. The counsel for the authorities submitted that the property tax assessment had been cancelled.
The court said it found such assessments of property tax were made even to the buildings constructed on government lands without application of mind.
If a person was found to be an encroacher, the authority concerned could not levy property tax. Penal charges under the Revenue Standing Orders could be recovered by issuing B-Memos, the court observed and adjourned the hearing in the case till June 5.