Even as the Delhi government is in the process of revising the circle rate structure, a PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court to strike down the existing circle rate policy on grounds that it violates the laws under which it was created.
Circle rates are minimum rates decided by government authorities for valuation of land and properties in a particular area.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw last week issued notice to the Delhi government and the Central government to respond to the plea filed by Delhi resident Amit Gupta. In his plea, Gupta claimed that the circle rate notifications and policy had violated the provisions of the Stamp Act and the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act with regard to stamp duty and registration.
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“This leads to a pitiable situation where the prescribed circle rates are completely arbitrary and unreasonable and are much higher than actual/market rates. The objective behind the Stamp Act, as well as the Under-Valuation Rules, was to prevent undervaluation of instruments — not to create a reverse situation where the prescribed circle rates exceed the actual market value of the property. This illegality is further compounded by the fact that the prevailing circle rates policy (as set out above) denies parties the rights and safeguards expressly set out in the Act,” the plea says.
The petition, filed through senior advocate Ravi Gupta and advocate Anirudh Wadhwa, further states that the current circle rate policy forces people to pay higher stamp duty and transfer duty than is contemplated in the Stamp Act and the DMC Act.