THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed the Shalimar Estate Private Limited to deposit Rs 1 crore with the Panchkula Municipal Corporation within four weeks while directing the authorities to hear the appeal of the owners of Shalimar Complex on the assessment of property and fire tax on merits and decide it within six months.
The owners of the Sector 5 mall in Panchkula had challenged the demand for Rs 4,26,25,581 property tax and fire tax, which is applicable to non-residential property. A division bench of Justices Mahesh Grover and Raj Shekhar Attri in the judgment said the issue cannot be settled by the High Court and the appeal first needs to be placed before the appellate authority as provided by the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994.
“We have considered the argument raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner and are of the opinion that the issue raised before us can only be determined in appeal considering the dispute on facts but to enable the petitioner to do so, we would direct that in case he deposits a sum of Rs 1 crore with the respondent corporation, his appeal shall be considered on merits without insisting on the payment of the remaining amount assessed,” the bench said
While directing the appellate authority to decide the appeal as expeditiously as possible and preferably within a period of one month, the bench said, “In case the amount of Rs 1 crore is deposited within a period of four weeks and appeal filed, the premises of the petitioner be not sealed/ attached. It is made clear that in case the petitioner does not deposit this amount as directed above, the respondents would be at liberty to proceed against it in accordance with law,” the order reads.