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M.H. Pandya Vs. Tax Recovery Officer and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectDirect Taxation
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Civil Application No. 2250 of 1984
Judge
Reported in[1989]178ITR538(Guj)
ActsUrban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976
AppellantM.H. Pandya
RespondentTax Recovery Officer and ors.
Appellant Advocate J.M. Thakore, Adv. General
Respondent Advocate R.P. Bhatt,; J.R. Nanavaty,; K.G. Vakharia,;
Cases ReferredShah Jitendra Nanalal v. Patel Lallubhai Ishverbhai
Excerpt:
- - evidently, he has come to the court because the income-tax authorities, in their enthusiasm, seem to have represented to the prospective purchasers that the latter would get good and absolute title by the sale and, according to the competent authority, this would not be the case......is sufficient to say that the petitioner has no cause for grievance since the obligation under the urban land (ceiling and regulation) act, 1976, is not shown to have been affected by reason of the auction sales. 3. we may in this context refer to the decision of the full bench of this court in shah jitendra nanalal v. patel lallubhai ishverbhai reported in [1984] 25(2) glr 1001. that is a case where the question that arose was one of enforcement of an agreement for specific performance in respect of an item of property which was contended to be 'vacant land' as defined in section 2(q) of the urban land (ceiling and regulation) act, 1976. considering this question, this court had occasion to hold that a conditional decree for specific performance subject to exemption being obtained under.....
Judgment:

P.S. Poti, C.J.

1. This is a petition by the competent authority appointed for the purpose of administering the provisions of the Urban Land (Ceilihng and Regulation) Act, 1976 (hereinafter referred to as ('the Act'). The said Act provides for imposition of ceiling on land in urban areas and urban agglomerations and for making allied provisions. The prayer in the petition is for the issue of a writ of certiorari or appropriate direction to quash or set aside the auction sales which took place at Rajkot at the instance of the income-tax authorities in respect of plots of lands which, according to the petitioner, the competent authority, fell in the category of 'excess vacant land' belonging to the 'Ranjit Villa Palace'. The case of the petitioner is simple. According to him, the lands so auctioned for recovery of income-tax dues at the instance of the income-tax authorities were lands which were liable to be surrendered as 'excess land' under the Act. These lands, according to the petitioner, were not liable to b4e sole for arrears of income-tax and the vendees under the auction sale would not get any right by reason of such sale. It is said that the sale should, therefore, be set aside, as, otherwise, it was likely that the auction purchasers may contend that they should not lose their title by operation of the Act. Since the persons who will be affected by this petition are the auction purchasers, they have been brought into the party array in this case mainly on our suggestion and notices have been issued to them.

2. It is trite law that in an auction purchase, the purchaser would not get any title other than that of the owner whose properties are so sold in auction. Whatever title the income-tax assessee for whose default auctions are held had would alone pass on to the purchaser - nothing less, nothing more. Whatever obligations there are in the assessee would not be destroyed by reason of the auction and, therefore, the competent authority who is the petitioner before us, need feel aggrieved by the auction. Evidently, he has come to the court because the income-tax authorities, in their enthusiasm, seem to have represented to the prospective purchasers that the latter would get good and absolute title by the sale and, according to the competent authority, this would not be the case. The statement or representation by the income-tax authorities need not reflect the correct legal position and if what they say is not the law, that would not become the law merely because they say so. Any representation by the income-tax authorities would be of no consequence. It would not alter the rights of parties. That being the case, it cannot be that the sale could be challenged in this fashion. Until delivery is effected pursuant to the auction, there may be some right, in any event, in the income-tax assessee. We are not deciding what that right is. For instance, he will be entitled to possess the property till he is divested of it in accordance with law under the Act and that right, at any rate, could pass on to the purchaser. Without deciding what exactly the rights of the auction purchasers are, it is sufficient to say that the petitioner has no cause for grievance since the obligation under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976, is not shown to have been affected by reason of the auction sales.

3. We may in this context refer to the decision of the Full Bench of this court in Shah Jitendra Nanalal v. Patel Lallubhai Ishverbhai reported in [1984] 25(2) GLR 1001. That is a case where the question that arose was one of enforcement of an agreement for specific performance in respect of an item of property which was contended to be 'vacant land' as defined in section 2(q) of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976. Considering this question, this court had occasion to hold that a conditional decree for specific performance subject to exemption being obtained under section 20 could be passed in that case. Of course, the situation here is not exactly the same but we are referring to the same because it is not as if merely because the land is vacant land, no right whatsoever remains in the owner even before the proceedings are taken under section 10(3) of the Act and possession is assumed.

4. In the circumstances, the petition is dismissed.


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