S. Natarajan, J.
1. This writ petition relates to assessment proceedings against the petitioner under the provisions of the Urban Land Tax Act.
2. The second respondent fixed the value of the Urban properties of the petitioner at Rs. 31,200 per ground for the land comprised in T.S. Nos. 1015 and 1016 and at Rs. 27,500 per ground for the land situate in T.S. No. 1017 of Ward I, Block 17, Coimbatore village, Coimbatore taluk. Yet another item, i.e., the land comprised in T.S. No. 59613 in Ward II, Block 25, of the same village was valued at Rs. 12,000 per ground. The petitioner appealed to the third respondent, which is the Statutory Appellate Authority, against the order of assessment. The third respondent allowed the appeal in part and fixed the market value for T.S. Nos. 1015 and 1016 at Rs. 26,500 per ground, for T.S. No. 1017 at Rs. 20,500 per ground and for T.S. No. 59613 at Rs. 9,600 per ground.
3. The petitioner seeks quashing of the orders of the respondents on the ground that the second respondent has not given valid reasons for rejecting the sale deeds cited by] him for fixation of the market value of the lands and the third respondent has not at all considered or even adverted to the documents filed by him.
4. The petitioner had produced the five sale deeds before the second respondent in support of his contention that the sale prices recited in them represented the correct market value of urban property in the areas where his lands are situate and, therefore, the properties should be assessed on the basis of the figures contained in those sale deeds. The second respondent rejected the documents and has given reasons for rejecting some documents alone. With reference to the other documents, he has merely stated that they were considered in other cases and held unacceptable, and, therefore, he was eschewing those documents from consideration in the petitioner's case also. As far as the third respondent is concerned, it has not made any reference to the documents produced by the petitioner in support of his contentions. On account of these laches, the petitioner's counsel, Mr. Sivaji, argues that the two statutory authorities, viz., the second and third respondents, have not discharged their statutory duties and quasi-judicial functions properly and hence their orders have to be quashed. In support of this contention, he relies upon Messrs. Southern Roadways Ltd. v. Asst. Commissioner, Urban Land Tax : (1978)1MLJ115 . He also quotes two other unreported judgments in this behalf, viz., Ramachandram v. Agricultural Income-tax Officer W.P. No. 3816 of 1976, Raman v. Board of Revenue W.P. No. 3817 of 1976 and Shanmugham Pillai v. State of Tamil Nadu W.P. No. 4073 of 1976.
5. On a consideration of the matter, I find the grievance of the petitioner to be well-founded. Though the second respondent has considered the documents filed by the petitioner, he has not given reasons for rejecting all the Documents. For example, he has rejected Document No. 720 of 1971, and Document No. 413 of 1971 (items (ii) and (vi) in the list of documents produced by the petitioner as unworthy of consideration as they had already been rejected when considering the value to be fixed for the lands situated in Block 20 of Ward I. Admittedly, the petitioner was not a party to those assessment proceedings. Therefore, the petitioner could not know the grounds on which the two documents were rejected by the second respondent when completing the assessment proceedings for the lands situate in Block 20 of Ward I. As far as the third respondent is concerned, there is no reference about the genuineness of the sale deeds produced by the petitioner or about the correctness of the sale prices mentioned therein. In such circumstances, the ratio laid down in M/s. Southern Roadways Ltd. v. Asst. Commissioner, Urban Land Tax : (1978)1MLJ115 , will clearly be attracted to the petitioner's case. In the above said case, Ramanujam, J. has held as follows:
The Assessing Authority being a statutory body cannot arbitrarily, without any reason reject the sale deeds of lands which are admittedly situate in and around the locality, where the lands in question are situate. If the Assessing Authority ignores certain sale deeds merely on the ground that they do not represent the correct market price, it gives an impression that since the price referred to in the sale deeds does not suit his valuation, he is ignoring them. That is not the proper approach' to be made. Each one of the documents has to be considered to find out whether the sale deed can be taken as the proper basis for ascertaining the market value of the disputed land. If the statutory Appellate Authority fails to consider a relevant material placed before it, the disposal of the appeal cannot be said to be proper or judicial. Since the Tribunal has failed to consider the relevant documents filed and referred to by the petitioner both before the assessing officer and before the Tribunal, the appellate order cannot be legally sustained.
6. Applying the ratio stated above, it follows that the order of the third respondent cannot be; considered as one passed properly by the Tribunal in exercise of its statutory powers as an appellate body. Therefore, the order of the third respondent will stand quashed and the matter, will be remitted to the third respondent for fresh disposal of the appeal in the light of the directions contained in this judgment. There will be no order as to costs.