Skip to content


Southern Roadways Limited, Successors-in-interest Southern Roadways (Private) Ltd. Vs. the Assistant Commissioner, Urban Land Tax - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMunicipal Tax
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1978)1MLJ115
AppellantSouthern Roadways Limited, Successors-in-interest Southern Roadways (Private) Ltd.
RespondentThe Assistant Commissioner, Urban Land Tax
Excerpt:
- .....tribunal constituted under section 20 of the act. in that appeal, the petitioner filed a list of sale deeds as well as the copies thereof to establish his case that the value fixed by the assessing authority for the two items of lands is highly excessive and it has no relevance to the actual market value of the two items in question or any of the lands in or around the locality. the tribunal, however, without referring to any of the sale-deeds filed by the petitioner, reduced the market value of item no. 1 to rs. 6,000 and item no. 2 to rs. 8,000 per ground. the petitioner has now questioned the order of the tribunal mainly on the ground that the tribunal has not considered the various sale-deeds filed and relied on by the petitioner before it and that the tribunal has merely adopted.....
Judgment:

Ramanujam, J.

1. The petitioner-Company owns, among others two items of properties (1) an extent of 17 grounds 1050 sq. feet in T.S. No. 46|1, Block No. 14 of Ward No. 1, and (2) 3 kanis 1 ground and 1362 sq. feet in old T.S. No. 121, Block No. 24 of Ward No. 1 of Tiruchirapalli. These two items of properties had been assessed to tax under the Tamil Nadu Urban Land Tax Act, 1966, by the Assistant Commissioner, Urban Land Tax, Tiruchirapalli. He has determined the market value of item No. 1 at Rs. 10,800 per ground and item No. 2 at Rs. 12,000 per ground as against the petitioner's return fixing the market value of item No. 1 at Rs. 3,000 and item No. 2 at Rs. 3,600.

2. The assessment was taken on appeal to the special Tribunal constituted under Section 20 of the Act. In that appeal, the petitioner filed a list of sale deeds as well as the copies thereof to establish his case that the value fixed by the assessing authority for the two items of lands is highly excessive and it has no relevance to the actual market value of the two items in question or any of the lands in or around the locality. The Tribunal, however, without referring to any of the sale-deeds filed by the petitioner, reduced the market value of item No. 1 to Rs. 6,000 and item No. 2 to Rs. 8,000 per ground. The petitioner has now questioned the order of the Tribunal mainly on the ground that the Tribunal has not considered the various sale-deeds filed and relied on by the petitioner before it and that the Tribunal has merely adopted the data sale which the assessing authority has taken as comparable to the two items of land. The learned Counsel for the petitioner points out that the assessing authority has rejected, without any basis, a considerable number of sale deeds in and around the locality executed round about 1st July, 1971 and has taken a sale deed of a land which is a mile away from the lands in question as a 'data sale' merely because it showed a higher price than the price indicated in the various sale deeds of properties in and around the locality. When the main grievance of the petitioner in his appeal before the Tribunal, is that the assessing authority is not justified in ignoring the pales in the locality and adopting a sale of a land a mile away from the disputed lands in question as data sale, the Tribunal without going into that question, has merely accepted the basis adopted by the assessing authority to reduce the market value by taking into account some other factors. It is the submission of the learned Counsel for the petitioner that in ascertaining the market value of a land on a particular date, the sale of similar lands in the same locality at the relevant date can alone be taken as the basis and that this principle is well established in cases arising under the Land Acquisition Act. It is pointed out by the learned Counsel that in this case, the assessing authority referred to as many as 13 sales in Ward No. 1, Block No. 14 and 6 sales in Ward No. 1 Block No. 24 but chose to reject them on the ground that they do not represent the correct trend of the market price as on 3rd July, 1971. After rejecting these sale deeds, which are of comparable lands in and around the locality, the assessing authority took a sale in respect of a land situate in T.S. No. 100 which is said to be far away from the lands in question. It is also pointed out by the learned Counsel that when the order of the assessing authority was challenged on the ground that it wrongly rejected the sale deeds of comparable lands in and around the locality where the lands in question are situate, the Tribunal has not considered that question, but proceeded to adopt the game basis as was adopted by the assessing authority, though it reduced the market value slightly. According to the learned Counsel, the special Tribunal constituted under Section 20 of the Act. is a judicial Tribunal and its approach to the determination of the market value of the land should be judicial and therefore, it should have gone into the question as to whether the assessing authority was justified in rejecting the sale deeds of properties in and around the locality and taking a sale of a plot which is far away and which is not at all comparable to the lands in question. After going through all the materials including the copies of the sale deeds produced by the petitioner before the Tribunal, I am clearly of the view that there has been no proper disposal of the appeal by the Tribunal as it has merely proceeded to slightly reduce the market value fixed by the assessing authority without giving any basis. As already stated, even the assessing authority refers to as many as 19 sale deeds with reference to the lands in the same ward bearing T.S. Nos. 45 and 46 in Block Nos. 14 and 125 in Block No. 24. The assessing authority merely held that these documents do not represent the correct trend of the market price as on 3rd July, 1971. Why these documents do not represent the correct market price, has not been explained. Neither the vendors nor the vendees connected with those sale deeds have been examined by the assessing authority. There is no material from which the assessing authority could have concluded that the price mentioned in those sale deeds did not represent the market price. 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. This 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. This arbitrary rejection of the sale deeds of lands in and around the locality by the assessing authority, has not been touched upon by the Tribunal. The assessing authority has adopted a sale of 4396 sq. feet for a sum of Rs. 13,188 in document No. 2920 dated 5th June, 1970 in T.S. No. 100 as the 'date sale' as giving the correct basis for fixing the market value of the land in question. This data sale adopted by the assessing authority as seen from the sketch prepared by the assessing officer himself, is in respect of a land situate far away from the locality and it is situate in Block No. 22. The case lands are situate in Block No. 14 and Block No. 24 of Ward No. 1. The data land is situate in Block No. 22 which does not abut either Block No. 14 or Block No. 24. The petitioner further contends that the sale deeds filed by him before the assessing authority as well as before the tribunal relating to sales of lands just opposite or near the lands in question had not been considered by them even though those documents will give the proper basis for fixing the correct market value. The list of documents filed by the petitioner and the documents filed find a place in the... Tribunal's fileproduced before this Court. A bare look at the order of the Tribunal indicates that none of those documents was considered by the Tribunal. If the documents referred to in the list and filed by the petitioner relate to the lands very close to the case lands then they will provide a proper basis for ascertaining the market value of the case lands. According to the petitioner document No. 463 of 1971 dated 6th February, 1971 relating to Mr. Cherian's property which is just opposite to the case land gives Rs. 1-25 per sq. foot and this document, though heavily relied on by the petitioner before the assessing authority as well as before the Tribunal, has not been touched upon by them. The learned Counsel also refers to the relevancy of the other documents filed before the Tribunal. Document No. 1386 of 1972 dated 10th March, 1972 belonging to Sangam Hotel property which is also situate very close to the case land furnishes the market price at Rs. 1.52 per sq. foot. Document No. 1533 of 1971 dated 15th April, 1971 relating to the lands in Sri. T. Desikachari Compound has also been referred to and the price furnished by the document is Rs. 2 per sq. foot. I have not referred to the other documents set out in the list of documents filed by the petitioner before the Tribunal and I have referred to only a few of them to show that the relevant document filed by the petitioner to indicate the correct market price of the lands in the locality has not been considered either by the assessing authority or by the Tribunal. 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. The order of the Tribunal has, therefore, to be set aside and it is, accordingly set aside with a direction to the Tribunal to dispose of the appeal after taking into account the various sale deeds filed by the petitioner and after considering the question as to whether the rejection of as many as 19 sale deeds referred to in the assessing authority's order, without any reason, is justified. The civil revision petition is, therefore, allowed with costs and remanded as set out above.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //