Chandigarh, October 10: The municipal corporation (MC) Chandigarh has issued a sealing notice to the Punjab Congress Bhavan, Sector 15, over non-payment of property tax worth ₹8.90 lakh, here on Tuesday.
It is the party office of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), which currently is in power in Punjab. The PPCC was issued a recovery notice earlier as well, but they wanted the MC to exempt them from tax on grounds of no commercial activity being carried out at the Bhavan.
Last year, political parties had tried to seek exemption from house tax, but it was declined by the Chandigarh administration.
Even as the Congress Bhavan, Sector 35, as well as the city and state offices of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had cleared the pending dues, the PPCC had challenged the MC notice in Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) in April this year.
But the HC had dismissed the petition on August 28 after no one from the petitioner’s side attended the court proceedings in two hearings. Additional commissioner Anil Garg, who heads the property tax branch, confirmed the move. He said that the Punjab Congress Bhavan has been given a two-week time to clear dues, before the MC takes appropriate action.
As per law, the sealing notice is a last opportunity for property owners to pay tax. In case of non-payment, MC holds the right to seal the building till the account is not settled.
Meanwhile, sealing notice has also been issued to the Communist Party of India’s office in Sector 30 for not paying property tax worth ₹13 lakh. The MC officials said that they have not cleared the dues despite repeated show-cause notices being issued. It has forced the civic body to give them a final opportunity to pay the dues.
Some IT companies, against whom property tax notices worth 9 crore were slapped, have challenged the MC’s notices in the Punjab and Haryana high court. In the past, they have argued that the MC has no jurisdiction to impose tax on them. They added that during the plot allotments, the IT firms were exempted from any kind of local taxes for a period of 30 years and the IT park had come into being in 2005. The matter is listed for hearing later this month.
Source Hindustan Times