Delhi HC seeks civic bodies’ response on plea against commercial property tax

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of East, North, and South Delhi Municipal Corporations on a petition challenging the charging of commercial property tax on advocates’ offices by civic bodies.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi seeking their reply in the matter and listed it for further hearing on November 20.

The bench was hearing a petition, filed by the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) through its President Mohit Mathur and Secretary Abhijat, seeking quashing of SDMC’s November 29, 2018 order relating to self-assessment of property tax returns of lawyers offices under Sections 123-A and 123-B of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act.

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The petition filed by advocate Nikhil Mehta said that the order was illegal and arbitrary and added that treating the legal profession as part of commercial activity is illegal, arbitrary and contrary to the law.

“Lawyers appear before the court to represent their clients but in effect assist the court to dispense justice and this cannot be a business or any commercial activity,” the plea said.

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