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‘Buyer must pay pending house tax’

business Updated: Sep 13, 2008 00:16 IST
Naziya Alvi
Naziya Alvi
Hindustan Times
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If you forgot to check the house tax arrears while buying a property, don't blame anyone else for it.

A city court has directed a man to pay arrears worth Rs 20, 473 to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi before getting the property transferred in his name.

"Property tax constitutes the first charge upon the land/ building and because the land/building is fastened with its liability, the said liability travels with the land/building and, therefore, the transferee is liable to pay the taxes due on it not for the period subsequent to transfer but anterior to it," Additional District Judge Kamini Lau said.

The court, relying on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Act and a Supreme Court verdict, modified the decree directing Sukhbir Singh Behl to pay the house tax arrears to the tune of Rs 20,473.

The court said that the liability of the transferee is in no way "qualified, curtailed or abridged" by any provision in the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

The court was hearing an appeal by the Corporation, which had challenged a decree passed in favour of Sukhbir Singh Behl.

The Corporation had refused to mutate the property in Behl's name stating that he had failed to complete the legal formalities like payment of the dues and outstanding house tax.

"The mutation of property cannot be acceded to without his clearing the dues against the property, which are to the tune of Rs 20,473 up to March 2004," the Corporation argued.

Behl, on his part, contended that he had already completed all the formalities and the MCD had not made any effort to collect house tax from the occupant Bhagwan Das, from whom he had bought the shop at Boulevard Road here by a sale deed in 1990.

The MCD, however, said that the property was assessed in the name of Das for levy and collection of taxes, and the property could not be mutated unless all the dues were cleared.