8 July 2021
R K Aggarwal, owner of Shalimar Mall, located in Panchkula’s Sector 5 & which is also tricity’s one of the first malls has said that the MC House Panchkula is acting in a mala fide manner against him in relation to his property on the issue of property tax. Aggarwal held a press meet in Chandigarh after a section of media quoting the Mayor had reported that Shalimar Mall was the biggest defaulter of property tax in Panchkula. Aggarwal stated that this is a white lie & nothing could be farther from the truth. Aggarwal explained, “If one just makes a small effort to check records of MC Panchkula online, nearly Rs 7.5 lakhs of property tax from Shalimar Mall is still lying deposited in excess with the MC Panchkula. So I have in fact paid more property tax than actually invoiced by MC, how could I be a defaulter? To add salt to the wound they are calling me the biggest defaulter.”
Giving a background to the case Aggarwal informed that after the property tax notification of Haryana Government in 2013, over Rs. 33 lakhs was deposited towards property tax. But MC Panchkula raised a baseless property tax bill-cum-notice of Rs. 4,26,25,581/- in 2017 in respect of Shalimar Mega Mall. The same was challenged by the mall’s management before the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the court directed the mall’s management to deposit Rs. 1 crore and to file an appeal before the Divisional Commissioner (Ambala Division). An appeal was filed before the Divisional Commissioner (Ambala Division ) and Rs 1 crore was deposited under protest with the MC, Panchkula. Subsequently, the Divisional Commissioner (Ambala Division) remanded the matter to Commissioner, MC, Panchkula for passing a speaking order, which was passed by on 30.03.2021.
Aggarwal said, “Commissioner , MC, Panchkula in the speaking order directed the Zonal Taxation Officer to re-assess the property tax of Shalimar Mall. What’s more the arbitrary bill-cum-notice for Rs. 4,26,25,581/- was also set aside. It was further directed that the amount of Rs. 1 crore as already deposited by us in compliance of order passed by High Court of Punjab & Haryana be set off by MC, Panchkula as per rules at the time of re-assessment of property tax.”
It was further stressed by Aggarwal that after reassessment of property tax of Shalimar Mall from financial year 2008-09 to 2020-21, an amount of Rs. 18,75,563/- was found deposited in excess with the MC, Panchkula. Subsequently the MC, Panchkula raised bill cum notice for property tax and fire tax for financial year 2021-22 for Rs. 11,28,791/-. The MC Panchkula recovered the said amount from the excess amount already lying deposited with the MC Panchkula. Accordingly, after adjustment of property tax and fire tax for the FY 2021-22, an amount of Rs. 7,46,772/- is still lying deposited in excess with the MC Panchkula.
Aggarwal further said, “I have come to know from a newspaper report that MC house of Panchkula passed a resolution on 30.06.2021 with malice and mala fide intentions to constitute a committee to illegally interfere with the order passed by the Commissioner MC Panchkula in the matter , remanded back by the Divisional Commissioner (Ambala Division) in an appeal filed on the directions of the Punjab & Haryana High Court. The said resolution is liable to be annulled/suspended/cancelled. The MC House or any committee constituted by MC house is not empowered to supersede the assessment of property tax carried out in compliance of order passed in an appeal filed on the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court.”
Aggarwal further said, “My property has been re-assessed after a quasi judicial order passed by Commissioner MC, Panchkula & still I have been targeted under this illegal resolution. Why have other similar sized properties been kept out of purview of this arbitrary resolution, despite insufficient payments of property tax in violation of property tax notification. It is clear that the MC house has passed the said resolution with intentions of targeting just my property.”
Aggarwal added, “I have given a representation to the Additional Chief Secretary(ACS), Urban Local Bodies department, Haryana and called upon the office to use powers bestowed on it under sections 414 & 415 of Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994 for cancellation of resolution passed by the MC, Panchkula in their house meeting held on 30.06.2021 in respect of property tax of Shalimar Mall. I have also requested ACS to direct the MC Panchkula to publish a white paper regarding details of property tax received from the date of occupation certificate to till date of similar sized commercial properties falling in the same category as well as all other commercial properties to maintain transparency.”