HC Notice To Govt On  Imposition Of Property Tax In J&K 

Petitioner Says It’s Also Against ‘Doctrine Of Federalism’

By M Ahmad

Srinagar- The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has issued notice to Centre and J&K government on a petition challenging as “unconstitutional” and against “Doctrine of Federalism” the imposition of Property Tax in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hearing the petition filed by one Hanan Moumin Feroz Khan, a bench of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul has asked Union of India through Secretary, Legislative Department, Ministry of Law & Justice, Secretary, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, and J&K government through Principal Secretary, Housing & Urban Development Department, to file their reply to the petition within four weeks.

The petitioner, a resident of Lal Bazar Srinagar, has submitted that enactment of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 changed the constitutional status of J&K from a state to a Union Territory and hence ensued the process of “overhauling” the administrative and legislative structures of the erstwhile State.

Accordingly, he says, by virtue of Reorganization Third Order, 2020 dated 5 October 2020 issued MHA, Section 84(1), Section 86, Section 88, Section 89, Section 90, Section 95, Section 132, Section 133 and Section 143A, of the Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 were substituted by repeal with the incorporation of few new substantive provisions and consequent notifications issued vide S.O 49 dated 12 February 2021 and S.O 86 dated 21 February 2023 by J&K government, whereof “Property Tax” was/is implemented within the Municipal Jurisdiction of Srinagar city.

The petitioner submits that the amendments or repeal carried out in the J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 were violative of Article 14, 21, 246, 265, 300A, Schedule VII, Doctrine of Federalism— which means the demarcation/distribution of the legislative powers of Union Legislature and the Legislatures of States and Union Territories as enshrined under the Article 246 of the Constitution of India— and other express provisions of Constitution of India.

Therefore, the petitioner has sought the court’s indulgence for the protection and enforcement of fundamental, constitutional, legal and statutory rights as vested by law and constitution in the matter of “occupation, possession, exercise and enjoyment” of his right to property.

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