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M/s. T.K.K.N.N. Vysya Charities Rep. by its Trustee, V. Dhamodhar v/s The State of Tamil Nadu, Rep. by Secretary Urban Land Tax Ceiling, Chennai & Others

    W.A.Nos. 969 & 970 of 2021 & C.M.P.Nos. 6017, 6023 & 6025 of 2021
    Decided On, 17 February 2022
    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
    For the Appellant: S.N. Kirubanandam, Advocate. For the Respondents: V. Jeevagiridharan, Additional Govt. Pleader.

Judgment Text
(Prayer: Writ Appeals filed under Clause 15 of Letters Patent, praying to set aside the common order dated 25.01.2021 passed in W.P.Nos.25226 and 25178 of 2015 respectively.)

Common Judgment:

J. Sathya Narayana Prasad, J.

The present Writ Appeals filed by the writ petitioner, are directed against the common order dated 25.01.2021 passed by the learned Judge in W.P.Nos.25226 and 25178 of 2015 respectively.

2. The facts of the case in a nutshell are as follows:

2.1. The appellant Trust is a public charitable trust formed in the year 1826 to cater the needs of Arya Vysya Community at large residing in and around Triplicane, Chennai 5. Their entire affairs have been administered by a scheme framed by the High Court of Madras in C.S.No.439 of 1977 and the same underwent many changes, which were approved by the High Court and finally, a new scheme was formulated on 18th and 23rd December 2014.

2.2. Considering the activities of the trust, the Government by G.O.(Ms)No.2122, Revenue dated 27.10.1977, granted exemption from payment of urban land tax with effect from fasli 1386 and also remission of unpaid tax for fasli 1385 to the appellant trust for the lands owned by them in S.Nos.1683, 1684 etc. of Block 34 of Triplicane Village, subject to certain conditions.

2.3. While so, the respondents vide G.O.(Ms).No. 515 Revenue ULC 3(1) Department dated 19.11.2004 proposed to withdraw the exemption originally granted to the appellant trust. Following the same, G.O.Ms.No.459 Revenue [ULC~III(1)] Department dated 20.11.2013 came to be issued to withdraw the exemption granted from payment of urban land tax under section 27(1) of the Tamil Nadu Urban Land Tax Act, 1966 for violating the conditions imposed by the Government. Challenging the said G.Os., the appellant filed WP Nos.25226 and 25178 of 2015 to quash the same.

2.4. By order dated 25.01.2021, the learned Judge disposed of the said writ petitions in the following terms:

72. Liberty is however given to the petitioner to approach the Government for grant of exemption by explaining the circumstances which would warrant exemption under Section 27(1) of the Tamil Nadu Urban Land Tax Act, 1966, within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. 73. On such application being filed by the petitioner, the Government shall pass appropriate order, within a period of eight weeks from the date of filing of such application. There shall be a temporary suspension of recovery proceeding for a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of this order pending disposal of the petitioner-s application/ representation for fresh exemption with retrospective effect from the date of respective sale/transfer of the land by the petitioner. Needless to state, the Government shall consider the request of the petitioner for grant of exemption a fresh under Section 27 of the Urban Land Tax Act, 1966 uninfluenced by the observation contained herein. However, such exemption shall be granted only in accordance with law under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Urban Land Tax Act, 1966. If the petitioner does not make out a case for grant of exemption, the respondent shall proceed to recover the amount after expiry of such period of eight weeks after conveying their reasons in writing to the petitioner.”

Feeling aggrieved, the appellant is before this court with these writ appeals.

3. When the writ appeals were taken up for hearing today, the learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the application filed by the appellant under Section 27 of the Tamil Nadu Urban Land Ceiling Tax, 1966 is pending before the authority concerned without any progress. The learned counsel further submitted that the appellant is entitled for exemption as per the decisions of the Division Bench of this court in Southern India Education Trust, rep, by its Secretary S.M.Kamaluddin Fakhri v. The Government of Tamil Nadu and another [1999 (III) CTC 711] and Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute v. The Commissioner, Corporation of Chennai and another [WA Nos.582 of 2020 etc. batch dated 01.12.2020]. Hence, the learned counsel submitted that it would suffice, if a direction is given to the authority concerned to dispose of the said application, in the light of the said decisions of this court, within a time frame to be stipulated by this court.

4. The learned Additional Government Pleader appearing for the respondents has no serious objection for granting such relief to the appellant.

5. In view of the limited relief now sought by the learned counsel for the appellant, which has not been seriously opposed on the side of the respondents, this court directs the first respondent to consider the application filed by the appellant under Sectio

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n 27 of the Tamil Nadu Urban Land Tax, 1966 seeking exemption from payment of Urban Land Tax, in the light of the decisions rendered by the Division Bench of this Court as referred to above and pass appropriate orders, on merits and in accordance with law, after providing due opportunity of hearing to the appellant, within a period of twelve (12) weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment. 6. Accordingly, these writ appeals stand disposed of. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petitions are closed. No costs.