Jammu & Kashmir

HC issues notice to GoI, JK Admin on plea against property tax imposition in JK

A panoramic view of residential houses in Kashmir. [FPK Photo / Umar Farooq]

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High has issued notices to the Government of India and the administration of Jammu and Kashmir in a plea challenging the constitutionality of imposition of Property Tax in the union terrirory.

The petitioner, a domicile resident of the valley said Section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 which was invoked to issue the JK Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Third Order, 2020 and amend the JK Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, Bar and Bench reported.

The petitioner while filing the plea filed through Advocate Taha Khalil states, “The words “amendment” and “repeal” have been incorporated in the section implying the designation and devolvement of essential legislative functions upon executive limb of the Government. The power to amend and or repeal any existing law is a policy decision which, in a democratic setup, is only exercised through a body of elected representatives, therefore, the vesting of powers to amend and or repeal laws with the Executive authorities is a bizarre precedence of usurping the power, authority and jurisdiction of legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.”

The plea states that such excessive delegation violates Articles 14, 21, 246, 265, 300A, Schedule VII, Doctrine of Federalism and other express provisions of Constitution.

The petitioner further argues that imposition of property tax, without proper legislation and public consultation, violates Article 265 of the Constitution of India. The haste and malice on part of the UT government goes against established legislative practice, he adds.

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