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The Delhi High Court has held that the Court under its Article 226 jurisdiction cannot interfere with the determination of circle rates of immovable properties and built-up flats.
The Order was passed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar in a public interest litigation preferred by one Suraj Prakash Manchanda (petitioner).
Apart from seeking a direction to the Delhi Government to rationalize circle rates of immovable properties and built-up flats in Delhi, the petitioner had also sought a direction to fix minimum rates of flats commensurate with the category of the colony and area.
Additionally, the petitioner sought a direction to constitute a permanent expert valuation committee/cell for valuation of the market value of properties and to further ensure that circle rates were brought closer to the current market rate of properties. This mechanism, the petitioner contended, would prevent undervaluation or overvaluation of properties. The petitioner suggested that the rates might be revised by the Delhi Government at regular intervals.
After hearing the petitioner and the Delhi Government, the Court opined that fixing of the circle rate was a policy decision which is to be taken by the Delhi Government.
The Court observed that fixing of circle rate is a complex phenomenon and depended on a variety of factors.
“The fixing of the circle rate depends on varieties of factors. After several discussions and deliberations, such type of circle rates ought to be fixed. It happens sometimes that the respondent-Government may constitute committee/committees to arrive at correct circle rate because circle rate has direct nexus with the market value, with the stamp duty and slight error in the circle rate may generate several litigations before varieties of Authorities and Courts.”
The Court thus concluded that fixing of the circle rate ought to be done patiently by the Delhi Government and cannot be done so hurriedly pursuant to directions issued by Court.
“The circle rates cannot be fixed so hurriedly and therefore, we see no reason to give any direction or to issue any writ upon respondent much less the writ of mandamus to hurriedly finalize the circle rates more so when the respondent has already constituted a committee of experts and they are working for the finalization of the circle rates.“
In view of the above, the petition was disposed of.
The petitioner appeared in person and Delhi Government was represented by Standing Counsel Ramesh Singh with Advocates Chiraya Jain and Ishan Agrawal.
Read the Order: