In an important property tax judgment, the Delhi High Court ruled that the proviso to Section 169(1) of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 is unconstitutional and invalid as it makes the remedy of appeal to the Municipal Taxation Tribunal illusory inasmuch as it requires that the full amount of the property tax be paid “before” the filing of an appeal.
The Court said “….we are of the opinion that the proviso to Section 169(1) of the DMC Act imposes an onerous and unreasonable condition of paying the full amount of the property tax before the filing of an appeal. Such a provision renders the right of appeal illusory. It is true that the legislature need not have given a right of appeal at all. But, the legislature, having decided, in its wisdom, to give a right of appeal cannot make it illusory by imposing such an onerous or unreasonable condition as to amount to a deprivation of that very right which it intends to give. Neither can the possible property tax amounts be considered meagre nor is there any provision for dispensation, whether full or partial, so as to ease the harshness of the proviso to Section 169(1) of the Act.”