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New Delhi Municipal Committee Vs. State of Punjab [1994] INSC 507 (4 October 1994)

Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj) Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj) Bharucha S.P. (J) Ahmadi, A.M. (J) Verma, Jagdish Saran (J) Ray, G.N. (J)

CITATION: 1995 AIR 3 1994 SCC (6) 619 1994 SCALE (4)390

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. These civil appeals and special leave petitions are filed by the New Delhi Municipal Committee against the judgment and order of the Delhi High Court delivered on 14-3-1975, in State of A.P v. New Delhi Municipal Committee1 and against other orders of the same High Court which follow the aforementioned judgment. The respondents in these various civil appeals and special leave petitions are the States of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tripura, + From the Judgment and Order dated 14-3-1975 of the Delhi High Court in C.W. Nos. 342 of 1969, 567 and 845 of 1973 1 CWP No. 342 of 1969 620 Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Orissa, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal. All these matters can conveniently be dealt with together.

2. Each of the States has immovable property within the Union Territory of Delhi. It is the contention of the States that they are exempt from the payment of property tax leviable under the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, as applicable to Delhi by virtue of the exemption granted to the property of a State by Article 289(1) of the Constitution of India. The contention of the States was upheld by the judgment aforementioned, which was, in the main, founded upon the opinion of this Court in Bill to amend Section 20 of the Sea Customs Act, 1878, and Section 3 of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, Re2.

3. Having duly considered the majority opinion in the Presidential Reference aforementioned, we find that the point at issue in these matters is covered thereby. The opinion was accepted by a Constitution Bench of this Court hearing a litigation inter partes. This was the decision in APSRTC v. IT03. We are bound by this decision.

4. This, however, does not detract from the plausibility of the contentions advanced before us on behalf of appellant and the intervener, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

These contentions, based upon constitutional provisions, were not advanced in the cases aforementioned and require consideration. Large financial stakes are involved.

Accordingly, these matters shall be placed before a nine- Judge Bench which shall decide whether the concerned observations made in the Sea Customs case2 require reconsideration.

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