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Dry-tap sanction to realise tax

Calcutta, Nov. 5: Calcutta High Court today empowered the city civic corporation to realise due property tax by disconnecting water connection to buildings.

The judgment has come as a shot in the arm of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation which is already realising property tax by threatening to disconnect water supply. Defaulters will have to cough up at least a portion of the unpaid taxes to continue supply of corporation water to their premises.

A division bench of Justices Samaresh Bannerjee and P.. Sinha set aside an interim order asking the CMC to restore water supply to the tenants of a building on A.J.C. Bose Road with immediate effect while passing the judgment. It said interim orders could not be passed without asking the respondents to pay unpaid taxes.

The interim order was passed by Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya of the high court on a petition by some tenants of Karnani Estate alleging that the civic authorities had disconnected water supply as the owner of the building had not paid property tax.

The civic body had challenged the interim order before the division bench. Ashok Das Adhikari, the CMC lawyer, told the court that the interim order was bad in law and argued that his client was empowered by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Rules to disconnect water connection to realise unpaid property taxes.

Appearing for the petitioners, advocate Shakti Nath Mukherjee pleaded that the tenants should not suffer because the building owner had not paid taxes.

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