The Corporation had sent a team including drummers to shame the hotel into paying the tax dues pending for five years. The management moved the court to quash the demand notice and also to restrain municipal officials from taking any coercive steps.
Appearing for the hotel, senior counsel Satish Parasaran pointed out that the assessment has been challenged before a civil court, and added that it was ready to pay whatever the court decides. But the manner adopted by the Corporation, bringing drum beaters and parking garbage lorries, was unfair, he contended.
The tax assessment was calculated erroneously which resulted in an exorbitant hike, said Parasaran, arguing that it also considered guideline value despite the High Court making it clear that guideline value cannot be the basis for market value.
Countering this, additional advocate-general Narmadha Sampath said the method of tax calculation was formulated only after consulting all stakeholders, including the hotels’ association in which the petitioner hotel is also a member.
“Anyway you are going to pay the tax. Now pay the amount demanded and adjust it towards future assessments, based on the outcome of the civil case,” observed Justice M Duraiswamy during the arguments.
When the judge insisted that the hotel pay at least Rs 10 crore, the counsel said it was a big amount to arrange at such short notice, and sought time till Monday to get instructions. Following this, the hearing was adjourned to March 26.