CHENNAI: The Madras High Court granted an interim stay on a distraint order passed by the Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) to bring the property of a city-based litigant for public sale for failing to pay a water tax due of Rs 1,80,504.
Justice Abdul Quddhose passed the orders on the ground that the petitioner has not received the distraint order from the CMWSSB and therefore he was not in a position to challenge the same before the tax appellate tribunal.
Pushpavalli Suresh Babu, the petitioner, submitted through his counsel stating that CMWSSB sent a distraint order in August 2022 asking him to pay Rs.1,80,504 in respect of the arrears of water tax payable for 2018-19 To 2022-23 otherwise his property will be brought for public sale.
He further stated that he did not receive any notice or assessment order in this regard and called the distraint order as arbitrary and illegal. He informed the court that he had paid a sum of Rs 45,126 which was the admitted amount by him.
Recording the submissions, the judge held that when the subject property which is threatened to be brought for public sale, is of a much higher value than the demand made by the respondent, interim protection will have to be granted to the petitioner to enable her to prefer the statutory appeal before the tax appellate tribunal.
"The petitioner is directed to deposit Rs50,000 in favor of the Area Engineer – XVII, CMWSSB within two weeks. The petitioner shall file the appeal before the tax appellate tribunal within one month," the judge held and stayed the notice for one month.
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