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Lawfully yours: By Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court. Do you have a question? Email us at

Lawfully yours: By Justice K Chandru

Justice K Chandru

CHENNAI: Try to effect changes in bye-laws for society to spend on public cause

Q: I am a life member of the Indian Officers’ Association (IOA), Chennai. Registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975, IOA has movable and immovable properties of around Rs 200 crore. It spends revenue from the rented premises and other sources on its members only. The Income Tax Department assessed it as an Association of Persons due to its failure to spend its income on public causes. IOA pays income tax and spends around Rs one crore annually on members’ welfare. Isn’t this a violation of Section 25 of the TN Societies Act?

— P Ayyappan, Addl Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Retd)

A: Unless your association violates the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975, no action can be taken against it. The officials who are empowered to take action for violations themselves may be members of your society. If you think the society should spend its money for better causes, then you should have support in the general body to effect changes in the society. Otherwise, you are bound by the bye-laws of the society.

Failing to petition the tribunal, high taxation can be taken up with the GCC commissioner

Q: Our 1,200 sqft commercial premises at Ashtalakshmi Nagar in Maduravoyal, Chennai are being charged very high property tax; quite unreasonable when compared to that of our neighbours. We requested reassessment of the property by appealing but there has been no response from the officials. The Metro Water and Sewerage Board is also charging us heavily based on the property tax. Our rental income has stopped on the 2nd floor and it has been lying vacant for over a year. Please guide us on how to deal with this problem. Please let us know what should be our course of action.

— Balakumar MB, Maduravoyal

A: At the time of fixing the property tax, you should have questioned it, failing which you should have filed an appeal before the Taxation Appellate Committee/Tribunal. Now the option before you is to write to the Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). If the Commissioner doesn’t respond, you can move the High Court to consider your representation. Depending on the reply you can challenge the high taxation.

Justice K Chandru
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