HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has told the High Court that it has never given instructions to the tax collection officials to dump garbage bins in front of the premises or buildings of property tax defaulters to build pressure on them for payment of tax dues.
GHMC commissioner and special officer Somesh Kumar has filed a counter affidavit to a PIL, denying the allegations made by the petitioner that the GHMC property collection staff was not following the due procedure as envisaged under GHMC Act,1955.
Somesh Kumar claimed that deputy commissioners and tax collection officials of the corporation were instructed several times to follow the due process of law for recovery of property tax dues.
After noticing certain incidents which were reported in the press, appropriate instructions were issued to all the tax collection staff to strictly follow the procedure for collection of tax dues from the defaulters. Provisions of the GHMC Act were invoked for collection of property tax from chronic and wilful defaulters, he added.
It may be recalled that petitioner Balaji Vadera, a High Court advocate, filed the public interest litigation with a plea to declare as illegal the action of the GHMC in installing garbage bins in front of various shopping complexes, commercial buildings, residential houses etc., and demanding the public for collection of property tax.
Balaji alleged that the GHMC commissioner had ordered installation of 40 to 50 bins full of garbage in front of various shopping complexes, residential houses, etc on February 12 and also erected flexi banners listing top property tax defaulters at busy areas of the twin cities for collection of property tax arrears.
As part of it, two garbage bins were installed in front of State Bank of India at Karwan and locked the gate of the bank’s premises and prevented bank authorities from functioning, thereby causing inconvenience to the bank’s account holders, he pointed out.